Tuesday, 25 August 2015

what do you do with all that spare time?

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

Now that I am only working two days a week, I often get asked the question "what do you do with all that spare time?" - it's a question I would have asked myself a year or so ago when I was in the middle of the 9-5 grind where every day seemed to be a work day, or getting over work, or getting ready for work.

Now, I just smile serenely - I'm getting much better at the whole "serene" thing - and wonder to myself how they can stand to be working so many days a week. We all assume we need to work to earn an income that we are sure we couldn't do without, but (as I am finding out) we can often live quite comfortably on a lot less than our first world, commercial, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mindset would have us believe.

I think we also wonder if we would get bored being left to our own devices several days a week. I wondered what I would do to fill the time, but it is remarkable how easily time fills itself with satisfying occupations other than going to work to earn a crust or two (or twenty). I spread myself out very comfortably over my days off and manage to be gainfully occupied most of the time. I even have to put some stuff off to the following week because I don't want to be constantly busy.

I fill my time with bits of housework, grocery shopping, reading, going to the library, catching up with a friend or two (or sometimes three) for coffee and a chat. I write my blog posts, read other people's posts, keep abreast of facebook, Pin pretty pictures, talk to my children on the phone, spend time with my mentor child. I ride my bike, visit the in-laws, spend time with my mum if she is down visiting, talk to my husband (probably more than he was expecting), sit in the sun, go for walks, have the occasional nap, watch Dr Phil (if he's not doing some weird story or other) and the list goes on.

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

There's a lot to be said for relaxing with a cat, a cup of coffee and a good book. I'm learning how to relax and regroup and recharge. I'm learning that life is about more than just going to work to earn lots of money to spend on more "stuff" or to save for a rainy day. I'm learning that most people won't believe anything I've written here or would just sigh gustily and think "it's okay for her" and that is fine by me. I have long given up on trying to compete or to justify my life - I'm all for doing what works best for you - and if it's not working for you, then for Pete's sake, stop for a moment and breathe and make some changes. In the meantime, in answer to the question "what do you do with all that spare time?" well.....where do I start?


16 comments:

  1. I can't imagine having spare time -- is that heaven?

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    1. oh Carol....I can hear the angels singing :) yes it's heavenly!

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  2. i love your attitude. i love your willingness to embrace. i envy it. and i cannot wait to get there. :) thank you...for sharing.

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    1. my pleasure Lisa and I hope you get some time in the sun too x

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  3. Hi Leanne! I LOVE this because it points out so much of the "richness" of a SMART and simple life. Isn't it weird how we are all so "trained" into thinking that more, more and more is always better and never slow down to realize that enjoying the moments of a day are a luxury and a path to intense well-being? Good for you for expressing it so well. Enjoy your day, regardless of what you don't have planned! ~Kathy

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    1. Thanks Kathy and you are right - it is SMART and it's just a joy that we miss out on in the hustle and bustle that we now take for normal life. I'm not sure how we got into this stressful lifestyle but stepping out of it is bliss!

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  4. Good for you Leanne. A friend when she retired told me she made a routine, a time schedule of her day. She talks with friends from 4-5 PM and if you want to meet for coffee it is Tuesday or Friday at 1:30. It sounded so rigid and horrible to me but she enjoys it. Whatever works to enjoy your life your way.

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    1. I'm fairly orderly but the whole point to me of relaxing is not having everything scheduled. I have a few things locked in and then just go with the flow.....

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  5. I just had a text from a friend who wanted us to join them for breakfast tomorrow or lunch today. Couldn't make either and they said 'we thought you two were meant to be retired'. Well we are but life is busy and I'm loving every minute of it. I'm making the choices though as to what I am busy with. Thanks for sharing your experience with us at #WednesdaysWisdom and keep Sizzling!

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    1. I'm like you Sue - busy with the important stuff and if you give me a bit of notice I'll be free but there's a good chance my week's booked up :)

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  6. Enjoy! The beauty of this place in your life is that you get to choose how to spend your time. Read a book for me -- I didn't get to it this summer. Thanks goodness for audiobooks! :) #WednesdaysWisdom

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    1. I'm in the middle of book 2 of a trilogy Wendy - I'll finish it in your honour :)

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  7. I totally understand this. Due to health reasons I have stepped back from the work force and left my husband to it. I am busy all the time and wonder how I used to do all this plus work full time and raise two kids. I am done feeling guilty about not working.

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    1. Me too Suzi - I think we don't allow ourselves to relax guilt free - we always feel we should be working harder or doing more. I'm learning that isn't the way I want to do this second half of life!

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  8. Me with all this time to spare got it so full that I am learning to slow down again.
    You are so right about taking time to people and things that really matter, Leanne.
    Thanks a lot for sharing it on #TipTuesday!

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  9. 3 days a week (when two of my grandkids aren't in school), I care for 3 of my grandchildren – otherwise I watch only 1. One day this summer, one of them asked me, "Grandma, what do you do when we're not here?" I had to laugh, because it reminded me of the same question you present here.

    My days are FULL. I crochet, I blog, and I care for my grandkids. I hate taking time away from those activities to clean house, but nobody is offering to clean it for me, though my 3-year-old granddaughter loves to help me dust, so it's up to me.

    For my whole life, I've always looked forward to retirement, so that I could finally do what I've been wanting to do my whole life without having to interrupt my desires to work for someone else doing something I hated. Due to circumstances I couldn't control (fathers who didn't pay child support, cancer, and other illnesses, for instance), I've always struggled financially, so I'm happy and feel so fortunate to be able to write, crochet, and spend so much time with my grandkids, other family members, and friends now. I'm not yet ready to slow down, though I think my body is begging me to take a break. ;)

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