Earlier this week for the 87th hundred time some asked me what I do with ALL MY TIME. (No I did not hit them.) There is an expectation that the answer should include “solving the hunger crisis” or “managing world peace.” The truth is a little different. OK, a lot different.
My days are composed of a lot of small things. Nothing that sounds interesting but it is stuff that either I need to do or it makes me happy. It does not make interesting conversation. (By the way, non-bloggers do not understand how much time blogging takes! Just saying.)
The inference is that since you no longer work, you have this big chunk of time to do something astonishing. I gave it some thought (after a few bad words).
I have the answer.
First, just a few things to remember. Age brings changes. My number of doctors has exponentially increased. I’m a healthy person with no serious chronic disease yet I get referred to specialists for anything. (You name a body part, I have a specialist!) Maybe doctors are getting more specialized. Doctor appointments can suck up quite a bit of time especially compared to the days when I had only my yearly ob-gyn checkup.
I have the luxury (even I can’t believe I used that word) of exercising on a regular schedule rather than the old hit and miss of working days. (I don’t have the excuse of deadlines and projects either! I miss that.)
There are the useless rabbit holes that I fall in. Last year I spent considerable time over many months researching my ancestors and learning very basic German (which I’m not very good at). I still fall down that hole once in a while. When I start to talk about it, people’s eyes glaze over. I can see them working on their to-do list in their head. It’s easier not to mention it.
However, the biggest difference is that all those things I did between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., have gravitated to the daytime. All the errands, exercise, appointments, friend get-togethers are done during the day, leaving free time in the evening.
The days are hectic but after dinner, we crash and enjoy being home. Sometimes it’s watching TV and sometimes it’s reading or connecting with a friend by email or (gasp!) phone but it can also be about doing nothing. We enjoy doing nothing! A lot! (By the way, doing nothing does not mean staring at your belly button. It can include dreaming, thinking about life, worrying and watching the cats sleep. It you are cat-less, contact me and I’ll fix you up!) Other than dinner out and the occasional concert, we are at home most evenings.
This was an epiphany for me. I do have more free time which I prefer to have in the evening. Without goals and time frames. Schedule all willy-nilly. Yes, this is what retirement is to me.
Perhaps I should prepare a presentation for the next person who asks me what I do all day. Maybe a YouTube video. Stay tuned!