Someone told me once that when you retire you should always have your days planned, otherwise you would just sit in the chair and waste the day. I thought that made perfect sense - after all when you work out of the house, your days are structured. You have to get up at a certain time, you obey a clock all day long. Your home time- weekends included, are also structured a certain way so that everything you need to get done, gets done. You pick days for certain tasks. I always did my laundry on Sundays, my grocery shopping on Friday after work. It was planned that way for a reason - to have enough clothes to get through the week - to have enough bananas to get through the week.
My friend Corri, used to chuckle at the banana thing, she could never understand why we just didn't go and get fresh bananas during the week when we ran out... I don't know why either - we just didn't!
While all of this made perfect sense when I was working, it makes no sense to me now. There is no structure ( well not much) to life now.
If we have appointments somewhere, then that is the only time we obey the clock. Otherwise we do things like laundry, shopping, even eat and sleep as we wish - no clock involved! Yes, we still sleep at night (not all day long), but instead of being in bed by 10:30, we are taking the dog outside for her last business long after 11:00. We are not up at 5:30 am ( unless the dog has to go out), but breakfast is still a meal we never skip, even if it is eaten a little later in the morning!
Without a schedule and discipline, it is amazing to me, how much we accomplish in a day. The pressure is off, and we are far more productive than we have ever been...
So I would disagree with the idea that one has to plan one's day in retirement. I don't even plan the next day before I retire at night. Maybe that is why since retirement, I sleep so well. I can go to bed with a totally relaxed mind. I would highly recommend it - if you can manage it....
I know how scary the thought of retirement can be. Those of us who have worked all our lives desire retirement so much once we reach a certain age - we are tired of working, tired of the structure... just plain tired. But as much as we want to pack it in, there is always someone telling us all the woes of retirement - usually younger people, have you noticed that? They tell us you need a lot of money to retire - you can never have enough, you need to have a new car (cause you know you will never ever be able to afford a car ever again). You need this, you need that.... and on and on it goes.
Don't be afraid. I was too, and I was pretty much forced into retirement - I wasn't really planning to retire before 60! Not ever!
But I did - I have, and we are doing great! We aren't rich, but we weren't rich when we worked either! We have a car payment - imagine that! We are affording a new car and we are retired! Impossible!
What I do know is that we eat better; sleep better; get more exercise; smile more; laugh more; talk more; think deeper. We aren't complaining or arguing about every little thing, or even every big thing. We are living every day and enjoying the living part far more than we have ever before!
I have a huge closet full of clothes that I have no idea if I will ever wear again - talk about money down the drain... a big expense I no longer have... GONE! Little by little we are getting off the medications we have been on for years - another big expense - GOING! We are repairing things, instead of tossing and buying new, we are even looking for old things to repair! Profound!
I am reading a book called "AND I SHALL HAVE SOME PEACE THERE," by Margaret Roach. She was editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, who chucked it all, retired and moved to a little home in the country. She tells it like it is, and how it was for her. Her story is "funny, quirky, humble and uplifting". It is an easy read, and a good one for anyone who is thinking about retirement or has recently retired. Try and read it - it is very good!
My parting words:
Don't be afraid to retire... do it! You won't regret it, and you will never look back!
It seems I have to go now - the cookie jar is empty again! See you next week!