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aloha2009

What Do You Do With ALL Your Free Time

aloha2009
11 years ago

My DH and I both still work full time. Remodeling the whole house fills up a lot of our free time (we do find time for fun). I wonder sometimes that when we eventually finish it (it will take us quite awhile) and retire what we will do to fill up our day. There is a LOT of time that we devote to both work and remodeling that we would need to fill up. I have several things in mind, but I don't know about 16 hours a day worth of things.

For those that are currently working full time, and your kids have moved out, how do you spend the approx 36 waking hours on the weekend?

For those that are retired and have every day to do as you wish, how do you spend 16 hours of your day, everyday.

Comments (40)

  • ellendi
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is something on my mind as well. DH has been retired from his "day" job for almost ten years. However, we own rental properties and this can be a full time job in itself sometimes. I have two part-time jobs that are fun and not career oriented. . One is a five woman offfice, the other I work with fourteen other woman.
    My husband hates the cold and we have rented a condo in Florida for a year. Really just planning on using it for the colder months. I thought he was OK with going down alone and I would go down four weeks out of the year.
    But, this has not worked out. It is lonely for him. He has had some company during one trip but he does not want to be in the position to entertain every time he goes.
    I promised that I would quit my jobs in two years. But, I am worried. I like having a schedule and seeing and working with interesting and nice woman on a daily basis.
    I too am concerned about how I will fill up my time. There are just so many lunches and exercise classes one can attend.
    I volunteered in scouting for twelve years and I really don't want to volunteer just to fill up time.
    I am interested inseeing how others have tranitioned from a scheduled life style.

  • trailrunner
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have been retired since Sept 2005 and DH retired May 2010. It is amazing how the day gets away LOL. Here is a typical week day:

    6:30 AM wake up
    7:00 AM meditate for 30-45 min together
    8 AM...coffee and talk and listen to NPR
    9:30 AM take the free community bus to the gym
    Noon: home again and lunch and then we each do what we want. He plays the piano and clarinet and I garden and read or clean some of the house or whatever...meet someone for lunch..I like and need a lot of quiet time.

    late afternoon: 45 min. meditation together
    5 PM - sit on the porch and listen to the carillon bells from the local church in the next block...sometimes we have a glass of wine .
    then we fix dinner together and eat and listen to music. Then reading in the evening till bed...DH plays piano some more and reads.Bed is usually 9:30 PM or so.

    We break this up with volunteering at the local Food Bank and trips out of town for the day to bike and run , or longer to camp. We love to camp in FL in the Winter. We have also started going on retreats together. We also don't always go to the gym together so that we each get time in the house alone which is really really important. You can't be in each other's pockets all the time :) I have my big bicycle trip each Summer and DH goes somewhere too and then we meet up and do the rest of the Summer together.

    Hmm...we lead a pretty quiet life I guess. One evening a week our meditation group comes here...that was tonight. On Sunday AM every week we go out to a group that meets near by. Some times we go to our UU fellowship on Sunday. That is pretty much it. We are very good at entertaining ourselves and don't do TV or magazines etc. Hope this helps. It is a great idea to think of how you are going to fill your time. We laugh and say there is never enough to do all we want. c

  • IdaClaire
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I work full time but don't have kids. I know the weekends are mine to do with as I please, but it doesn't seem like "free time" to me. Seems there is always a project that needs to be done around the house. Lately it's been painting each room and doing some other redecorating here and there. In addition to home/garden tasks, I work out, catch up with my mom about what we did during the week over the phone, sometimes visit with family/friends, read, watch a bit of tv, go to church, go out to eat, almost always need to stop in at Target or Petsmart. Occasionally I work at home for my job on my laptop, but not often. I play/cuddle with the cats.

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the time goes by from Friday evening to Sunday evening! There are so many projects I still want to work on, so many books to read. And I don't play my djembe or congas nearly enough either.

  • sheesh
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We never run out of things to do. After the kids were mainly gone, I worked part time for several years while Hub continued working in a high-pressure career. In '05, when hub was 65 and I was 57, we were both diagnosed with cancers within weeks of each other! Hub returned to work for a few months, retiring in August. I decided not to return to school at the last minute. We figured we didn't have much time left and didn't want to spend it working. As it turned out, we are both still here and enjoying every minute.

    Sometimes it amazes me that we still have so much to talk about, but we talk all day long. Hub has been studying Spanish, writes a lot of poetry, reads non-fiction. I have always loved garment reading, sewing and cooking, so I indulge those passions. We walk, read, goof off, eat good food mostly at home but sometimes out, visit with our kids & gkids and a few friends, take long rides, listen to music, watch old movies on tv.

    We have never been much for house projects, so, while I keep up appearances, I am pretty laid back about housekeeping (I love having small dinner parties a few times a year so I get busy and make it sparkle in the weeks before, but life is too short to spend much time on housework, and we can't afford a cleaning woman.)

