Somehow over a year has passed since I retired from my position as the head of Customer Service for a publishing house. Retirement hasn’t looked exactly how I thought it would – I envisioned seemingly endless days filled with reading, writing blog posts, playing with Hannah, lounging in the hammock or swing, leisurely walks, and spending time with friends and family.
In reality, it seemed that nearly every day was packed full of one activity or another, some of which included the above, but there were also things to dismantle and things to repair, chores to do, gardens and orchards to tend, food to preserve, new babies to welcome into the world, and laying my Dad to rest.
After being in the corporate world for so long and willingly working far more hours than I should have, I thought it would be a year to rest and recover from pushing myself so hard. Apparently I don’t know how to rest and keep from pushing myself too hard, because I’m still feeling pretty worn out in this new life.
It’s been difficult to realize and accept that the problem was never my job and the expectations of others. It was my own work ethic and well, insanity, that caused me to live the way I lived, which was long hours at work, usually six days a week at my job, blogging or spending time with family and friends in the evening, and sleeping a scant five or six hours a night.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s possible that I can’t live any other way. Hard work feels good, whether it’s physical or mental and I love the sense of accomplishment I feel at the end of a day. Sure, there’s stuff that doesn’t get done, but I’m going to get up tomorrow and tackle it with the same gusto I felt for the work today. The other thing is that I love serving – even when I did work for a corporation, the work wasn’t just for the corporation, it was doing my job the way I would if God were my boss. Not just for his pleasure, but to use the gifts I’ve been given and put forth my very best, not skating by or calling it good enough.
I spent a lot of time eradicating thistles last year
Pretty thistles are still thistles
All that said, I need to do a much better job at Sabbath rest. It’s no coincidence that I saw countless articles last year about increased creativity and output after a period of rest and the fallacy of multitasking. This is one of the things that prompted some of my 2018 experiments, like the screen free bedroom, hoping to achieve eight hours of sleep at night and devote at least some portion of each day to rest and maintaining a full day of rest each week. It will be hard and if I’m honest, knowing myself, I’m not likely to be one hundred percent successful.
Another area I need to focus on is being more conscious of what I say yes to. Almost everything sounds good but I’m finding that I don’t always accomplish everything I want to do because I’ve said yes to so many other things. Since I didn’t think I’d have to schedule my day when I retired, this is going to take some time to figure out.
How about you? What does your work and leisure look like? Are you making time for both? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Facebook!