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Old 09-07-2014, 11:48 AM   #21
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Yeah, my whole life I thought I was a morning person because I always had to get up early like that. On my days off, I'd happily arise at 7 AM after sleeping in. Imagine my surprise when I found out in retirement that I am NOT a morning person after all, and love being up in the middle of the night.
That's one of the major surprises of retirement: There are many things one does (and interests one pursues) as a counterbalance to work that go away once work is out of the equation. I started a thread about this about a month ago: REvolution in hobbies, habits?

For example, I've always considered myself a night person, and I thought I'd be staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. in retirement. It was my inclination to do so when working in order to fully decompress, but it resulted in my not getting enough sleep, so I started forcing myself to get to bed much earlier.

So far in retirement (it's only been about a week), I've found my natural bedtime is around midnight. I guess that might still make me a night person, but a moderate one.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:52 AM   #22
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I am not a morning person. My lazy mornings are one of the most enjoyable features of ER. I like to awaken with natural light so I leave the blinds open. (Of course, on nights like last night when there is a supermoon, it takes a while to fall asleep!) After about a year of ER I unplugged my alarm clock. I do not miss it. I have eliminated electronic displays from my bedroom. Much more restful all around!
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:08 PM   #23
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Your experience sounds a lot like mine. I was just thinking this week about how I still have very definite M-F routines which are different from S-S routines and I'm not sure why - and this is nearly 4 years in.
But I bet your M-F and S-S routines have switched. Like many, I dreaded Mondays while working. Now I look forward to them, since that means the streets, supermarkets, etc., will be free of the weekend crowds.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:14 PM   #24
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great thread..these are the kind of threads I have enjoyed since moving beyond the 'budget, expense, index, taxes' threads. Not that those are not still of interest, it's just that those decisions for the most part have been made with the help of many great forum members advice.
The threads I enjoy now are the 'after fire' and 'other topics' where we find that there is such a diversity of people, attitudes, approaches and philosophies about life prior to and after ER. Those who haven't pulled the trigger yet must scratch their heads when hearing those who have discuss life at it's own speed in ER instead of life at a speed that's out of control in the w*rking world.

I really feel for the folks who have expressed that they are still laboring under the heavy hands of companies, managers, deadlines and policies..... hang in there and be of good cheer... one day you will be FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:20 PM   #25
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But I bet your M-F and S-S routines have switched. Like many, I dreaded Mondays while working. Now I look forward to them, since that means the streets, supermarkets, etc., will be free of the weekend crowds.
+1. It took me about a year, but finally the ticking clock on "60 Minutes" no longer sounds ominous.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:52 PM   #26
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I'm still tied to the M-F alarm clock because the kids need to be driven to their bus stop at an ungodly hour. (They're school starts at 7:25, and we're the furthest bus stop for this magnet school - so it's truly EARLY when they leave the house.) I compensate for that by taking the dog with me and going for a walk on the beach on the mornings I don't have my Italian class. Taking Italian and walking the dog on the beach are both pleasant "me" activities compared to work.

But - the comment about reading really hit home. I'm having to manage my wish list/request list at the library to make sure I always have a few books in the queue. It used to take me up to 4 weeks to go through a book, with 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there.... Now I finish books much faster because I can spend time reading while waiting for the kids bus, while they're practicing piano (because I'm not multitasking with dinner because I can pre-prep dinner), etc.

A big adjustment is changing up my routine as far as grocery shopping, laundry, etc. I used to cram it all into one day... now I spread out the laundry through the week, and do grocery shopping on one of 3 days, depending on other commitments.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:07 PM   #27
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Since retiring, sleep when tired, up an' about when not. Routine sleep is the normal 7.5 hrs at night, but if I awake at say 2 am and am not sleepy, get on with life. Come 7 am, 1 pm, or even the next evening when I feel tired, sleep for another 2, 3, 4, or 8hrs. This pattern was worrying at first, but as it only occurs a couple times a month, no big deal.

When I was working if life was low stress and enjoyable the alarm was only a backup, as I was awake before the alarm went off, glad to greet the day. If work/life was stressful and alarm had to jolt me into starting the day, then things needed to change.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:12 PM   #28
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Even though I use the alarm clock for the rare times I have to be up early (to run my school Scrabble tourneys, I get up around 7:30 AM, slightly earlier than if I were still working), I am usually up by then anyway because of my more natural alarm clock - having to go to the bathroom around that time or a little earlier.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #29
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I didn't use an alarm at work, and was always the first one in. We all react to stress differently, I did by waking up at 4:30 in the morning thinking about my day.

Now if I need to get up at some unreasonable hour or if I have an early morning appointment (that I was dumb enough to schedule) I'll use an alarm. Perhaps 2 or 3 times a year. The pleasure of a relaxed morning is beyond compare.
+1 Never used an alarm clock when I worked. I was up at 5:00 AM to get ready for my workday and was always at work at 7:00 (about one hour before I needed to be there) . The problem was if I woke up at 4:00 I would not go back to sleep worried about oversleeping and I'm groggy and sleepy for most of the day but now that I' m retired if I wake up at 4:00 I have no problem going back to sleep for a few more hours and I love it.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:03 PM   #30
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I am planing to retire in about 9 months and after 38 years of 50-60 hour work weeks I wonder how I am going to slow down.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:16 PM   #31
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I'm still getting up at 6:30 to get my daughters ready for school and putting them on their school buses - which I don't mind as I'm a morning person and usually wide awake before then anyway.

