Retirement Lifestyle: An Opportunity To Not Be So Busy

Retirement offers an opportunity to create the retirement lifestyle we want. Yet, often old habits die hard. Yes, retirement offers us more time to do as we choose . But, perhaps, we need to refresh our thinking, so we can rejuvenate the way we live life.

Lifestyle before retirement

Going to work took so much time out of the week. And, when we were working our life was always busy.

When I was working I worked in excess of 50 hours per week most weeks. I worked with clients four days per week. Plus, in addition, I wrote multiple reports, did all my administration and business tasks. And weekends were busy with family members and socialising.

Retirement Lifestyle: An Opportunity To Not Be So Busy
Celebrating a relatives 60th (Life before retirement)

Having said that, I am a person who likes to be busy. But, often I was way too busy.

It’s interesting reflecting on how busy I was. When I was working I took busyness for granted. I accepted it. I had been very busy for years and had grown used to it.

I lacked time to devote to hobbies or interests. The simple truth is something had to give.

I did prioritise time to exercise. But even that was a rush. I would wake up to the alarm, jump out of bed, and rush off to the gym.

In fact, looking back, I realise how structured my life was. Everything was by the clock.

Yet, I would also say I was happy. My only complaint was I was too busy. And, in reality, in many ways, my busyness was my own creation.

Yet, I don’t think I was alone in having a lifestyle of busyness. In western culture there seems to be an epidemic of busyness. Everyone’s talking about how busy they are. But, I think in many ways we are conditioned to think it is good to be busy, to be productive. Perhaps it’s time to let go of giving priority to busyness and productivity? Yet, if we let go of these ideals, what else would we give priority to?

Lifestyle after retirement

Currently we are travelling full time. We no longer have employment roles. Rather, our role is that of tourists. And, dare I say it, some days are really full on, busy. But other days we take it easy, and we don’t do a whole heap. We are not on any schedule. We do not have to be at a certain place by a certain date. We only set an alarm if we are going on a day tour that begins very early.

Retirement Lifestyle: An Opportunity To Not Be So Busy.
Shell Quarry, near Shark Bay Marine Park Western Australia (Life After Retirement)

For me, now I’m retired, I have a wonderful opportunity to slow down, to not be as busy as I was. I don’t want to stop. But, I’m striving to not live life at such a hectic pace. Obviously this is easier now I don’t have work commitments. But, will I fall into the trap of taking on other commitments, and become too busy again?

As you are aware, I have commenced blogging in my retirement. And, as I said earlier, I do like to be busy, but not too busy. Blogging can take up a lot of time. Between blogging and travelling… Have a guess what? I am often busy. And certainly busier than I thought I would be. My priority at this point is to try and not become too busy. My hope is to continue blogging and travelling. But my hope is to also maintain a balanced lifestyle and not fall back into the busyness trap.

Retirement lifestyle choices

As I said at the beginning, often old habits die hard. In retirement, there is the possibility to rejuvenate our thinking, so we can make better choices for our retirement lifestyle . With more time, we have the ideal opportunity to reflect on what is truly important to us.

Perhaps it’s time to let go of ideas that have us falling back into the same old trap of busyness; that limit our time and energy. Perhaps it’s time to identify and embrace ideas that it’s OK to slow down. If we embraced such ideas would this lift our spirit, or provide a sense of peace and contentment. I wonder what difference it would make to my life if I took on ‘slow down’ type of ideas, rather busyness ideas.

What about you?

Where has this blog post taken you in your thinking about your retirement lifestyle? What is your relationship with busyness? Has it changed since you retired? Have you been able to give busyness the flick? Or are you busier than ever?

We would love to hear your thoughts. Please join in the conversation.

Best wishes from Estelle – Retiree trying to not be too busy.

