Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Balanced LIfe....

It seems to me that balance is the most important thing in retirement.  Balance is important in other life phases as well, but sometimes things are less under control during our working years than post retirement.  Everyone has different requirements and will balance their lives differently. In my case, I'm a nester, who also loves to travel. For me, that means being homebody much of the time. I balance that by weekly day trips and outings, and three or four larger trips a year. The rest of the time I am home-wherever that may be.

 I try to balance my day to day (or at least my week by week) life in a similar fashion. I rarely "schedule" anything in terms of day to day plans. I'm not one to get up and plan my day. I move as the mood strikes, within a bit of minimal structure. That structure includes my classes, my swimming class and a few other regular commitments. If things get too "planned" I tend to rebel. In truth, I find I get more done with a general guideline, as Johnny Depp would say. This week, I have been re balancing my life in a way. I've cut my course load in half. Although I am degree seeking in theory, I really don't have a time limit, and enjoyment is my primary motivator. For now, two art courses sound just about right (or in this case, an art and a photography course).

 This change has life more comfortable. I am a slow riser (although I force my self to greet the morning in the summer because of the heat). I tend to spend half my morning puttering around and then work on whatever projects strike me that day. Once in awhile there is a specific thing that I remind myself I need to do (if I've gotten blueberries from the farmers market and have to make pie filling today, for example), but most of the time I deliberately allow myself extra time for various commitments-and I'm not above working on one thing all day long to finish a rare commitment or meet a deadline. By the same token, If I decide to read all night, I do just that (and prepare to be licked in the face first think in the morning...)

This weekend I've kept plans loose. I don't travel on three day holidays-ever. I have a sketch to make for a printmaking project and I wanted to perhaps batik   some fabric (a half day commitment) I also wanted to finish a bed quilt, and perhaps can that pie filling. Son and I have been determined to go at least once this weekend to see an in theater movie-Lawless or the Expendables most likely .  I know, I know, but an action movie sounds really great right about now. I also have a book or two and a weekend full of college football to watch. . I'm committed to make a lemon meringue pie from scratch including the crust.
Fortunately my attitude tends to be that if any of these things don't get done, so be it. They'll get done eventually, just at another time.

Its a good thing I have that attitude because of course, no life would be complete without a visit from Mr Murphy now and again-even a balanced life. I woke up yesterday with red palms and hand so itchy that I was using a "hand washing motion" to stop the itching. Folks with eczema will appreciate the description. Happily it seems, I don't have eczema but rather an allergic reaction to heaven knows what. I've been given pills and lotions and my hands are so tight when I fold them inwards that I hope this will pass-fairly soon. Meanwhile I may have to forgo some of that activity-and relegate the kitchen and all that entails to my son.

Instead of canning and cooking, my weekend may be more of a lie on the couch and try not to touch or scratch, while working on cutting those pesky monthly bills down a bit (you know, those regular bills that often can be trimmed here and there) Hopefully when I return tomorrow or Saturday, I'll be able to move without thinking about my itching hands.



  1. Hi Barb.
    I, unlike you am a planner. Always have been. I find that, especially in my retirement years, if I don't have something planned then I sometimes tend to not do anything at all and to me that is a waste of my retirement years. Don't get me wrong, sometimes my plan is to do nothing. Sometimes the plan goes out the window when I feel like doing something else. For instance I often produce a weeks worth of blog posts in one day because I am in the groove.
    Blueberry pie sounds awfully good.


  2. Excellent advice, if you ask me. I think what scares a lot of people contemplating retirement is that very issue -- instead of going off to work every day, having your life scheduled for you, you have to decide for yourself what it is you want to do, how you want to spend your time, how you will define yourself when you don't have a job to do it for you.

  3. I Have recently gotten into the habit of a senior exercise class every weekday morning - in a classroom three days and in a pool the other two. Whatever happens the rest of the day, planned or unplanned, goes better after that.

  4. I totally need more balance in my life. Now that I am "retired" I find that my life has less balance than it every did!

  5. Barb, your unscheduled approach is a breath of fresh air to me, a retired RN,needing very desperately to slow down, now that I am officially retired. I have art projects, I LOVE to spend a WHOLE DAY OR NIGHT reading! And I enjoy cooking,swimming in my backyard, pool, having coffee dates and happy hours with friends.. and some days doing NOT MUCH! Your blog reminds me it is "ok" to just chill when we
    want to !!!

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Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear from others, and I also love to hear all points of view.. Just leave the profanity and insults at home, OK? Thanks!!