Privilege Blog

When To Build Routine And When To Break It All Down, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:25am

Recently two bloggers I respect have published simple posts about how we spend our days. First Ronni, of Time Goes By, wrote about “relaxed retirement.” Then Janet, of The Gardener’s Cottage, described her daily routine, particularly now that her husband has been diagnosed with cancer. I highly recommend you read both.

I have found routine to be a great help in managing anxiety, and in making my way to enjoying retirement. I know some people like to do whatever they please any given moment. My issue is that at any given moment I would probably want to drink wine, eat chocolate, and lie down on the sofa to watch lots and lots of television. Currently, Australian.

But more than a day at a time spent that way makes for poor health, and in the end generates more anxiety than it alleviates. So I have organized my (very ordinary) days. That way I don’t have to make choices. Very calming.

Here’s my daily routine these days. I will be curious to hear yours, if you have a minute.

  • Wake up between 5:30 and 7:30am
  • Eat breakfast of black tea with milk and toast with nut butters (almond, peanut, chocolate hazelnut)
  • Sit on the sofa poking around the Internet to lead up to writing my novel (or the blog). We can also legitimately call this Institutionalized Procrastination.
  • Sidle into actually writing said novel
  • Some time around 10:30 or 11 leap from said sofa exclaiming either, “Yes!” or, “I can’t do this any more!”
  • Go move around. Clean house. Or garden. Or do an online yoga class. Alternatively, find myself doing paperwork and never get to move around and regret it when I’m achy that night. It happens. (The fun thing is that by setting a time slot for movement, I’ve developed a habit, and find my body calls me to stand up right about then.)
  • Eat lunch. With any luck, leftovers from last night.
  • Lie back down on said sofa (it’s actually a love seat but hey) and watch some of said Australian television. Currently, quirky family drama “Offspring. We can legitimately call this Institutionalized Lazing About.
  • After an hour or so, might be more, hoist myself with further appropriate sound effects from said sofa, and either:
    • run errands (grocery shop, dry cleaners, hardware store, the usual)
    • visit my mother (twice a week)
    • prepare for cooking a more elaborate dinner than usual
    • clean the house a little more
    • sit on my doorstep and watch swallowtails flutter in the abelia
  • Pick my husband up from the train station
  • Finish making dinner, eat it
  • Clean up dinner
  • Lie back down on, you guessed it, said sofa. Watch more TV.
  • Go to bed, read a book.

Essentially, a life built of small tasks caring for others, but centered around the very big project of finishing a book – which cares for me. As do eating, sleeping and moving about of course. Television, small squares of chocolate, and <7 glasses of red wine/week serve as my controlled substances of choice. Control being the operative term.

On the other hand I am trying to de-routinize my beliefs.

It seems we’re living through a time of extraordinary political and societal disruption. The 1960s were equally painful, I think, but I was young, and insulated by my family. Now I feel every pain I read about on Twitter, without any buffer but a capacity for analysis.

I hate and find miserable these discussions where people scream talking points, beat each other over the head with fragments of fact, bang their beliefs like gongs. It feels like war. The only way through I know is asking “Why?” “Why do you believe as you do?” If the answer is fact fragments, “Where did you hear that?” If the answer is faith, ask where their faith comes from. Just keep asking why.

I’m applying my approach to myself, too. I posted this on Medium what feels like ages ago – but I keep reevaluating. When I hear what sounds like an inconvenient fact, something that challenges my position, I follow up instead of trying to refute. It’s hard.

See, I have come to believe that we build most of our belief structures to support our emotional reality. It takes a lot of patience and deep breathing to expose yourself to facts that challenge your beliefs, because in doing so you challenge your bedrock emotional comfort.

Comfort in nut butters, I’m all for. Comfort in thought, not so much. Life should always leave something caught between your teeth.

But as always, I wish you a wonderful weekend.


