Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just Exactly What Do Retired People Do All Day?

Does anybody ever ask you that question?  I get it, in one form or another, quite often.  Sometimes it's subtle - "oh I could never retire, I'd be so bored!"  Sometimes it's kind of nasty - "I can't retire; I have too much still to offer/do."  Sometimes it's true curiosity..."what exactly do you do with your time?"  It occurred to me this week that maybe I could just explain what I do.

I start my day with Bible study and a Diet Dr. Pepper.  I know, Aspartame, but I don't drink coffee.  That's my excuse.  :)
Then I eat breakfast and if there's time I scan this:
That happens about once a week.  I make my bed, read my e-mail, sweep the kitchen, and start the laundry.
I'm not sure how it happens but we generate more laundry now that we're retired than we ever did when we were working.  I think it's because when I was working part of my clothes went to the cleaners and also it might possibly be that when I was working I wore one set of clothes a day.  I came home and went straight into my pajamas as soon as I could!  Now I might get dressed, clean house, get hot and sweaty, shower, change clothes, go run errands, change clothes to something more comfortable, etc.  You get the picture.  And husband is the same....I can't always keep up!

Next are the errands that have to be run:
This is the pretty lady who gives me an allergy shot, and this is me getting said shot.
Both arms...yuck!

If I'm lucky I get to go have a manicure and/or pedicure here:
from this sweet lady:
Back in the car to stop at the pharmacy - I'm a coupon queen so I'm always looking for bargains whether I need them or not.  :)
By this time I'm getting tired and need a pick-me-up at my favorite spot.  I promise I don't do this every day, or even every week.  I do, however, keep a gift card well supplied just in case I am overcome with the craving.
My car needs an oil change.  This cute young thing carefully drives my car away.  Somewhere in the distance a minute later I hear tires screeching.  It's not my car, it's not  my car, it's not my car.  I repeat that over and over.

I take my I Pad with me, and my chai tea latte, and read blogs while I wait.  Then it's time to pick up a few groceries.
Finally, I head home.  But on the way I remember I need some tabs for a Bible I bought last week so I whip in here.
Okay, errands done for the day!  I should go to WalMart but it's past noon and I'm tired so I put that off for another day.

Pulling into my driveway this is what I see.  I take a minute to stand and admire this beautiful tree in my yard.  I do believe this is the most beautiful it's ever been!



When I get home I put away the groceries, change clothes and start the next chore:
I make my own laundry detergent.
And my own fabric softener.  I saved the Downy container and just mix it up in that.  The detergent I make in a big bowl, then store in plastic containers with lids.
Finally, I grab a few minutes to do this:

I'm working on something special but I can't show you now - it's on to the next job:  supper.  I hate to cook but my husband loves to eat so it's a necessary evil.  I cook, we eat, I clean up.

It's 7:00, I'm tired, and it's time for NCIS.  It's always time for NCIS.  So I sit down to watch and stitch for a couple of hours.
Somewhere mixed in all that I talk to my sister and my friend Connie and my friend Jo and my friend Sandy (I have lots of friends!), and my aunt Joyce.  I make a to-do list for tomorrow, I read a few minutes, I shut the cabinet door my husband left open, close the drawer my husband left open, pick up the newspaper out of the floor beside my husband's chair and throw it away, reboot the wireless router twice when it goes off and on multiple times, chat with my husband about the above cabinet & drawer & newspaper, :)  start the packing for an upcoming camping trip, sweep the kitchen again after husband comes in from mowing the yard, make a reminder on my calendar to return the library books and pay the Visa bill, .....you know by now that I could add to this list many more little things I've forgotten.

Now the most important question of all:  how did I get all that done when I worked?  How do you get it done if you're working?  Is this some sort of natural phenomenon that has an explanation involving physics and gravity?  Because I honestly don't know the answer!  If you know please tell me.  But if it involves physics and gravity don't bother.  I'm too tired to understand that stuff.  If it involves math, go ahead and tell me.  I can still add and subtract.

38 comments:

Lani said...

