Baby boomers are at a transitional point in their lives. Some are getting ready to retire, others already have retired and are looking for activities to keep busy and still others are working and may not have much time on their hands.
Though staying active and social is important for all ages, boomers really can develop and gain from taking on new hobbies and activities at this point in their lives. Mark Corcoran, a resident at Judson Manor in Cleveland, boomer and managing director of Theatre in the Circle, said being a boomer doesn’t mean you can’t get involved with something new.
“For me, (being involved) is the only way to stay connected to our world,” Corcoran said. “Just because you’re of a certain age, it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to continue to grow or to be challenged. When you get to that age, you’re able to choose a large life or a small life. The large life is far more fulfilling to me.”
Corcoran co-created Theatre in the Circle with his husband, Bill, in their retirement. Corcoran said that when looking for retirement communities and things to get involved in as boomers, they were instantly drawn to Judson Manor’s space.
“When we saw Judson, we thought what a perfect venue for productions,” he said. “The space was crying to be used in creative ways. We have an extremely vigorous music program here at Judson Manor. We’re also in the process of further developing and enriching the art program. So, it was like the theater was the missing component. From our research, Judson Manor is the only senior community with a semi-professional theater company that is resident driven.”
Corcoran said a reason why he pursued the theater company is because he and his husband were involved in professional theater their entire lives.
“We missed the creative challenge that a theater presents,” he said. “We were in a position of people asking (why we created the company) and our exact response was why not? If we can do something to further enrich a community that we can spend the rest of our lives in, why not?”
Corcoran said it’s important for boomers to recognize going to a retirement community is not the beginning of the end. For Corcoran and his husband, it was more like the beginning of a new life.
“Judson is really at the heart of this company,” he said. “People don’t come to these communities to die. They come to live and live in ways they never did before. My husband and I found moving (to Judson Manor) to be very liberating and freeing.”
Corcoran said since moving to Judson Manor, he has worried less about the small stuff, like who will fix things around the house or mow the lawn.
“My very best piece of advice to someone who doesn’t know what to do with their newly found time since retirement is to volunteer somewhere,” he said. “You’ll find something that you’ll connect with.”
He said not everyone will find something to connect with right away and that’s OK.
“You just have to find it,” Corcoran said. “And if you don’t find it – create it. Originate your future.”
The Theatre in the Circle will have its next show, “I Do! I Do!,” premiere on June 22. The show will be directed by Bill Corcoran.