57 Responses

  1. Currently trying to get back to a workable routine/schedule after six weeks of having mine (pleasurably) disrupted through travel. Mine’s not so very different from yours, except that I only rarely countenance TV-watching before 6. Not sure quite when that became so engrained — might have had to do with my fear, as a rather young, SAHM, of developing some dangerous Days of Our Lives habits. . . Somehow, reading a mystery in the afternoon is okay; catching up on the latest episodes of Marcella not so much.
    The last paragraphs of your post really resonate with me. I’ve long held “Embrace Complexity” as a motto, although I often long for the comfort of having sure and simple and positivist answers.
    And I quite like the way you prescribe a similar approach and then say “But. . . [have] a wonderful weekend.” That “but” is everything. “And” might have been much smoother, but right now, smooth is dangerous. . . xo

    1. @Frances/Materfamilias, Right now smooth is that slippery slope:(.

      I use that daytime hour of TV as anxiety medication, pure and simple. When I was sick and confined to bed for several months a few years ago, I got in the habit of lying down watching on my laptop. Now I find that if I take that break at midday, I don’t fibrillate in the down period of my Circadian rhythm.

      FWIW, my father takes a nap every day, during this same early afternoon period. So maybe it’s genetic!

  2. OK, I haven’t even finished this post but I am compelled to comment already! There is nothing wrong with chocolate, wine and TV. It’s one of my perfect combos :-) Sure, everything in moderation. But I feel we need to show love for this sort of relaxation! :-)

    1. @K-Line, I endorse this kind of relaxation – to a point. And I have to be careful of the point because I had an eating disorder, alcoholism runs in my family, and TV makes me never want to stand up again;). Anyone who can indulge without bordering on addiction, I bow to you!

  3. Not unlike my days in many ways, with a bit of work and dogwalking thrown in. I have (finally) managed to set a policy about commenting on things…I have stopped. She says, busy commenting on a blog…
    But in the main, I avoid adding my comments because of the replies from angry people or trolls who seem to just lurk there to spit out their venom. My life is too brief to encompass their fury and I would say that I aim for more tranquillity in the daily round, as a way to deal with the current madness and confusion. And I watch Jonathan Creek on Netflix where there is always a solution. It works.

    1. @Annie Green, I think limiting one’s exposure to fury is good. Some things will require your own fury, so best to keep it rested and in reserve.pure calm

      I hadn’t heard of Jonathan Creek. Quick Google, looks fun, I’ve learned I can’t do too much searching because the spoilers lurk. But I’ll give it a try. At the moment when I want pure calm I watch bits of this dopey reality show where people get gardens built for them. Cheesy gardens, sweet show;).

  4. I too find comfort in routine… a schedule, of sorts. But it’s a weekly one for me, made up on Sunday, just like when I was still teaching. And consists of which days I will do what. I fit my daily activities around whatever I have previously scheduled, like lunch with a friend, or appointments etc. Otherwise, I feel like I might fly off the rails of retirement. I need some structure, or I’d sit with a book, or at the computer for far too long.
    Whenever I say this people cannot understand why I don’t take up a volunteer job, or are mystified why I ever retired to begin with. The answer is that after 30 years of having to be in one classroom or another at exactly 9:05 or 2:20, and then having most of my off duty time taken up with marking or prepping lessons or running the school paper, or committee meetings or, or yada yada… I am jealous of anyone having control of what I do and when I do it.
    My only daily thing is, like you, black tea and toast for breakfast. And something for exercise every day. I am finding that I now schedule my blogging time too, or I lose it. So, two days of writing, and a couple of other days when I will do morning research, or take photos. I am finding that I so look forward to those writing days. And instead of feeling silly to be spending time doing this, I now say (right out loud…gasp) “I can’t meet on Tuesday, that’s my blogging day.” And I don’t even smile sheepishly. Ha. That’s progress!
    As for comfortable routine thought… well… to comment on that would make this comment way too long. I’ll save that for another time:) xo

    1. @Sue Burpee, I think learning to make time and claim time for blogging, or other creative projects, can be a big part of retirement for many of us. I am glad you are putting it into your schedule – it’s a real project and deserves commitment and time. xoxo.

