Who would have thought that not working can take some effort as, for many people, being able to retire is that idealized state that many people aim for thinking that it would be so easy to live a life of leisure and do nothing at all. Now, however, I am so busy I don't know how I would actually fit eight hours of work into my hectic day, but it is probably quite different than what most people assume you do when you retire (hint: you won't find me playing golf or lunching with the ladies, I can't afford it!).
Here's how I fill a typical day:
- Wake up about 8am or 9am (without an alarm clock which is the best part of all).
- Clean up the house, or in our case as we are traveling, our room. Do laundry occasionally.
- Drink my tea while I check email and the other dozen or so websites that I frequent.
- Shower and get ready to go.
- Drop hubby off at the casino for his morning poker game. While he is playing, I will do errands, pick up some groceries, check the mail, etc.
- Volunteer at my old non profit for a couple of hours on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Study Japanese for at least an hour each day, sometimes two, usually in the coffee shop of the casino while he plays (and where I get free beverages. Now if I could just convince them to provide free wi-fi and better lighting I would be set!).
- Eat lunch with hubby at the casino (they provide a free lunch for poker players so we split his lunch which is plenty for both of us).
- Go home in the afternoon. During this time, hubby cooks dinner for the family we are staying with and I update my blogs and websites.
- In the early evening hubby might play another poker game with his friends or we may go to the movie at the military base ($3 each), watch a concert on the Boardwalk (free), or take a walk on the beach or local trail (also free).
- If hubby is playing poker with his friends in the early evening, I might meet up with my friends, go to Barnes and Noble and read, stop by the library to get some books, take my friend's kids somewhere (playground, swimming, etc), or work on a project (I'm working on a book v....e...r...y slowly).
- On the weekend, we tend to look for free activities that are going on in the community. Last weekend, I did some baking and we went to a potluck birthday party for a niece. Next weekend there is a community fair which should provide some nice, free entertainment.
- You can't pick up shopping as a hobby or do any other type of expensive hobby since you no longer have the income coming in to support such things. In our case, our choice is to either live frugally with lots of free entertainment or go back to work in order to afford expensive entertainment. I choose frugal!
- By not having a job to go to every day, I save a LOT of money. No more work wardrobe, no more filling up the gas tank every few days to drive to far away meetings, no more morning (and afternoon!) Starbucks runs, no more designer everything to show off to my co-workers, no more business lunches out at fancy restaurants.
- Since we have a super flexible schedule, we can do lots of interesting things at the drop of a hat. In Atlanta, we ended up staying a few extra months when the opportunity presented itself. When my sister-in-law asked if we wanted to go to Las Vegas if she provided free transportation and lodging we quickly jumped at the opportunity. We didn't hear about the party last weekend until the last minute but with no real schedule, we could drop what we were doing and go.