May 3, 2013

Retirement: Boredom and the Smoking Gun

One of my great loves...altering photos!
Nevada Desert Salt Flats
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The beauty of life is that we get to choose...we can be interesting or boring. I have always thought that, given my wonderful carefree life, I should be at least content if not interesting. Even though there are factors in all our lives that can leave us depressed, it not whether those things happen but how we handle them. I can deal with the bad but it is the good times that had me wondering. I suppose that is why I didn't see the clues pointing to a need for change in my life. Everything is perfect. So what was the big mystery problem that left me wondering what to do with each and everyday? 

People would ask my husband what he was going to do when he retired. He would say I am going to do whatever I want! It never occurred to him and certainly not to me that we would ever be depressed or bored if we could just do what we wanted...day after day after day. Then one day the optimist in me woke up to the reality that I needed to have a plan and not a life full of one whim after another. I could not pretend any more that the smoking gun was not lying there on the floor and that gun had a label saying I Am Bored. WOW!

My children were never allowed to use that word ever. They knew it made me angry and I would always tell them that smart people didn't get bored and they should find something to do. But here I was, stuck in the rut of doing just exactly what I wanted and I did not like it at all. If my mother were around, I would whine "I'm bored". That scared me a lot. What was I going to do with the rest of my life?

Then it dawned on me that the thing I was lacking was a meaningful routine. I was needing a set of habits that made me do the necessary things every day. I should exercise, read the newspaper, wash and iron, take my pills, brush my teeth, make the bed, write letters, call on friends, maintain my personal appearance, cook, study, etc.  You have to understand that in the list of things to be done there are a lot of things I don't like to do. But I also know that a habitual routine can free up your mind to think about other things. Doing those things I don't like by habit can leave me time to think about what I want to write, read and create. So I came up with a routine.

The change was amazing. Days fly by and each one sees things accomplished. The time I spend doing those favorite things is precious and never wasted. My optimism is back and a cloud has lifted...thank you very much. Dylan Thomas would be pleased to know that I am not boring myself anymore.  

Have a wonderful day.

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Do you have a meaningful routine and what are the things you include on your list of things you do with out thinking?
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