Sorry that this is a bit longer than I was expecting. I’m going to rearrange the sequence of the inquiries.
(1) “If you live with someone, how has retirement affected your relationship?”
(2) “Was it hard to adjust your physical/mental rhythms to NOT getting up and going to work every day?”
Not one bit. I think for most working folks getting up for work becomes
ingrained. But for those of us who put the job or career in the number 2
position to family or other aspects of life turning off the alarm clock was
easy. It certainly was for me.
(3) “How do you structure your days now–strictly or loosely? Discuss.”
Many of my peers would say my days are strictly regimented. During the spring and early summer they are because I am a avid gardener and that period of the year dictates attention to my landscaping. From late May to early October, when rain is not probable, I will admit to having a daily (self imposed) “to-do” list. Such chores are typically easy to do in 30 minutes, but there are usually three or four daily items. In winter I usually have one or two “do this when you can’t go outside” things. From November to March each day is mostly “what do I want to do today?”
The previous paragraph doesn’t really answer the question. My official response is “loosely.” If I want to spend half a day reading the history of the Peloponnesian War, I will, no matter the time of year.
(4) “Have you increased your exercise/activity? Do you volunteer somewhere regularly?”
4a. No. Unless you think a daily hour during spring and summer regimen to keep my landscaping under control is exercise. It’s work, but I don’t think of it as exercise.
4b. Yes. I volunteer as a “candy striper” at a local hospital and I assist the local public TV station with the production of their printed broadcast schedule.
I do the hospital gig because there are lots of female nurses around. I’ve never had much success, but I enjoy the sights. (and I DO think I help the facility.) As for the TV thing, my career was in publishing so it’s a way of keeping my finger in the pie.
(5) “How has retirement exceeded or fallen short of your expectations?”
I LOVE not going to work. I had a great job out of college and others beyond it. But I realized early on that there was more to life than working. A lonnnng time ago I heard the phrase “on their deathbed, no one ever says they wished they had spent more time in the office.” I concur. As was mentioned in an earlier post, every day is Saturday. YES!
(6) "Has retirement opened new vistas of self-discovery and adventure… or do you find yourself still in your pajamas binge-watching House Hunters at 3:00 in the afternoon?
Neither. There are certainly days when I just sit around. But I have no need to open new vistas in my life. My bucket list is short and will be accomplished long before I turn 70. As a U.S. Marine once asked me: “You can just skate now, can’t you?” Yep.
My retirement advice? If you enjoy working, KEEP WORKING. If you have a lot of outside interests and can retire: RETIRE.