  5. “Life should always leave something caught between your teeth.” Oh, how I love this.

    Routine, yes, I’m all for it. I tend to build my days around working on the blog, taking a break in the late morning or mid-day to get errands done. I tend to be most productive with writing early in the morning and late in the afternoon. I try not to let myself go down the Twitter rabbit hole until I have the next post written. And sometimes I manage to get out and meet a friend for lunch.

    1. @Susan B., Thank you.

      I can only write in the morning, sadly. I suppose if I weren’t responsible for dinner and cleanup every day (by choice) then I might do some more come the early evening.

      Meeting a friend for lunch sounds nice. I should do that more often.

  6. Thank you for sharing! In return I feel I must tell you about Siom chocolate halva spread, a cocoa tahini, which you might find delicious on your toast. It is on Amazon and at Whole Foods (and surely other places, too). Jenny at Dinner, A Love Story recommended and it deserves to be spread (get it? :)

  7. Australian TV isn’t bad. I’m on mysteries so I’ve watched Brokenwood, I’m taken with Richard Rocksburry and have watched “Rake “ and another series that he’s been in. It’s a nice change from American television.

    1. @Roseag, I started on Rake but wasn’t hooked right away.

      Probably a good thing, that way I have it in my pocket for the future;).

  8. Ah, retirement, how I love thee. Small routines for me: up by 7:00, breakfast of coffee and something small (toast, cereal bar, or yogurt) nothing huge, or requiring effort. I like to either clean or garden or both in the morning, my most productive time. then lunch, something from the freezer. We generally do our errands on Fridays, so that day we go out for lunch. After lunch a nap is usually in order. Then slowly start making dinner or do “stuff” on the internet. After dinner is when I like to watch tv. We like BBC mysteries. Not terribly exciting, but after years of working and child rearing, it’s great.

    Happy weekend to you.

    1. @MaryAnne, Lovely to hear you find retirement so comfortable!

      It’s clearly been an effort me to get here – and my balance between anxiety and contentment is not stable, may never be. As they say, anxiety, it me.

      I partly try to use it for good, partly try to get rid of it, partly just make sure to ride it out without damage to anyone.

  9. As always, so well written! I particularly love your last bit about asking WHY people believe what they do. So much better than my secret urge to beat them on the head and ask them if they are stupid.
    Thank you for your voice of reason!

  10. Your post awakens me to the fact that others struggle with remaining relevant.

    For the past two years I helped take care of my father which bought a life to me that I found rewarding and surprising. His death ended a natural structure to my day.
    Recently I asked myself, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail”? My answer study French. It seems to solve several problems for me diminishing my fear of Alzheimer’s Disease and finally recognizing that I’m going to be okay.
    I only turn on the television in the evening. I know there’s fear behind that. Exercise is very important to me and it usually takes out a minimum of an hour a day.
    Still, I am aware of the luxury of time and what it means to contemplate how lucky I am after-all.
    Your blog has meaning Lisa and I appreciate it!


    1. @Luci, Thank you. And I’m sorry for loss of your father, glad that you had the time and space to take care of him.

  11. In my opinion, personal routine gives order. Order, these days, in the wider world is so lacking. (Watching the news exemplifies disorder on many levels.) We are definitely creatures of habit and need order, without order we feel uneasy/disrupted. My routines are like yours…maintaining the household and all that entails, regular meet-ups with friends and/or relatives, pursuing my interest in art/antiques and my latest home renovation project. We all need coping mechanisms in today’s complex world and whatever works for the individual is important.

  12. Thank you for sharing your schedule! I am always inordinately curious about the manner in which others spend their days…especially those who don’t have a set schedule imposed upon them. I fear perhaps, that I am searching to find a perfect schedule that I may copy. Alas, with retirement, I am finding that my schedule is predicated more than ever on my self-definition. When I was a teacher, teaching defined my day, when I was a grant writer, writing grants defined my day, etc., once I retired (a couple of years ago), it took me a while to ‘grow into’ a new schedule. I’m still tinkering with my hours as it were.

