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Is being a slacker a problem in ER?
Old 12-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #1
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Is being a slacker a problem in ER?

I'm not retired yet, but I am taking time off from my j*b, and finding that I don't make good use of time and don't get everything done that I was thinking of doing. I work diligently when I'm getting paid, but when I'm off the clock I seem to get very little done. I find it easy not to waste money, but very hard not to waste time.

For those who are already retired, are you doing the things you had dreamed and planned to do after retirement? Do you find that you have to cultivate some self-discipline even to do things you wanted and planned to do? If you're not carrying out your pre-retirement plans, do you feel worried or guilty about it, or have you changed your mind and decided they aren't all that important to you? Did deliberately taking some time to just sit around doing nothing for a while after you retired get the urge to be a slacker out of your system?

There are things I want to do when I retire (or at least I think I want to do them), but if I lollygag around when I'm retired like I do when I'm on vacation, I'll only accomplish a fraction of them. Maybe I am just fooling myself about what I want to do or how strongly I want to do it.

Your thoughts, please. This has got me kind of worried. (hoping/planning to semi-retire in four years or so)
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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Perhaps the motivation appears once it is not a vacation of limited duration?
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:25 PM   #3
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I'm busier than I could have imagined, but with activities and chores I never predicted. Life has changed in ways I never expected. No time to slack here.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:31 PM   #4
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I'm already a slacker and I'm still years away from retirement. But I don't see that as a problem.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by crazy connie View Post
Perhaps the motivation appears once it is not a vacation of limited duration?
Gosh, I sure hope so!
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I'm not retired yet, but I am taking time off from my j*b, and finding that I don't make good use of time and don't get everything done that I was thinking of doing. I work diligently when I'm getting paid, but when I'm off the clock I seem to get very little done. I find it easy not to waste money, but very hard not to waste time.

For those who are already retired, are you doing the things you had dreamed and planned to do after retirement? Do you find that you have to cultivate some self-discipline even to do things you wanted and planned to do? If you're not carrying out your pre-retirement plans, do you feel worried or guilty about it, or have you changed your mind and decided they aren't all that important to you? Did deliberately taking some time to just sit around doing nothing for a while after you retired get the urge to be a slacker out of your system?
Personally, I spent much time (but I had the time to spare) destressing from the sensory overload of work; also spent that time thinking and remembering and reconsidering.

Who am I?

An update on "Who am I?"

Quote:
There are things I want to do when I retire (or at least I think I want to do them), but if I lollygag around when I'm retired like I do when I'm on vacation, I'll only accomplish a fraction of them. Maybe I am just fooling myself about what I want to do or how strongly I want to do it.
Allow yourself time to lollygag until you get bored and decide you want to do something.

It took me almost 3 years to start seeking out human interactions after retreating from over stimulation.

Quote:
Your thoughts, please. This has got me kind of worried. (hoping/planning to semi-retire in four years or so)
You can opine on existence

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Khan's Squirrels

Or just be

Changes after retirement

A different kind of book report: philosophy
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The exercise is left to the student.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:35 PM   #7
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As many others have said on this forum, retirement is not a destination, but another journey in life. There are definitely periods of adjustment, from deciding "who" you are now that you are no longer defined by a job; to "what do I want to do all day" because by definition, your time is now your own...you are no longer tied to the job.

Some folks seem to have an easy adjustment, others struggle for years. The best way I can describe it is by comparing it to being back in kindergarten. I would play for awhile, then I'd do some kind of work -- but it was not stressful and it didn't "count" for much...then I'd take a nap. Get up and repeat.

Now that I'm retired, I am busier than I ever thought I'd be, but it's not stressful like it was when I working and didn't have enough time for myself. Now, I work when I feel like it...and play when I want to, knowing that tomorrow is another day. But I do force myself to get dressed and out of the house every day -- if only to walk the dog -- because I know there are days I could schlepp around all day in my pjs if I let myself do so.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:00 PM   #8
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The term slacker, IMHO, is only used by those who are working for $$.

Just do things you value rather than what those you work for value.

After all, isn't it your time to waste.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:18 PM   #9
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What an interesting question! I think that people who are very project oriented will probably continue on that way in retirement. Those of us who like to sit on a hill top and gaze at the scenery will also continue on that way. Both are fine ways to spend one's life.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:28 PM   #10
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(snip)- because I know there are days I could schlepp around all day in my pjs if I let myself do so.
I already do that many a Saturday.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:59 PM   #11
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(snip)After all, isn't it your time to waste.
Yes, and no.

