Time to do what I enjoy

It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. I know there are teachers who are getting ready, after a week away, to get everything ready to dive into the next three weeks. Yep, three weeks until Christmas break. I have six storytelling days in those three weeks. Three books and a couple of craft projects. I’m crafting paper Eiffel Towers for the story in two weeks. This next week has a stick puppet mouse for which I have gotten all the supplies ready and divvied into envelopes for students. On Saturday I picked up 64 Teddy bears to hand out the last day before vacation for the story that week. I will go to school three days that week-two for stories, one for bear delivery.

I overheard a woman at church today saying how busy she was all last week, a week of rest and joy for me. Our daughter and grandchildren were here three days. I did laundry and housecleaning after they left, and also finished two books, wrote some journal entries, and planned out the rest of the year. Oh, and because I have a yearly checkup next week, I had to answer a lengthy questionnaire from my doctor’s office for medicare purposes. That didn’t give me any joy.

The woman who said she was so busy isn’t on medicare yet, so even if she had an end-of-the-year checkup, she didn’t have to do that form. The woman who said she was so busy has no volunteer activities, either, so I wondered what filled her time. What, dear Reader, fills your time? I think about this quite a lot now that I know so many retired folk, like myself, who no longer have to get ready each day and go off to a job only to come home to chores and cooking, and getting ready for the next day.

I do spend a lot of time on reading. Two newspapers, social media, stacks of books. I usually have two books going at once, and read about two a week. I shop very little online. I’m not an Amazon member nor do I go to Costco. My shopping trips are limited mainly to Target and grocery, and they are in person. So many delivery trucks are on our street each day, dropping stuff at our neighbors, sometimes on an hourly basis. I keep thinking: who shops that much? Who needs that much? One of the neighbors has two garbage cans due to all the stuff they buy and need to dispose of the packaging.

I came home from church and had popcorn for lunch. Sent two emails, one to the deacons, one to the teachers. Raked the backyard leaves. Swept the patio. When I got back inside, it was just past two p.m. so decided I had time to write a blog post. Dinner is made, a pan of enchiladas I prepped on Saturday and will bake this evening. Oh, and Brussels sprouts to roast. I bought them on Friday at the grocery and then forgot about them until this morning when I opened the produce drawer.

Although I have accomplished quite a bit, I wouldn’t tell anyone I’ve been busy as it all seems very relaxed and easy. I have the time to do what I enjoy. I hope you do, too.


20 responses to “Time to do what I enjoy

  1. Busy at almost-85 (in 6 weeks) and 92 (my spouse earlier this month) is far different–for us anyway–than it was at 65 or even 75. Unfortunately, my body does NOT agree with carrying out many of the tasks on my “To Do” lists anymore. I’m still in the process of reluctantly coming to grips with this fact. I do a lot of reading and as much housework and walking as I can daily. Back in the day I would already have our Christmas decorations out of the storage room and ready to put up. No longer. . .now I must call on our handyman to render assistance. Life can be very different from year to year in one’s 80s and 90s (although I can’t muster up much enthusiasm for 90!).

    • The ability to keep moving is important. Daughter and I just had that conversation while she visited. I exercise every day and can easily get down and back up from the floor. She said I should be able to squat for 5 minutes so we both squatted in the hallway & carried on a conversation for 5 minutes. Or close to 5 min. I need to work on that piece.

    • I agree that the definition of busy changes as you age. Now I do more volunteer work than I did when I had a more structured schedule. I have time to read the local newspaper every day, and keep up with the dozens of blogs I’ve subscribed to. I have time for exercise every day, and am able to food shop in multiple stores (picking the best items from each) rather than trying to get everything in one place.

      • Funny, I did more store-hopping in my younger years. Now I want to go to one store and go home. Of course, I need less now than back in my working days.

  2. Elizabeth Rogers

    She’s right. I’m doing the best I can. My husband and I can still get down and up from the floor, albeit not as easily as we once could. I had 3 back surgeries in my youth and now have residual nerve damage, arthritis and scoliosis. I still walk a mile+ 6-7 days/week, but I definitely couldn’t squat for 5 minutes (that is, if I ever want to get vertical again).

    • I’ve got to work on the squatting. I often have to squat in stores to get the product I want and even at church when I’m working in the kitchen. One church member had rolling drawers installed in one of the deep cabinets because she could no longer squat and retrieve items from the far back. I have to squat for all of the bottom cabinets in my own kitchen. Maybe that’s keeping me in better shape.

