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What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 09:05 AM   #1
 
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What do you do all day?

I'm new to the ER forum. This coming Friday will be my last day of work. I will be retired at age 56. I hope that's early enough to qualify.

I was just reading a thread regarding how to keep busy after retirement. Lots of people have responded that they have no problem keeping busy. But very few mentioned exactly what they are doing to keep busy.

So what are you doing to keep busy?
Family?
Hobby?
Traveling?
Volunteer?
Other?

Have any of you found that you need/want to work part time, to fill your time?

KC
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 10:41 AM   #2
 
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Re: What do you do all day?

KC,

Mainly - pursuing your own interests instead of someone elses!

Just say no to work! - Even Part time.

Hobby, Travel, planning for travel, Fishing - House projects. The list goes on and on.

Even if you're lazy it still is great! - As someone said here once 'I wake up with nothing to do and by the time I go to bed I'm not even half done'

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Re:  Part 1 of 2:  "A day in the ER life"
Old 06-07-2004, 10:47 AM   #3
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Re:  Part 1 of 2:  "A day in the ER life"

Motto-- "Every day is Saturday, every night is Friday night."

Here's the schedule:

Up around 4:30 AM (all those *%@!#$ morning watches on sea duty). Pad quietly around the house for breakfast & coffee while booting the computer. Spend the next couple hours reading e-mail, on-line newspapers & discussion boards, and checking the stock market. Play maybe just one or two hands of Solitaire. Enjoy an amazing sunrise.

6:30-7:20 Hang out while the kid gets ready for school. Check on homework & laundry. Try to plan the week's calendar of kid social/sports activities during that quality "parental contact time".

7:30 See if the spouse is up yet (hah!). File the papers that seem to be spawning & mutating on top of my desk. Take a few Motrin ("Vitamin M") and practice tae kwon do poomse.

8:00 or 8:30 Join my spouse for breakfast, play a couple rounds of "I dunno, waddya YOU wanna do today?"

8:30-9:? Morning walk. Say hello to the regular walkers. Hopefully rush hour is over and things are a little quieter on the street, otherwise wave at all the commuters evacuating the neighborhood.

9:ish Honey-dos. Outdoors if it's cool & cloudy, indoors if not. Weed-whacking, pruning, composting, transplanting, and swearing that the yard will have a coherent landscaping plan-- next year for sure. Try to dust every room in the house at least monthly. Try to remember the last time we laundered towels & sheets. If we're feeling ambitious then tackle an hour or two of the latest project-- repainting, renovating a bathroom, repairing furniture, insulating the attic, tweaking the sprinklers, planting a drought-tolerant border, whatever's on the (increasingly longer) home-improvement list.

11:ish Lunch. Maybe go out for Thai or Mexican. Otherwise just graze around the kitchen.

Noon. Pester my spouse about an afternoon "nap". If that's not in the cards, then take a real nap for 30 minutes. (Amazingly refreshing-- wish I'd been able to do this when I was working, but any longer and I'll be up all night.)

Afternoon. Errands (Home Depot, library, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, maybe Home Depot again). Go surfing if there aren't any errands. Regardless of the mission, this part of the day seems to take two-three hours door-to-door.

3:30 PM "Hurricane Kid" returns home from school. Check on homework & laundry. Try to coordinate the calendar of social/sports activities. Catch up on the latest outrageous breaking news of the middle-school scene while watching 800 calories vaporize as if by magic.

4:00 Get the kid started on homework. Deal with the mail. Check e-mail or make phone calls. Fire up the hobby-stock screener and see what's moving, think about buy limits & sell stops. Or maybe sit in the recliner and work on my reading list while spouse catches up on the TV we've been recording.

4:30 Get dinner going. (Hey, you're retired, now you don't have an excuse not to prepare most of the meals!) Fantasize about CostCo pizza EVERY night, not just Fridays.

5:00 Dine en famille a la Norman Rockwell, make usual threats about "No tae kwan do until after homework!", attempt to engage in light-hearted conversation with spouse after ensuing histrionics subside. (One day this kid will internalize the difference between "time management" and "too many activities". Lord knows we haven't been able to teach the theory of it.)