LOL...exactly it seems since i have retired i have more to do.....funny how that works

Linda said...

When I worked outside the home (I taught school and for those of you who think that's not work, let me tell you, it is!) I didn't have time to quilt. I didn't have time to garden. I didn't have time to go anywhere during the day, like to get a manicure. I came home, worked on lessons for the next day, cooked supper, cleaned up, washed clothes, picked up, and then worked some more on lessons. I had three boys and a husband who pitched in and helped. I spent weekends and holidays catching up on the housework. It is WONDERFUL to be able to pace myself with my cleaning and washing. I also love being able to sit down and drink a cup of coffee during the day! Or to just run to the bathroom when I feel the urge. (I taught elementary school and had to just "hold it" between 7:45 and 4:15 because I couldn't leave my class. We ate with them too!) I LOVE having flexibility in my life. I don't even mind having more to do because now I can choose which of them to do now and which to let slide.

karenfae said...

I love seeing how you fill up your day - you need to do a post on how you make your own laundry soap and softener :)
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Tracy P. said...

Love this! I "stay at home" and I don't get half of that stuff done. I suppose I do get a half all my own. I am cutting back on my own stuff this fall because the kids will have us running like crazy in the evenings and on weekends.

I am the same way in the kitchen. I would rather eat out every night, but strangely my husband and son LOVE what I make, so I keep doing it. Good thing they do! :-)

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I would like to know how you make your own laundry soap and softener. The days get busy don't they. I got it all done and worked 4 days a week too and had 5 kids. The older kids did help alot though. I have had people say that to me, I would be bored. Bored I say? There is no time to be bored. When I sit down I crotchet. I am making crotcheted rugs for DIL's Christmas. I have 2 done, the third almost. So far have used old T shirts. My next will be denim (holey jeans). My morning starts about the same as yours only I drink a Diet Coke. No coffee or tea for me either. Blessings to you.

paulette said...

Well for one thing, I think you work WAY too hard...you need to cut out all that laundry, stop sweeping the floor and what's with AQLL the cleaning!! Treat everyday like it's Saturday and have FUN! Play all day...and save the work for one day only...that way you appreciate all the other days..I mean all the Saturdays. I love retirement!! Yahooo!!
P

Julie Fukuda said...

I can sure relate to Linda's comment, especially the non-existant bathroom breaks. I can never afford to retire but as a substitute teacher, I can pick and choose more. I no longer need to spend summers getting more education so I can go out and play with the boys at camp. The only sad part, other than getting older, is that now that I have time to travel, I can't afford it.

Linda said...

Oh my! Haven't you hit the nail soundly on it's head! We are retired too, and my days are more full now than ever, and I don't even have to do the cooking at my house! I know I spend more time on the computer than I should, but I also get to spend lots of hours sewing. And don't I know that bit about changing clothes! I think I had on four different outfits on Wednesday. The thing I'm feeling guilty about is jumping into the day before having morning devotions. You've reminded me to be better about that. Thank you for the thoughtful blog post. (I can't believe you got all those people to agree to let you take their pictures!)

Marie said...

Life is busy and full! I don't know how I ever got everything done that I needed to when I worked full time, because my days just seem to slip away now I 'm not working! xxoo

Lori said...

You're a busy lady! It sounds like my weekends. I can't quite figure out what I did but soon the weekend is over. WHat do you use to make your fab softener. I do the laundry soap deal and use straight white vinegar for my softener. It looks like you're mixing something together? Do tell! :)

FabricFascination said...

I know what you mean. Now that I am down to 30 hours working a week, I wonder where that 10 extra hours goes - pooof!

Madame Samm said...

Love it Marlene...I sew contemplate returning to my 70 hour week job in marketing in Pharma..That would be a holiday, compared to what my days look like since I retired lol. I already went through over 4,000+ emails, worked out, got washed, had breakfast, am heading out to gerbera farm to take more photos and pick up flowers for photo shoot tomorrow..I will return to more email, nake some pasta primavera for supper........and the list goes on..I should have all that done in the next hour lol

Sheila said...

