What would you do with lots of extra time in your day, your week, your month?

For those who are retired, especially those newly retired, this question might be a common one. After decades of working five (or more) days a week, the prospect of having a week with no schedule might be a frightening prospect for some, and uncertain for many others.

For others, me included, it would be tremendously exciting. Although I’m nowhere near retirement age (wink, wink), I like to daydream about how I would spend my days.

After the requisite several days of sleeping late and doing absolutely nothing constructive, I’m pretty sure I would be bored with the laziness.

I would want to do things to make me feel useful, help me learn new things, and excite me with new experiences. There is plenty going on around here that could fill the bill – and without breaking the bank.

The first thing I would do is find a couple of good causes for which to volunteer. I don’t mean helping plan an event now and then, but an on-going involvement that could help others.

My first thought goes to Memory Matters, a wonderful organization with which I have been involved in some capacity for nearly 20 years. They offer a weekday program for people with dementia, full of activities, music, art and fun. While the participants are socializing, their family caregivers are allowed a bit of respite from their 24-hour-a-day efforts. Friday is music day, and if I had the time, I would be there singing, laughing, dancing, playing a tambourine, and making new friends.

I also want to start a blog. I’m told it’s easy to do, if one has a topic that people want to read about. Food is something lots of folks find interesting.

Maybe I will study up on trendy foods and find out if they really are “miracle”-producing. What exactly is turmeric and why is it so good for us? What happened to the grapefruit diet? How come those pop-up ads on the Internet warn us about bananas? What is the best snack before a workout?

When I feel creative, I think I should enjoy a few art classes. No, I can’t draw a straight line – who can? (Who would want to?) I want to learn about color, contrast, shadows, composition – and maybe discover a hidden talent.

Along these lines, I want to create new fashions. I was required to learned to sew in eighth grade, and have always loved fabric. Based on what I used to watch on “Project Runway,” I think even I could design funky clothes for the adventurous yet stylish 50-something woman.

If I ran out of ideas, I’m sure the Coastal Discovery Museum and the Heritage Library could help. They both offer ample opportunities for learning new things – and old. I’d like to trace my family roots and learn more about our local waterways and critters.

Some other possibilities on my list are:

  • Visit every small town in South Carolina, take pictures, learn some history, and meet some locals.
  • Draw my own coloring book.
  • Make a quilt out of my kids’ old jeans and T-shirts.
  • And I’ve got to get myself back to the garden. (Wait, isn’t that a song title?) It’s a mess, and suffering from lack of love and attention.

This all sounds great, even exciting.

I don’t want to rush the next few years, but it sure would be nice if retirement was just a little closer.