I recently ran across this interesting chart that shows how much time people spend with others at different points of their lives. Alone time and time with your partner, children, family, coworkers, and friends. It’s apparently from an annual ‘Time Use Study’ by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At first glance, I was a little depressed to see the ebb & flow of the lines over one’s lifetime, but after a bit more examination, I felt it was pretty hopeful and felt it fit my own experience.
What I initially thought of as depressing is that as you retire, you spend less time you spend with your kids & coworkers and more ‘alone time’ and time with your partner. I’ve written a couple of posts on the differences between being an introvert versus and extrovert in retirement, and generally believe this is why introverts likely adapt better to retirement. They don’t need the built-in audience that kids & coworkers supply! 🙂
That said, friends and family interactions are also critical and there is a lot of that here, too. Much more than first meets the eye. Looking at each line in the graph closely reveals that between ages 55-75+, people are spending about 2.5 hours a day with their children/family and about 45 minutes a day with their friends. Accumulated over a week, that’s almost 25 hours a week spent with folks outside the home. Not a small amount of interaction!
I’m generally on the extroverted side – just by a bit – and 25 hours a week doing things with folks that are “outside the house” seems pretty busy, socially speaking. I’m pretty good about organizing activities with friends/family, but I’m guessing I’m not much above 30 hours, in an average week. Some weeks I’m very busy with ‘people’ activities, other weeks I’m less so. I usually have a day or two a week where I just try to keep open of activities all together.
How does the chart match your life stage and what do you wish you had more/less of as you get older?
Chart Credit: Reddit r/dataisbeautiful