5:40 Depart for tae kwon do after homework amazingly completes itself.

6:00 Hang out with the other parents, watch my kid develop the fastest left-leg round kick on the island.

7:00 Spouse arrives to give the kid a ride home, I stay for the "Over-30" tae kwon do class. Pass around vitamin M, compare bruises & pulled muscles. Try to accelerate the slowest kicks on the island without actually spraining or dislocating anything.

8:15 Shower, more vitamin M. Limp downstairs to "help" with bedtime preps.

8:30 Kid's asleep. Update the books & files for the kid's sports association and swear that I'll only be Treasurer for one more year. Vouch to research all the crap piling up in the study closet and list it on eBay.

9:00 More reading in the recliner or in bed. Try to figure out how we ever found time for work. Check on spouse's re-assessment of earlier conjugal proposals. Swear that tonight I'll sleep past a sunrise.

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Re:  Part 2 of 2:  "A Day In The ER Life"
Old 06-07-2004, 10:49 AM   #4
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Re:  Part 2 of 2:  "A Day In The ER Life"

Modify this grueling marathon to suit your family situation, your stamina, & your interests. The routine varies with more reading on some days, a couple hours' exercise in the gym on days without tae kwon do, an occasional early-bird movie, fixing the car or taking it to the shop, surveying & estimating major home-improvement projects, clearing lumber on the back hill, soldering plumbing or other reasons for multiple trips to Home Depot, lunching with a "working" friend, dinner at the in-laws, a family weekend beach outing, grocery shopping with Grandma, or (*gasp*) just lazing around swapping sea stories.

This has been going on for two years. After much soul-searching (thanks to the board for tolerating my ponderings), I've concluded that I'll never seek solace in the workplace. I might eclipse Nicolas Darvas' record in the stock market, but not this year. Someday I might volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, but probably not until after I win my age group in a longboard contest. And I might start up that eBay seller's advisory business, too, but probably not this decade.

Every once in a while the dragon pays a call-- a busted washer hose, a car breakdown, a frantic call from school, a neighbor who knows I'm able to drop everything and rush over to help with whatever, "unanticipated" runs for homework/project supplies, breaking a piece of equipment the day before the big sports match, an electrical fire at the tenant's house-- you know, all the stuff you deal with when you're not at work.

Your worst-case scenario is being an utter ER failure and returning to work. (Sad to say, I've seen one or two take that route while others haven't even learned the meaning of the word "retire".) However the fact that you're asking the questions makes me confident that you'll catch on right away. Next week you'll wake up with nothing to do and you'll be way behind schedule before lunch!

But if you're still concerned, read Po Bronson's "What Should I DO With My Life" or any of the retirement books with titles like "You're Retired-- Now What?!?"

I don't mean to pry, but I have to ask-- if you're retiring, does this mean that the Sunshine Band is breaking up?
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: What do you do all day?

Same here as Nords, except substitute dog stuff for kid stuff, skating and kayaking for surfing, and none of that ridiculous early morning silliness. Heck its 11:00 and I just got up.

And he stole my damn joke too. Guess thats what getting up early buys you. Nords...you are todays winner of the "worm".
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 11:30 AM   #6
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Re: What do you do all day?

Whew! - Nords

You're wearing me out just reading your posts. After haircut, bank, grocery shopping, I wasted an hour in Lowes (new store) checking the layout, and 'window' shopping the next two or three remodeling ideas.

After eleven years - a forty five minute nap.

5:30 A.M. - face licking dog(she has a fly swatter on her side of the bed). 10:00 P.M. Jumping dog - evening whize. In between I never finish doing nothing in particular - particularly when staring out with nothing in particular to do.
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: What do you do all day?

I'm a lazy guy, and love being lazy.