    Since you are "house people" I know you will find plenty to do. We haven't been bored for one minute yet, and I don't think we ever will be. You'll be amazed at how fast time flies when you're having fun!

  • aloha2009
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Sherrman, what a wake up call to living the both of you had! It's wonderful that it ended so well.

    It's so enlightening as to how the day is filled. One hears so much about the transition from working to retirement that it has it's difficult points at times. It's such a major transition, it's nice to know some of what to expect.

  • tinam61
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We're not retired but look forward to that time. I never wonder if we will fill up our time. There is so much we like to do!! I work 3-4 days a week and my husband works 4-day work weeks, so we always have at least a 3 day weekend. We try to do regular cleaning, etc. in the evenings so we can have those days to play, but of course it doesn't always work that way. We usually have some type home project going on or bigger chores that sometimes fall over into days off. I've even been considering retirement as I have enough years in to do so, but so far haven't felt it's time. I like the social aspect of working and I like the extra money. Also, I think putting in a few more years will help my husband to retire earlier. Anyhoo - here are things we do in our "free" time and would continue when we retire: We love to go antiquing. We love day trips. We love to camp and will do much more of that upon retirement. I like to sew - if it is something for the house (curtains, pillows, etc.). My husband is a machinist/fabricator and he does some contract work, he will probably continue a bit of that. He has several pieces of machinery in our home workshop, and at the very least, he can enjoy "tinkering". We have a large yard and while I wouldn't say gardening is a hobby, we do enjoy keeping things up. We usually have a small veggie garden and enjoy that. We both are involved in community/volunteer work and definitely want to put more time into that. We enjoy taking our boat out, fishing (the Mr.), etc. We like long walks/hiking. Eating out, getting together with friends, etc. Or we are perfectly fine with spending a few hours just relaxing, reading, pretty much doing nothing! LOL We have family near and I still have my dad and grandmother and enjoy spending time with them. Hopefully just more time for the things we enjoy. Best of luck to you!!

    tina

  • Sueb20
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Can't speak for myself, but my dad retired at age 59, and my mom died unexpectedly soon after, so not only did he have free time suddenly, he also had no one to share it with. His friends rallied around him and got him to volunteer for various organizations. Meals On Wheels, calling the bingo numbers at the KOC, helping with dinners at the Elks Lodge, etc. It's been 17 years since then, and maybe 15 years ago Meals on Wheels offered him a (paid) job as an area coordinator, so he works 10-2 Mon-Fri, works out at the gym every afternoon, and is out at his other volunteer gigs 3-4 nights a week. He is 76 years old and has more energy then I do! Anyway, my point is, volunteering is a great way to use up some of your free time. It has been so great for my dad.

    If I were retiring (and I have a sorta-retired lifestyle since I work only part time and my kids are getting older, youngest is almost 11), I'd take a class in something I've always meant to learn -- an arts/crafts class, maybe a foreign language, cooking, whatever. Definitely exercise every day. Day trips, overnight trips, lunches with friends, read all those books I've been meaning to get to...

    This comes up once in a while because DH would like to retire when DD graduates from high school (he will be 58) and I keep telling him he'd better come up with some hobbies between now and then! I think he will still do some kind of consulting work, but the goal is to have more time to travel and spend most of the summers at our beach cottage.

  • kkay_md
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My husband and I work full time, and we are not near retirement age. Our kids are both in college. We make an effort to do something with friends every weekend (like dinner and/or movie), accomplish one big chore (there's always something that needs to be done), and take a hike or go to a museum or exhibit. We also have our usual rituals--Sunday NYT and Washington Post, walking the dog, that sort of thing. We usually both have multiple books that we are reading, the New Yorker magazine to keep up with, and endless errands and household tasks, it seems. Depending on the season, I tend the garden, a passion of mine. So, the weekends are very busy--never enough hours!

  • IdaClaire
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Something I am looking forward to (and hoping I have the funds to make happen!) in retirement is traveling. DH and I love to travel during my vacation time every year, and I so hope we can keep that up. There are so many places I'd love to visit! A big part of the fun of traveling is in the planning process, and that is something that keeps me very busy throughout the year as I'm focused on ironing out itineraries for upcoming trips. Over the past few years our travels have taken us overseas (or to Mexico), but there are also so many places I'd like to visit in the U.S. - some just a relatively short drive down the highway!