10 thoughts on “Retirement Lifestyle: An Opportunity To Not Be So Busy

  1. I can relate to some of your thoughts here … But I’ve only been retired now for 10 weeks! The big thing for me is NOT setting the alarm every day, it’s so good to wake & not have that busy morning routine before getting to work by 8.30 am. Living in a country town where I’m well known, I’ve already been asked to volunteer time towards a couple of community organisations – but I’ve declined at present. I have a retired friend who was a teacher all her life & she told me her first year of retirement was her “gap year” – I decided that was a great plan!!
    This is also my gap year – to relax a little, regroup & make future plans! I’m still busy with family & social activities & have not long returned from my first cruise …. & I may commit to some community work next year … But presently this is my planning time! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    • Yes Kerrie it is lovely not having to wake to an alarm, and have that mad morning rush. Love the idea of a “gap year”. When I settle down, after our travels, that is something for me to give more thought to. Your idea of giving yourself time for planning sounds good too. At the moment we are making plans on the go, but that is purely around travel – and is working well. But perhaps we may need to focus more on planning when we settle down. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. We’ve recently made a sea-change – well, it was 6 months ago – from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast. We did this when we did it because we wanted to retire from here not to it. The time was right. In doing so I’m still working my old job in Sydney, but remotely. I’ve cut back some hours though. Hubby is also now working remotely back to Sydney. Our lives are still busy, but there’s no time wasted in commutes (I used to commute 3 days a week). We’re much more relaxed in our busyness too – if that makes sense.

    • Wow Jo, what a big decision to move so far. But as you say, the time was right. As a couple it sounds like you made a decision to change your lifestyle. How great is it you can both work remotely! That obviously opened up so many more options for you both. Eliminating all that wasted time in those commutes to work sounds like it has allowed far more time to relax. Best wishes for more relaxing opportunities within your busyness ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Well, I am no way near retirement but in the last few years of homeschooling my boys I have been making a concerted effort to slow our lives down. We don’t make as many commitments and plans and try to enjoy more quite time to reflect and relax. I’m not always as successful at is I’d like but I do keep on trying.

    • Thanks Joanne for dropping by. For many of us these days, regardless of age or stage of life, we are caught up in crazy making busyness. Your concerted efforts to slow down your lives, while not always seemingly successful, will pay off. If we are too busy, then it is impossible to really relax. Thinking and reflecting on how we spend our time is so worthwhile. Good luck with your ongoing efforts to slow things down ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I can relate! I am always busy. Too busy. But like you say, a lot of my busyness is because of the things I chose to do. I love to travel. When I go somewhere, I want to see and do everything. I don’t want to miss my change. I never know if I’ll ever get the chance again.
    I wish I could ‘retire’. I would love the chance to just do the things I want to do instead of all the things I fell like I have to do. Like work. Or, in my case lately, to look for work. To do something in order to pay the bills. I would love to just travel the world. But how to do it with no income? I do hope that by the time I can retire, there will still be some sort of social security left. I could survive on that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you Jill for your comments. Life can be exhausting, particularly if we are too busy. But then there are so many demands on our these days, some of our choosing, some things we just need to do – like work. It’s hard to balance everything, and not give up on what we want to do. You sound so much like me Jill with travel. I too want to see and do everything – especially if I’m in a place I think I may never return to. I’m not to sort to kick back by the pool for hours. Perhaps it’s our nature? Good luck with the job hunting. Be open to money coming to you. We always have said that when we need money it comes to us – just that it may not be as much as we’d like. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’ve been retired for four years Estelle. I was 57 and my husband is 10 years older than I. I have to admit I still struggle with slowing down. We had been caring for my in-laws for 10 years but after my FIL passed away last year and now MIL is happy in an aged care home, we are feeling a little lost or in particular my husband is. I love how you and your husband have grabbed retirement with both hands and in such a positive way. I’m trying to find a balance between being busy but also taking the time to reflect and just enjoy life. We are off to Spain at the end of next week so that’s a good start!

    • Yes Sue, retirement does not automatically mean slowing down, that’s for sure. The opportunities to be busy are so numerous! The challenge of slowing down in retirement is far more a task than I imagined. And sadly, at our age, the loss of parents, or other significant relationships, can really throw us. It was a combination of significant loss, and other major changes, that triggered us to grab retirement by both hands. Having said that, life goes on, and somehow life is still busy. Good luck with finding balance. If you find the secret Sue, please let me know. Best wishes for your trip to Spain. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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