21 October 2008

On/Off the Clock in Retirement

Baby boomers are not the first generation of retirees to notice the change in pace that comes with retirement, but we will be the first generation to blog about it. The clock is one of the great under-reported stories of retirement. Blogging and other Internet options bring new attention to it as retirees can quite literally broadcast their progress through the day, minute by minute. Or at least report on how they spent their time. Or have that reflected in the date stamps* of their blogs and emails.

I'm not referring to the standard joke about all days being equal when you are retired. I am referring to the daily pace of the clock. When my sister and brother-in-law retired, they told me about their new and unexpected schedules. They sometimes stayed up all night watching TV or surfing the net, able to say to themselves, "I don't have to get up tomorrow." There was much compensatory napping in those early days of retirement.

In my house, different sleep patterns have been the norm so Tom and I have never shared a schedule. In our first year of "home together" we are making our individual changes in pace that occasionally put us on the same task at approximately the same time of day. But we haven't managed to pull all-nighters together yet.

One of my goals for this year is to reconcile the seeming contradiction of ignoring the clock and getting to bed by 11pm. I started aiming for a regular bedtime a couple of years ago. As a night owl, I enjoy the hours of midnight and beyond. As an aging adult, I feel the very real change in my sleep hours and I know that if I stay up until 2am or 3am, I will feel miserable all the next day. (Compensatory napping doesn't work for me.)

So, I seek a regular bedtime but I am intrigued by this idea that the clock has little import on my daily life, now. I work on my own schedule whereby appointments are set according to "best day" rather than "best hour." Students are not looking for me in my office. I don't have to unlock a classroom door to let students in. I need to know what time the Post Office closes but I don't have to sandwich it in between timed trips to the cleaners and the bank. And frankly, most of the retail establishments I frequent are open more hours of the day than I need them to be.

So, I wear a watch only on days that I go to client meetings. For virtual meetings, I set my phone alarm for 20 minutes prior (to insure that I am reminded to get to a quiet spot for the needed exchange). I turned my office clock to an angle that I cannot see from my usual sitting positions. And I removed the clock from my bedside. (Slight disadvantage there for my goal of getting to sleep by 11....)

* I did not actually post this blog entry at 3:00 AM, although the date stamp implies that. I set blogs to appear in very early morning because a reader who is an early riser (she is The Chef) once told me that she prefers to start her day with "fresh reading." And she starts her day at 5:00. Or earlier.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, great blog. Funny that it shows you posted it at 3am. Insomniac? Haha.

Your retirement seems like a good time! Well, on/off. :)

Are you an AARP member? They seem to be a great resource in retirement.

AARP is a great source of services and information that can be beneficial to the quality of life. What's great about AARP is that a membership comes with prescription and travel discounts!

AARP has teamed up with talk show host, Cristina Saralegui and made a fun, customizable video and you're just a click away from being the next guest on Amigos Live! Check out http://www.upclosewithcristina.com/video to learn more and make your own video!

Also, you can enter to win an all inclusive trip for 2 to Miami while you're checking out the site! (And even if you don't win, there's still those great travel discounts that come with the membership!)

Definitely check out AARP for yourself or a loved one. There are really are some great benefits to joining!

I hope it's alright that I commented on your blog -- wanted to let you know about the fun video with Cristina and AARP's great benefits. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to email me.

Isabella Coldivar
AARP Ambassador