While I am only starting my third day of early retirement, I can already feel that my fundamental relationship with TIME and SLEEP is changing.
First off, I am starting to understand what freedom from everyday work feels like. Simply put, it feels like I am SKIPPING SCHOOL – but EVERYONE knows. Even the principal (my old boss) knows. For the last few weeks, even though I was still going to the office everyday, I started taking the opportunity to come in a bit later and leave a bit earlier whenever possible. That was like cutting a few classes – but now I feel like I have stopped going to class COMPLETELY.
One friend told me when he retired he slept for about a month. I’ve heard others say that they didn’t realize how much decades of work & stress had built up on them – once they were done, they crashed for several weeks.
I haven’t been that lucky yet. I’ve been up early every day this week. On Monday, I had to take my wife to the airport early in the morning. On Tuesday, my son & I needed to take his car into the shop before school. Tomorrow is the same – wake up early to take him to school. Thursday will probably be my first chance to sleep in for real. My Dad says that AARP is going to take my membership away if I don’t sleep in until at least 9am now. (I haven’t gotten my AARP card in the mail yet, so I guess I’m good for now).
Speaking of my Dad, at my retirement party last week I did something that he did when he retired 23 years ago. I took off my wrist WATCH and told everyone that I didn’t plan on wearing one again. I’ve been without my watch for almost 10 days and haven’t missed it too much yet. It helps that I always have my phone with me, and there are SO MANY clocks within sight nowadays.
Whereas my old schedule was typically 6:30am to 9:30pm, I am looking forward to eventually timeshifting my day to 8:30am to 11:30pm, give or take 30 minutes. This way, I can catch the end of the TODAY Show as I get up in the morning and most of the TONIGHT Show before bed in the evening (you can tell I’m looking to NBC for validation of my new lifestyle♥). In this arrangement, 4:00pm in the afternoon will be exactly “midday” of waking hours – which is a bit of a head flip from my former working self.
While there isn’t any extra sleep in my expected new schedule, it is still a solid 9 hours a night. That’s right on schedule with most people who are retired. This article from US News & World Report shows what retirees (65+) do with their time. Surprisingly, sleeping is only slightly above non-retirees (9 hours vs 8.7 hours).
With an afternoon nap every few days, I think I can do much better than that – I strive to be an overachiever! How do you/how would you balance your time & sleep in retirement?
Picture Credit: Pixabay