A quick post today to give myself some accountability in the future. I spend a lot of time thinking about what life will be like once I no longer have to work. So many of my thoughts begin, “When I’m retired…..”
Time to put my money where my mouth is. These are some of the ways that my life will change for the better once I no longer have the stresses and strains of a full-time job.
I use my phone for many things, so I have no intention of eliminating it altogether. Reading the news in bed each morning with the first coffee of the day is one of life’s simple pleasures (and no different to reading a newspaper). Checking bank and investment account balances, managing my rentals, listening to podcasts while I walk the dog or to the radio while I cook – life would be very different without it.
But the incessant checking of email can and will be a thing of the past. Without the constant work email, that should be quite easy. Scrolling through Twitter 5 times an hour and revisiting the news sites several times a day might be a more difficult habit to break!
“When I am retired…” I am determined that the extra precious time I have on my hands won’t be lost to more scrolling through cyberspace.
Lack of Exercise
My dog ensures that I do at least walk for 40 minutes a day, probably more than the average office slave. But I don’t do any form of exercise that raises my heart rate or leaves me out of breath. I couldn’t run to the end of the road without getting a stitch. As I get older, I worry more about
everything my lack of fitness and what that could mean for both longevity and quality of life.
I recently took advantage of my employer’s generosity and signed up for a free annual gym membership. “When I am retired….” I will actually use it 😊 I plan to go to a fitness class regularly – at least 3 times a week.
Too Much Fast Food
Generally speaking, I cook from scratch. On Saturday I plan what we will eat for the following week and order the shopping; on Sunday the Tesco’s delivery angel arrives and I cook 2 or 3 meals for the week in advance.
It is a system that works well most of the time. The in-between days will either be leftovers or things that need to be prepared on the day. And that’s most often when I will trip up. I may have had a long and stressful day at work and more often than I care to admit – the takeaway is the easier option.
“When I am retired…..” there will be no excuse for not planning enough time to cook each day. Takeaways or meals out will be for special occasions.
Too Much Sugar
Closely related to the fast food is my sugar habit. I blame it on being at work / being stressed – but this is just an excuse. Nobody needs to eat the entire packet of biscuits, I am just a glutton who doesn’t know when to stop. I will be at home far more with access to plenty of healthier options. “When I am retired…..” I will find a way to curb my chocaholism 😊
Using Alcohol to Relax
Sometimes (more often than not) when I get in from work, I pour myself a drink before I even take off my shoes. It has become a habit; a signal to myself that the work day is over and my free time has begun. After dinner I’ll have another 2 or 3 or even 4. I don’t drink to get drunk, just to numb that anxiety that lives with me every weekday.
Often, when I go to the fridge to top up my drink, I help myself to a few squares of chocolate. I don’t even think about it. I probably consume as many calories each evening as I do during the day. “When I am retired……” I will lose the anxiety and I will be mindful of my alcohol consumption.
Putting Off Friends and Family
I’m not a naturally sociable person, I am an introvert and I relax and recover by being alone. I am never happier than when I’m locked away at home with me, myself and I.
But it’s a fine line between using introversion as an excuse and being selfish. Sometimes on a Saturday morning the doorbell will ring and I know it is a friend at the door. Sometimes, I don’t answer it and I keep perfectly still until they’ve gone away. (I know, I’m a terrible person 🙁). Yes I feel guilty, but I do it anyway and I blame it on work. I tell myself my free time is precious and I need to protect it.
My extended family live 200 miles away – a perfectly reasonable drive for a weekend visit. Ask me how many times a year I make the effort. The answer is maybe once or twice. My parents aren’t getting any younger; my nieces and nephews are growing up. I miss being a more active part of my family.
“When I am retired…..” I will make time for my family and friends.
I am a busy person with a career, a family, a household to run, a dog to walk, rentals to take care of, writing in my free time and a million other things always on the to do list. But aren’t we all busy? I am not unique – the pace of our lives is so frenetic at times it seems relentless.
I use busyness as an excuse for not getting things done. When we get back from a holiday, the suitcases remain unpacked on the spare bed for weeks. I notice that the cutlery drawer needs a clean but I don’t do anything about it. I have a cupboard full of things I plan to sell on eBay.
Putting things off ultimately just leads to more stress as the backlog of things to do gets bigger and bigger. “When I am retired…..” I can get some s**t done!
What are the things you want to eliminate when you reach early retirement or what things do you want to introduce? If you are already retired – what changed?