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Retirement! It conjures up all sorts of images. Recliner chairs, grey nomads, endless cups of tea, lawn bowls, afternoon naps and $10 roast nights at the local club – just to name a few! Until I reached a certain age this is how I pictured retirement because this basically describes my parent’s or even my grandparent’s retirements. How times have changed! I’ve asked some of my fellow retired bloggers to help me out in a collaborative post about keeping busy in retirement. I think you will be surprised with some of these responses.
Even in retirement, the days are too short
When I started talking about retirement, people would often ask, ‘But what will you do?’
The glorious answer to that is simple: whatever I want!
And now I’m here, it’s bloody marvellous, and quite, quite busy. So busy I’m putting strategies in place to help me use my time more effectively and get more done. The eternal list-maker still makes lists in retirement.
So what do I actually do? Firstly there’s the (big) kids and the grandkids, which is delightful but very time consuming. Helping, playing, hanging out, all with the luxury of time so there’s no stress and no pressure to be somewhere else. There’s time for travel, discovering this country and more of the enormous world beyond, and even being a tourist in my home town; there’s gym, long walks, movies, and visiting friends and family, coffee dates, sunsets to capture, and good food to enjoy.
I also spend great wads of time recording my favourite things in words and pictures, sometimes sharing that around as my alter ego @BoomingOn. Now that’s a time consuming endeavour—I think I need a whole new life to have time to contend with just photography and writing.
And that’s not even considering the ‘one day I will’ list—take piano lessons, learn bridge and tackle the piles of unread books, just for a start. Even in retirement, the days are too short. Way too short.
Retirement is akin to protirement!
I think for me, keeping busy in retirement is akin to protirement.
When I worked I was involved in writing and promotion, and I still do that, but these days I call the shots and sing to my own tune!
I really love what I do, and to tell you the truth on the days I’m not writing and creating I get pretty grumpy.
Facebook and Instagram take up a lot of my time too, so too does my blog Lifestyle Fifty, all of which have become hobbies gone mad to a certain degree. I love learning about and trialling new Apps, and in my old age have become much more of a Geek than I used to be.
Apart from my creative pursuits other things that keep me busy are my family and friends, walking every morning, bicycling, reading, spending time with my hubby, and getting involved in charity fundraisers with our Rotary Club.
I’m busy being “unbusy” and loving it!
Retirement is still very new for me; I wasn’t planning on retiring until my mid-60’s, but after an unexpected curve ball, I left my job in February with no idea about whether I’d be able to be “retired” without going crazy. Since then, I’ve discovered that being happily retired means discarding the “busy” mentality that’s so popular and swapping it for being delightfully “unbusy”. This means that I choose to do what makes my heart happy and discard the rest – it’s such a relief!
I’ve found the I never get bored and my days glide pleasantly along. I walk daily, do a Wednesday exercise class, and weekly Tai Chi. I also volunteer as a mentor at our local primary school. The rest of my week is flexible (such a nice change from the structure of work!) I coffee with a friend or two, read, do jigsaws, write blog posts, read other blogs, save pretty pics on Pinterest, pat my cats, do some household stuff, and generally live life on my own terms. I’m busy being “unbusy” and loving it!
I smile….a lot!
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age has asked for a few words about keeping busy in retirement and I’m happy to offer up some words from one of most popular posts – it’s one of those posts that just keep getting views!
Since being made redundant in December 2016 my days have changed dramatically. My days now consist of a few main activities:
There is life after retirement.
Retirement has allowed me to craft my own life
The joy of retirement for me is having the choice to do what I want (within reason) and at my own pace, rather than having my time management driven by external forces. Retirement has allowed me to craft my own life in a way that I have never before felt able to do.
These days I principally use my time to manage my blog and social media which comprise my business. Doing so means I am continually learning new skills and meeting new people; I love it. I am also spending a lot more time taking care of my health: exercising, preparing and eating good food, making sure all my routine checks are up to date, taking care of my mental and emotional health and getting plenty of sleep. Of course I also have domestic tasks that need to be completed, some things never change. On a perfect day I also get to relax by our pool.
