Just Easier

I wake up most mornings, weekend or not at around 6:30, usually with an alarm. Most of the time I’ll lay there for 20 minutes, reading my phone – psyching myself up for the coming day. I took this past Friday off to play 18 holes of golf, do a bit of housework and go to watch some horse races (pretty good day, right?). Knowing I had the day off, and my tee-time wasn’t until 9:30 the next morning, I had stayed up late reading a book I wanted to finish (I am working my way through the Dresden Files).

Having almost nothing to do the next day, my morning played out as it normally does, with me being wide awake at 6:00 in the morning with no alarm and ready to go for the day. I normally don’t take a random Friday off, to do something locally with no real schedule (beyond the tee time for a course that was 20 minutes away). The weird sort of energy I got on waking up with about an hour and half less sleep than I was planning on was nice.

The main question I get when I tell people what my financial plans are is “What will you do?”. My father, who retired at age 60 last year, but has a similar personality as I do is having trouble finding free time with his day – he’s so busy with various projects around the house. He wonders where he found the time to get done as much as he did when he was working, which was taking up close to 11 hours a day with commuting included in his day.

My current retirement countdown (to my 45th birthday) stands at 3,831 days. While there are many things I would like to do and learn in the next decade, I look forward to 3,832 days when I can wake up and do whatever I want that day, much like my golf “hooky” day I had on Friday. The number of “prime-time” hours given to work is significant – working for 8.5 – 9 hours (factoring in the odd extra bit of time worked or commuting time) per day is usually when I would be most able to do the things that I like to do.

I’m hoping that in a decade, I will have the kind of energy like I had on Friday – seemingly boundless, mainly due to the fact that what I was going to do that day was 100% up to me.

Do you have those kind of days? If you’re retired, do they still exist?

6 thoughts on “Just Easier”

  1. The only time I have had to use my alarm clock and get up early since I retired back in 2008 was when I run one of the 3 or 4 school Scrabble tourneys each year as part of my volunteer work.

    Most of the time, I can get through my old morning routine (I get up about the same as I used to do when I was last working) but even though I look forward to these events I still struggle to get through breakfast and leave on time. I am just not a morning person.

  2. I look forward to those days too, and no doubt I will be busy. I can’t see myself slowing down, but it will be nice to have the flexibility to take unplanned detours whenever you feel like it! I will be 60ish like your Dad, though, when I retire. My poor hubby needs to work to 65.

  3. I’m always surprised to find I wake up early on the days with no alarm. And unless its been a night of sleep lost to mom of toddler duties, I usually stay awake and either get up to enjoy a quiet morning before the troops rise or maybe spend some time snuggling with whatever child has crawled into my bed in the early hours. What I’ve recently noticed after a particularly hard time at my federal job that led to some sleepless nights, I always sleep sound on Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday night, with the dread if work looming a few hours away, is always a rough night.

  4. I am now re-reading Ernie Zelinski’s book, The Joy of Not Working. The last time I read it was before I was reorganized and packaged-off. At that time, I couldn’t see how I could possibly leave the situation, albeit awful. Now, after about 1.5 years of freedom, Zelinski’s words resonate very deeply. The sheer pleasure of the freedom has raised my happiness levels to all time highs. The freedom to do whatever I choose, whenever I want, is exciting. If you want a good read about a much better and more satisfying way to live, read Ernie’s book (several times). Jim Stokes, Guelph, Ontario.

  5. I’m also in the habit now of waking up early without an alarm, and I’m always so excited to jump out of bed earlier on days off – that time is so precious, I’m just dying to fill it with wonderful activities of my own choosing!

    I can’t wait for the opportunity to have more days like that, and I certainly don’t think I’ll have trouble finding activities to fill them with! There’s so many projects in my head that I just don’t have time for now, let alone all the other recreational activities I don’t think I could ever get enough of!

  6. As to the waking without alarm, my hubby is great at that , although if we have a flight to catch I will always set an alarm just in case. Hubby is an early riser and with retirement just 3 day away he can soon have the luxury of not having to jump straight out of bed. A new journey begins….
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

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