Yes, in the sense that when I'm off the clock it's not cheating my employer if I do nothing.

No, in the sense that I can neither create nor control time. Whatever time I have, I believe I've been given for a purpose, so it's not really "mine", and definitely not "mine to waste" (i.e. to misuse or to throw away for things which are of no value).
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
"Is being a slacker a problem in ER?"
A problem? I thought it was a requirement!

But seriously, I normally have no regular set agenda for any given day. I get up when I'm done staying in bed....sometimes before the sun gets out of bed....sometimes after the sun's up & working (even though it may be doing it's thing behind the cloud cover). I have things to get done now and then, and am usually pretty good at finding time for them to actually get done. Might not get at it today, or maybe not even tomorrow, but I will get it done before it becomes a problem.

Like I have to take down the outside Christmas decorations before the weather gets cold and/or nasty again....which meant either today or tomorrow. It didn't happen today, so that means it's a priority tomorrow.....before I go off on some other tangent!

I've tried to have some sort of regimented (even just slightly regimented), because I figured since I was used to that while working, it would be reasonable after I ER'd.....however, that didn't pan out for me after only a short time. Now, I just take one day at time, and deal with things as they need to be dealt with. To paraphrase what someone else has stated here in the forums in the past....."I get up in the morning with nothing to do, and by the time I go to bed at night, I haven't got even half of it done!"

I think after each one of us retires, it just takes a bit of time to adjust to it, and after some time we each kind of begin to sync with the universe....or get into a natural flow of things....or whatever you want to call it. Life will no longer have to be about "doing"....it can now be about "being".
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
Yes, and no.

Yes, in the sense that when I'm off the clock it's not cheating my employer if I do nothing.

No, in the sense that I can neither create nor control time. Whatever time I have, I believe I've been given for a purpose, so it's not really "mine", and definitely not "mine to waste" (i.e. to misuse or to throw away for things which are of no value).
Looking at life that way, you will need motivation to succeed in retirement. You will want to create goals or lists, to complete for daily/weekly/monthly/yearly... get very task oriented so you don't "waste" time.

Before you do that, I recommend you think hard about where do you draw the line at how "productive" you will need to make each day I propose these quickly created levels:

1. sleeping in bed all day
2. goofing off and reading messages boards all day
3. sitting in front of the TV all day
4. thinking about life all day
5. taking a walk all day (adding movement to level 4).
6. creating an work of art
7. creating an object of value/useful (writing a book/building a house)
8. doing an actual job for $ or volunteering for a cause.

(There are I'm sure many levels within, above and below the list) and you could argue the list isn't even in the right order, I'm just throwing out my immediate thoughts.

How far down the list do you need to go until you are comfortable that you are being a "productive" member of the human race? Why? (not suggesting you are wrong, but that you should consider what is making you feel that way)

I once bought into the "If you aren't working, you aren't being a productive human, you are a lazy slob, get a job" pretty heavily, not near as much these days. I tend to be a level 4 person. Anything less than that feels like a "wasted" day, anything more than that feels productive. I'm okay having a level 2 day once every other month or so, a level 1 day would drive me nuts. (I've done it, it isn't pleasant at the end of the day)

Others will sit at different levels, some people feel totally fine at level 1, sleeping and puttering around the house doing really nothing, others feel like they wasted the day unless they actually did *work* of some kind.

I try to balance my days between creating something useful, artistic, and wandering the woods... I build things because I like to see the way things are put together and see the results of my labor in a physical medium, I wander the woods because it gives me time to wonder about things like this.

So to answer your question, is being a slacker a problem in ER? only if you are a slacker in ER and it is a problem for you.

Helpful I know

Laters,
-d.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:19 AM   #14
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According to the above definition, I am a level-4 person most days. However, I usually do a bit of reading, and make the point of going out for a 2-mile walk with my wife as a daily minimum exercise, coupled with a bit of stretching exercise. The above levels 1, 2, 3 aren't healthy, neither physically nor mentally.

About being productive, I do not feel guilty for "not being productive" to society. Who's to say I have not done enough and not deserving some rest? I rather donate money to charity than my time (though I may change later if I need some outside human contacts)

That's said, I often feel guilty about not getting off my philosophical ass and doing some work around the house that I have intended for a long time, such as remodeling our closet space, fixing up the front yard, and cleaning out my garage.

