Monday, April 30, 2012

Living Richly In Retiremet: Deciding What to Do-Day by Day!

This post is for all those un-schedulers out there.  These are the people who have thrown their calendars, day planners, schedules, and to do lists out-for good. Now those same people are wondering-how will I decide what to do and when to do it?  In my experience this is a concern among retirees, stay at home empty nesters and future retirees. Many wonder, how will they stay motivated (as opposed to sitting on the couch with those bon bons.

Fear not, those of us who avoid schedule and planning will still have a rewarding retirement.  Admittedly, some retirees will return to the schedule and to do list in order to maximize their retirement. This is a good thing.  A few folks will do absolutely nothing. Personally, I tend to err on the side of doing nothing-to a schedule.

Seriously, i am neither a scheduler or a planner. I suspect that many people know this already. I am also lazy at heart and prefer to spend my days  at a medium pace...rarely am I ready or willing to fast forward.  As a a seat of the pants person, I enjoy spur of the moment decisions and choices. . When I travel, I'll get there when I get there.  When it comes to being at home, well, I'll finish that project when I'm done-or maybe start another one first.

Still, left to my own devices, I would wander (flit if you will) through the day.  This means that life is better with a  little bit of structure each day.  For my comfort level, a few, basic scheduling steps keep me going, but relaxed, every day.
  • Every day, I commit to exercising for an hour
  • Every day, my goal is to be outside for the same amount of time. For many folks, exercise and outside are one in the same. For me, that's not true. I do seated aerobics or swim in a (often indoor) pool. I am not allowed to exercise on the land, and only walk during sightseeing. As for the fresh air, even in the Texas triple digit climate, I must be outside every day. There is only so much "canned air" I can take. 
  • Each day I only plan for one "big thing" or project, although I sometimes get to a second.  As a rule I decide that thing the night before, but at least a third of the time I change my mind as I face the day, depending on mood, energy and weather. Most of the things I like to do that chunks of time.  Now, when i say project, I don't necessarily mean a chore. Tomorrow I plan to sew a quilt for my new baby nephew (yes, you read that right. My fifty-one year old brother just had a baby-his second).Friday I will go to Canton 3rd Monday Trade days and wander and lunch
  • I have a long list of things I like to do, always wanted to do and need to do. if I am sitting on the patio wondering what to do that day, I grab the list and pick something. When that pick is something to try, sometimes it works, sometimes not.
  • I am saved because I am not a procrastinator at heart.In other words, I move at my own pace, but rarely is that pace "Oh good grief". 
  • Because I'm now single and because I am naturally a home body, I have some build in "scheduling" that takes me from the house a few times a week-a book club, a dinner group and a quilting group that meet monthly, monthly and weekly respectively. (Note: Ive been considering a fifties plus meetup social group, but am just not sure I'm there yet).  I also volunteer once a week. These commitments are really the only scheduling I allow in my life.
  • I don't do "stuff" after dinner in the evening. Unless I am going out, that time is reserved for reading, television, sitting on the patio and visiting.
Let me say here that I have more admiration than I can say for those folks with long daily to do lists, or how follow a day by day schedule. I think doing this serves many people well. For myself, I just prefer to go with the flow, and I find that the things that are important to me fit into my plan seamlessly. While I don't do everything I want to do or should do, my days are filled and enjoyable. And I haven't even made a dent in the want to try list.


  1. HA, love your post!! I tend to stick to my to do list for the most part but it's not written in stone. Not having to be someplace all of the time gives me so much more freedom I hate having to do running around

  2. I dunno, for a "lazy at heart" person who likes to "go with the flow" you seem to have a pretty busy schedule! In fact, you're makin' me feel guilty -- so excuse me now, I'm heading up to the gym.

  3. Sightings.......Ha! I only put that down because I do no sports and as such have to force myself to exercise at all, ole sedentary me.

  4. Barb - I don't know . . . sounds to me like you are indeed a planner at heart - your're just doing it in your own unique way! :-)

  5. That is so me! When I was working, my days were scheduled from 5am to 10pm. Now that I have been "retired" for nearly a year and a half, the hubby and I just do whatever comes up each day. We have a kind of basic schedule--breakfast, tidy up the house, he plays poker while I do some stuff online--but we are always up for anything that happens on the spur of the moment and I love it that way!


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