Just as busy as ever

This is a guest post by Robert, who lives in Calgary and worked as a financial adviser before retiring at age 35. He is married, has three kids and has returned to school with the goal of eventually living and working overseas.

My younger brother moved out of the house quite a while ago. What always surprised me was that, after all the kids had moved away, my mom was still just as busy as ever. I’m not sure what she does with all her time, but I know she spends time with family and grandkids, with her friends, walking for exercise, working (with my father) and volunteering.

When I worked as a financial advisor, we had many clients who were working towards retirement. They were invariably busy with work, family, kids’ activities and just staying on top of yard work, home and car maintenance and using any time left over for hobbies or entertainment. We also had some clients who were already retired. I was surprised to find that they were almost as busy after retirement as they had been before. They fill up their time with travelling (often to visit family), with planning projects, with working on their house or yard, volunteering, participating in social clubs and community activities.

I sold my practice almost two years ago, and I must admit that I was pretty lazy at first. For two weeks, I napped every day. But after that, I started feeling like I wanted to do something productive with my time. I caught up on reading many of the non-fiction books I had been interested in, but not had time to read yet. I also delved into reading about topics that interested me, but I hadn’t explored in the past (such as leadership, governance, fitness training). I started volunteering at my kids’ school. I started volunteering at the YMCA, and I started training for a triathlon. I joined a couple political organizations. And now I’m taking courses towards a Masters degree in Education at the University of Calgary. Luckily, they’re distance courses, so I’ve been able to maintain flexibility in my schedule.

I find myself busy, much of the time. It sometimes comes in waves; and if I don’t feel too busy, I’ll often take on commitments or choose to attend public meetings, which get fit into my schedule. Although my schedule isn’t predictable, it has the benefit that I’ve been involved in some interesting projects and I’ve met some really impressive and inspiring people.

Once you have more time to yourself, how would you like to spend it? Would you take up new hobbies or projects, or spend more time on things you’re already interested in?

4 thoughts on “Just as busy as ever”

  1. After my parents retired, they used to use the phrase “We have no idea how we used to find the time to go work.”.
    What I noticed though, was that everything slowed down for them. I admit, I have a fairly fast paced life, and I’m so used to it that I don’t realize how in a hurry I am until I’m around someone with a slower paced life (at which time I sometimes get annoyed at their “dawdling”).

    I am making an effort to slow my life down, some days are better than others.

    I anticipate that after I retire, I’ll take some time to do nothing except decompress (maybe a month or so), then I’ll start building a new life routine, keeping the things I like now, while having time to try (and possibly continue) new things.

  2. I have this overwhelming urge to “do nothing”. Like you, it will likely have a shelf life of about 2 weeks. But I can’t wait to get there!

  3. I’ve got ten acres of land on an island on the west coast. I don’t get to spend nearly as much time there as I would like, thanks to my job in the city. I need to find the time to build a cabin, a big garden, etc…. Add to this my long distance sea kayaking hobby and my early retirement schedule is already filling up! The fact that some people are actually “bored” in retirement truly confounds and saddens me. Too much to do and see in this world.

    On track for ER during my 42nd year…. maybe 43, but preferably not. 😉

Comments are closed.