    1. @Michelle Chun LeRoy, I think you define the process well – we do have to grow into a new identity, and for some of us finding a new schedule/routine, eases the transition. I find most of all that by reducing decisions (i.e. what to do next) I reduce distress.

      I am pretty good at big decisions but cannot seem to turn off the machinery for the small ones:).

  13. Lisa,
    I envy the possibility of choosing your days. For many, retirement is a luxury, not a guarantee.

    1. @drew, It has taken me a while to be ready to answer this comment. I think I’ll just relate the history of my reactions.

      1. Feel scolded
      2. Feel bad to have caused to distress to reader/community member
      3. Start to feel shame for not having talked about my privilege in this post
      4. Pull up, feel defensive reaction to shame – my blog is called Privilege, surely I’ve made it clear, often, that I am aware of said privilege
      5. Start over
      6. Use analytical capacity to consider
      7. Agree that retirement is a privilege that many don’t have
      8. Think about what I’m doing by writing this post, and many others
      9. Agree with myself that I write it because it’s what I’m going through, ask myself the question, is it self-indulgent only (because surely writing a blog involves some self-indulgence), or do I have any altruistic motives
      10. State my altruistic motive, which is this: When I worked, I never had to time deconstruct how much of any distress I felt was job-related, and how much was my underlying nature. I wish I had known this was me, I’d have chosen my work differently, and approached the work I did take on differently. So, by writing these posts, I hope that others who are sorting out work, and then sorting out retirement, can in fact honor the privilege of retiring by finding the true self balance it requires. So we can do right by our loved ones, by our larger communities, by the largest community we can imagine, and by ourselves.
      11. Start to answer your comment:).
      12. Admit to myself that the best day working was as good as the best day of retirement. That daily choice can be a burden – the job is to do as much good as possible with that opportunity for choice.
      13. Admit that I miss my work sometimes – tech was not a career for a woman without a tech degree who was over 50, my retirement was not a 100% joyous move. I have a happy life – I am not always happy. I do the best I can with my time, then I tell you about it.
      14. Publish my response.

  14. Just a month into retirement (which is indeed a luxury, but one I worked hard for) husband’s health issues and unexpected home repairs have derailed any routine. My luxuries right now are the World Cup and the British Baking Show on PBS. I try to build in some exercise too. I like the idea of a routine and love these ideas.

    1. @Lynn, So sorry for your husband’s health issue.

      And home repairs, what a pain in the neck! The World Cup is a lush experience I find, glad you are enjoying too.

      Congratulations on your hard-earned retirement.

  15. Routine is good. Risk is good. My challenge is to find the middle way. :)

    When im not travelling, I have a daily to-do menu from which I construct my daily schedule. Without such structure I would not accomplish much and might fall into a ditch for days.

    BTW, a friend recently said: “Retirement is the great enabler.” She did not mean that in the good way either.

    1. @Ann in Missouri, Ha! I love your friend’s comment. I think it goes both ways. It’s surely an intensive workshop in something or other.

      I have moved from a daily to do list to a weekly one, then I can pick and choose from day to day depending on how the writing goes – because that determines how much time I have to do everything else.

  16. I am retired about 16 months now and still work at my old place about 3 days a month (helping out on a project)
    I have a routine as I like some structure and I am task oriented and I like a feeling of accomplishment. Weekly, I attend a few lectures, joined a discussion group (current affairs etc.) and go to yoga.
    I get up somewhere between 7-830, have my tea and a smoothie, peruse my usual internet sites/blogs, maybe do some trip planning and then I (try to) go on the elliptical for 30 minutes. Then off to a lecture or yoga or ? and usually come home to have lunch with husband (stopping for groceries on my way home.)
    Housework, meal-prep, laundry, gardening, are done sometime in between.
    We also joined lawn bowling this season so do that in the afternoon or evening.
    And although we can do the following during the day: socializing, theatre, TV viewing – they are usually evening activities…..
    And all of my “stuff” can be ignored if I need a lazy day, and I often do – about once every two weeks!
    Gee writing it down makes it seem like I am quite busy but it does not feel like that at all.
    Thanks for the Saturday morning posts, I really enjoy them
    Suz from Vancouver

    1. @Suz, I love the range of activities you have!

