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Routine or Freewheeling in Retirement?

(53 Posts)
Sidelined Mon 05-Jun-23 12:00:18

When I retired some time ago I was glad to ditch the routines and relished the freedom to freewheel. It works for me most of the time but not always. I hate having things on the calendar and am so glad when it’s done! Post-lockdown I’m finding it harder to motivate myself - I know it’s not just me. So I’m wondering do you maintain a tight routine or are you happy not to? And why does your way work for you?

kittylester Mon 05-Jun-23 12:07:01

We aim to have a mix of volunteering, socialising (both independently and together) and doing nothing. Inevitably stuff crops up on the nothing days. I love to be busy but relish the odd day with nothing in the diary.

My mum used to say that it's good to have something to hang one's week on.

Doodledog Mon 05-Jun-23 12:18:15

We go away a lot - nothing flash, but we have a caravan/lodge that we can go to whenever we fancy, so long-standing routines don't work for us.

I have a few social commitments that I stick to - things that happen monthly or less frequently, and we come home for those, and take the opportunity to catch up on washing and other chores. I tend to arrange things like hair appointments around the social things, so that there is more 'free time' to use as we please.

I still work, but part-time, and what I do can be done remotely, so that doesn't get in the way. I don't think I would take a job that required any sort of regular attendance now.

When my pension kicks in I might give up working altogether (or I might not, but there will be that option) and when/if that happens I will look into doing volunteering so long as it can be done on Zoom or otherwise online. I'm not sure what form it would take, but I have a lot of transferable skills that could be used by someone.

I suppose I like a mixture of spontaneity and commitment. Not having to set the alarm is absolutely non-negotiable though grin.

biglouis Mon 05-Jun-23 12:23:23

I run an online business so to some extent I have a daily "list" of tasks to get done. However for most of them it doesnt really latter whether I do them at 9 am or 9pm.

I do prefer routine and the ability to get on with work when I decide to do it. I make it very difficult for anyone to visit me if they are not specifically invited. I just re-connected the foorbell after having it off for the entire weekend but only because Im expecting the Fedex courier today. Once hes been the bell will get disconnected again.

Random callers can go elsewhere.

ParlorGames Mon 05-Jun-23 12:34:32

I used to volunteer.....until the woman in charge stabbed me in the back in the cruelest, destructive way imaginable. I was in such a dreadful state that I considered taking my own life.

But I rose above her disgusting, manipulative lies and I now focus my energies elsewhere. This is my life and my retirement, if I don't feel like socialising then I don't. I have a lovely group of friends who are of a similar frame of mind - we get together when we want to and check up on one another regularly. We all know who we can rely on.

ginny Mon 05-Jun-23 13:21:09

A little bit of both for us. We have routines for clubs or associations we belong to. Otherwise we seem to go with the flow in relation to outings, visits and holidays.
Certainly no routines as to housework which is done as and when needed or there is nothing better to do. Likewise with meal times, depends what we are doing on any given day

3dognight Mon 05-Jun-23 13:57:37

I prefer not to have a strict schedule, however I have a rough idea of what I want to get done that particular week, it’s all in my head. Also depends on how much energy I’ve got on any particular day!

If you have a partner could you discuss what your plans for the day involve?

My and my DH discuss the day over a cup of tea in bed first thing.

twinnytwin Mon 05-Jun-23 14:05:03

The only planned routine we have each week is looking after DGD (2 years) twice a week and I love my monthly sewing group. That's it. DH likes a little project in the garden or house but I love to spend my time in my sewing room. I love retirement!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 05-Jun-23 14:08:16

I think I sort of freewheel within my routine, if you understand me. I have small, mundane routines, such as preparing brunch and evening meals first thing each morning, making the bed etc, but I'm pretty lax with other things. In fact I'm a downright slattern when it comes to the rest of the housework.

Georgesgran Mon 05-Jun-23 14:09:43

On my own, I have a bit of both.
I pick up DGS1 from school on Wednesdays, so every second week, before that, I treat myself to lunch and a wander around Newcastle. That same evening, I then take my Granddog from DD2 and have him from Wed evening to Friday morning. It makes me get some exercise, but he’s no bother left, if I want to pop out. That’s sort of set in stone, as are pre-made appointments for hair, teeth, nails and feet! Other than that I can do as I please - I do meet a friend every week and fall in with her plans, because she has major family commitments.
I must admit I have a large calendar on the kitchen door and have to refer to it most days!

MrsKen33 Mon 05-Jun-23 14:17:47

Retirement. Do what you want, where you want and how you want. Suits DH and me,

Redhead56 Mon 05-Jun-23 14:30:15

Since retirement I absolutely hate timetables and alarms (but some are necessary). I consider my time my own and if I have a job to do in the house or garden it's done when I feel like.
My DH has his volunteer job and potters about with his hobbies he does like a routine. We visit our family to fit in with their timetables as they all work and children are at school.
I like it when my DH says shall we go for a drive usually to a nice pub he has a pot of tea I have a pint. It's spontaneous and not planned it's what suits me best.

