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Do you have structure or routine in retirement?
Old 08-01-2015, 11:54 AM   #1
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Do you have structure or routine in retirement?

Different people have different expectations about how they will spend their time in retirement, and I am curious to hear about the experiences of the members of this forum as to whether you structure your time or follow a routine? One of the benefits of retirement is that you no longer have to spend a significant chunk of your time working and you can now spend that time any way you like, but I suspect some people fill that time with structure and routine even if they don't have to.

For example, do you get up or go to bed at the same time everyday? Do you do your food shopping the same day every week? Do you have an exercise schedule? Do you eat at the same time everyday? Do you engage in hobbies or activities at scheduled times? Do you travel on a consistent schedule? (e.g. snowbirds who live in the South for the winter) Do you have structured appointments, like volunteering on certain days? Do you visit the kids or the grandkids on certain days? Do you set aside certain fixed times during the day for certain activities?
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
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I'm sorry, answering this question isn't on my schedule until Tuesday at 2:15 PM, right after my post-lunch nap...
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
Different people have different expectations about how they will spend their time in retirement, and I am curious to hear about the experiences of the members of this forum as to whether you structure your time or follow a routine? One of the benefits of retirement is that you no longer have to spend a significant chunk of your time working and you can now spend that time any way you like, but I suspect some people fill that time with structure and routine even if they don't have to.

For example, do you get up or go to bed at the same time everyday? Do you do your food shopping the same day every week? Do you have an exercise schedule? Do you eat at the same time everyday? Do you engage in hobbies or activities at scheduled times? Do you travel on a consistent schedule? (e.g. snowbirds who live in the South for the winter) Do you have structured appointments, like volunteering on certain days? Do you visit the kids or the grandkids on certain days? Do you set aside certain fixed times during the day for certain activities?
For the first few years, I slept whenever I wanted. However, I found that my body wants a 25-hour day so every night I stayed up later and every morning I slept later. After a few years of retirement I had had enough! I set a soft "birdsongs" alarm to awaken by each morning at the same time. I seem to need that.

We don't travel, but we go to the gym on MWF, we have lunch together every day at the same time, and so on. So yes, I have a routine.

When I first retired, I didn't have a routine and I felt kind of "adrift". After a while I seemed to slowly develop a routine.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:27 PM   #4
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I'm sorry, answering this question isn't on my schedule until Tuesday at 2:15 PM, right after my post-lunch nap...
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:38 PM   #5
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I always thought I hated routine. As I've gotten older I realized what I hated was their routine. I always hated the soul crushing predictability of Staff jobs but loved controlling airplanes and the associated bits of business because it kept moving and was never exactly the same. I even jockeyed for "demotions" back to Operations just to get out of Staff work.

The reality though is the first thing I always say in any new situation is: "OK, so what's the routine?

What I like in day-to-day life are routine and predictability and things going according to plan. ie Control. What I hate are surprises and needing to be spontaneous. ie Being controlled or forced to react by outside people/forces. Seems to correlate with wanting or liking retirement
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:46 PM   #6
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For example, do you get up or go to bed at the same time everyday? Do you do your food shopping the same day every week? Do you have an exercise schedule? Do you eat at the same time everyday? Do you engage in hobbies or activities at scheduled times? Do you travel on a consistent schedule? (e.g. snowbirds who live in the South for the winter) Do you have structured appointments, like volunteering on certain days? Do you visit the kids or the grandkids on certain days? Do you set aside certain fixed times during the day for certain activities?
Yes, I do have somewhat of a routine, although I'd say I only adhere to it about half the time, due to other things going on (many of my own choosing) that cause me to alter the schedule a bit. I do do my grocery shopping on the same day each week, generally (it's the day after the grocery sale flyers come out, and I go in the morning, to avoid crowds).
I do have my breakfast (more of a brunch) at roughly the same time each day that I'm home, and we usually have dinner at roughly the same time also. I generally go to bed at roughly the same time on most days, and get up at roughly the same time (give or take an hour). Some of our travel is consistent from year to year (like our annual snowbird trip to Texas and back), but the rest of it varies according to what we feel like doing, or what works out best. Grandkids do visit us fairly often, but that schedule varies according to the schedule of their mother, so we stay flexible for that. I do volunteer with several organizations, and some of that occurs at the same time each year, but some of it varies a bit. I do have an exercise schedule that is somewhat consistent, although again, it varies if I am away from home or doing something different (ex.- if I am going to be doing a lot of physical work that day, I may skip the daily long walk and some other exercises that I typically do). Hobbies vary with the season, but in general I do a lot of the same things in each season from year to year, because I enjoy them, and look forward to them (like my vegetable gardening, our wine-making, my fishing, etc.).

