What do you DO all day?

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Adventure Question: Are you sick and tired of having to explain what the heck you do all day long since you are “just retired?” Try the exercise below then come back to tell the tale.

For me, it was easier when I worked because in our society our job titles are shorthand to who we are…at least on the surface. But now, it didn’t feel right explaining my old job story when meeting new people and I wanted something more pithy that relected my current phase of life better than, “I’m retired”.

Here’s the simple exercise I used that you can try too.

1. First without thinking too much, list out the stuff you do right now.
2. Then put your list away for a few days.
3. Come back and write about how much you actually do each item and how you feel about it.
4. Come up with an answer to “what do you do?”

Here goes, things I do right now:

  • Study Podcasting
  • Yay, just posted my first podcast on iTunes! Super love this.

  • Hike
  • Love it, but I have been sitting down a whole lot more due to massively working on creating podcasts….hmm, better schedule time.

  • Flexibility class in the pool
  • Pretty regularly. Best place to talk with friends (sorry Joyce) as well as exercise.

  • Study Video editing
  • Making the retirement movie pushed this to the forefront. Cool. Always wanted to learn, and making the Retirement Identity class for the YMCA gave me a deadline. Sometimes in retirement, my deadlines tend to slip and I give up what I want for what’s easy.

  • Watch Hulu
  • Uh oh, do this a little too much. Hulu is an online TV service that I stream to my TV (kind of like cable from the internet). I made this the topic of my first podcast. TV is easy, and I let myself get too interested in it, at the expense of real life.

  • Go to farmers’ markets
  • When I first retired, went every week. Good produce, nice little walk. Got to know vendors and socialize. Lately, been sleeping in, or goofing off. Hmm, better schedule this again. Really enjoyed it. Note to self: Laurie, don’t let lazy take over for true enjoyment.

  • Pet the cat
  • Daily! Hourly! Dang cat is on my lap right now. Note to self:get mini vacuume for computer keyboard. But it’s worth it. Petting cats has been proven to lower blood pressure. (of course watching them scratch the couch right next to the scratching post isn’t as good for that).

  • Bike
  • Completed a long ride in Lake Tahoe in June. Hubby and I used to ride 3X weekly at least. Been hot and he is not an early riser, so we haven’t been riding lately. Cooling off now. Note to self: Don’t let other people’s habits get in the way of my own fun. I AM an early riser and so could ride at least up and down my own street if I wanted to. hmmm kind of seeing a pattern as to why my weight has been going up lately.

  • Blog
  • Been really working hard for 6 months to get this website in shape. Again, it’s in better shape than I am. Seems Rola was right, and I need to work on healthy balance.

  • Create seminars
  • Yay! Rosanne and the YMCA believe in me and I’m writing and presenting again. I LOVE this type of thing. Note to self: don’t assume that opportunities to do what you love aren’t already close at hand.

  • Clean the house (far down on my list)
  • Just had lunch with my friend Jane last week, and that was the last time house got a good cleaning. Again, sometimes I need reasons to push myself to do what I actually want to do. I love my home and love it better when we keep it clean and uncluttered. Guess it’s time to host another lunch.

  • Have lunch or socialize with former co-workers
  • I will be retired exactly two years Oct. 1, 2013. And when I left work, I had a notebook full of email addresses, phone numbers, facebook pages etc. I was a workplace networker and social butterfly. I loved knowing everyone and poking my nose into all levels and groups of the company. Surprisingly, I’ve been back to the workplace exactly once and only kept up with a few close friends who were former co-workers. Much less than I thought I would. But relationships take work, even friendships and it is way too easy to let them slide off the radar – out of sight, out of mind. Note to self: Review those contacts and renew some of those whom you miss, and take the time to wish well the others who were important during your worklife. Happy memories are part of retirement for me.

Laurie’s new answer to “What do you do all day?”: I’m learning new things, creating podcasts, videos and seminars, exercising as much as I can at the YMCA, hiking, biking and having a whole lot of fun with my old and new friends.

Hmm, I don’t know about you but I love my new answer more than “retired database developer”.

How about you? What’s your answer to “What do you do all day?”


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What do you Say?
What did you come up with from doing the exercise? Any surprises? Other thoughts? Comment here and tell the tale!
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What do you DO all day?

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