  • lynninnewmexico
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What wonderful, interesting, and relaxing things everyone does when they retire . . . or what they plan on doing when they retire! At this point in time, my DH has no plans to ever retire. He loves what he does, and gets great joy from it (he's a family practice doc). I've been lucky, because I don't have to work. I quit when I had DD 17 years ago. I don't have a housekeeper and spend my day cleaning this house, doing volunteer work, meeting up with my friends, reading, gardening, etc. I know that it sounds like a great life, and it is, but oh gosh, I would love the opportunity to spend more time with my sweet DH doing whatever. Traveling, gardening, taking classes together, hiking, camping, entertaining. As it is, we're up at 5:30AM and he's out the door M-F at 6:45 AM. We're lucky if he's home in time for dinner at 7:45PM. By 8:30 he's in his study making a few last patient phone calls and finishing up charts until 10:00. We usually have the lights out by 10:30PM. So, in essence, I have 2 1/2 hours of waking time with him, M-F. Probably a bit more on Friday nights, but still, although it's not good to envy others, I do envy that time you have with your own DHs. I'm blessed that he's a good, loving husband and father, but I doubt that I'll ever have the luxuary of "what do we retirees do together today?" until he's too old to do much of anything. I hope that I don't sound too whiney or ungrateful to you all; I guess this thread just made me sad.
    Lynn

  • tinam61
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm sorry Lynn! I can see where that would make you sad. Perhaps at some point you can talk your husband into working a shorter work week. That way he could have the best of both worlds! Many (most!!) doctors' offices around here are not open 5 days a week - or at least the individual doctors do not work 5 days a week.

    tina

  • trailrunner
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn, not sad but justifiably making a statement of how you feel. Have you sat down with your sweet and busy DH and told him what you just wrote ? In a sincere and loving way communicate exactly what you told us.

    I know so many Dr's and their wives and several lawyers and their wives and they are in the same situation as you are. The DH works till he drops...unfortunately that has literally happened.

    I hope I am not being too forward...I was just really moved by your post and you have always been so kind toward me. c

  • kkay_md
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn, my weekdays are like yours. My husband leaves the house around 7AM and doesn't get home until nearly 8PM on weekdays. I work long hours, too--because many of my clients are in CA and I'm on the east coast, I sometimes work until 8PM myself, although I have some flexibility as a consultant with a home office.

    But the weekends are (mostly) ours. We really try to have a plan in place by Friday to carve out time to be together and do something fun. You didn't say anything about your weekends, but perhaps you can make a concerted effort to set aside time to do something together then?

  • jillinnj
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn - maybe he can at some point cut back on hours but not actually retire? I have family members married to doctors and that's what they've done as they've gotten older. And, of course, they have the $$ for lots of traveling, which is wonderful.

    I cannot wait to retire. I have no fears about how to fill my time. There's never enough hours on the weekends to do all the things I'd like to do. Plus after working all week, I'm really exhausted on the weekends and don't get much done. Looking forward to doing all the chores during the week and having weekends for just fun. Before kids, we used to love to just drive somewhere and go to antique stores. Haven't been able to do that in years with kids that don't enjoy it and having their activities/sports schedules dominate the weekend.

    Plus all the house projects I'd like to do but don't have time for with working full time and kid's schedules.

    What I am trying to decide is if we'll stay in our house in the suburbs in NJ, or sell it and move into NYC. Of course, what I'd really like is to keep the house AND get an apartment in NYC so I have the house to escape to on summer weekends, but at this point, I don't see that happening.

    Interesting topic.

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn, my dh is not a doc, but he works in the medical field as a physicist, & keeps very similar hours to your dh's. He's such a hard-working guy who really cares about how he does things, & I appreciate that, AND I also know what it is like to live with a man who has a formidable work ethic!

    My dh often works more at home on the computer after dinner during the hours your dh is finishing calls & checking charts. Very, very similar. It's been this way all 24.5 years of our marriage. I learned about ten years into our marriage that I can ask my dh for anything under the sun, but don't ask him for more time. It's not that he's selfish with his time, but if he felt he could spend more time away from work & with me, he already would be. It puts some men on the defensive, makes them feel blamed, & stirs guilt in them to bring this subject up, in my experience.

    We wives of professional men are often called upon to work this all out for ourselves, yes? I know for the most part, you have made peace with it, but if you're like me, at times you lament not being able to keep what we may perceive as a more "normal" schedule & lifestyle.

    I had "a moment" one day recently when I noticed couples in my neighborhood regularly walking hand in hand as early as 4:00 in the afternoon! "I can't imagine!" I angrily huffed. Can't imagine being able to do anything on a weeknight evening other than cooking, eating, cleaning up & retiring for the day. Yes, I can get tripped up into thinking I am really missing out & feel glum. Then I realize, as I'm sure you do too, "It is what it is."

    Lynn, you aren't whiney or ungrateful...I know you aren't!
    We all have to try to remember that Life is in flux all the time & no scenario is always wonderful. When someone was pitying me once about dh's schedule, I said, "I'd rather have 20% of a man I want to be with 100% of the time, than 100% of a man I really only want to be with 20% of the time." That's one way to look at it!

    One day our husbands WILL retire (I think!) As well fed & loved as your dh is, I am sure he will still be in good shape to enjoy those retirement years with!

  • Sueb20
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I can relate! My DH leaves the house by 7:15 and I barely see him before he leaves, because I'm just getting my first cup of coffee. He gets home from work usually between 6:30 and 7:00, we eat dinner, he reads to DD before she goes to bed, and we maybe watch TV for an hour together before one of us goes to bed (or falls asleep on the sofa!). Fortunately his weekends are work-free and he is good at just hanging out. But his job is very intense and though he would like to retire early, I half-joke that he might have a stroke before then. He has had a few stress-related health issues in the last year and is trying to get a handle on that, but it's not easy.

