Sunday, March 18, 2007

Inheriting Time

The prospect of my time truly being my own is unbelievably liberating, but at the same time just a little scary. It’s like that feeling of looking at a totally blank screen and being told you can write whatever you want.

Since I was 18 years old I have worked anywhere from 20 to 60 hours a week. Work has taken up a big chunk of my time. I have been able to postpone or not do things because I had this excuse of work.

Last Friday was a trial balloon for me. I woke up with a slightly allergic headache and called in sick. That mean 9 hours of unscheduled time. I had no problem in figuring out what to do with it. I also didn’t get out of my pajamas until 5:00 in the afternoon. That part will need to change.

I found myself wondering today if I would develop a pattern to my day – perhaps

Get up
Breakfast with the newspaper
Write in my Blog
Play with the dogs outside or take them for a walk
Practice piano
Read my book club book

Meet a friend for lunch
Take a bike ride
Visit a museum
Clean some part of the house
Plan a trip
Volunteer in some capacity

I want to make sure that whatever “schedule” I come up with is subject to change on short notice or no notice at all, perhaps just on a whim.

I do want to make sure I don’t go around looking like a slob all day long even if I don’t need to leave the house.

This transition is going to be interesting. It can really only happen when I am free from the current work dilemmas that at least now have a date for closure. When I can put that era of my life in deep storage, I can finally move on more pleasant thoughts like how to use all the free time I suddenly have at my disposal.

We humans struggle with transition, but I think this will be one that can only improve my quality of LIFE!


Blogger Kate said...

You are doing what I have been doing. Trying to make a plan for days so that so that 4 o'clock in the afternoon doesn't find me still in my bathrobe. But absolutely "right on" is the idea to allow yourself deviations in that plan for: "The museum has a traveling Matisse exhibit; I'll call Pat and see if she wants to go today." Such a wonderful time this is and to think that many people feel intensely crazed by the idea of retirement!

9:44 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I deleted that 2nd "so that" but it didn't take.


9:45 AM  
Blogger Golden Silence said...

Being so used to a 9-5 routine, it is hard to function when an unexpected day off happens. I catch myself sitting around all day watching crap television.

And those days go by too quickly, like a Sunday.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kate -- We will definitely have to stay in touch even though you will be in Arizona and I will be here. I think spontaneity will be the name of the game!

GoldenSilence -- I will know I have failed when one day is just like any other and I can't tell a Sunday from a Thursday any longer. That's why I think just a little bit of a routine is necessary so time doesn't just become a continuum punctuated by 3 meals a day and a night's sleep. You are so right!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

There are a ton of volunteer things out there! I always thought it would be neat to take the hospice trainimg although my emotions may be a little fragile for that. I love helping at school or doing library readings for kids.
Joining a few choirs, exercising, going to various appointments, reading the paper and books, cooking, cleaning, and resting...and a little TV...the day goes by quickly for me...oh yeah...blogging! How could I forget!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous David said...

you may even want to take a course - e.g at TM or elsewhere. Or another book club. Endless possibilities. Plus, of course, enhancing your already considerable culinary skills :-)

11:53 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

The idea of a blank slate really appeals to me. who knows what wonders will arise once your time is all your own. It's going to be FUN!!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

I've caught up on all that I have missed. I think that you will have a good time, but one thing is now you can add some sleep to your schedule!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

The "schedule" sounds devine. I'd imagine, in your same position, I'd find myself doing even more than the I do with a 9-5 (or 8-7) schedule. I have trouble "relaxing."

4:43 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

If you get to a point where you wish you had something concrete to do, we can trade places for a few days and you'll remember why you retired. I'll join the ranks in another 6 years. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy your retirement vicariously :)

7:51 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

Yes, transitions are a struggle, but it's only by going past the boundaries that discoveries can be made.

10:01 PM  

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