My sleep patterns haven't really changed.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:25 PM   #32
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I too thought I was a morning person because I always got up so early for work. When things got hectic at work, instead of staying late I would get up even earlier to take advantage of there being nobody else at the office to interrupt me so early in the morning. I didn't work late because I was usually burnt out by the end of the normal workday.

By the end of my first week of retirement, my sleep/wake cycle had shifted about 4 hours later. I'm finding that I do my most productive hobby work in the evening. So I guess I'm a night owl after all!
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #33
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I too look forward to Mondays now, since I don't venture out as much on the weekends. I'm in my 9th month of retirement. I gave myself permission to defer my house de-cluttering until 2015 so I can spend my 1st year with nothing pressing to do. During the week though I do try to get whatever I'm doing done by Judge Judy at 4:00pm, that's my wind down time. :-)
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:11 PM   #34
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I am planing to retire in about 9 months and after 38 years of 50-60 hour work weeks I wonder how I am going to slow down.
BF
That's a good problem to have. I am sure you will figure something out. I am also looking forward to retire in 3 - 9 months but I am 100% sure I won't have any trouble slowing down. I have a pent up list of things I will be doing at ER.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:33 AM   #35
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My DW and I are homebodies but when working, we liked to watch movies together on Friday and Saturday nights usually with something easy to eat while watching. After retirement, we get to do this any night we want to but sometimes I still find myself thinking, "oh, it's Friday so we should make sure we get some pizzas ready for tonight". This also means we get to have pizza on any night of the week now too!

For the few times of the year that we use an alarm clock, I find that I end up setting more than one because I'm just not confident they'll work anymore. I usually know what day of the week it is just to make sure I don't end up at Costco on a Saturday morning or somewhere else at the wrong day. There have been a few times, I've realized it was Monday and didn't watch any football on tv over the weekend because I forgot what day it was.

I also find I don't eat lunch on a lot of days, just too busy in the workshop or doing something else- while working, I seldom missed lunch as it was just a part of the routine. We know some people who retired and had real issues with a lack of a routine so have gone back to a more scheduled existence- I have completely enjoyed not knowing what I might do on many days when I wake up. My wife is less comfortable so far with the lack of a routine but this is only her second year of retirement while I'm in year 6. I tell her it takes a while to get the hang of it, she tells me that it is clear now that my working life was obviously just positioning myself for retirement which I'm really good at!

jjquant- congratulations on retirement, don't rush in to anything and enjoy yourself!
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:41 AM   #36
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Until last week I didn't need an alarm clock since my DW was still working. Her getting ready for work usually rousted me. Now she has joined me in SSER (Sweet Sweet Early Retirement) so I suspect I will be adjusting to her adjusting to ER for a while.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:14 AM   #37
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I havent used an alarm clock since I retired, except for the few times I had to get someone to the airport before the sun was up. I seem to wake up naturally about half an hour to an hour after daybreak regardless. But it is nice to be able to lie in my bed and read if I decide to onceI wake up.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:36 AM   #38
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great thread..these are the kind of threads I have enjoyed since moving beyond the 'budget, expense, index, taxes' threads. Not that those are not still of interest, it's just that those decisions for the most part have been made with the help of many great forum members advice.
The threads I enjoy now are the 'after fire' and 'other topics' where we find that there is such a diversity of people, attitudes, approaches and philosophies about life prior to and after ER. Those who haven't pulled the trigger yet must scratch their heads when hearing those who have discuss life at it's own speed in ER instead of life at a speed that's out of control in the w*rking world.

I really feel for the folks who have expressed that they are still laboring under the heavy hands of companies, managers, deadlines and policies..... hang in there and be of good cheer... one day you will be FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST.
Excellent post, I feel exactly the same.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:02 AM   #39
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5 days into ER... some early impressions.

I find I am sleeping incredibly well. Pretty much proves how insidious work related stress can be. No alarm clock, but I do get up with DW. When working, my alarm was set for 4:30am, DW gets up at 6:30am - so I view it as a daily 2 hours sleep-in.

The ability to "linger" and not have to rush to be anywhere at any particular time is wonderful.... but feels odd. I am sure I will adjust.

My desire for alcohol has left me completely. *see work related stress comment above*

Really enjoying the new found time to read, prepare meals for DW (who is still working), and workout at the gym.

All in all, it has been everything I thought it could be so far... and I'm just getting started.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:09 PM   #40
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I have been "retired" for 4 years now. Really, I just quit my job and never looked for another one. I find I go to bed around 12:30 am and am up by 8 am no matter what time I go to bed. No alarm clock needed except on Mondays when I need to get up earlier for my volunteering with the Seniors at the local community center. DH retires in January 2015. Wonder how that is going to work?
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