Updated: Dec 30, 2021
For 15 years, I pushed to pack my day with as much productivity as possible. That meant scheduling meetings, calls, doing email, filing, writing reports, etc. I got to the point where I’d have nearly every hour of the day scheduled…cramming so much into each day that I finally had to start blocking time…to think.
Going from such a chaotic, hectic schedule to retirement was quite a shift…but I needed to rip off the bandaid. To go from having nearly every hour scheduled to having nothing scheduled.
In the beginning, there was nothing…just the blog. That was it…just one thing that I had to do each day.
It felt foreign…I was uncomfortable. I questioned my purpose and my value. It was exactly what I needed. And then I adjusted.
For a brief period of time, I managed to do nothing pretty well. By nothing, I mean I filled my day with reading, writing, exercising, running errands, and meeting up with friends. I had very little in the way of structured activities. It was awesome.
Slowly I’ve found myself slipping back into my old ways. It happened gradually as I started to realize just how much free time I had…so I started signing up to do things.
I got on the team for Monumental Yoga…started teaching SUP yoga…decided to start a business (which involved LOTS of meetings with partners). Suddenly, my days were so structured that finding time to write my blog…the one thing I had committed myself to do…became difficult.
Today, as I was driving home from teaching back-to-back SUP yoga classes, I realized an all too familiar feeling. That feeling of rushing…being overwhelmed…needing a vacation just to catch my breath. Then I felt like an ass because I’m not even busy compared to what I used to take on in a day.
And that’s when it hit me. I get to say when enough is enough. It’s not about living to some self-induced standard. It’s not about keeping up with what others are doing. The point of my retirement was to do what I wanted, when I wanted. To have plenty of time to enjoy life…to pause…to take in so much that is fleeting…to feel, experience, love.
These old habits…to be busy as a means to show and feel my value…run deep. Leaving ruts that are so easy to fall back into. But I’m the one in control now. I get to decide what…when…how much…
I realize I’m lucky to be able to do that…that not everyone has that same level of freedom. But in some sense we do. We know what’s best. We know that it’s not smart to schedule 8 hours of meetings because we need to have down time…time to process…time to think…time to breathe. We fail to manage our time in such a fashion though because we want to be seen as a contributor…a producer…someone that can be counted on.
But what if we just want to be seen as a human? As someone that is a contributor…a producer…can be counted on…but also is calm…level-headed…peaceful…able to appreciate the beauty around them…why can’t I find a way to be all those things? Why can’t we each get to decide when enough is enough?
I think we do…we just have to own our power.