Time Cruises In Early Retirement

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)

11 thoughts on “Time Cruises In Early Retirement

  1. Lazy corporate rogue. I LOVE it. A fantastic way of living to aspire to.

    I am constantly amazed when you share your experiences on how retirement is way different to how you imagined it. That’s great learning for me.

    Anyway,must rush off to be the busy corporate rogue this week and conjure up more plans on how to be lazy in a couple of years.


  2. That’s a good idea. Maybe take Wednesday’s and don’t let yourself book anything on those days. Wednesdays from here on out are Mr. Fire Station Day. Just like how you can afford anything but not everything like how Paula Pant says. I guess that also makes sense with time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – Wednesday would be great. Except we have to go out of town for a funeral this week 😦 Next week.


  3. This line is amazing – and I never thought of it this way! “just because you’ll have time to do almost ANYTHING you want, it doesn’t mean you have time to do EVERYTHING you want” – A take off on Paula Pant at Afford Anythings mantra!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – I wrote that at about 1am in the morning! If I wasn’t so busy, I wouldn’t have to write at that inspired hour. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Saving one day a week for “me” time sounds like an excellent idea. Maybe the best way to make sure you have nothing to do and you can be as spontaneous as you want. This is actually what we try to do in the weekends (one day of the weekend actually), not planning anything and just seeing what happens. Which means sometimes really nothing happens, while other days we have great fun as a family on all sorts of activities.
    Good luck


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