Summer is over and I’m reflecting today on how quickly it seemed to go by. I thought time might slow down in early retirement, but it turns out that it feels about as quick as when I was working full time. While I certainly have more time, it still cruises by unexpectedly fast. The change of seasons seems to heighten the speed of life.
I went out on the boat with some work friends last Monday and was surprised at my own answer as to how often I’ve used our boat club membership this summer: seven times. We’ve had great summer weather for the most part, but I’ve been out on the river LESS often than I was last year. How could that have happened?
I really expected I would use the boat all the time this summer. I figured that every sunny workday would be an opportunity for me to enjoy my newfound independence with a beer in my hand and great music on the marine stereo. I looked forward to being a lazy corporate rogue without a worry under the sun.
The fact is, there’s a lot less spontaneity in early retirement than you’d think. Or, I’m doing it all wrong so far.
Frankly, I’m surprised by how busy my schedule is from week to week. Since I don’t want to have NOTHING planned, I still use my electronic calendar and organize a couple lunches, tennis/golf dates, and classes/events each week. If you don’t plan them in advance, they don’t happen – although it also means that you don’t have days that are completely OPEN.
That said, if I have things over planned, I’ll never have time to be spontaneous. Like the lazy boat days that haven’t materialized this summer, I imagine my plans for an impromptu fall colors cruise in our convertible along the Great River Road this fall is also at risk. What are the odds that I’ll find a completely free schedule when the right weather/moment arises? Slim right now.
It’s true that early retirement changes your relationship with time in a big way. I have found it wonderful to live with independence and autonomy. That said, just because you’ll have time to do almost ANYTHING you want, it doesn’t mean you have time to do EVERYTHING you want.
I think I will start ‘saving’ a day on my calendar every week going forward. Perhaps that will allow me to have a little more opportunity to soak in the spontaneous.
Image Credit: MrFireStation (C)