Retirement is hard work (Part I)

Working for a living was so much easier!

To start with, 5 days of my work were dictated by my employer. I got a little free time in the mornings before going to work, but the only time I had available to do anything constructive was a few hours every evening and the weekends. Working and living was not a particular difficult challenge simply because the options were very limited.

While I was working, I did a lot of recreational running which expanded to me becoming a certified running coach; to volunteering as coach for a local track club; to running all road race distances from 5km to Marathon.  With the exception of the once/week coaching, and the self discipline involved, it was no major challenge and could be scheduled around work!

While my two children were growing up and getting involved in their various interests, it was again a simple matter of scheduling and avoiding any conflicts with my coaching and racing. My training had a degree of flexibility.

I have always loved music, and my interest crosses all genres. A long time ago, and while I was working, I decided to learn to play guitar, which seemed to naturally progress to writing songs and then (because I wanted to hear them subjectively) to recording them at home. My sounds often needed embellishments, and so an electronic keyboard and multi-tracking equipment found its way into my basement. This was a fairly time consuming interest however, like running, a flexible schedule worked very well.

I used to love cycling around England when in my teens and, with the advent of mountain bikes, decided to rekindle that area of interest.

I also had a desire to volunteer for various organizations and the only criteria that was necessary for me to adopt was to volunteer for only one organization at a time. My volunteering track record tended to average just over 2 years per position.  It did obviously put a little pressure on my other interests because, in all my cases, schedules had to be established and adhered to. However, as my music and running activities were relatively flexible, it all worked together very well.

I also enjoyed gardening, and had no problem with doing the majority of home repairs as they became necessary, so my life while holding down a full time job was very busy but manageable.

The underlying control on all these activities was the fact that Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, I was expected to be in my employers location and working. With the exception of travel times and meal times, the rest of the time was mine to allocate/schedule as necessary. It really was not that difficult!

Then I retired………………………!


33 thoughts on “Retirement is hard work (Part I)

  1. When my late father retired, his comment was, “I don’t know how I ever had TIME to work.” In his late 80s, once he slowed down physically, he was re-reading the classics.

    I probably won’t ever get to retire (entrepreneur with helpers disease, so amassing coin was not given a great deal of priority focus — unfortunately, as it turned out when I suddenly noticed that others planned to be able to stop working eventually.) But my clients have commented that they found the sudden lack of structure daunting. I’m looking forward to Part II.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with your father’s perspective. The problem with working until you die, is the reality that you may have to stop working for any number of reasons, and I have known a couple of people whose work was their life. When they were forced into stopping work, they lost their reason for living… and they died!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No fears here. If somebody would step in to pay my bills I would have NO problem finding a gazillion other things to do with my time (tho’ I’d probably continue to do a great deal of mental health advocacy as well).

        My father’s work WAS his life for many years (military scientist with fascinating assignments like sending rockets into space & what-not). I was worried about how he’d fare once he retired – but it seems he was just waiting for a chance for some “leisure” time. He was in his 90’s when pneumonia took him off the board, or he’d no doubt still be tinkering, puttering and reading like a mad thing.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I think we all have a backlog of at least a few regrets – too soon old, too late wise. Hopefully, they encourage us to change a few things as we move forward, rather than ruminating over what we did or didn’t do.

            I believe my father would have been a bit more interactive with his family, if he had it all to do again. His primary focus was always on supporting us financially, and I think he realized that expanding his idea of support might have given him a more rewarding life. Sadly, both men and women in his generation were brought up to fit in expectational boxes, with women expected to do most of the relating “work.”

            I recall a once popular 1st-person ballad about a man whose son wanted to grow up to be just like him – and did – too busy to spend much time with him.

            That balance thing is a challenge for all, it seems.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. My parents are in their mid 60s and show no sign of slowing down (they are both self-employed) and I think they have similar thought-process. Somehow they don’t see pursuing hobbies full-time as a very good way to pass time. But then… whatever works for each 🙂 You have really varied interests – and that’s awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s a matter of perspective and, sadly, often finances. Writing is a hobby, and I am so pleased to have a book published. Running was my way to quit smoking and, not only did it work, but it allowed me to run a number of marathons in quite good times, all of which makes me feel good. My perspective is that I can do so much more than just work, and so I must at least try other interests. There will come a time when I will not be able to do many things, and I never want to look back with regrets like so many people. I never want to say “If only I had…….” or “I wonder if I could ever have…………?” or “How I wish that I had……….! We only get one shot at living, and one day it will end. That’s guaranteed!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok, ok… I read the whole post but I have to go back to: “…writing songs and then (because I wanted to hear them subjectively) to recording them at home…” Do you have any records you could share here? I would love to hear you sing your songs!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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