After 2 years into retirement, it seems like my weeks are either full of (self-chosen) activities or completely empty. Full and happy, this-is-great weeks. Or boring, am-I-failing-at-this-retirement-thing weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a life-concierge, one who is better at time management than me!
When you are the concierge of your own life, everything that comes onto your calendar is delightfully by your own choice. But that also means everything that comes onto your calendar, you have to put there! No more project/team/budget meetings regularly pre-scheduled. No more requests from mentees for lunch dates/coffee dates or a half hour of time to talk an issue. Every week, every day, every minute is yours to decide how to fill. This is both freeing and daunting.
When I have multiple days in a row that are empty, negative emotions start to arise… a feeling of the blahs, doubt about this life plan, worry that I’ll become one of the retirement bad-case-studies – you know, the one who “gave up on life and died just 2 years after retirement”. Yes, I use my tools (gratitude, reading inspirational blogs, etc.) to pull myself up. But the root cause? I have come to the realization that to keep the blahs at bay, I need a daily schedule. It’s a balance between loving the freedom of not having to do or be anywhere on a regular basis and yet still having something to do or someplace to be almost every day. Is this weird or what!?!
When I look over the broader time frame, it’s easy to see the answer to “What do you spend your time doing?” The big picture – a feast! I have a small, but regularly scheduled, exercise program. I have friend connects – mostly involving food – happy hours, lunches, dinners. I have my “playing with words” – crosswords, blogging, reading (blogs and books). I have my consulting project work. I have some out & about activities (like the theater or craft shows), some gardening (especially this time of year). I regularly look for opportunities – like a cooking boot camp (so awesome – a very full week). So when I have multiple days of nothingness (the famine days), I know it’s just my own fault for not planning something.
There is a lot of retiree sentiment that I should enjoy a non-scheduled life. Stop and smell the roses, enjoy the sunset, watch the grass grow. Would I feel better if I scheduled that in?
So I just need better planning. I don’t want a fairy godmother to create a dress for the ball, I want a fairy godmother to be my personal life-concierge… one who knows me as well as I know myself and makes plans to avoid future “famine days”. Anyone want the job?
Picture Credit: Pixabay