I know exactly where you are coming from , my question was how did I do it all when I was working?Great post.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Looks and sounds like our days. I always say the husband worked less and got paid more before he retired!

Love Bears All Things said...

First, I've never had a career. I have worked part time at different times in my life. But, I used to hear those questions all the time, too.
I can't imagine how I'd get it all done if I did work outside home...I know there would probably be no "me" time or any creative time.
I had to laugh about the little clean ups, etc concerning husband...our back door opens onto our living room carpet(I hate this)...so 'stuff' gets tracked in all the time. Since I had the carpet cleaned, I've taken to going out back through the garage, gives me more exercise and doesn't mess up the carpet....sometimes when I don't want to get the vacuum out again, I just grab my pet lint remover roll and have a go at the carpet at the back door.
Love this post, I think it would be fun to look inside other's day like this.
Mama Bear

Arkansas Patti said...

Sounds like a perfectly productive day to me. Where you sew, I garden and I don't have a fellow to pick up after but pretty much the same type of day.
I'm with Karen about the laundry soap and softener. If you have all ready posted, would like the link, if not, why not?

Needled Mom said...

It sounds much like my days and I am constantly asking myself how I did all that while still working.

JCnNC said...

I can see a life style that is correlating very closely to us. Exception is - if I cook then he has to clean the kitchen. We seem to take shorter trips now, pharmacy one day and two days later off to WalMart - LoL - just because we can.

Our clock is actually a day clock -always tells us what day it is and we hardly ever look for the time of day. The dog lets us know when she is hungry and then we fix our dinner. Easy Peazy. Life is good.

My question is this - after you retire and you do not have a hobby, what do you do all day? My husband is a woodworker and I quilt and there is not enough hours in a day. Judy C in NC

Gmama Jane said...

You are so funny, Marlene! I get that same question all the time and I too often wonder the reason for their question. Of course I babysit my 3 yr. old grandson so that keeps a lot of questions at bay. This will only last for 1 more year then I will be truly free to be me. I laughed out loud at Hubby's little messes...I have those same messes!! Too late to retrain the beast I'm afraid. I have only myself to blame. I'm quite impressed with your soap making ability. I didn't know that about you! Me and Gain are good friends! Loved sharing your day!
Blessings
Jane

Kathryn D. Duke said...

what a fun post!!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Love this post! I know I am always busy. Speaking of which, I have two little boys who are here for a visit and then they leave for 2 weeks on their vacation *sob* Time to go play with them while i can.

Jackie said...

You are wonderfully busy! I loved reading about all of your activities. I can't wait to retire to do the same - enjoy this time!

Truffle queen said...

My husband retired 8/31/2004 - and we've done just fine with retirement! I "retired" in June of '81 when my oldest daughter was born. I recall women telling me they were "bored" and decided to go back to work! How on earth can you be bored when you're raising kids?! There were days that I wished for an extra 10 minutes to be BORED! If anyone finds that they are BORED - go volunteer at a food bank, forest preserve, homeless center.... the list goes on! No such thing as being BORED!! I remember telling my mom that I "didn't have anything to do" - she gave me a job weeding a flower bed - I never made that mistake again!

Purple Pam said...

Being retired enabled me to have breakfast with my son and darling granddaughter this morning, on a day where the cafe was not crowded and there was no line outside waiting to get in! I can run my errands in the daylight (novel concept) which I dearly love! Not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do, even though I am retired. Who can get bored? There is no time to get bored! There is always another quilt to make.

Sharon said...

Even though I still work outside the home, I spend my days off pretending I am retired......I have decided that it's MY time and I will do as I please. Lots of times the floors get a lick and a promise, the laundry gets done since it is near my sewing room...but I don't stress out unless I don't get to spend much time sewing or reading! I doubt that I will be bored when I finally get to retired...so glad you are enjoying it!

Snoodles said...

Teehee~just catching up on my fav blogs...this was great; had me chuckling with a very familiar feeling. How did I do everything when I was homeschooling? Now I "only" work full time at home in my hubby's agency, and I never have a dull moment! I have a recipe for homemade detergent...if you're not tired of people asking, could you let me know how to make the softener?