    We have had a guy here trimming our back hedges this week, and he is always shocked that DH isn't home by the time he wraps up for the day, which is around 4 pm. I think my DH probably works a little longer day than most people I know, but in general, in our area I find that his work day is fairly typical. And I am glad he doesn't have to travel for work. I have a few friends who are married to consultants who travel almost every week, and I would hate that.

    We have been trying to go for a walk together on Sat. or Sun. afternoon (weather permitting), and it's kinda fun to have "daylight" time alone -- in general we're only away from our kids when we go out on a weekend night -- and feels like a hint of what life might be like when the nest is empty!

  • lynninnewmexico
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OMG, I think I just killed this thread with my not-so-positive response :~O
    I'm really sorry, Aloha. It is/was a very interesting thread. I did start out writing something positive but (sigh) my sadness kind of crept in there.

    Tina, thank you. DH has 2 P.A.'s working for him, seeing patients as well, and I am trying to nudge him towards taking an extra day off, as they can still be there to see patients, utilizing the office and the staff. You're right, I do need to talk with him again about this.

    Ann (Trailrunner) thank you so much for your kind concern. And, no, you're not being forward at all. You're right, I do need to sit down with him again and this time use your suggestion of a "sincere and loving way" to tell him of my (huge) concerns. In fact, you nailed them. Although he's in very good health, physically and mentally very active, he'll be (a young) 68 y/o next month. I worry constantly that he's just going to drop over from a heart attack some day and there goes the other half of my heart and my dreams of spending good stretches of relaxing fun time together with him in retirement.

    KKay, thank you. Yes, we do spend time together every weekend, although he still has hours of catch-up paperwork to do in his study. And projects around our home and property. We're both do-it-yourselfers and prefer not to hire out that kind of work. We had a good weekend together right before Thanksgiving replacing all the toilets in our house. I'm not being sarcastic; we really do enjoy those kind of projects together.
    Your own work schedules are pretty daunting, as well. Thanks for mentioning that. It helps me to realize that this is not just a "Lynn Problem", but one many couples have to work through.

    Sue: I agree, having a spouse who has to be gone traveling for part of every week would indeed be much tougher. Work-free weekends sound great. I'm glad you have that, at least. And, yes, that "daylight time alone" with your DH seems to be extra special, doesn't it? For me, too! We try to schedule "Saturday morning errand dates" together whenever we can. DD has chorale practice every Saturday morning and drives herself there. DH & I will group our errands together, like Lowes, Costco, and the recycling center and then go to lunch afterwards.

    Jill: Like you, I never get bored. Thank goodness for that, at least! It fascinates me to hear you talk about possibly retiring to NYC. I've never been there, but very much want to visit someday soon. I imagine there would be endless possibilities of things to do there every day of the year. As for my DH, I really need to talk with him about cutting back his hours. This eating dinner at 8PM is tough on everybody's digestive system and it gives him no real down-time to unwind before bed.

    Stinky: Yes, Yes, Yes!!! Everything you've said is exactly . . . exactly what I'm going through and how I feel! And I couldn't have said it better or more eloquently. Thank you for that.
    Yes, as much as I dislike the long hours DH works, I still totally admire his kindness, dedication and his work ethic. He gives his patients and his staff 110%. Because of that, he's very much loved and admired, not only by them, but throughout the entire medical community here. How can I fault that? I'm proud that he's in medicine to help and serve, not to earn big bucks and retire quickly. That's part of the reason I fell in love with him to begin with. We're celebrating our 29th anniversary this Sunday, and I've never once in all that time, regretted marrying him. And working in medicine for so many years before I married, I knew what I was getting into . . . somewhat, anyway. I've got the personality to be a good doctor's wife. I'm independent, never get bored, make friends easily, am good-humored and I'm strong. Thank goodness, because it's a tough job handling so much of the household and kid-raising by yourself, and not having a lot of couple time, as you already know. The loneliness is another thing, though.

    But, as you so wonderfully put it, "I'd rather have 20% of a man I want to be with 100% of the time, than 100% of a man I really only want to be with 20% of the time." I totally agree! In that, we're both blessed to have DHs we truly love and enjoy. Thanks for helping me to see that the glass really is half full.
    Lynn

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn, it was very nice of you to stop back & share further thoughts & write a little note to each of us who responded to your post. I really appreciate your kind words! Thank you.

    I doubt Aloha minded the detour her thread took! As in real life, our discussions here take interesting twists & turns.