Read more about keeping busy in retirement HERE
I simply love the freedom and the choices retirement offers
I cannot believe it, but I have been retired 3 years! The time has simply flown.
For the first 2 years we lived a nomadic lifestyle travelling Australia in our caravan. This was a busy and very fulfilling time. We were continually moving and exploring new destinations. We most definitely had no time to be bored.
Since September 2018 we decided we needed a home base. Yes, travel remains one of our top “things to do” in retirement. But, having a home has tied us down. Planning and organising home renovations has kept us busy…. well sort of. Too often we seem to be busy waiting! Waiting for quotes, a tradesman, council approval… But, really, this frustration is only a hiccup.
Retirement has been a time of discovery for me. I’m busy doing many things I never ever guessed I would do. I’m writing a blog (which really keeps me busy), become a house sitter, attend French classes, joined a camera club, attend yoga, and walk at least an hour per day. Then there is travel, family, friends and just daily life.
Am I too busy? No. I simply love the freedom and the choices retirement offers.
It is important to embrace the future with something that brings joy and purpose
Our first trip as a couple without children was a week-long winter stay in Sydney. It was an inspiring eye opener for our future retirement.
After scouring blogs when planning trips, first to the south island of New Zealand and then a one-month sojourn in Vietnam, I decided to pay it forward by starting a blog of my own.
Budget Travel Talk came into being.
Travel blogging opened a world of researching, photo editing, writing and on-line friendships. Owning a travel blog meant I could manage my work/life balance perfectly leading up to retirement.
Blogging is not for everyone, but I feel it is important to embrace the future with something that brings joy and purpose.
After 60 years living in Townsville, our long held plan of living on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, came to fruition. Living in Retirement deserves a well thought out plan.
We couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful area to explore in our caravan and it’s close proximity to Brisbane offers cheap airfares to places like Hobart.
The promise of travel opportunities and new adventures keeps me feeling positive and happy in retirement.
There are so many opportunities I am loving the retirement life
Whoever said life in retirement was boring certainly wasn’t getting out and making the most of all the opportunities out there. I was amazed when a retiree I knew advised me not to stop work because she was so bored in retirement she went back to work! Seriously? Like many other recent retirees I know, life for me has never been so busy, I have never regretted retiring, and I don’t know how I previously had time to work.
When I was given redundancy back in April 2014, I looked on it as a positive and called it early retirement. An exciting new future had opened its doors for me where I could explore interests in my life which working and family commitments had kept on the back burner.
So life for me now includes travel, bush-walking, photography, writing, eco-dyeing, Spanish dancing, paper flower making, volunteering in our local school library, relief work as a teacher-assistant, running a few workshops, promoting my art at a few markets, more time to spend with grandchildren and family, and exploring arts that interest me….they all interest me!… There are so many opportunities I am loving the retirement life.
Retirement brings with it a sense of freedom
I actually retired five years ago when my husband and I decided to travel around Australia in our caravan for 7 months. Once we returned home I felt a little bored so decided to seek part-time work and fortunately I found a writing job where I could work from home with flexible hours. However earlier this year I made the decision to retire from this job as I was feeling over-stretched, suffering from some health issues and felt ready to take it easy.
Prior to retiring I created a plan for myself that included all the things I wanted to do but never had a chance to do when I was working. Things like spending more time with friends and family, pursuing hobbies and interests, travelling more, focusing on my health and volunteering with a charity were high on my list.
For me retirement brings with it a sense of freedom for the first time in my long working life. I no longer have to work to a clock or answer to anyone, and basically I can do whatever I want whenever I want.
After a month of being retired I’ve barely had time to scratch myself because I have been busy leading the life I’ve always wanted. As a consequence I’m a much happier and relaxed person and feel that I have so much to look forward to in my golden years.
How do you feel about retirement? Do you think you’ll have plenty to keep you busy?
If you’re struggling with coming to terms with retirement you can always seek professional help in the form of online counselling with BetterHelp.com. Making professional counselling accessible, affordable, convenient – so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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