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Busy, Busy, Busy ! A love / hate thing
Old 12-15-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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Busy, Busy, Busy ! A love / hate thing

I can't seem to find my equilibrium in ER. Today is my 6 month ER anniversary. For the first 2 months I went to 8am Mass three times a week followed by an hour of water exercise. About once a week I would meet friends for a social activity. The rest of the day I hung around the house.

Months 3 and 4 finally saw me venturing outside the house. I went to the beach for a few hours every week, listening to the sea while reading a book. I started to play golf again after nearly 20 years of not playing at all. I still spent a substantial amount of time at home.

Months 5 and 6 have been BUSY ! Part of me loves having a full calendar. The other part of me hates it. I love the things I am doing, I'm just doing too much right now. I need to prioritize and scale it back.

I'm pretty sure my experience isn't unique. I'd love some insight into how you found your "sweet spot" in ER.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:47 AM   #2
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The RE's in my neighborhood have a strictly enforced and closely monitored "2 hours MAX" of household chores. After 2 hours you MUST stop and put it aside for the next day.

Excluded is hobby-work: fixing boats, motorcycles etc. which can be extended by 2 more hours.

I think it takes a bit more than 6 months to find your equilibrium...at some point nap time will kick into your routine. Like most of us, you're already wondering how you found time to work.

Enjoy!
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:01 PM   #3
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I know how you feel. I'm not retiring until January 22 but I'm already off for the holidays so am in practice mode.

Day 1 we painted an accent wall and mounted the flat screen tv on the wall.
Day 2 we played pickleball for almost 7 hours.
Day 3 we hung a new dining room light that required running new wiring.
Day 4 we worked in the yard for about 4 hours.

DH has been retired for a year and he's graciously not complained about all of these chores but I feel GUILTY when I sit on the couch in the middle of the day. I know I'll get over it but I feel that I should be doing something productive.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:47 PM   #4
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I make a To-Do list for myself each day. Not as frightening as it sounds, since it's never an extensive list. The To-Do's do not include my running or cycling, so in total I'm "busy" 'til around 3 PM or so. Then I curl up with a book or magazine, or watch a show I DVR'd.
BTW, any home repair/maintenance things I might undertake are by definition not complex or lengthy in time. If they were, I'd hire a contractor.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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It has been about six months for me as well, and I don't know if I'll ever find a "sweet spot". Some people are worried about being bored in retirement, and I don't know that I've ever been bored in my life, so I don't see that changing.

In the first 3-4 months after ER, I had too much to do and not enough time to do it in, mostly because I was working on the many projects I had neglected while working. It's been a very productive, exhilarating year. Things slowed a bit after the 4th month, but I still have at least one thing to do every day.

After starting to resent not having enough "retirement time", one thing I did that helped very much was to push projects out over the next few years. I've even cut back on travel plans so I don't feel "compelled" to travel (with all the work that goes into that). I have learned I am most content when I do at most one thing per day and provide lots of "white space" around projects.
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:26 PM   #6
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I like to get out of the house at least once each day. F and I have lunch together every day. Between that, a pleasure drive, errands, appointments, and the gym, I feel pretty booked up. I do not like being too busy.
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Part of me loves having a full calendar. The other part of me hates it.
All of me hates it! It reminds me of w*rk, when there were always so many tasks and obligations and such a full calendar.

I think that it is easy to feel overwhelmed with tasks and obligations at this time of year. So, in December I try to cut myself some slack whenever it's possible. Sometimes it's just not.
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:13 PM   #7
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I make a To-Do list for myself each day. Not as frightening as it sounds, since it's never an extensive list.
I do this also, and have been doing it for years. It's just a way to keep things organized and remind me to do a few simple chores (including errands, what to thaw/out and cook for dinner, etc). Some items on the list don't need to be done that day, but should be done eventually. The vast majority if daily tasks do not take long to accomplish. And if I decide I really don't feel like doing something on the list that day, no problem.....it just gets put off. By mid-afternoon, I am normally done with all chores, except for walking the dog.