  • jillinnj
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn - you have such a great attitude! I'm sure your DH knows that too and appreciates your support. I hope he does cut back his hours at some point in the not too distant future so that you can spend more time together, and then the glass can be ALL full :-)

    Sometimes I think I'm crazy for wanting to move into NYC (the noise, the crowds, the smells in the summer). Other times I think I'm crazy for still living in the suburbs (the snow, the having to drive everywhere, the never ending maintenance on the house and property). My DH grew up in NYC and I know he'd love to move back there. His parents still live in the same apartment he grew up in. I've come to the conclusion that retiring in the city would be so much easier. I think it's a good place to age. Don't need to drive. Can have anything and everything delivered. And so much to do. Only big downside is the cost. Although, I would miss coffee on the deck on nice spring/summer/fall weekend mornings. Hence the wanting the ability to keep the house too so I can have EVERYTHING!

    It was a REALLY REALLY big deal when DH and I were talking about getting married. I already had a child from a previous marriage so me moving into New York was not an option. First, I couldn't do it legally (ex would never approve and I don't blame him) and I didn't want to raise her in the city anyway. So, for us to get married, he had to move to NJ. It took him a long time to come to terms with that, but he finally did and we got married and he moved to NJ. Then we had DS, who plays baseball, and DH is his coach which he just totally loves. When I remind him about his reluctance to move to the 'burbs he says "yea, but you didn't tell me about the baseball". Anyway, I think once DS is out of the house (he's 11 now, and DD from previous marriage is 25 and on her own), DH would love to move back. We shall see...

  • trailrunner
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am glad you dropped back by Lynn. I am sure aloha is glad, as am I , that you felt so comfortable with us that you shared how you feel.

    The only thing that I would add is that there is nothing that a couple who shares the love that my DH and I share ,and it sounds like you and your DH too, can't talk about. Nothing.it isn't always easy but we are in this for the long haul and we care about each other so much. Sometimes we ALL need a wake up call. We get in to habits and behaviors and lose sight of what is really going on around us. I also think that it is easy to forget that we don't live forever. We think that "next year" we will slow down. It can be uncomfortable and may even cause some hurt or defensive feelings as SG said. But I don't think that is a reason not to talk...life is messy and not always comfortable :) I don't think anyone should work this out alone...nope. You are a couple and you walk the walk and talk the talk and that is the way it should be. Together you can have this talk too... (( )) from me to you . I admire your honesty. c

  • runninginplace
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am coming at this from another perspective. I wrote a pretty scathing response yesterday to you Lynn. Luckily I got distracted and deleted it :). However, that said, I have to say that there is a certain phrase that just makes me see red:

    "I've been lucky, because I don't have to work."

    That really set me off yesterday; *to me* it is a SAH shorthand that conveys the message that a woman with a family who works must absolutely be facing destitution if she doesn't earn some money. Because after all if you are lucky you won't 'have' to work. Is it also unlucky/unfortunate to work because you enjoy a career, or like supplementing the family income or are bored without a job or want to be sure your retirement is secure? Perhaps it is just my own sore spot but I wanted to get this out there. I've heard it so many times over the years and it has always bothered me. With that out of the way, I do have another point to make besides talking about a pet peeve of mine.

    Lynn, you have mentioned, most recently in a topic about cooking for your family, that you are aware of the impending change that is coming in your job as homemaker. Your youngest daughter is nearing college age and your life and duties are facing major changes.

    I might be way, way out of line but could some of your sadness about your husband's schedule be coming from a bit of wistfulness as you are about to be downsized from the job you've been doing fulltime for 17 years? Is it possible that somewhere deep down you might be a little bit envious that your husband has this passion for his work, work that isn't going to go away when the last child finally leaves for college?

    This also ties into the recent topics that have brought up such heartfelt thoughts from many women who are also facing changes in life and in the ways we spend our time. Retirement isn't just something that happens to those who are employed. Homemakers also face a huge shift in their role after the active child-rearing years end. So perhaps the question Lynn is really for you too: what will YOU do with your free time? How will you fill the days that have been taken up with domestic duties when that part of your family life is not so consuming?

    I believe we are all on our own journey but we certainly sometimes may be surprised to realize that we are walking along on the same road with so many others.

    Ann

  • natal
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I retired early as a result of downsizing. Could have found another job, but with dh's schedule (he's gone half the time) I opted to stay home and enjoy the time he was home instead of resenting it. Some days/weeks are busier than others. This is a relatively quiet time of year for us and I thoroughly enjoy that.

    Ann, I don't understand your "I'm lucky" peeve. I know I'm fortunate that I don't have to work.

  • tinam61
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You make some good points Ann, but I'm glad you deleted your "scathing" response to Lynn. Yes, I am one who works because I want to. Of course, the extra income is nice too!

    I agree with your thoughts on SAHM's "retiring" too. I saw the adjustment my mom went through when that happened to her.

    I would be very surprised if Lynn meant her remark in the way you took it.

    tina

  • PRO
    Diane Smith at Walter E. Smithe Furniture
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Aren't we all looking for that sweet spot? Filling out days as we wish and measuring our happiness by our own yardstick.

