Thursday, June 30, 2016

Alone with a good book

I’m getting to the age when I’m more and more often thinking ahead to the prospect of retirement. The last decade has zipped by and I’m sure the next will go just as fast, so best be ready for it.

It’s not something that worries me. As a profound introvert I’ve always liked my own company and always feel I have way more that I want to accomplish outside of work than I ever have time for, so endless days of free time should be a blessing, right?

Well, I’ve got the chance to put that to the test this week. Ali has taken the kids over to the UK for her father’s 80th so I’m holding the fort and caring for the animals. As we are unlikely to be taking a camping trip this summer I decided it was a great chance to take a bit of vacation and have some serious alone time.

Things I’ve learned:

The freedom is great. Being able to do what I want, when I want, without having to constantly factor in other people’s plans. Being able to plan a menu and pick up groceries based on my tastes, without worrying about whether anyone else will like it. Recalling the simple pleasure of roaming the house naked, which we used to do before the kids grew up too much.

I do miss having the family around. Not to the point of loneliness, but I will be glad when they’re back. Meanwhile, thank goodness for Skype!

But the biggest thing I’ve discovered, which I suspected might be the case, is that I don’t have half the energy to do stuff as I need. You’d think with a whole day ahead I’d be able to write thousands of words. Not so. Writing is darned hard work at times. And having concentrated blocks of time doesn’t help so much when you need to mull over things in the subconscious to get past a blockage. I don’t think I’d cut it as a full time writer. I need other things to do to break up the day. Luckily I started the week with a long list of odd jobs to deal with.

And there’s always reading. Chewing my way through a good book helps recharge the batteries.

And a reminder - tomorrow is July 1, the start of the weekend-long “Free and Bargain Books” event. The list of books on offer will be posted to the SIA website here at midnight tonight.


  1. It's funny - when we have a ton of free time, we're not motivated to get anything done. Seems only when I am pressed for time do I accomplish anything.
    Retirement is about a decade away for me as well. Can't wait!

  2. I've always been the most productive when I've had deadlines, having unlimited free time hasn't worked well for me.

  3. Alec, advice I've heard for retirement is to keep busy, and to already have lots of things to keep you occupied, not just wait until all that free time suddenly appears.

    Stephen, I think the trick is to structure your time, something I've grown out of the habit of doing with all the external demands these days.


I love comments. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...