I know this wouldn't be for everyone, but it works for me.
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:19 PM   #8
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7 hours of pickle ball wears me out just thinking about it. (sounds like fun though)
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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The British DJ John Peel used to call himself the world's most boring man. I think I must be the second, as I don't have any problems finding an equilibrium in ER.

I get up whenever I feel like it, and do whatever I want. If I run out of things to do, I have something to eat, go out to the grocery store, or to the pet store to get pet food. Occasionally, I'll drop in on a friend who works at a store nearby to pass some time. I just bought a new (to me) bicycle, so have been spending some time fiddling around with it and watching lots of YouTube videos on bicycle maintenance. If I'm at a loss for something to do, I might go out for a bike ride. Having said that, I am rarely at a loss. 3 or 4 times a day, I do my exercises for physical therapy. Another way to blissfully spend an hour or two is to lie down on the bed, whereupon my youngest kitty jumps up on me, and we both go to sleep for a while. This is even more enjoyable after a glass of wine.

I love lots of unscheduled time with no plans. Never a dull moment, and it doesn't take much to keep this simpleton happy. In University, I had a girlfriend who once told me, "Tom, there are two types of people - "doing" people and "being" people. I think you're a "being" person".
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:33 AM   #10
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Yep, you've made it to the full calendar stage of ER. There's 2 ways to handle it:

1. Accept it. Accept the fact that you're not going to get all of the things done that you wanted to.

2. Delete things from your routine. As you develop new interests, get rid of some old ones that don't provide you with as much satisfaction.

Over the course of my 21 month ER, my schedule has erupted. I've taken on too many interests and hobbies that I seldom get around to pursuing them. So I've accepted the fact that I can't do everything in a single day. I've also downsized my hobbies list to concentrate on the ones I enjoy more.
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Old 12-16-2015, 07:46 AM   #11
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It's been 18 months for me. The first thing DH and I did was go to Alaska- the trip had been planned already. Then I took a Geology course at the local community college- loved it (and got an A). Then it was time to start getting the house ready to put on the market, selling it, and moving.

Now, my days are a mix of free time and scheduled things. Sadly, I no longer have access to the community college and its insanely low rates for seniors (moved out of the county). I have a decent housework routine that involves a little over an hour 3 or 4 days a week. I do volunteer work for the church and try to keep it from taking over my life. I'm in Toastmasters because I enjoy it. I also get to the gym or bicycle every day and have a French discussion group every other Saturday.

I find that I'm fine with a To Do list with no set times (and some things that can be put off till another day), but get disgruntled when there are too many things on my calendar at set times! That tends to happen more on the weekend, when the rest of the world isn't at their jobs.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:51 PM   #12
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I definitely am not spending my time on chores. I think my problem is that I don't believe that I am actually retired and I am trying to do all the things I wanted to do in retirement before the dream ends!
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:59 AM   #13
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I definitely am not spending my time on chores. I think my problem is that I don't believe that I am actually retired and I am trying to do all the things I wanted to do in retirement before the dream ends!
I like being busy but do a good job most days to work a nap in to the schedule. Time passing will help when you realize you can stop doing some things and come back to them later, hopefully you'll have a long retirement to work it all in. I'm also very careful with scheduling anything that requires me to be somewhere at a certain time, I do some volunteer work that has to be scheduled but beyond this very little is on the official calendar. Sounds like you've already figured out you're doing too much to be comfortable so you're on the way to prioritizing what you want to do most!
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Old 12-25-2015, 04:34 PM   #14
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I'm finding the things I thought I would get done in ER are not happening just yet. I ERd at the end of July and the weather has been too nice (even today here in Ontario Canada) for me to be indoors doing the house stuff I want to get done, but am not making a priority until the snow flies.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:34 PM   #15
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Going to 8:00 Mass a few mornings a week is a great way to start your day and keep things in proper perspective.That is how Vince Lombardi started his days before going off to coach football.That 30 minutes is important.
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