Monday, November 7, 2011

Living Richly In Retirement-I Think I'm Overscheduled!!

I've said more than once that one of the things I love about retirement relaxation-the ability to control my pace.  I like to move slowly in the mornings, and move with my body clock.  I also have had many interests, and many goals.  Fixed income or not, while I love to nest, it's not how I want to spend the rest of my days.  I want to have it all. Unfortunately my desire to try and do new things has met my desire to have a slower and slightly more relaxed life, head on.

I've overextended myself.  Now, I'm sure some folks reading this are saying to themselves "She's complaining because she has a busy, full retirement".  They may be right. In theory, I have the time to do all the things on my plate.  The problem rises because in addition to all those things, I still want to have the time to do the laid back stuff I so appreciate as part of retirement.

How did I get here?  First, I realized I needed additional income, and chose to begin an active income stream (my quilting business).Then I decided I needed a couple more hobbies. I took up knitting (for those TV nights). Then I bought a canner ad canning books so that I could learn that skill. I've been making hand made cards. I volunteer and liaise with an inner city day care center and summer camp. At my church, I am responsible right now for four, count em four,  organizations (inreach, Christmas cookie exchange, church just keeps on going).  Oh, and I decided to return to college full time (thinking that a degree in German will perhaps get me a paying job back in Europe).  I need to do some home improvements, and we are landscaping our yard.  I'm sure I left stuff out.  Whew!!! I'm tired just reading it.  I haven't even mentioned things like my occasional road trips or day excursions.

My challenge is that these are all things I care about.  All the things that are mentioned above are things I enjoy thoroughly, or else feel a huge commitment to.  I get great reward from doing everything listed (even the income stream).  If it were otherwise, cutting back to my previous schedule would certainly be easier.  This makes freeing up my time more difficult.  What's a gal to do?  It would certainly be easier if I was one of those people (and I know there are many of you out there) who have a single passion or two. That's not me, and I'm not sure I would ever change that.

Something has to give, and I'm slowly moving in that direction.  While I don't want to give up school, starting in January I will take two courses (six semester hours) two half-days  a week only. Right now I am in school from noon to seven two days a week, and noon to four two days a week. And then, there's the homework. This allows me to keep my school fix and free up time at the same time.  Quilting is both important to me and necessary for my financial survival, so I am making a commitment to a certain amount of hours. Of course, quilting is done at home, which allows me the relaxing breaks I need.  My church involvement is important to me as well.  However, I have good people on all these committees, and I need to learn to share the proverbial wealth.  

Pretty immediately (no later than mid December) these small changes should get me back o an even keel. They'll free up time, and equally importantly, limit my time out of the house (hello lounging shirt and leggings).  I find it much easier to slow down and control my own time when I'm at home.  I'll have a commitment of three half days out of the house (not including church and weekend activities).

I still want to learn to can and knit.  I've been drawing landscape ideas for the back yard. I'm fixing up a room to be a guest room/rental/home exchange (thanks Linda). I'm writing, sewing. Eventually I'll get to all of that fun and volunteer stuff on my list.  Thankfully, I've learned that I can't do it all at the same time, that there are no "deadlines" and that I'm in control.

I'm so glad I figured this out sooner rather than later!


  1. Your schedule sounds exhausting to me-I like lots of free time. Since you really do enjoy all of these activities, I think it will work at better for you with the new school schedule. I have found that everything seems to take longer than I think it will-so I allow for extra time whenever I start something new.

  2. Can I talk you into one more thing? How about leading am tour of Germany!

  3. I would happily lead a tour of Germany, lol. I cannot wait to go back!


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