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Anyone retired? What do you all do with your day?

(87 Posts)
Itsawelshthing Sat 15-Aug-20 23:28:46

Hi all. I decided to join Gransnet as I really enjoy going through the forum and just getting advice in general. I just wanted to ask what do you all do with your day when you do not have technology, like a smartphone for example? I'm getting fed up of just going on my phone all the time. I want to do constructive things. I find it a drag if I have to do ironing or cleaning my house. I want to be motivated and have something to do every day. What do you all do? I hope you don't mind me asking grin

Spangler Sat 15-Aug-20 23:46:37

What do I do? I found a hobby, it's called work. I just couldn't get used to not being at the cut & thrust of it. Nothing like the exhilaration of knowing that I have kept the balls in the air for yet another year.

Your forum name suggests that you are from Cymru. Have you thought of joining a church choir? Is there a charity that you can join in with? How I would love to help out at The Talyllyn Railway.

Keep watching this thread, you will get some useful ideas.

Teacheranne Sun 16-Aug-20 00:20:18

As I rely a lot on technology at the moment to occupy myself as most of my social activities have ceased because of the restrictions, I don't have much advice for you other than to embrace the technology!

Today I woke up early ( for me) at 7 am so made a cup of coffee and took it back to bed. I then spent a couple of hours on my iPad, reading the news, checking Facebook, doing a crossword and playing on a jigsaw app - oh and lurking on Gransnet of course.

Then I had some breakfast and got waylaid with a WhatsApp chat with my brother and sister to go through our plans for renting out Mums house. I was then able to spend over two hours doing some gardening before coming indoors for a shower. The rest of the afternoon was spent on my lap top writing up minutes from my WI committee meeting, emailing them out and doing some research on a few ideas for future meetings. It was then time to cook tea as I had a Zoom chat booked for 7pm with a group of friends. Finally at just after 8 I sat down to watch TV and crochet. Now I am in bed, playing on my iPad again.

Tomorrow, I am meeting some friends for lunch outside a local pub then in the afternoon I have to pop to Tesco to collect my grocery order, take a food parcel to my Mum in her care home ( not allowed to visit as its still locked down so I drop off some cakes and chocolate treats now and again) then I have no plans for the rest of the day. I will probably be on my iPad or watching TV or doing something crafts or reading a book ready for a book club Zoom next week or possible doing some housework - badly needed!

But without my iPad, lap top and Zoom I would be very bored. I'm in a number of WhatsApp groups with different sets of friends and there is always someone to chat to on there and we sometimes meet in a park for a face to face chat.

BlueBelle Sun 16-Aug-20 03:59:31

I ll join Spangler on that one hated the thought of retirement as I need something other than myself (and dreaded housework) in my life so within a year of retiring I was working voluntarily at two jobs and have been for the last 6 years I ve made friends, chat to people and do a really useful job as well as having something to get up for
I also keep in touch with lots of friends and acquaintances so most weeks I go out to lunch or coffee or a walk
Last year I took on an allotment and during lockdown have been doing a couple of hours a few times a week to keep that going well That’s mostly solo times but have met some people there to have a chat with
I m lucky to be by the beach so a sea swim in the nice weather or beach walk keeps me occupied and keep the cobwebs and the ironing where they should be .....Waiting for attention
I need something to get up for I can’t bear the days I ve got nothing planned as I could be lazy and just sit around doing nothing
Join something or get some voluntary work it’s a boon for the organisation and for you

Chardy Sun 16-Aug-20 04:29:50

Dog-walking gets me up in the morning about 7am. I do a lot of crafts. Since retiring, I've gone back to crafts I did years ago, and learnt several new ones. I started family history around 1980, and still spend hours on it as new information comes on line every month.

lemongrove Sun 16-Aug-20 07:26:27

Why would you assume we don’t have a smartphone or technology? Most older people have as many devices, ipad/computer/ iphone etc as any other age range.
Unless a person is say, about 14, they have many other things to do ( apart from housework) such as meeting friends and family, activities and clubs and hobbies.

