A few months ago, I wrote about some lessons learned from adult coloring books. I’m still a fan of adult coloring, but I’ve found something new – adult dot-to-dot books. They are exactly what it sounds like. Remember those connect the dot books we had when we were younger? Well, they’re the same thing except more “adult” so instead of counting to 20 or 50…you’re counting to 150 or 300. And when you’re done counting, you could color the image.
Dot-to-dot books offer something different from coloring. Like coloring, they still provide a certain amount of escape and distraction. However, they bring out different qualities. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
All planning is not the same. I found with dot-to-dot books, I have to plan a little more. In coloring, if I make something the wrong color…oh well, I just move on. With dot-to-dot, if I don’t plan, I could mess up the image. This has also forced me to only use pencils (with erasers!) for dot-to-dot activities. It reminds me that even though “I’m a planner” that I can’t look at all planning the same way. Planning this week’s menu is very different from retirement financial planning.
The need for stress relief will always be necessary. Keeping stress bottled up isn’t good for our health and relationships. I’m totally convinced that retirement doesn’t mean all of my worries will be over. Hopefully, every day that I’m retired won’t be filled with stress, but finding ways to effectively manage tensions will be necessary. I can see dot-to-dot books offering some challenge, while at the same time bringing some stress relief. The good news is they’re affordable. I also discovered that iTunes has some adult dot-to-dot apps.
Play is an important part of our retirement. While I’ve been talking about dot-to-dot books in the context of stress relief, that’s not their only purpose. They can just be fun. They don’t need to have a secondary purpose or motive. Part of retirement is about having fun. That’s why people talk about traveling and hobbies during retirement. It’s fun. Granted a dot-to-dot book doesn’t exactly compare to an Alaska cruise. But fun can be sitting on the back porch with a cuppa tea and a dot-to-dot book.
I think it’s kinda cool to see how activities I did as a child have modernized. Adult coloring and dot-to-dot are examples. It makes me realize that I need to be prepared for a modern retirement. It’s true, some pieces might look exactly like my parent’s retirement, but it’s possible that I need to get ready for a 21st Century twist.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas, NV