Truth is, though, that I am able to live this lifestyle because I have a few basic routines and structures. For many, especially the newly retired, these may be the last words they want to hear. Admittedly, for awhile its comfortable to dress when you like, eat when you like, and generally veg out. Eventually we all need a little routine in our lives to keep us doing the things we want to do, even in retirement.
Little is the operative word at least for me. By having a few small structures and routines during the day, the rest of my day can go with the flow, as they say. I can move as I am guided.
These are the little ways that I manage to stay organized in the midst of my free spirit, frugal life:
- I have a few morning routines, probably because I am not a morning person and need all the help I can get. These include what a friend once called "opening up the house" (opening curtains and blinds, changing thermostat controls and the like), I also do something to my bed, force myself to eventually change clothing, and have my cold caffeine out on the patio in peace. Lastly, I always decide on dinner and take items out as necessary (my goal is no restaurant meals, and this requires planning for me not to be unhappy).
- My other daily routines generally fall around other traditional mealtimes. After lunch is when I do my meditation and praying, and take a few minutes to throw things into the wash as needed.
- I force myself to do no "work related" activities after dinner as a rule. Since designing quilts is an avocation as well, this rule occasionally gets shot by the wayside. In general though, I keep my evenings free for reading, movie watching, going for walks, visiting and the like. I have also found that this helps with sleep issues.
- I do all my errands on one day, during the week, and I never, ever, do errands on the weekend. I save them all for once a week, get them done, enjoy the time out and return to my nest. I have enough outlets that I don't feel the need to escape from the house however. If you feel closed in, scheduling regular outings may help. I have three regular "social events" or meetings a week and prefer to be home the rest of the time.
- My basic day to day cleaning is of the incidental variety( basically meaning I clean up after myself and as I go) and my major cleaning is of the fly lady variety (once a week I deep clean parts of one room or area as I have the time or the mood strikes and the next week I'm off to a different room). Because I have dogs my vacuum is my friends.
- I keep the weekends for weekends as much as possible and Sunday is sacrosanct. Even in retirement, I feel a need to have a single day with no obligations or commitments other than church, when I can justify reading the paper as an accomplishment.
What about you. Do you prefer routine to your days, or would you rather let the day move you?