An Unscheduled Life
Reading stories over the past few months has been very interesting. They have also pointed out to me just how unique we all are. What may good advice for some may not be for others.
I have been in complete retirement for two years. I had been a registered nurse and, then, owned my own successful bakery, often times working twelve to fourteen hour days.
When I first retired, sold my home, and moved to another state, I thought much about what to do with my time. I have been a widow for twenty-three years and have never been interested in another relationship.
Once getting settled in my new home, I felt as though I had to do something meaningful with the rest of my life. I had planned on doing volunteer work with hospice, but Covid stopped those plans. I have problems with chronic pain and working again on a schedule didn't seem possible. The hours seemed to be quite empty.
Gradually, however, the idea that I really didn't have to schedule my life again began to take hold. I can do just what I want to do. I don't have to volunteer. I don't have to join exercise groups. I don't have to join groups on-line. I don't have to join a senior retirement group.
All of these things may very well be helpful to many people, but when I realized that I am not one of these people, I felt free.
I realize that I do have another advantage in that I live in the basement apartment of my son's condo. He is married but they don't have any children. He works from home full-time now, but I don't talk to him much during the day. My daughter-in-law works part time from home and works on sewing projects in her own office upstairs. I don't see her much during the day either.
We walk the dog together on nice days. We also watch a television show together in the evenings. On weekends, we may do some activities together, but I realize that my son and his wife can make their own plans without me. It is working out well for me. My situation, then, is different from those who are living alone.
However, the hours during the day are mine to fill for myself. I listen to music, exercise to instrumental tango music, read, do some household chores, take naps, play video games, help take care of the dog, and contemplate life. I have also developed an interest in baking sourdough bread, using a starter without yeast. The bread is getting better. A friend and I go out to lunch once a month, and it has been nice to be able to start getting together again.
There are many helpful things written on this site and that is good. However, one must realize that what works for someone else may not work for you.
If finding groups to join, volunteering, and scheduling your life work for you, that is great. If you find what you need in these activities, then you can be thankful for them. But, don't be afraid to admit that those may not be the things you need to do or like to do.
It's okay to decide you want an unscheduled life. Retirement is open for you.