So.........yes, I have somewhat of a routine, but it does vary based on what else is going on in my life for that day/week.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:31 PM   #7
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We do sort of have a routine, except for when we don't. Most days we get up and eat and such at roughly the same times but a change doesn't bother us if something comes up.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:33 PM   #8
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I tend to do errands and chores in the morning and relax in the afternoon and hopefully get in a nap.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:49 PM   #9
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I would say I have habits but not routines. So, I habitually wake up at about 6 am and make breakfast at eight, and I habitually go to bed between 11 pm and midnight. I play golf twice weekly and those days are more scheduled. In between it's more flexible. I have actually been thinking I would be more productive if I scheduled some of my activities. I am very good at procrastinating!
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:57 PM   #10
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I will admit to being a creature of habit, familiar ritual, and routine.

I cherish the early morning ritual of the sunrise, coffee, and quiet start of the day.

Then onto the needed repeated chores of tidying up, cleaning up, putting things in their proper place.

But after that, there can be some randomness to the day - either from running errands or spontaneous explorations for a trail hike around mid-day.

Excursions will eventually be drawn back home for familiar surroundings and tasks that need tending to...the plants begging for some watering for one.

Then, the afternoon will draw to an end and the evening meal will loom and I'll begin preparations for dinner.

After dinner, the usual rituals of clean up, a movie or a favorite show or two on the tv with a sweet for a late dessert before the end of the day.

Then, there are days where everything is random, chaotic, and unplanned - swept away by the current - just go with the flow.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:01 PM   #11
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I try to structure my days so I'm not competing with the crowds on the road or in the stores.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:02 PM   #12
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I'm not retired but I have blocks of time off ranging from 3 weeks to 3 months. During that off time I almost never have a routine. I do tend to go to bed at around the same time every night but rarely set an alarm and may wake up at the 6 hour mark or the 10 hour mark. I rarely have any event that needs to be scheduled let alone an entire day that's scheduled. As far as groceries, I go based on the weather. I look at the 10 day and decide which day and time is most comfortable. Never go in the rain or the evening or the weekend.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:10 PM   #13
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Since ER'ing my life has evolved in a pleasantly unstructured way. So much so, I don't always know what the date or day of the week is. This is a potential problem - among other questions, the typical test to see if one has dementia asks date and day of the week. Missing those easy answers could put me at risk of the kids getting me taken away and locked up someplace.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:15 PM   #14
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I'm sorry, answering this question isn't on my schedule until Tuesday at 2:15 PM, right after my post-lunch nap...
Post lunch nap! Check.

Go to Texas once a year in February. Leave Texas. Check.

Visit my Sis/BIL on the Olympic Peninsula once a year late summer. Check.

His and hers family reunions one each. Missouri for one. The other - somewhere in the USA. Check.

heh heh heh - After that the routine is flexible.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:27 PM   #15
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Since ER'ing my life has evolved in a pleasantly unstructured way. So much so, I don't always know what the date or day of the week is.
My stock response in situations where questions about either are raised, (by those who don't know me), is "The only thing I know for sure is that it's 1983".
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:41 PM   #16
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I do use an alarm - I usually wake up just before it goes off. I don't like to miss the magical early morning time.

Yes, I generally do go to bed at the same time each evening - early!

I usually have certain exercise goals each day.

A few regular chores. I go grocery shopping whenever I need to.

We have travel plans each year. They vary from year to year.

Hobbies I do whenever I like. I usually have a couple of projects that I work on when I have a chunk of time available.

That's enough structure for me!
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:50 PM   #17
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My daily routine, get up when I feel sleep is no longer needed, drink coffee, surf the net for an hour or so, walk with the wife for thirty or forty minutes, eat breakfast, play golf, or ride my motorcycle, or play with grandkids (3 days a week during the summer when they are out of school) shower, drink a martini, watch the news and eat dinner, walk with the wife or ride my bicycle, watch some TV or surf the net, go to bed around 11-1130ish, rinse and repeat the next day, week, month or year. I truly enjoy my retired life. It is interrupted on occasion by an extended vacation to parts unknown as well as various and sundry other activities.

Do I have structure, I guess in some ways I do.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:59 PM   #18
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Like others, I try to do my errands when the roads and stores are empty, like between 10 AM and 12 noon. My meal schedule depends a lot on if it is a square dance night, especially Tuesday when my dancing starts early (7 PM) so I have to eat dinner earlier than usual and therefore try to eat lunch earlier than usual. I make sure to get my daily nap in between ~3 PM and ~5 PM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:02 PM   #19
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Structure - yes I have one.

For the first six months I was retired I was busy catching up on maintenance chores around the house, and catching up on much needed rest. Then I got busy with something more or less standard:

At the gym three days a week, walking group on Saturday.
Two classes a week on various subjects except for the summer time
Volunteering once a week at the Humane Society, and occasional volunteering at pledge drives for favorite charities.

Grocery shopping Monday or Tuesday (leaving the stores open for those who are w*orking during the week).

NOTHING scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays - so I can practice my "goofing off" technique, until I perfect it.

-- Rita
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:22 PM   #20
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So much so, I don't always know what the date or day of the week is.
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