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.
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.
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.