Willow73 Sun 16-Aug-20 07:44:52

I understand how you feel. I need to feel that what I do is productive. I have a dog so grooming and walking takes up some daily time. Cooking dinner for husband. I crochet premature baby octopi for which there is a charity, you make them send them off where they get checked and they distribute them. I paint for fun but people have started to request the artwork I do, which is lovely. I read books and then pass them on to friends/ neighbours. I walk into town sit in coffee shops or library and nearly always there is someone else on their own to start chatting about the weather to! Whatever you do find something that you could do that doesn't rely on good weather!

PamelaJ1 Sun 16-Aug-20 08:16:45

Lemongrove, maybe she doesn’t use technology much or doesn’t want to?

As I have had retirement forced on me by COVID-19 it has helped me to make up my mind to keep working part time.

I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do first.
I don’t want to commit myself to anything regular that stops me going off to visit or have short breaks but do want to do something useful. Just haven’t worked out what yet.
I’m not very cerebral so don’t want to learn anything that involves study.
Like you, Itsawelshthing I don’t want to spend my life cleaning,
I’m a social person so I will work a couple of days a week that should pay for our treats without depleting the pension too much. It’s a very social job and I have known my clients for years so work is fun.

I’ll play tennis and perhaps go to a Pilates class. With the gardening and spending time with mum and DGS that seems to me sorted.

J52 Sun 16-Aug-20 08:21:46

Why don’t you do an on line course. I did a qualification in something completely different from my previous profession.
The course doesn’t have to academic, but something your interested in and maybe teaching you a new skill.
If not a formal course, there are loads of You Tube videos on different skills such as painting, mosaics, growing plants etc.

Pittcity Sun 16-Aug-20 08:27:48

Pre covid we used to do lots of things, didn't know how we found time to work.
Exercise classes, volunteering, hobbies, meetups and travel.
We have kept up some classes and meetups online since March and will be back volunteering in September.
There is plenty out there to do, just go for it.

NfkDumpling Sun 16-Aug-20 08:28:46

Volunteer for something in your local community. It doesn't really matter what. Just jump in to something you find interesting and even if you don't stay with it, you'll find other organisations and clubs through the other volunteers. The Great Retired do an awful lot to hold communities together quietly behind the scenes.

The advantage over paid employment is that voluntary work is just that. Voluntary. Provided you don't leave anyone in the lurch you can 'work' when you want around your other interests and commitments.

U3A is another good way to meet like-minded people and before you know it you'll be doing something different each day.

sodapop Sun 16-Aug-20 08:31:23

BlueBelle will you please stop with mention of the sea and walks on the beach, I would love to be doing that right now. grin

Itsawelshthing Things just seemed to happen when I retired which now take up a lot of my time. Started with one dog and now have three, began helping at a voluntary library and am now running it, found GN, meet up with friends for lunch etc. I read a lot and enjoy 'rubbish' TV. In fact doing all the things I didn't have time for when I was working.
Don't worry about filling every minute sometimes it's nice just to be.

Greta8 Sun 16-Aug-20 08:34:24

We moved last year so I'm still involved in creating our home as I want it. At the moment we're doing my dressing room - I sourced the shelving from a furniture charity before lock down and have been buying storage baskets and ottomans. We're also in the middle of decorating the back bedroom for our grandson - I've just ordered bedding, cushions etc. and will be up-cycling a Lloyd loom chair. We look after him two days a week, so that gives our week structure. We make sure we take him out for part of the day so he gets fresh air and stimulation.

My main hobby is gardening, I grow most of my plants from seed and propagate from cuttings. Really enjoying improving our garden, which already has some lovely mature trees. Just booked in a tree surgeon to attend to them!

We share the housework and my husband does most of the cooking, which he enjoys.

I do go online a lot - really to read the news, browse some blogs and also on-line shopping.

I see my daughter a couple of times a week when she's not working, and briefly when she picks up our grandson.

We've started going out to the pub for the odd meal, and we both love walking and exploring our new area. When it's raining I'm quite happy indoors, planning our next steps for the house, reading and watching television.

All this comes after a difficult few years when I was very depressed. Missing my only daughter and finding it hard to find meaning in my life. The move has been the best thing ever. However I am very aware that looking after my grandson is time-limited and it's important for me to have other outlets and hobbies.