    I can't seem to find a consistent balance. When I don't work I eventually get bored and slightly depressed. When I do work, I yearn for the luxury of more free time, which I know will turn into boredom.....

    That's what gets me up in the morning though. I've had those sweet spot days, and I know how centered and happy they make me. I guess that's what I want my retirement to be like.

  • lynninnewmexico
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No . . . I didn't mean 'being lucky that I don't have to work" in a derogatory way. I've had 3 very lucrative careers between ages twenty and forty-two and enjoyed each of them. Did you know that in addition to being a Registered Radiologic Technologist who ran a hospital special proceedures department, I was also a newspaper reporter and then an editor? I haven't been just cruising along on DH's money, honest (LOL!).

    My pregnancy with DD was my very first . . . and my only one. I was told that I couldn't get pregnant. Our son, born ten years earlier, is adopted. Unfortunately I suffered through several months of preeclampsia and total bedrest trying to make it to 8 mos with her. I went blind, into kidney failure, had fluid in the sac around my heart,my blood pressure went thru the roof,and I gained 65 lbs of water weight because of the preeclampsia. I went eclamptic at 7 months and they had to do an emergency C-section to save the baby and myself. She weighed 2 lbs 14 oz, had a hole in her heart, hyaline membrane problems in her lungs and a double inguinal hernia that was starting to obstruct her bowel. We both made it, but it took a long, long time for us both to hit normal again. A couple of years for me. My sight came back when the swelling in my brain went down finally, but I was on antiseizure drugs for a while. I had to resign my job because of all this. Thankfully, I didn't have to go back to work, as DD was on an apnea monitor for almost a year. When we both were healthy enough for me to go back to work, I decided to stay home and raise her myself. They had to tie my tubes in the delivery room as my OB/GYN and the specialists concurred that I'd never live thru another pregnancy. It was too dangerous for me to ever get pregnant again and I don't believe in abortion. So, it was my last time to be a mom and I felt very grateful that I could be a SAH mom. I've loved every day of it, too. I think perhaps I should have said that I was grateful, not "lucky" that I didn't have to work. I was grateful that I had the choice. Another reason is that because of the totally irregular hours of his job, and having to run to the ER and make rounds 2-3 times a day at two hospitals, I could never count on him to be there to pick up the kids from school or watch them while I had to work late. Patients and their illnesses and emergencies come first. That's the way it is. And last, I'm a hands-on mom. I could have hired a nanny, but I just preferred to raise my own kids. Again, I feel grateful that I had that choice. A lot of women don't. A lot of women do choose to go back to work, too, and that's perfectly ok.
    I'm 8 years younger than my husband. If I can't him to retire or cut back a lot, I do plan on going back to work . . . for me. But because of his age, I would like some good years together while we can still get around. Back to work, I'd be low man and my days off and vacation times would be minimal and perhaps not work with DH's. Lots to think about. But, I truly apologize if I offended anyone by using the term "lucky". I'm "grateful" that I can make the choices. I'm also grateful to have some many good, good freinds here on this forum who understand and forgive my little goofs in wording as well as my awful typing and proof-reading.
    Lynn

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Trailrunner, "But I don't think that is a reason not to talk...life is messy and not always comfortable." No doubt about it...& I'm sure as heck not one to run from discomfort or messiness!

    I know you were addressing Lynn, & not me, but I would be willing to wager that that after 29 years of marriage, she's probably approached her husband about this, with all due respect.

    Life is not going to bend to our will. Sometimes we can't have what we'd prefer...it's really that simple in my view. Partners we are commited to may have schedules, obligations, interests, or other characteristics, that don't mesh with our "ideal."

    No matter how much we love our spouses, the truth is, no mate, no person, comes without a big catch! But isn't that why commited relationships are the best vehicle for growth? They make us stretch & mature & become more giving, generous people like nothing else can. (You've been married 41 years. I know I am preaching to the choir here, Trail!)

    Runninginplace, in my view to express gratitude for not having to work is nothing but appropriate. Taking a broader view, in the context of the planet's population, that is a very privileged position to be in, indeed. If one doesn't express gratitude for not be required to earn a living wouldn't that actually be quite arrogant & smack of a sense of entitlement?

    As far as feeling wistful about her husband's schedule, due to her children leaving home, I don't hear that, but I could be wrong. I don't hear her as "wistful" at all, but as genuinely sad, but also in full recognition that this is a cross she must bear. Life presents all of us with some of those. Lynn will have to comment, of course. I can't speak for her or anyone else.

    Adding to what I shared of my own experience, I can tell you that I also don't work outside the home & haven't during our 24.5 year marriage, & I have never had children. I know Lynn has children, & is a very devoted, engaged mom, but I also perceive that she has a very full sense of self & plenty of interests.

    In essence, wanting to spend more time with one's husband does not mean that there is a void of some sort! Even if Lynn adopted a child in the next few years, or started a career she was "passionate" about, I would imagine that the same desire for time with her husband would exist.