Sidelined Mon 05-Jun-23 15:28:43

I’m a bit of a daydreamer, happy to sit staring out at the garden, or reading, or writing and there are days when I hardly move. I don’t mind but that old nagging voice gets to work guilting me for not ‘doing stuff’ but I’m not sure what I’m meant to be doing! OH is just like me so spontaneous doesn’t happen here, any decision about leaving the house requires three committee meetings and a referendum and then we aren’t sure grin Thanks for your feedback, sounds like everyone has it sorted and long may it continue!

NannyJan53 Mon 05-Jun-23 15:38:16

We have some routine, ie gym, walking groups (for me) cycling group for him.

Then there is u3a, and meeting friends now and then. Then I pop over to Mums once or twice a week, as she is 93 and lives on her own.

We have a touring caravan, so away in the summer in that, or holidays abroad. We often wonder how we found time to go to work!

What with reading, housework and the garden most days are filled.

AGAA4 Mon 05-Jun-23 16:11:57

ParlorGames for someone to make you feel that bad is unforgivable 💐

pascal30 Mon 05-Jun-23 16:23:14

There's a real spaciousness to every day and I do whatever appeals on the day..

Sidelined Mon 05-Jun-23 16:46:59

Pascal30 - ‘spaciousness’ - I love that description, it’s so right! There is just so much day now there are no kids, no pets, no job, no college to cope with grin

maddyone Mon 05-Jun-23 16:55:36

After we retired our first grandchildren (twins) were born, and then a year later our son adopted a little boy. The consequence of this was that we were very busy helping our children and with childcare. Then two years ago our daughter and her family relocated to New Zealand where they now live and work at the moment. Our other grandson is now nearly eleven years old and lives about 45 minutes drive from us, although they come to their weekend house most weekends and so we see him most weekends. The change to our lives since our daughter left has been enormous as we did care for the children several days a week. I don’t like this change. I miss our grandchildren and daughter so much. She says she wants to come back but her husband won’t allow her to bring the children home (he’s now her ex husband.) We still have our sons and grandson nearby though and we spend most weekends with them.

Witzend Mon 05-Jun-23 17:04:01

No routine, I do what I feel like, when I feel like it. I don’t mind the odd day with several things timetabled - usually when we have adult guests or Gdcs, but I would not want it any more often. But I don’t mind admitting that I’m basically a lazy baggage.

AGAA4 Mon 05-Jun-23 17:05:43

I finished work 10 years ago but looked after my GCs 3 days a week until I was 73.
Now most days are an adventure unless I have a social occasion to attend. I please myself and do whatever I feel like and go where the fancy takes me.

tanith Mon 05-Jun-23 17:06:58

I’m on my own don’t have a schedule at all if something comes up I’m usually free to do it. I have a coffee meet up monthly and occasional lunch with family or friends. Babysitting any little ones in the family falls to my daughters now the Grt Grandchildren are coming along which frees me from babysitting I can go along and enjoy them without the responsibility.

foxie48 Mon 05-Jun-23 18:04:21

I like to be busy and have a regular activity or two on most days. My mantra for a happy life is to have something I am looking forward to doing every day, doesn't have to be anything fancy just something I enjoy. I mop up a lot of spare time in the garden if the weather is suitable or messing about with my paints on the kitchen table whilst listening to a podcast + I always have a book or two on the go if I fancy a sit down. I've also got several groups of friends whom I meet for a meal on a regular basis. However, I don't get up early and I like to go to bed at about 09.30 to read. We're all different and I feel very fortunate to be quite well for someone in my mid 70's so I certainly wouldn't judge anyone who preferred a less busy life, each to their own!

LRavenscroft Mon 05-Jun-23 18:11:50

I find I need a bit of a schedule or else I would slob around all day. I sort of package it into chores, reading, gardening, a bit of TV and socialising with nice people. I also belong to a couple of groups but keep a very low profile as, having total burnout after looking after my parents for ten years, I am learning how to breathe again so am taking it very slowly.

Kim19 Mon 05-Jun-23 19:29:57

I do lots of lovely lunches but I also enjoy my 'free' days very much particularly in this wonderful weather when I spend most time pottering in the garden. Just wonderful......

tickertape Mon 05-Jun-23 20:46:52

I am very much like Sidelined. Her post (above) might have been written by me.

I absolutely love having no structure to my days now I am retired. I am happy with simple pleasures and can do 'nothing much' (puzzles, reading, writing, computer stuff, pottering, enjoying the garden) quite contentedly.

I am however quite impulsive and will hop in the car and drive to places not too far away that I don't know well, or convince husband we need to hop on a train to nearby towns and have lunch somewhere different. I like to explore.

I see friends for lunch or coffee every now and then, and we see our children and grandchildren when it fits in with their busy lives. Again, that suits us. We often plan a few days away at a hotel every couple of months and enjoy eating out. Little treats, and we indulge a lot now, determined to make the most of our active years, and spend our fairly meagre savings. We have both felt the aches and pains of old age catching up with us, so we are doing what we can while we can.

Neither of us are people who join things: we don't like having to do things regularly on certain days. Housework gets done when I feel like it, although I do like a nice home so tend to keep on top of jobs by doing a little bit here and there (when the impulse takes me.)

A day with absolutely nothing on the calendar is, for me, absolute bliss. I am 'busy doing nothing, as the song goes. '