Enjoying a Leisurely Life

Older man working within the woodworking shopAn expert on gerontology, Dr. Richard Johnson, describes leisure as: “Personally satisfying endeavors outside work which rejuvenate your body, stimulate your mind or enrich your spirit.”

During working years, most people daydream about what they will do in retirement, when the traditional eight-hour workday is past and they now, finally, have an amazing amount of “free time.” Many individuals dream about traveling, volunteer options, or even just relaxing at home.  

Yet, a life without purpose is not satisfying; human beings are happiest when we have a reason to get out of bed each day when we are looking forward to something! 

According to the website, Next3rd, “A leisurely life is balanced: with purpose and leisure, with meaning and pleasure. You are neither under-utilized nor over. Satisfying your personal leisure preferences helps you live in the present, feel joy and be yourself.”

A new article about the blue zones regions of the world notes this: “Purpose has always played a major role in well-being and the resulting extreme longevity. It’s also believed that the strong sense of purpose possessed by older Okinawans may act as a buffer against stress and help reduce overall inflammation, in turn lowering chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and stroke. There continues to be a growing body of research to support the impact of purpose on mental and physical health and how it can lead to longer life expectancy.”

Related: The Importance of Lifelong Learning As You Age>>

Hobbies Matter

Research shows that individuals who are actively engaged in a hobby are more likely to report that their life has a purpose. According to the National Institute for Health, engaging in social and productive activities you enjoy, like taking an art class or becoming a volunteer in your community, may help to maintain your well-being.  And moving to a retirement community like Kendal at Granville is a wonderful way to enhance your leisure hours by continuing an old hobby or trying out something new. 

Older man working within the woodworking shop

According to Jeremy Bruno, “When I came to Kendal at Granville I had only the minimal woodworking skills that one gets from taking care of maintenance and repairs of a home.  Thanks to the mover’s breakage, I contacted the woodworking shop and was welcomed by the shop people to develop the skills for furniture repairs. This has grown into a hobby that encompasses furniture repairs, bookcase design and fabrication, simple electrical repairs, and similar work for residents’ projects and myself.”  

He continued, “The shop is small but in the process of expanding.  The prime objectives are to have fun and to work safely. Qualified users of the shop will help new residents with an interest in woodworking to use the power equipment properly and will consult on any proposed projects.”  

Related: The Best Life Lesson? Keep Learning!>>

Share Your Experience with Like-Minded People 

The Resident Association of Kendal at Granville helps to support and fund many different activities so those with similar hobbies and interests can share their experiences. Our community boasts an eclectic array of groups which reflect our residents well.  Some are interested in genealogy; others might join a book club, play cards, take yoga classes, paint, scrapbook, compete at bocce ball, journal, bake cookies, practice on the putting green, play piano, sculpt, garden, and even take photographs!

Photo art piece within a wood frameChristie Vargo states, “My passion is nature photography, and I have enjoyed showcasing my work by mat-cutting and framing my favorite images.  In down-sizing to Kendal I had no space to continue my matting and framing hobby in our villa; however, I was so pleased to learn that I could set up space in the art room for my equipment and supplies.  I love the environment!  I have already completed four projects!  An added bonus is that now I get to share the art space and learn more about the interests of other Kendal resident artists.” 

Older woman sewing a quilt square

The Fiber Arts group meets weekly in their designated room, where sewing machines and ironing boards are available to anybody.  Margi Barns explains, “All are welcome, and people who are learning will find we have help available. We have had many group projects, including the Quilt of Valor and knitted or crocheted baby blankets hand-made for various organizations.

Hanging poncho in hallway on displayFiber arts works are regularly displayed in the community Art Gallery for residents and visitors to enjoy. Members of our group include a prize-winning weaver, a basket maker, and some cross-stitchers, whose products are museum-quality. Maybe the best thing is the camaraderie and friendship of our group, so we encourage visitors to get to know us!” 


The Benefits of Having a Hobby 

Hobbies help provide a focus or purpose for living and make each day rewarding. Research shows that people who are sociable, generous, and goal-oriented may feel happier and less depressed than other people. Some documented benefits from being engaged in a hobby are:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved critical thinking ability
  • Less likely to develop certain diseases, including dementia
  • Longer life span

Hobbies are credited with helping older adults stay active physically, mentally and socially… and these choices make for meaningful, healthy lives.  


Living the Good Life at Kendal at Granville 

When it comes to free time, the most important question is this: Do you love what you’re doing with your life? Kendal at Granville can help you be assured that you will spend your free time pursuing your passions, so you truly can do what you love!


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