Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Puttering" in Retirement

It seems to me as I explore the blogosphere that in retirement, as in life, there are two general types of people. The first type is those “directed” people or divers in the current terminology. Directed people plan their days, and generally have a few specific hobbies or interests that they want to spent time on, or learn in retirement. The second general type of person is a scanner, or in my parlance, a “putterer”. Directed retirees are more likely to have a “passion” and some other interests. Scanners are more likely to have more interests and hobbies than they have time for, and general “life plans” rather than a solid set of goals. Obviously, most of us are a mix of personality types, but in my experience most of us tend to lean more towards one side or the other.

It is pretty obviously that I’m the “putter around” type. Some of you may be as well. At first blush, it may seem like folks who putter, who have many different interests and hobbies and activities in their lives, are disorganized. Truth is, we get just as more done most of the time, and have as many accomplishments as others. The difference is that because it may not be directed all in one area, rather than a gigantic accomplishment, we have many equal accomplishments, albeit smaller one. If I had a passion just for writing, I would probably write a book or two, most likely about one of my other major interests. Even in retirement, if someone asked me what I was doing in retirement, I would say that I write and travel.

As some who putters, I do many things, depending on my day and my mood. At the moment I have a quilt almost finished, two scrapbook pages half done, and a scarf that I knit in the evening. I’m taking a writing class, I have a new canner and I’m learning to can. I’m exploring photography on a larger level. I’m looking at starting a second (monetized) blog; I have an errand business going, and am looking at a pet food business. Rather than plan my days, I allow them to flow within general guidelines. I go to bed when I’m tired and get up when I’m ready. My life flows at its own pace most days. Yes, there are days when I simply must run errands for my business, or finish a quilt at the last minute. But overall, I prefer to let retirement lead me where it may, from day to day.

Is your retirement day planned, or do you putter through your retirement? Whatever works for you………….works.


  1. I am closer to "directed" but would like to move closer to your approach, Barb. I finished reading the list of all you have going on and I decided I am a slacker !

    Seriously, posts like yours remind me that too often I am self-limiting in what I could tackle. You have given me fresh energy going into the weekend.


  2. Well now bob, lets be fair, I did'nt say how long it takes me to get all those project done.

  3. Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  4. I guess I am retired. Ha ha I don't really know because if I could find a job I would take it. My husband's job ended in May. He was already drawing retirement but went back to work 4 years ago. I will be drawing my retirement soon and so I have been reading everything I can about retirement. Since I haven't worked in more than 3 years I guess I am already retired. Anyway some of my days are structured and others like today, are not. But I was thinking about this very thing this past week and today because some days, like today, I didn't even get out of my PJ's. I did work around the house and tried to sew some but the PJ's, I don't know why. Tomorrow I will get up get ready for church and do a lot around the house. I'd like to make every day a day with lots to do and get myself to get up and get going early just as if I had a job. It just make me feel better. Anyway I like your blog and I'll keep reading.


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