Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Going with the Flow in Retirement

Today has been a relaxing day. In fact, it's been a relaxing week. The fourth of July was spent relaxing in the back yard with good food, and then closing up the house (to save my dog's sanity and well being) and watching fireworks on the tube. Except for walking, I have not left the house-most of my social activities are cancelled for the summer and I am enjoying the down time. Tomorrow I will go to a sewing and quilting festival, Friday to an Irish Festival and then a few days again of complete down time-the perfect summer vacation if you will. No places I have to be for the most part, and no travel commitments until fall, with the exception of my two week Texas trip.

This is the time of year for enjoying the yard, taking some local trips and taking advantage of all the local summer events, or at least a few here and there. Being the laziest time of year, I've also been really paying attention to my body clock highs and lows, and have accepted a challenge to "time map" my retirement days for awhile.

And what's my body telling me? It's saying "Enough of this getting out of bed and heading full steam into the day". My body and brain want a gradual start to the morning, and since I already rise later than many of my blogging friends (as early as eight and some times as late as nine am), I need to rethink outside commitments and planning for "constructive time" in the morning. 

Yesterday, my fall catalog arrived with the senior college course programs-an early harbinger that fall will inevitably arrive. For the past two or three semesters, I have been taking been two classes, both on the same day, and enjoying a lunch on the patio in between. It sounds like a good idea, yes?  The only problem was one of two things were happening-either I was arriving to my Great Decisions class late and disturbing the class, or I was not having enough time before the morning class for a healthy breakfast and all the other things I wanted to do in the morning.

As of today I am saying no to morning social events or commitments as much as I can. I'm saving the challenging stuff, the social commitments and the classes for the afternoon or evening. I moved my volunteering gig to an afternoon time instead of 9-12 in the morning. I'm planning on taking two senior college classes, but two different afternoons. My knitting and crafting groups already meet in the afternoon or early evening, so I am already on keel there. 

There are down sides to everything, including my new planned schedule. Since Silver Sneakers classes are all at ten am, I'm probably going to miss them  more than I already have. I'll have to create my own, at home program. I've chosen not to participate in a fun one day a week program at my rec center. And since during the summer my normal eleven am service has moved to a much earlier time, I'm attending the small evening service and trying to push myself to attend the morning service once a month. I can get showered and dressed and be ready to go out of the house in thirty minutes in a pinch, but I choose not to do that as a rule.

Naturally, there will be times when I get up early, or at least earlier (I have no intention of seeing the sun rise ever again during the warm half of the year, but I can do seven am instead of nine in a pinch). Since I don't ever drive in the dark on my road trips, I try and get up earlier.  If one of my social groups wants to take a "field trip" and start early in the morning, I am not going to be the party pooper, and I've been known to meet some one for breakfast, in order to meet their schedule, as mine is more flexible.

Yesterday, I wrote out what I thought my schedule would be in September, including vacations and travel. Just looking at it made me happy, so I must be doing what's right for me. No morning commitments, four afternoon social events/volunteer gigs, and two evening classes. It's working for me.....

And for those early birds among you who are wondering about avoiding the heat of the day? I don't garden, but I do all those other cool morning things in the evening. This is when I walk, just before sunset. This is when I labor in the yard, which is rarely. This is when I enjoy the patio and yard, in the cool of the evening.

In other words, I am going with the flow-at least my flow.  


  1. Great planning to go with the flow. Retirement is grand and we get to choose, and say yes and no as we like. I like to exercise,do my volunteering and Bible study group in the morning, leaving the afternoon for more leisurely activities like reading and gardening.

  2. You and I were on the same wavelength today as my post this morning was about following my flow - waking without an alarm, enjoying my mornings on the porch with coffee and then easing into my day. I have been enjoying your blog for some time and started my own this week - hope will visit.

  3. I think you should do what you want! Really, we are retired and where's the harm in a cup of coffee in bed in the morning or a small nap in the afternoon. As long as we are busy and happy life is good!

    Be well.

  4. I can relate! As I sit here on my screened porch at 8:30 am catching up with some blogs, I was happy to come across yours (via Chris). I wish I could be more of a morning person, but my body just won't let that happen. Like you, I typically get out of bed (although I wake up earlier) between 8-9 and enjoy leisurely mornings. The down side is sometimes it's too hot to do outside work, which unlike you I do a fair amount of.

    You seemingly have the advantage of living in an area that offers a lot of activities, something I wish I had.

    You're wise to listen to your body and go with the flow.


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