    Again, I can't speak for her, but my desire for more time with my husband has nothing whatsoever to do with what I do with the rest of my life.

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oops, there you are! Great! Now you can tell me how I mis-spoke for you if I did. LOL!

  • tinam61
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lynn - I don't remember every hearing (reading) about your pregnancy and all the problems! What a time you went through. I'm sure that did have a bearing on wanting to be home with your daughter. My mom was a stay-at-home mom most of the time (once we were in school she worked some part-time jobs that centered around OUR schedules). I am very thankful that she was home with us. I think your idea of going back to work (until you can persuade your husband to retire LOL), is a great idea! You could limit your hours too. It IS alot to think about and plan for!!

    tina

    ps - Oh and I never knew you'd worked as a reporter either!! Cool!

  • natal
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's a shame someone has to explain details of their life to quantify their reasons for life choices. Lynn, you're one classy lady!

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It mystifies me how the value of a person or a life, male or female, could ever be measured or evaluated in terms of earning power, or career path or investment of labor. No choice is better than another. A person, a life, shouldn't be measured or evaluated at all. People should just be loved & life should just be lived.

    I don't mean to brush off anyone's fascinating career history, but frankly, resumes are the least interesting things people can share about themselves, imo. If they aren't the least interesting details, well,...maybe they should be.

  • aloha2009
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow, this thread has done more twists and turns then I can keep track of. It was very interesting to read your posts, as I think I learned a lot about what is going on for others. This thread is like a conversation with my siblings, we start off on one subject and by the time we're finished, 20 others subjects came up.

    It's great that so many of you have enriched yourselves with a multitude of things. Thanks for all your input.

  • gsciencechick
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Trailrunner, I would love a retirement like yours. I
    sometimes wonder if I can do this job 20 more years! I am making a conscious decision to try to stress less about work, because, in the the end, you never wish you worked more.

    By the time we get home and have dinner, it's usually 7 p.m. or later. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time.
    I work more from home in the evenings vs. DH. I have grading, lecture prep, reports, etc. I don't work on Friday or Sat nights, but most Sundays I do have work to do, in addition to grocery shopping and getting in some kind of workout.

    My parents had a wonderful retirement. They went to afternoon movies, did grocery shopping, cooked, occasionally watched the grandkids when they had early dismissal, etc, went to parks and did day trips. So, very modest but very fulfilling.

  • golddust
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    As part of our adoption agreement, one parent had to stay at home. We both quit our jobs and began a business out of our laundry room. (A giant leap of faith.)

    That proved necessary because our first child was a whirlwind with a train load of baggage. We played tag team.

    The job I quit kept calling me to come back as a consultant and I did that for awhile. Finally it made no sense for DH to watch the boy while I worked as our business was picking up and was making more $$ than I could. Eventually we moved to a house with a bigger space for the business. Two and a half years later, we were short on space. That is when we bought this house, with a 1300 sq foot basement with an outside entrance. When we finally outgrew that space, we bought a building off sight and stayed in the house. The basement became an indoor soccer arena and play area for the boys. Now I have an artist studio/sewing room down there.

    I'm not completely retired these days but I find myself indulging myself and my current passions so much that I don't even worry about what we will do when retirement age comes.

  • jillinnj
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I do not think Lynn needed to take back the word "lucky". Lucky to someone is what they perceive. I would love to have stayed home with my kids but it never worked out that way. If it had, I would have considered myself "lucky." And grateful. Lucky, IMO, in no way implies that someone who works because they choose to is making a bad choice.

    Lynn, and many woman, are lucky to have that choice. She chose what was right for her and her family, which says nothing about what is right for another woman and her family.

  • trailrunner
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    " in the the end, you never wish you worked more"- couldn't have said it any better gscience. That is pretty much it.

    I do believe the jobs we choose ...whether they are paying or not and the career choices we make say a lot about us. Everything we do in life makes us what we are. Our choices of careers and jobs are part of what we are. How we make those decisions and how we are forced into making them also makes us what we are. I love to find out what people do " for a living' not just what they are paid to do.

    I find it fascinating and just one more facet to our personalities. I was a music major in college, opera and piano. I taught and performed professionally. Then I stopped and had 3 kids. I went back to school and became an RN. I worked at that for 15 yrs. I stopped and became a dishwasher in my DS1's restaurant and then hostess. Now I am really retired LOL.

    Before I got my degree in music and even after I had some really crazy jobs...hostess in restaurants and sales in an art gallery and clerk in a drug store, teller in a bank...I can't even remember them all. It is what I am...all of it. And I love to share the stories as do others with me. Just as " we are what we eat" ...." we are what we do ".

    jill: I agree completely ...luck is what you make of it...and one person's luck might not be mine. It is never wise to try and measure any one else's luck .

    As aloha said this has sure been an interesting conversation! That is one thing about this forum...we all have lots to contribute.