  3. I read on my Kindle and on my Kindle for the PC, and paperbacks or hardbacks. I always have at least 2 books going at the same time. I spend some time sewing, a lot of time walking back and forth from my office to check on Robert in the Living Room, to answer a call from him, or going to the bathroom. Because of my heart and COPD/Asthma, I don’t do a lot of housework, but I do take care of the laundry now, and the grocery shopping, banking, setting of appointments for both of us, searching for a new home, correspondence with all of our friends, and tracking medications for both of us. My days seem to end faster than I think they should. I’m grateful for being able to do what I can do these days. I’m 77 and my husband is 78 and we’ve been married 58 years. I think that says a lot.

    • Evening usually comes way too soon here. By 4 pm I have slowed to a snail’s pace. Except for watching a few recorded tv shows and some reading nothing much gets done here after the sun sets. Oh, feeding the cats before I turn in is also a huge job.

  4. I am 64 with arthritis pain all over. It annoys me so much and is frustrating that I have a hard time doing things, but I do them anyway. I exercise in some form every day. I putter a bit in the yard when it’s needed. I clean the house, hand wash our laundry, cook and freeze meals. I take my son to and from work five to six days a week. I like to watch some tv, play video games, read and sometimes write. My days are gone before they start, it seems. Time is flying by.

    • Driving takes so much time, doesn’t it? Or here it does. There is so much traffic, and our town is spread out over miles and miles of streets. We have 3 freeways that crisscross the city, but I prefer surface streets because the freeways always seem to have accidents that bring traffic to a standstill.

  5. I also exercise every day, or almost every day. Yesterday I didn’t get many steps because of all the rain, but I did get outdoors for a half hour’s walk. It feels important to keep going, and I also do yoga at least three times a week, which helps so much. And I too have more than one book going at once most days, but I now use the Kindle almost exclusively because it’s so much easier on my eyes. I can change the font size and boldness easily. 🙂

  6. I use Amazon and Costco all the time. Can’t do without them!

  7. I’m not always “busy” and of late have even stopped my art-making due to getting into overwhelm mode, this because of the lockdown in my region in New Zealand. We are moving to a new kind of “regime” in a few days time…Time will tell if that’s going to work. I’m home alone so if something doesn’t get done, then it’s my fault.
    This week was supposed to be ordinary but today (Tuesday) anything but and I was opening my front door to a variety of unknown people that were doing things here, and then just to top it off, the lawncare dude turned up. Finally about mid-arvo the house was my own again…too much interaction, which means my Wednesday rest day will be peaceful and quiet.
    Once upon a time, I had a lot of busy periods as I worked in the voluntary sector, quite often in the w/ends…but now I’ve resigned from all that, “did my time”

    • It’s good to have times of quiet and rest. I know so many people now whose entire life is in that mode. That’s why I wondered about the woman’s comment about being so busy all week because she has very little to do. Made me curious as to what busy looked like for her and then I wondered about others.

  8. Elizabeth Rogers

    Cedar 51: Like you, I’ve resigned from my volunteer gig. For almost 10 years I was an adoption counselor for a cat rescue/rehoming nonprofit. I’m short and just wasn’t able to lift the bigger kitties up into the top cages anymore or chase kittens when they found inaccessible places to hide, as kittens do. Couldn’t really bend, reach and twist around to clean the cages either. I enjoyed working with the cats (some of the people, not so much).

    Hope your new COVID “regime” works. We in the USA are waiting to see what happens with omicron. There are so many anti-vaxx/anti-mask folks here that there probably won’t be another lockdown–even if it’s needed, unfortunately.

  9. Elizabeth Rogers

    I. for one, absolutely detest masks. They make communication more difficult and can fog up my glasses, which constantly slip down over the mask. I also have to be careful removing it (especially if I’m also wearing a rain hat) so that I don’t inadvertently remove, and lose, my pricey hearing aids. (Ain’t old age fun?!) Still, every time I’m tempted to grouch about masking up, I realize that I’d detest a ventilator SO MUCH more–so I just do it and hope for the best.

    • I have found that older people have a terrible time understanding those wearing masks. I’ve quit wearing a mask at church, where people are vaccinated so I feel safer, because people had too much trouble understanding any conversation with me.

  10. Elizabeth Rogers

    That’s true. Still, I guess I’d rather be misunderstood than up my risk for catching COVID. I’m more COVID-cautious (paranoid?) than some since 80%+ of deaths in my state have occurred in those over 80 (my spouse is 92 and I’ll soon be 85). While I fully realize that I’m likely to depart this mortal coil in the not-too-distant future, I’d rather it not be alone in an overwhelmed ICU (under)staffed by exhausted healthcare workers.

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