Urmstongran Sun 16-Aug-20 08:41:31

Read. (a lot) Waste time on here (joke - it’s pleasurable). Eat out. Drink wine. See friends and have a laugh. Avoid COVID news (to keep my sanity). Enjoy the Spanish sunshine when I’m here but equally enjoy my family (putting up with rainy Manchester!) when I’m home.

A little light dusting when I’m bored (which isn’t very often!)

I ❤️ my life.

Jaxjacky Sun 16-Aug-20 08:53:35

My husband still works, when I took early retirement four years ago, we spent three years living in France for 6-8 months of the year, in the winters I was a volunteer driver for a local community group.
I did have a p/t job for a year, but that ended soon after lock down. I grow veg in our back garden, had an allotment pre France that I gave up, 9th on the list for a new one now. I will look for voluntary work again later in the year. Meanwhile, having guided my late Mums estate through probate etc and with an inheritance I’m planning a kitchen renovation. Two grandchildren who, first time since Feb stayed over on Friday, stay in contact using WhatsApp with DH family in N Ireland, online grocery orders, allotment forums and just finished a course of Zoom counselling that’s been of huge benefit to me.
We lost internet a couple of weeks ago for 12 hours, I was bereft! We visit local pub 2/3 times a week, very much a local, so catch up with friends.

Franbern Sun 16-Aug-20 08:54:49

Itsawelshthing must have access to some technology in order to be on here. Mentioned not having a smart phone - not sure how that relates.
Surely, most of us, when we first retire take on some sort of charity work. I did that, - eventually, did find that too much for me and as I now really enjoy taking life very much easier, am quite happy at not having any specific committments each day.

Elegran Sun 16-Aug-20 09:00:52

Well, where to start.

The house does have to be cleaned every so often, just as it does before you retired. Possibly more often as it doesn't sit empty and clean for most of the day. That doesn't take very long unless you are OCD and want everything absolutely spotless at all times.

Outside is the garden, where weeds are appearing hourly and growing 24/7 so you could get some exercise and fresh air and at the same time get it ready to sit out in the sun with a cuppa or a glass or two and a good book.

Talkng of books, you can borrow electronic copies of books from the library, downloaded onto the same device you used to post the question at the head of this thread, and if you have/buy a Kindle you can also buy them online from Amazon at about 99p each, or even free if you enjoy the ones available.

You could learn a new craft, or do some more of one you know already. There are thousands of videos on Youtube with ideas to set you going and detailed demonstrations with closeups of how to do it.

Online learning need not involve studying as you remember it from school, working through dull books and memorising a lot of stuff to be examined on later. There are free online courses on absolutely everything, from Algebra (that does require a bit of concentration!) to Zumba, and the descriptions of them make it quite clear what level of knowledge is being assumed and how long you can expect to have to devote to it. Two or three hours a week are about the average, and you can start from a condition of complete ignorance or add to something you are already well-up on.

The courses usually have a lot of short videos that can be paused and rerun, short talks by experts in their fields, quizzes so that you see whether you understood and a forum to chat to others who have joined. The whole thing can be done in short bursts whenever you have time and feel like it. Examples of providers are Futurelearn and Coursera, but if you do an online search for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) you will find tons. There are subjects and levels to suit everyone.

The above covers just some of the things you can do in your own home, on your own.

Go out of your garden gate and find somewhere to volunteer, where you can use whatever you did while working, to help others in need or in distress or who are unable to do things for themselves. You could raise money for a local or national charity, improve your neighbourhood, walk a dog for someone housebound or at work, teach English to an incomer woman who is unable to meet and chat with neighbours in this new language and needs to understand new customs.

You could find part-time work doing something far removed from what you did at work, meet people you would never have bumped into normally. You could become a teaching assistant in a nursery class, stack shelves in the supermarket, serve behind the counter in a corner shop.

You could organise tea and cake for a few lonely retired people like yourself, where you could all chat once a week. That could be the only time some of them saw anyone else face-to-face - which sounds like your own situation, as you appear to have no contact with anyone except on your phone.

If there isn't anything there that gives you ideas, ask the friends you are (or would be) phoning all day. Perhaps they have solved =your problems for themselves already. If they haven't they might welcome your suggestions.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sun 16-Aug-20 09:08:26

Many of us devices of some sort or we wouldn't be on this forum, would we? However,I don't want to be glued to my screen.

