August 11, 2021

As Busy as a Retiree

In retirement, it’s important to find ways to stay busy, active, and engaged in the things that give your life meaning. For ARTA member Moji Taiwo, finding ways to stay busy has never been a challenge. As a former civil servant, working for the Alberta Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, there was never a dull moment in Moji’s career. She barely even had enough time to take a vacation. But now, six years into her retirement, Moji is as busy as ever, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“At first, I relished the freedom of not having to go to work every day,” says Moji. “But after the first summer of my retirement was over, I was restless. My brain wasn’t able to shut off.” Moji did what many new retirees do: She tended to her garden, she spent time with her grandchildren, and she travelled, exploring southern Alberta and British Columbia with friends, and taking international trips as well. But Moji found that in between these hobbies, she still had time to fill.

“When I got back from my first vacation, I sat down and started writing. I always thought about writing a guidebook for raising teenagers, so that’s what I started with. But every time I sat down, I started telling the story of my own journey, and how I came to start working with kids. My project quickly became an autobiography.” Moji published her story in 2017, calling it, I Give Because I’m Blessed, I’m Blessed Because I Give: A chronicle of an immigrant’s journey.

Moji’s exploration of her own journey as an immigrant living in Calgary has even inspired her to help other immigrants tell their stories. She’s now the host of her own YouTube series, called The Immigrant Experience Show, on the Alberta-based channel, Diversity TV.

For many, this would be enough to stay busy, but Moji wanted to do more, drawing on her work experience to volunteer in her own community. “I worked as a youth worker, and then a manager of youth workers, for many years. Now I volunteer to teach kids in the community,” she says. “I teach them how to handle school pressures, peer pressures, how to get to know themselves. I run classes for parents of teenagers as well.”

Moji admits that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but staying busy is something that brings her joy. “I’m busy, yes, but I have a lot of fun. All these projects are things I want to do, not things I have to do. I’ve always been involved in my community, so it’s something that’s been part of my life for a long time.”

If you’re looking for ways to stay active and engaged in retirement, take a lesson from Moji: Do things that are meaningful to you, don’t be afraid to try something new, and of course, follow the fun.