I know that for my health, I need more physical activities than just walking. I am the type who never sets foot in a gym. It's boring to me. Late last summer, my wife and I tore up the lawn in our side yard (our children are grown), intending to turn it into a vegetable garden. I hope to resume that project this spring.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
For those who are already retired, are you doing the things you had dreamed and planned to do after retirement? Do you find that you have to cultivate some self-discipline even to do things you wanted and planned to do? If you're not carrying out your pre-retirement plans, do you feel worried or guilty about it, or have you changed your mind and decided they aren't all that important to you? Did deliberately taking some time to just sit around doing nothing for a while after you retired get the urge to be a slacker out of your system?
Is being a slacker a problem? Yes for me absolutely.

But I think Oldbabe made an important point.
Quote:
Those of us who like to sit on a hill top and gaze at the scenery will also continue on that way. Both are fine ways to spend one's life.
This year for the first in several years I'm going to make New Years resolutions, my lack of discipline is causing me to drift through life to much but I not stressing about it to much. Because I also recognize the benefits of being rather than be obsessed about doing.

In thinking about my NY resolutions I made at list of what I am doing with my time compared to when I was working. Here is what I came up with

Things I spend significantly more time doing now than when I was retired.
Surfing the internet, Managing finances/investments, Exercising/outdoor activities, Volunteering
Things I do a bit more
Cooking, Reading, Playing games, Researching subjects,Playing with my cats, Spending time with the family.
Things I do the same
Watching TV, Playing computer games, Watching movies, Home maintenance/projects, traveling
Things I do less
Meeting people, keeping up on technology, getting stressed about things.

Now there is of course a list of things I thought I'd do when I retired that I never really did. Now I tried several of things but in truth I just didn't get anymore excited about doing than after being retired than when I was working. The only one that is really a problem (and I hope to fix) is finding a significant other.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:27 AM   #16
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That's the fun part of retirement - EVERYTHING is optional! I sat around for a year decompressing from 29 years in law enforcement and enjoying the novelty of not having to do anything for the first time in my life. Then got bored/decided I should be "doing something" but didn't want to commit to anything and helped a friend build an airplane for a bit over a year. Then tried a couple of jobs as experiments, found they didn't fit.

Found a job now that pays an absurd amount of money for doing about nothing (they pay well for age/experience/treachery) and just wrote a check for a largish motorcycle with the extra income. Spent yesterday afternoon relearning slow speed turns and will do so today again in a school parking lot.

I feel like I'm five years old. I was actually skipping in the parking lot of the motorcycle store. Looking forward to spring days. New toys are so much fun!

And if somebody/something at work annoys me, I have the freedom to tell them to "take this job and shove it".
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:02 AM   #17
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I slacked a bit in the beginning . I think it was decompressing from years of stress . Then I got into a nice routine of the gym four days a week ,re decorating my house , selling on ebay ,taking classes and reading . I'm going to add another club after the New Year because I need a little more socialization . All in all it's great to do what you want after years of a schedule .
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
There are things I want to do when I retire (or at least I think I want to do them), but if I lollygag around when I'm retired like I do when I'm on vacation, I'll only accomplish a fraction of them. Maybe I am just fooling myself about what I want to do or how strongly I want to do it.
Good question - I often think about this myself while on vacation - like now - 9:15am, beautiful day and really should get off the internet and on my bike for a ride, or some other activity that I enjoy.

Reading the answers on this thread gives me hope plus knowing a number of relatives who are always very busy since they retired.

I think I would rather have the stress of worrying about what to do with my time once retired than the stress of going to a job that I have lost the enthusiasm for.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:31 AM   #19
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.....I propose these quickly created levels:

1. sleeping in bed all day
2. goofing off and reading messages boards all day
3. sitting in front of the TV all day
4. thinking about life all day
5. taking a walk all day (adding movement to level 4).
6. creating an work of art
7. creating an object of value/useful (writing a book/building a house)
8. doing an actual job for $ or volunteering for a cause.
Too many 'levels' for me.....I condense it to 3 levels:
1. Existing
2. Being
3. Doing

And since I try to live a balanced life, I gravitate to #2. Although I do visit, with a bit of regularity, #1 and #3....I just don't wanna live at either of those locations! I'd rather ".....sit on a hill top and gaze at the scenery....."
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:36 AM   #20
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I spent most of my life working 12 hour days and having every minute taken up by something. I think most folks that retire want to travel and do a lot of running around doing things they didn't have time to do before. In my case I wanted to retire to do nothing and after 2 years of retirement I plan on doing a lot more of it.
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