Monday, March 4, 2013

DONNA DAROVICH: Six Flags Over Boredom Park has interesting rides for retirees

So you’re retired and bored or avoiding retirement because it sounds boring?

Here’s a ticket to Six Flags Over Boredom Park.

The rides there have names like Learn Something, Play Something and Do Something for Someone Else.

There are three myths of retirement – that you will want and be able to play golf/bridge/name it every day, that you will have the money to buy an RV (and gas) to see the USA and that no one needs you anymore.

The Learn Something ride will catapult you into one of the thousands of classes taught in Arlington which is, after all, a university/college town. Audit a UTA or Tarrant County College Southeast Campus credit class or take advantage of one of the many continuing education (non-credit courses) each offers.

 Donna Darovich

Classes for senior adults at TCCrange from how to take a good photograph to Spanish. UTA offers Young at Heart continuing education classes that range from ballroom dancing to wine appreciation.

Best of all, if you are 55 or older you may be exempt from paying the full price.

Learning something new doesn’t appeal to you? Shame on you. You will stink at it in the beginning, even if you are only watching and playing along with Family Feud or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” But at least get on the Play Something ride.

 A friend began piano lessons at age 65. He won’t be in the Van Cliburn competition but he entertains himself quite well – and those family members patient enough to listen to his halting play. But hey, he plays the piano and they don’t!

I recently took an acrylic painting class at Painting With a Twist in Southwest Arlington.  The teacher, Amy Horrey, was great but my impatience gene, complete disregard for detail and inability to stay within the lines drawn were all obvious in the finished product.

So let me publicly apologize to Woods Chapel Baptist Church for making its historic chapel my painting subject.

Having said that, I am framing the primitive piece because it is my only attempt to perch on this branch of the fine arts tree. My nest is on the writing branch and I have clung briefly to the theater and music branches.

But the point is, I branched out.  I learned something – mainly that I have no talent for painting, and  now have a painting to prove it. That’s me on the far left, trying to push my art out of the photo.

The Do Something for Someone Else ride is the real thrill ride. It will persuade you that you are needed.

Arlington has so many non-profit agencies, churches and schools that need help.  

I give a few hours a week to Helping Restore Ability, the nonprofit that helps persons with disabilities remain self sufficient. It has been a learning experience and an opportunity to continue to use my God-given talents.   And I leave their offices always feeling good and appreciated.

So get out of that Laz-e-Boy, put down the remote and pick up the phone or get on the computer and buy an admission ticket to Six Flags Over Boredom Park.

After all, you’re retiring (or already have) from the workplace -- not the human race.

Donna Darovich is a retired journalist (or as she prefers to say, “award winning” retired journalist), and higher education publicist, song parodist and Sunday school teacher.

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