Wake up about 8 AM; on the computer reading mail, boards, papers, managing accounts etc. until breakfast about 10; shower, then back to computer for a while; walk at beach or in foothills; read; lunch about 2 PM;
watch programs recorded on TiVo; run errands in the MB or take Porsche for drive on our rural roads; watch movies; about 5 take dog for a walk; watch BBC & PBS evening news and other programs that have been recorded; dinner about 9; watch recorded programs (love HBO & Showtime) & nap; to bed & read about 1 AM.

May sound dull to you, but I'm happy! Of course there are occasional more or less local trips from Santa Barbara to Ojai, Los Olivos, LA, Monterey, etc. thrown into the mix, but Montecito is such a pleasant place to live, I'm reluctant to travel -- you can have the ocean or mountains or a pretty city within a 10 minute drive.

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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: What do you do all day?

This thread should be required reading for all us young dreamers. Talk about motivation!
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 02:13 PM   #9
 
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Re: What do you do all day?

There was another thread on this same topic awhile back if anyone wants further reading on this.

http://early-retirement.org/cgi-bin/...647232;start=0
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-07-2004, 05:20 PM   #10
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Re: What do you do all day?

awww...that takes all the fun out of saying it AGAIN!
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-08-2004, 09:50 AM   #11
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Re: What do you do all day?

Nords' days sound perfect, and is all the advice any ER should ever really need. But in case you get worried, here is a little list I compiled of things that ER's are doing to keep busy. Congratulations and welcome to ER! BTW, all these are things that people I know have done or are doing -- I didn't make this stuff up!

ESRBob

 Plan and go on a long trip or adventure
 Develop a creative talent
 Be part of a community theater production or play
 Build a workshop and make cool stuff in it.
 Buy a boat and take care of it, and take it places.
 Coach a kids sport team.
 Get on non-profit boards or volunteer
 Build an addition or porch on your house.
 Master some aspect of local plant or animal life
 Restore a vintage car and take it places
 Take up hot air ballooning or powered paragliding
 Qualify for and join the Royal Ocean Racing Club
 Run for a local election
 Start a community newspaper
 Write a book
 Invent a technical device and patent it.
 Develop a good layman’s understanding of genetic engineering / biotechnology.
 Spend a year in a developing country, possibly with an international aid organization.
 Go to Italy and learn the language while taking cooking classes or sculpture classes.
 Buy a house in the French countryside and restore it.
 Move to Central America, buy a suitable property and build a hotel/store/apartment aimed at western eco-tourists.
 Learn yoga and practice it religiously
 Go to seminary and become a deacon or lay minister.
 Join a samba band or a church choir
 Rent a canal boat and putter through Europe at 4 miles per hour.
 Start a charity to collect and fix used bikes, then give them out to kids who need them.
 Write articles for your local paper
 Research your ancestry/genealogy and visit places your family lived
 Start a regular program for entertainment/enrichment at a local nursing home.
 Learn to build and maintain a great website, then make one for a community group.
 Get a digital camera and learn the software to manipulate and print the images. Have a public show of your work.
 Get an old 4x5 frame camera and build a darkroom to develop and print the incredibly detailed photos
 Convert a Volkswagen bug to run on batteries.
 Join/ get elected to your local city council and fight for reasonable taxes
 Read classics – from east and west
 Read the Master and Commander series of books by Patrick O’Brian
 Transform your garden with planning, new plantings and lots of TLC
 Start an organization to plant trees in public spaces around your town
 Adopt a child from an orphanage in a war-ravaged country
 Deliver meals on wheels to elderly shut-ins in your community
 Start a home-based business around something you need or care about.
 Learn how to re-finish furniture
 Take an interior design course program and use ideas to redesign your home décor
 Learn to play piano or some other instrument you’ve always liked.
 Build a deck and put a hot tub in it; invite friends over frequently.
 Learn how to give great massages
 Install a solar or wind-power system at your house
 Get a dog
 Learn to make sculpture; visit sculpture gardens and museum, buy some sculpture then invest in a sculpture gallery, and sell some of your own work there.
 Take long trips to Europe, buy antiques there and ship them back to a gallery here for a profit.
 Tutor high school kids in english or computer programming.
 Start a math club at an elementary school and help kids find the fun in math.
 Be an intern in a gourmet restaurant’s kitchen for a week or a month.
 Build a wooden boat using traditional methods.
 Work on a crew restoring a traditional sailing ship.
 Become a docent at a museum or historical site.
 Audit classes at a local university
 Take some adult ed or online learning classes in a subject that interests you or may lead to a paid avocation position.
 Build a bomb shelter
 Become a wine expert or at least enjoy learning about wines
 Tour civil war sites and go to battle re-creation events. Stay in an RV.
 Do a lot of fishing, golf, hunting, watching sports live or on TV.
 Help at risk kids through some sort of organized or informal programs.
 Become a ‘foodie’ and learn to make dishes like the TV cooks do.
 Get unhooked from coffee
 Study homeopathic medicine
 Join an adult softball league team
 Hike the Apalachian Trail or the Milford Track (in New Zealand)
 Ride a bike
 Explore possible retirement destinations overseas
 Chaperone a group of teens on a backpacking or rock climbing trip