Barb said...

It was so fun going through you day....those shots make me cringe...

Grammy Staffy said...

I am smiling from ear to ear. My days used to be just like yours. (Of course for the last 5 months I've been taking a wee rest!)I have not idea how I managed it all before I retired. I taught full time at the high school and one class a week at the college. I think my house stayed just as clean then... and I sewed more than I do now. ????

Have a great week. Hugs, Lura

Carolyn said...

Love this and your blog! I'm totally worn out hearing about your day, but it was a good day! I'm at home, too, and have never been bored a minute in my life. There are too many things I enjoy doing.

Now I think I deserve a Diet Coke from reading all that work. I'm tired. LOL ;)

Pat - Arkansas said...

Good grief! I'm worn out just reading about your day. :) I've been completely retired (second time) for over 11 years and, like you, wonder how I found time to work and do anything else. I tend to fall back on "work expands to fill the time available for it" theory to explain what I do with my time these days.

I enjoyed your photos. The tree is, indeed, beautiful.

Rose Mary said...

Now I'm tired, LOL! My mom says she is much busier now that she's retired! Sounds like you had a good day---and that tree is gorgeous!!!

Floss said...

I take every second Friday off, and that day and my weekends are busier than any day at work. My house isn't the cleanest and we won't mention the weeds in the garden. LOL I would have no problems filling up my days.

Kelly said...

I cannot wait to retire and have days like yours!!! 5 more years

Adrienne said...

I loved walking through your day with you! Now, I'm tired! You pack a lot in and I'm sure I will, too, when my hubby retires next year. I've taken a turn toward retirement recently. Will have to share that one soon. Love your morning repast while you have your devotion time - mine is similar. Diet Pepsi for me because I don't drink coffee, either. Need our caffeine, don't we?
~Adrienne~

donna a said...

Well, I'm not retired yet but I DO know I don not have time to quilt, my garden looks so shabby, I haven't had a haircut in a few years and the last manicure was 16 years a go when I got married! Train your husband to help out! Mine is gradually making more progress but he still just rinses dishes and claims they are clean even with food stuck on them! He claims they were clean when he put them in the dish drainer- something must have happened after that! Sigh!

harleywife57 said...

I love this post !!! I retired 3 years ago after 32.5 years at AT&T ; I was 51 then . I try to remember to thank God every day for letting me retire ! I hear the same comments from people ; however I hear nice ones also sometimes . A friend of mine always tells me 'it must be nice to be rich or it must be nice to get a huge retirement' blah blah blah . BORED ? come on ... even if I do get bored , it's brief and I LOVE IT ! I love the days I don't have to leave the house !! People are all hung up about retiring ; especially if they aren't old enough for SSI . I'd have to say that if you don't think you can 'afford' to retire , most people can't afford not to ! I know I'm blessed ; AT&T was a good company to work for , however , rich ? hah ! We ride a Harley and I buy fabric ; we will NEVER be rich with money ; but are rich SO SO SO many other ways !!! Most of the people I know have their houses paid for , or almost paid for and we bought ours only 6 years ago ( we've only been married 7 years ..) , but all I hear is how 'rich' I am and I must be bored to tears now . ok ; I'm done ........... God bless you ! A few weeks ago my daughter & 2 gradkids ( ages 3 & 6) and she's in her last year of nursing school (YAY!) and working part time , so I don't have much time to sew like I used to ( she's gone alot ) but this is a promise I made after I retired and she returned to school that I'd help however I could with the kids so she could get her RN school done ; boy , I didn't imagine it would turn into this ; but , it's what God wants me to do right now . AMEN !

Chris said...

It is amazing when you think about it....all that you do in a day of retirement and that you did those things AND worked and then if lucky enough to have kids - all that that entails for years and years! Whew! I need a nap!

Jackie said...

How do you make your own fabric softener?
LOVE LOVE LOVE that Jesus Calling book...
Love your recap of the day..specially the closing of things behind your husband...and turning off the lights too :)