      I too like to give myself a day without any structure, any to do stuff, every 2-3 weeks.

  17. I always awake thinking about the structure of the day and try to think of at least one thing that I look forward to. This helps to allay any anxieties. I had a friend who woke every morning with great anticipation, thinking “what wonderful things might happen today?” I wish I could be that way. I heard that Keith Richards wakes up and thinks, “Oh, I woke up. I’m still here,” or something like that. I guess it all boils down to gratitude – being grateful for the precious life we have been given and honoring it. I start my day with a light breakfast of either a fruit and vegetable smoothie or yogurt and fruit with cinnamon and honey or 21-grain toast with almond butter. Then it’s over to my grandson’s house (they live in my neighborhood) to work with him on vocabulary and spelling (he has mild dyslexia)., then exercise (either a walk around my neighborhood or the lake or the gym to use the treadmill and the elliptical). Lunch is something formulated from whatever I find in the refrigerator or a lunch out with my husband or a friend. Afternoons are for reading, getting on the computer to do my Duolingo lessons for French, or housework. Sometimes mornings are for gardening or doctors’ appointments or my twice a month French conversation group. Really, retirement is for giving myself permission to do nothing if that is what I want. The evenings are given over to PBS – lately it is British mysteries: Vera, Maigret, Poiret, Endeavor, or Midsomer Murders. I love hearing what everyone else does with their day. Thank you for another great post, Lisa!

    1. @Jane, My pleasure. And thank you for the idea to think about not only what I must do tomorrow, what will make me feel accomplished if I do it tomorrow, but what is something I will really enjoy about tomorrow.


  18. OK, I’m back. I binged on Offspring. At first, it didn’t grab me but somehow, I watched 7 seasons in a month. I’ve never seen more complacent children in my life! But she had a lot of really fine boyfriends :-)

  19. As an Australian, I’m curious to hear which of our TV series have managed to translate? (Apart from Offspring, which is a classic of its kind – lightweight, but the fun! the dialogue! the truth in family relationships! the Patrick!) I wonder whether there is room in a series to get into the flow of the peculiarities of Australian language, humour and culture – something that has sometimes proved too tricky in a feature film format (although I hope you’ve managed to see the ones that have made it through these barriers – Muriel’s Wedding; Priscilla; in a different era, Picnic at Hanging Rock?) As an aside, I can definitely second Rake – for the fabulous Richard Roxborough but also as another classic of the form.

    1. i love Australian TV – got hooked first on A Place to Call Home, then Janet King. I’ll check out your other recommendations. Thanks

  20. Hello Lisa, What individuals people are–I can leave alone TV, chocolate and wine, but books and collecting are my true vices.

    Speaking of books, I am currently reading Rambles in Old College Towns, by Hildegarde Hawthorne. She was highly enthusiastic about Princeton and its campus, yet also penetrated that the true spirit and traditions of the school went well beyond buildings and real estate. She was writing in 1917, so on the campuses she visited the usual high spirits were channeled into drilling the students for active participation in WWI. Then as now, freedom cannot be taken for granted.

    1. @Parnassus, Such extremely civilized vices! I’d be interested to read those paragraphs on Princeton. It was surrounded by historic sites, of course, battle sites, and I never paid any attention.

      Oh feckless and callow youth;)

  21. After 40 years of running around like a mad thing (mostly) my work has become much quieter, and I also have discovered that I don’t need to work so much in terms of money. I still want to work, and want to be wanted. But considering the future, it is really rather scary. The idea of retirement seems all wrong – I am just a few months older than you I think. I wonder what will fill the gaps. I wonder who I should be ‘when I grow up’. Do I need some creativity/ community service or both? i’m fascinated that you find it so simple and so satisfying. Maybe the fact that I haven’t had children changes it all. Interesting times but not easy.

