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Retirement isn’t what it is cracked up to be. What’s fun about sitting around, doing very little besides lifting a wine glass and letting the sun bake your skin?
After 26 years of following my husband Steve around the world during his Air Force career, raising two fantastic sons, and owning a business for 10 years, it was finally time to head to sunny Florida and “retire”.
Purchasing a home in a “55” senior-restricted area was the easy part. We resettled and started to get involved with the activities in our new community, but within six months we both knew it wasn’t for us. The once-a-week morning coffees and spaghetti dinners were fine, going to the pool each day and baking our skin was soothing, but was this all there was? The highlight of our day was waiting for4 p.m. to come so we could sit in our “Florida room” and sip on a glass of wine. After a while, we looked at each other and asked, “What is wrong with this picture?”
Trying to figure out how to fix the situation didn’t happen overnight. Mike, our youngest son, had been trying to get us involved in computers for years, but both Steve and I kept resisting. Who wants to put their mind to work learning something new at our ages? Mike finally announced that he was sending me his old computer and, even If we only played games on it, it would give us something to do. I am sure in the past 20 years, he has regretted that decision, especially when I have called him at midnight thinking my computer crashed and I didn’t know what to do.
In the very early 1990’s a friend asked me to join her at a local computer user group. I sat there and most everything was over my head. I had never paid much attention to words like megabyte or kilobyte, but thought I might get something out of the meetings.
To make a long story short, I sat through a photo class where they used a digital camera. We could see the photos displayed instantly on a computer! WOW! I was hooked and haven’t turned back.
Steve on the other hand, being the boy that he is, had to figure out what make these machines work. He now has a small repair shop where he fixes computers for a hobby. I have been fortunate enough over the years to go from member to President of the Pasco Area Computer Users Group (PACUG), to President of the Florida Association of Computer User Groups (FACUG), to Vice President of APCUG, which is the position I currently hold.
The bottom line is, no matter what your age, if you let your mind stop learning, be prepared to stagnate. Perhaps computers aren’t for you, but keep an open mind on whatever is offered and never think you are too old to learn and enjoy a hobby that can stimulate even the oldest brain.
Getting started in home computing may be easier than you think. Check the usual sources (Chamber of Commerce, library, visitor centers, etc) to find a nearby computer user group/club that loves to help someone get started. Also go to www.apcug.net and click on “User Group”, then on “Find a Group Near You”.