If you've made it this far, it is probably time to tell the board that I am working on a book on ER and this is an excerpt from the book. Hope this helps everybody understand that there is indeed a life after work!

Bob
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-08-2004, 10:50 AM   #12
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Re: What do you do all day?

I'm a type A personality who got tired of working at 50. Talked out it before then but didn't really think I'd ever go. It took 2 yrs of planning so I could leave at 52 in Feb '04. So my week is still fairly planned out ... and I still keep a weekly calendar just so I won't forget someplace I'm supposed to be. But I rarely schedule more than 1 thing in a day. Here's this week:

M: drive to Santa Rosa for lunch with Lauri & K
T: Sara & the boys are coming over & we're going to see Shrek 2
W: am = class, noon = sale at Nordstrom, eve = mtg at synagogue
Th: Hadassah board mtg then we'll all have lunch
F: help friends cook for Shabbat luncheon then lunch with old work-mate (who wishes she was also retired) then evening services
S: morning services, afternoon play in the creek with grandsons
Su: day off

Throw in daily hikes in the hills behind my home or down by the creek ... household chores ... re-landscaping my front yard (okay... supervising the workers) ... soon to have all new flooring in my home. I rarely cook at home

I serve on 2 boards: Hadassah as Recording Secretary and Sisterhood as Public Relations (mostly creating hard copy and email flyers) which takes up Thursdays (Sisterhood board mtgs are on the 1st Th and activites on the 3rd Th; Haddassah Board mtgs are on the 2nd Th and general mtgs on the 4th Th)

I've taken several trips (Florida, Panama Canal Cruise, Sacramento Jazz Festival) and have 2 planned (Tahoe at the end of month, back to Ft Lauderdale *Nov 11 - 14) but those aren't things that fill up my daily activities

The days just filled up. Sometimes I think I might be too busy sometimes but it works!
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-08-2004, 11:44 AM   #13
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Re: What do you do all day?

Quote:
I've taken several trips (Florida, Panama Canal Cruise, Sacramento Jazz Festival)
What's the Panama Canal cruise like? I took a Florida->Grand Cayman->Cozumel cruise back in '98 and am itching for a cruise this fall or winter. Which cruise line did you take? I was on Carnival and it seems like everyone says that's the most fun. I'm also thinking a smaller ship would be fun...the big ones seem to be all rooms and not enough deck for everyone, but I haven't been on a big one. (I was on the Tropicale which is apparently now retired...it held about 1,500-2,000 people I think.)
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-08-2004, 12:23 PM   #14
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Re: What do you do all day?

We have "done" five Windjammer Cruises, and can highly reccommend them. If your looking for more of a laid back cruise, and meeting some great people...it's for you....IMO, the two week, Mandalay cruise is the way to go. 70 passengers, 30 crew..plenty of room to relax.

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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-08-2004, 05:22 PM   #15
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Re: What do you do all day?

