Is There Life After Retirement?

Structure? Yikes!

Posted on: October 26, 2020

From the day that I entered Stark Elementary School as an apprehensive first grader until my last day as a laid back UHMC Outreach Coordinator, my life was largely ruled by something I hadn’t considered until about two months ago. For sixty years, the STRUCTURE of my life almost exclusively came from the outside – school or work. Mine, or my son’s.

After retirement, I did a huge relocation and suddenly realized that I no longer had time constraints. I could stay in my nightgown all day, if I wanted! I could play Rescue Team Eight for hours, if I wanted! I could have my groceries delivered and not leave my house, if I wanted! What a great discovery! However, left to my own devices, two things soon became clear to me:

  1. I am not a naturally structured person
  2. We freaking NEED some structure in our lives.

So if there is no longer externals forcing me to be structured, does that mean I have to create the structure myself?? Hence, the “yikes” of the title.

Being the work-in-progress that I am, I’ve only come up with a couple things so far.  Number one – since I have a little master bedroom with its own bathroom thing (which I love, incidentally) – I do not leave my bedroom unless my bed is made.  Number two, I don’t get a second cup of coffee until I’m changed into “outside” clothes.

I’ve also managed to stick with the closest thing to internal structure prior to this phase, which is hitting the gym for thirty minutes, three times a week, EVERY SINGLE week. No, not four times, not for an hour. But did you see the “every single week” part? That is doable and it works for me.

My next challenge is – at least for the moment – to consider M-F as my “work week.” During my work week, I will follow WW (formerly Weight Watchers, but they’re all sensitive about being called WW these days) and I will (oh, this one hasn’t happened yet) write two hours a day – from 10AM until noon. There. I said it. I committed to it.

Structure.  I can learn this.

Does this count towards my two hours??!!

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