    1. @Ruth, If my work had suited my temperament as well as it suited my mind, I’d probably still be working. I don’t think there’s any particular benefit to retirement if you love your work and can control your hours.

      Also, if I imply I have found retirement simple and satisfying, yikes! Nope! It has been incredibly complex, but, sorting it out and parts of myself in the process has been edifying. I work on finding it satisfying every day -Ibecause I’m fully in charge of that part:).

  22. I’m semiretired, working 50%, by choice, after over 40 years of full time medical practice.
    This summer, I took an extended (3 month) vacation partly to test the waters of retirement, partly to travel as well as visit adult children/grandchildren, while celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.
    Work schedule: 2 office days + .5 day for charts, administration, continuing medical education. Time off is spent walking, exercising, meeting/eating with friends, reading magazines (guilty pleasures: fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s etc, and napping whenever I feel like it)
    Vacation schedule: reverted to adolescence, staying up late, surfing the internet, reading until all hours of the morning, waking up late, enjoying (I think) some form of late rebellion after 40+ years of very disciplined living and postponed gratification.
    This “rebellion” was tempered by travelling to enjoy theatre and music festivals with my husband, as well as visiting family, where our schedule was basically set by our wonderful but very young grandchildren.
    Back onto the part time work schedule in a month….

    1. @sensitive poet, I think it’s wonderful you gave yourself full permission to do as you please. And it will be interesting, I imagine, to see how the part time schedule feels now.

  23. I am far from getting to retire but we are in the process of purchasing a 1920’s craftsman bungalow in my hometown (shhhh, no one knows yet) that will be our retirement haven. It will also be helpful to have my own space to escape to when I visit family.
    My current routine is up at 3 am to be at work by 4. Depending on the day, I might get home by 1 pm or 3 pm. Then it’s nap time with the dog. She has a strict 90 minute nap rule and she rarely lets me sleep longer than that. Then I try to do some work on my photography business although I sometimes get lost on the internet.
    Hubs gets home at 6, we watch MASH, have dinner and by 8 I am losing the ability to understand words so I know it is my bedtime.
    I am lucky that I have a set schedule with my days off together. We try to catch some music on Saturdays or Sundays then when I have the house to myself on Mondays I try to go do a little self promoting, watch some training videos or struggle to figure out editing.
    I am hoping by the end of the year to cut back at the day job and focus on the photography more. That will feel like semi-retirement to me.

  24. My sense of having a routine, has been thrown off kilter for awhile – due to various things outside of my control, and I’m looking forward to resetting my routine soon.
    I’ve always liked routine, certain rituals (like preparing for bed) etc. Very comforting.

    I still feel guilty if I watch TV during the day…hmmm.

  25. I asked my 87 year old father if he remembered a time when there was this much political turmoil. He said no, it’s never been like this, not even in the 1960s.

  26. Routine and all of the associated little daily rituals get short shrift. They are, on the contrary, important in keeping/finding one’s personal equilibrium in the current, rather unpleasant state of the world that seems to barrage us daily.

    Best Regards,


  27. I’ve napped since my 20s when I was first home with my kids. Still do at least 3 or 4 days a week (miss it when travelling!). Sleep, yes, reading a mystery, sure, but almost never TV—a quirky personal rule with surprising longevity and force…

  28. Meant for this comment to be in response to me, way up above…..doesnt make sense down here on its own but I can neither budge nor delete it now. Sorry…

  29. I wake up early, 6:00am, turn on the coffee pot and settle into a time of prayer and Bible reading. That is followed by
    a two mile walk, I walk up up to Lake Erie, and then breakfast. After that my days vary depending on what I have planned. I too need structure to get things done. Otherwise I would stick my nose in a book and only stop when I finished!

