So You’re Retired – Now What? Part Two by Robin Trimingham

sunrise June 27

So You’re Retired – Now What? Part Two by Robin Trimingham

Last week I started a new series of articles for the newly retired in which your homework was to throw caution to the wind and come up with three things that you would absolutely love to do now that you are free, if you knew how to get started.

So was that hard or easy?

If you gave this any serious consideration, I am willing to bet that it was harder than you thought it would be. Unless you were a paid “idea guy” during your career, most of us were actually paid not to think and the higher up the corporate ladder we got the more we were paid to do the work laid out for us and not have any distractingly original ideas.

Ok, call me cynical if you wish, but the sad truth is most large corporations are actually run this way.

So what to do about this idea engine of your that seems to have seized up?

First of all, don’t panic – it is fixable but you are going to have to start with something very basic. Coloring helps believe it or not. I am not exactly sure why but the simple act of choosing whether to use the red crayon or the blue one helps you get back in touch with your creative idea factory in a no-risk fashion. If you want to go old school, just start coloring in the ads in the daily newspaper. For those of you craving something more exotic, there are quite a few adult coloring books filled with intricate patterns and flowers available on

You also might try photography which is one of my favorite no-risk idea generators. Once again you can make this as simple or complex an activity as you like. I find looking for things to photograph frees my mind from the cyclone of thoughts that would otherwise block me, and allows fresh ideas relating to a problem that I am actively seeking to solve, to bubble up to the surface. On a typical day I might take 10-20 pictures and save about 2 of them. No risk, no waste, no fear of failure. Easy.

I took the image at the top of this article this morning with my cell phone. I post all my favorite photos on Instagram, which I refer to as my portable photo album. I don’t do selfies and I am more interested in patterns and textures than most people so don’t expect to find any celebrity raves if you bother to look it up.

So back to you and your wild ideas that need development (or wild ideas yet to be). This week, get some crayons and color all the ads in the paper that interest you, or your cell phone and take photos of anything that interests you for the whole week. No judging. No deleting. Then on Sunday look at everything you have collected and see if you can see any patterns, commonality, or similarity in images. Then think about what aspect of all of this you would most like to do more of, or learn more about.

Don’t worry about what you discover, (and yes it’s ok if you want to keep coloring) it can be our secret.

By Robin Trimingham







Sent from my iPad

2 responses to “So You’re Retired – Now What? Part Two by Robin Trimingham

  1. Good idea. I’ll add a coloring book and crayons to my shopping list. (The newspapers are almost gone here.)
    I’ve been retired for a year and a half. It’s the first time in many, many years that I haven’t been a caregiver. I still go in to work at the library 15 hours a week because I enjoy it but I don’t know what I’d do without it either.

  2. Thanks for your comment. You might try recalling what you wanted to be when you were a child. When I was in kindergarten I used to pretend that I was in the movies with my friends. Today I produce educational television – nothing is impossible.

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