I went on Princess and took a room with a balcony. The cruise went through the canal and took 16 nights. Spent some time in the Ft Lauderdale before sailing so it was about a 3 wk trip from Ft Lauderdale to Aruba to Panama to Puntarenas to Huatulco (substituted for stop in Columbia) to Acapulco to Cabo to SF. Huatulco was a nightmare, WAY too hot. Rest of trip was great. There seemed to be plenty of deck / pools / room for everyone on board.

Planning on a Mediterranean Cruise next
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-08-2004, 07:28 PM   #16
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Re: What do you do all day?

Oooh! Mediteranean! Why didn't I think of that?! Maybe not this year, but I'll be checking into that idea....

I dug out my old cruise literature. My boat had just over 1000 guests and about 500 staff; it was the oldest and smallest boat in their fleet, but it was fun. Good to hear the really big boats have enough room...I just keep looking at them and wondering how there's enough deck space for the people. Then again a surprising number of people hang out in their staterooms :P . I don't see why anyone pays extra for a room with a view...my room was for showering and sleeping only 8) .

Totally off topic story: Hurricane Georges passed behind our boat as we went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The seas were rough on the return trip and the boat rocked forward and back slowly but continuously, and almost everyone felt bad. They stayed in their rooms--which is the worst thing you can do for seasickness--so I had pretty much the run of the ship as I was unaffected. It was amusing (my roaming freely with hundres of people serving me--not amusing that the other guests were sick) but not necessarily desirable. (I understand the newer boats can counteract quite rough seas.)

Wow, a 70-guest cruise? I can't decide if that's too few people or just right. Is WindJammer the one with the sailboats?

Oh, thanks for the info on the Panama cruise. 16 days!? Wow. I enjoyed my cruise, but I was ready to get off the boat when we got back after 6 days. I remember thinking afterward that I enjoyed the experience but didn't have enough shore time and would rather fly to the destinations and stay there. But the cruise is quite an experience, and I'm ready for another one. Besides, it's very easy to meet people on cruises.
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-09-2004, 08:34 AM   #17
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Re: What do you do all day?

I took a balcony because I am a claustrophobic. I'll do it again unless they can assure me one of those big box windows that the Carnival line has. I think I only ate on it when going under the Golden Gate Bridge... and that was at 5:45 am!

I've never cruised with a really small ship (re: 70 passengers) but that sounds appealing. Especially if they also do a last minute discount. I'll have to check it out.
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Re:  That's not a porthole...
Old 06-09-2004, 10:59 AM   #18
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Re:  That's not a porthole...

... that's the place where the flooding starts. And you're next to it!

We thoroughly luxuriated in a NCL inter-island cruise. The kid especially enjoyed an independent life, exhausted the grandparents, had the run of the boat, and was happily tired at the end of each day. We were actually hands-off for most of the cruise.

If you're near a port of embarkation with flexible work/family schedules, the last-minute cruise websites are a joy. We've actually showed up on the pier a couple hours before departure to take our chances ($150/person for a seven-day cruise), although today's security measures might render that obsolete.

An advantage to NCL is their "freestyle" buffets. I'm not a big fan of formal dining but I loved never being more than sixty seconds away from all the fat & suger I could handle.

I wouldn't take a cruise that spent more than 24 consecutive hours underway. It's not bad but it's usually open-ocean at high speeds and some weather. It's much more fun to spend the day seeing the sights, get underway after dinner (in the romantic moonlight), and wake up every morning in a different liberty port.
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Re: What do you do all day?
Old 06-09-2004, 03:47 PM   #19
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Re: What do you do all day?

The wife has been bugging me about going on a cruise. *I almost agreed to go on an Alasken one this year but I'm afraid that if I don't like it on day one I'm stuck for th rest of the time. You can only eat so much!
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Re: *That's not a porthole...
Old 06-09-2004, 04:38 PM   #20
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Re: *That's not a porthole...

Quote:
... $150/person for a seven-day cruise... *
Can you supply a link (other than the Princess Cruise Line one)? Is that $150 for the entire cruise? I signed up with them already for their 3-5 wk notice or 1-2 wk notice as retirees can take off in a moments notice. But I have been offered relatively few choices. They only offered $50 per day.
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