  30. For me, the best thing about retirement is not to have to get up early any more. I am an owl, and always have been. But after enjoying the pleasure of getting enough sleep for a couple of months, I found that a new routine was necessary. I retired almost exactly one year ago, but I am still working on finding a new rhythm in my life. The desire to take things easy conflicts with wishes which used to be postponed and now come to the fore like: learning another language, leanrnig to play an instrument, be creative (sewing, stitching, knitting), going back to writing. Lately, I also feel a strong need to get involved politically or socially and consider joining Amnesty international (again). For a while, this list led to some anxiety: in the morning I felt that I would never get done all the things I would have liked to, in the evening I was unhappy about everything i had not managed to sqeeze into the day. A routine (daily and weekly) helps me to draw the line and not plan for more than I can realistically achieve.

  31. For me, a “routine” turns all too easily into a “rut,” so I admire all of you on this blog who have managed to find – or create – a routine that enhances your lives. I am very project-oriented, so I do write up a list most Sundays of what I want to accomplish during the coming week , and then check each one off as I go. And they are done pretty much always at times I choose, rather than working to a schedule.

    Of course, there is a difference between, say, “balance checkbook” (30 mins max) and “edit canal garden video” (which can mean several days of 10am-to-5pm computer work with few breaks), but I do like the variety and the feeling that I am in charge of how I spend my time.

    And I never watch TV or videos during the day, or take naps, although I do read the NY Times at breakfast, and magazines at lunch. Plus a couple of evening news programs after sundown, and then novels as bedtime reading. But I do have standing dates with Father Brown on Tuesday evenings, Tom Barnaby on Fridays, and Endeavour Morse on Sundays – after almost 53 years of marriage, my husband doesn’t mind sharing me!

  32. Completely agree with you Lisa (I’ll read comments later but I’ve read the blogs you’ve recommended and liked them very ,very much)
    Some kind of routine is very soothing and needed in a well-balanced life.
    I’ve found routine to be helpful and,paradoxically,liberating,it gives me more,not less,freedom and more joy to do whatever I want in my “free” time.
    Than,if needed or/and wanted,I’m also free to break my schedule
    Without the strict schedule I couldn’t survive the years before last ,taking care of my father.
    As I still have to deal with some of people,obligations,meetings and responsibilities,I find it very important to have a timetabe
    I usually wake up between 6 and 7.30 (with the help of alarm,depending to how early I have to start my day) and have light breakfast (fruits,whole bread…)and a double espresso (yes, with the cream) in bed for an hour-this is a very soothing ritual and a good way to begin my day (except cream!)),reading,meditating or simply thinking about the day ahead
    Between 9am-1pm I plan all my outdoor bussiness activities (and 45 minutes quick coffee with a friend once a week). I try to do everything before lunch (sometimes I cook early in the morning ,sometimes I prepare everything and cook when I get home or have lunch with my mother)
    If it was not possible,I prefer to stay longer than to go home and have afternoon meetings,but sometimes it is impossible (and I hate it) After lunch I try to take a nap but lately can’t sleep during the day. So,I read
    After 4-7am I do what I want or what needs to be done in or around the house (watering the flowers,dusting,washing,ironing…),or some paperwork
    I like to go out in the evening,as well as to stay at home and watch series,films or reading-both are important for my well being and balance.
    Twice a week I have physiotherapy,I walk and exercise every day (a little)
    And as Ronni has quoted her friend “…I’m at peace,I’m happy”
    Without the routine,I’ll be reading all day (eating chocolate :-))-and sometimes I do!
    Have a nice Independence day!

  33. This was a great Saturday post. I’m a really bad sleeper, so can’t do the early morning leisure time unfortunately. I try to get a 5 km trail walk in most days. I love to cook, but really tired of cooking dinner every night , so I do menu planning, which works for me. So I think a retired routine makes me feel a lot happier, even if it’s reading, doing a class, playing the piano etc., but not in a militant way. I love Offspring, so entertaining. Any other recommendations?

  34. Why don’t you try volunteering? It beats sitting around all day, it’s socializing, and very rewarding. Unless I’m mistaken, you only post on Saturdays so you have lots of free time to give to others less fortunate. I’ve volunteered at a food pantry, a farm, a hospital, and a tax center (filing income taxes sponsored by AARP). It’s the best form of work.

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