Christine Sparacino of Walnut Creek, California, epitomizes the active baby boomer in two ways. One is, instead of retiring, she wrote a book. And two is, she wrote her book about retirement. So Christine has written something now for BoomerCafé, and the title tells the story: Retirement: Let New Ideas Unfold.
As baby boomers, we pride ourselves on our unique spin on life and we are often portrayed as the generation of optimism, exploration and achievement. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, it’s the perfect time to let new ideas unfold, and connect our seasoned knowledge and experiences to new situations.
Whenever I encouraged my husband to join me in retirement, his answer was always the same: “What would I do?” I knew he was concerned about letting go of a business he built from scratch, afraid to lose the identity he personified for 30 years.
I’ve always considered myself a “reincarnated librarian.” I retired from a career as a grant writer that relied heavily on using the web to research information. I set out to find out, “What DO retirees do with their free time?” I started to explore the possibilities and found many fascinating people enjoying fulfilling activities that became their passionate pursuits. So many, in fact, that I started to chronicle these great stories.
I didn’t plan to write a book. The idea just took on a life of its own. It unfolded as one contact led to an interview over coffee, followed by another. Then long distance emails began, and I made contact with boomers all over the US. I interviewed retired and semi-retired baby boomers including Harriet, the mushroom hunter from Oregon; Kevin, the woodturner from Massachusetts; Voni and her husband, Paul who leave their home in Texas and ride their motorcycles for four months of the year, and many others.
After 14 months, I published Energize Your Retirement:: Stories of Passionate Pursuits. And what about my husband? Well, maybe he’s the next story I chronicle; while I was doing the book, he tapered his working time and took up beekeeping. The honey is delicious!