Hobbies are the thing OP. Housework is a drag and I do the bare minimum that is needed to be clean, happy and safe.

I spend more time doing what makes me happy - reading, sewing, watching telly and a bit of titivating the garden in short bursts. What is boredom, exactly?

Humbertbear Sun 16-Aug-20 09:12:13

I read, I walk, I do an exercise video, I paint (and used to go to classes), I hope to eventually be able to visit galleries and theatres again, I collect stamps, lunch with friends, travel (oh, please!), I cook healthy dishes and make my own bread, I garden. At the moment I talk to friends round the country on zoom as we can’t visit. My mother is 99 and lives near by so some of my time is spent with her. If I had any free time I would volunteer for a local charity which works with the homeless. Local hospitals always need volunteers to as do primary schools.
I have advised a few people to join their local U3A. If you do that you would have a different activity to attend every day of the week.

Charleygirl5 Sun 16-Aug-20 09:16:11

I retired 18 years ago and did not enjoy it so I found 3 very part-time jobs which were great until I broke my ankle in 2009.

I have met really nice people on GN and in normal times each group (2) meets monthly for coffee, lunch or whatever. I do miss that at present.

I email and ring friends and I am afraid that many things are now done manana.

I spend too much time on GN- my cat makes me get out of bed each day and I do enjoy the thought I do not have to go to work and that is even now.

Lovely to lie in bed mid-January, hear diligent neighbours scraping cars to go to work knowing I can laze around and allow the snow/frost to go when the sun comes out and melts it.

I also do not understand where a smartphone comes into the equation.

If I was not semi computer literate I would read more and maybe do more housework but the last remark is debateable.

Aldom Sun 16-Aug-20 09:17:22

Spangler You suggested OP joins a church choir. At the present time, due to C19 choirs are no longer allowed to sing in church, or anywhere else. No congregational singing either.

henetha Sun 16-Aug-20 10:07:09

It's over twenty years since I retired and I have hardly ever been bored. The world is full of interesting things to do and see. And I make full use of modern technology which I enjoy very much.

Doodledog Sun 16-Aug-20 10:59:15

The OP didn't say she doesn't have a smartphone, but that she doesn't want to be on it all day. I'm not sure how someone could be on a phone all day, but that's not really the point.

I tend to get up late by many people's standards, as I am a night owl. If I wake early(ish) I read the news, catch up on social media of various types and check emails from my bed, then get up and have breakfast.

Pre-lockdown, I had some sort of appointment most days - I teach and attend classes, I belong to groups, or I meet friends for coffee/lunch. These days, I do some of that via Zoom, and catch up with paperwork etc. I used to get exercise in the form of pilates classes, but they are cancelled now, and I am becoming very unfit.

Then I'll cook something for the main meal (again, pre-lockdown that might have been eaten out, but now it's just me and my husband), and maybe do a chore or two in the house, or do an online shop.

Throughout a lot of this I am listening to music, or if what I am doing doesn't require concentration I might listen to an audiobook instead.

Some days I catch up with what I have recorded on TV, or watch a film on Netflix or Prime. I also read (partly for work and also for pleasure), knit, write and do crosswords.

Nothing out of the ordinary or exciting, and nothing retirement-specific either. I think that most people carry on doing what they enjoyed while working. We just have a bit more time to do it, although that time is soon filled to the point where we have none left.

MawB Sun 16-Aug-20 11:09:22

Just had to laugh at the thread title- “Anyone retired?”

On a site like Gransnet, hmmhmm Right.

Before I get shot down by all you Grans who are still working...I know , but still, it’s not going to get an overwhelming “ No” is it?
Now, what shall I do now? Ironing, cleaning, phoning someone ? Actually , living alone, that last one is not such a bad idea!
Walk the dog, do a bit in the garden, read a book, chat to a friend? Before lockdown it might have been pop down to London for an exhibition, have friends to Sunday lunch,or meet up for a pub lunch, visit any of the children and grandchildren, or <whisper> put my feet up!

glammanana Sun 16-Aug-20 11:29:22

I just don't know how I found the time to go to work before retirement.