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Trailrunner, I hear what you are saying about the value of work, & how it contributes to lives, to society, to who we are. We are interdependent & couldn't get through a single day without the contributions of 100's of people! Isn't that a humbling thought? The efforts of so many are simply vital! One week without trash pick-up illustrates that reality beautifully! We really are all connected.
    We also live in a world where WORK is given so very much attention & adulation for all the wrong reasons! What people do to earn money (& of course how much they earn!) often defines them to an extent that I personally find bizarre. I know you know what I'm talking about!

    That is why I care less about how people earn a living than with other features of their humanity. What interests me the most about the people who have impressed me over the years, is a certain "quality of attention" they give to a task, no matter how grand or humble it may be. That presence, that "flow" as it has been called, is being fully human, & is strikingly beautiful.

    The way someone who is mindful & present sets a table, prepares a meal, interacts with a child, speaks to strangers, can mesmerize me. We can witness life in it's fullest, most whole, complete & beautiful, by seeing even the simplest thing done with great care.

    But, moments like that can easily be overlooked & or seen as meaningless in this world so obsessed with career paths & success strategies.

    Still, indeed, I well agree that a person can perform the work they do for a living with the care, attention & presence I am referring to, & when that happens, we are all made better! (Actually, you, your dh, your son & his wife (at the restaurant) impress me as fine examples of people who live like this!)
    You nursed the sick, you sang opera, you ran the trails. You have seen others nurse, sing & run as well. I would imagine that you did all of these things attentively, lovingly, mindfully, but certainly you have witnessed these tasks performed robotically or in a "check list" sort of fashion.

    For me, it is not the "what" but the "how" that leads to completion, wholeness, fufillment, whether we are "working" or not.

    Whatever we are doing, matters little in the end, but what could be sweeter than to feel content with "how" we've done things, no matter what they were, no matter how small or insignificant? To live with true quality of attention, to do our best, no matter if anyone is looking or a paycheck is in the mail.

    With this approach to life, when one "retires" the habit of living mindfully & being present has enriched the heart & mind so fully that a "deficit" or void of any kind is not perceived. Life in all of its fullness continues to surprise, delight & offer rich rewards, even without the job, title, paycheck & all the status & approval from others that those things confer.

  • jterrilynn
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My husband leaves at 8:30 and arrives home at 9:00 four days a week, two days a week he is at home by five and that leaves one day off. Right now all our free time is spent on spiffing up our sons first townhouse although we still manage two nights out for dinner together. I am not working; well I should say I'm not working for pay. Ours is a busy house with both son's working and going to college and youngest working on his new home in-between times.
    I'm not sure when I will get some free time as my own home is getting rather polluted while I'm helping son. We also have our master bath partially ripped up for a mini diy remodel. My husband wants to down size once the boys are out so that will keep me very busy as there is so much to do. I never wanted to leave this house because I love the area and having some land around me but it is getting a bit much as we age with all the work that requires. However, downsizing will most likely not bring immediate rest as the areas we have in mind are 1950's thru early 60's homes and we will probably need to gut. If I'm not dead by then it will be fun doing a completely different style. My husband is finding out with sons townhome how those stairs are not great for the knees of which I'm thankful as I know he would love to live somewhere with zero yard maintenance. Me, I must have a little of my very own earth and sky around me.
    After all the above is done and I'm in my little 50's or 60's home I'm planning on having my very own little art studio whether it be in an a/c shed out back or a spare room I do not care, I just want a place to paint. I think I could be half way decent if I had a chance to practice. Also, husband and I will continue to travel. The money we save by doing most all our own work has allowed us many European trips.
    I just hope I make it; my body is breaking down as I write...but ohh the transformation on son's place. I had to strip the stair molding and there was much prep and repair on all doors, door moldings, walls ect. We are putting in new baseboards though as there was no hope for them. Son and friends (with husbands help) removed all the down stairs popcorned ceilings. These older townhomes are very roomy and although this is a budget remodel it is all looking really nice.
    So much I would like to do if I had time...paint, exercise, sleep and read.

  • trailrunner
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    SG I sure do see what you are saying and agree whole-heartedly ! Very well put. You have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts..a gift.

    jt: it sounds like you have a lot of talent and a great plan ! I hope that you do post more on it as time goes by. c

  • stinky-gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you for your kind words, Trailrunner!

  • kitchenwitch
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    jillnj I'm with you - I would love to retire in NYC! No driving, everything's delivered, elevators everywhere and no house work other than dusting a small space now and then. My son commutes to the city for work, and my daughter lives and works there, so I wouldn't be alone. I love my gardens and my old house, but I'm looking towards a time when chores do not fill my weekends. I want to rent, not buy, so when I'm gone the kids won't have the problem of selling my place, and an apartment won't have a lot of stuff to get rid of either. Of course, I'm not doing it just for them, eventually I want to pare down my possessions, including the house, to the raw essentials, after all these years of accumulating!

    My retirement dreams include travel, hiking, galleries, brunch, cooking, and the luxury of just letting the day happen.