Why are we more busy now than before we retired?…What’s the deal?…

Lovely fresh flowers were on the table when we dined in Marrakesh, Morocco.

When I think back to our old lives, before we started traveling in 2012, I don’t know how I ever accomplished all the tasks necessary to manage our lives and household. Often, I heard retirees mention that they were busier in their retirement than when they worked.

Tom worked 12-hour days, with two hours of driving time (an hour each way), and when he got home, he was exhausted and had no time to help manage a household. He didn’t shop, cook, or clean in those days. I often worked 12 hours a day during my career, but it was nowhere as taxing as Tom’s work. Also, there were many days that I worked for eight hours, leaving me time to do what I needed to do to keep things running smoothly in our lives.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had a house cleaner once a week, which helped tremendously. In the later years, before we left, I had groceries delivered, which saved a lot of time and effort. I could whip through an online grocery order in less than 10 minutes, as I do now.

For most of my career, I was self-employed and often kept my workout clothes in the car, enabling me to work out whenever I had a break. Since Tom usually worked through dinner time, I would go in the evening if I missed working out during the day. Beginning in the 90s, I started shopping online when others thought I was risk-taking in doing so.

In my mind, shopping at a mall was a waste of time. Instead, I’d use that time to go to lunch with my friends and co-workers. This allowed me to build and maintain excellent relationships with my girlfriends, which I still hold today through phone calls and texts. Family time was usually reserved for the weekends when everyone was more readily available, except for Tom, who often worked on weekends with two days off during the week.

I always assumed when we retired, our lives would be spent with family and friends and time together with a sense of ease and few constraints. But, once I retired in 2010, I found myself busier than ever when I worked. My days and nights were jam-packed with errands and social events with family and friends, all of which were enjoyable but seemed to fill my days to such an extent that I had to figure out when to work out and maintain a pleasant home life.

Retirees often say how busy they are/were, and after only a few months, I understood what they were talking about. In a short time, I was spewing the same phenomenon. Did I schedule too much for myself since I now had an extra 10 hours a day to fill? Most likely, that was the issue.

You’d think that now, with no home to maintain and living away from family and friends, I’d have many extra hours to fill each day. But, much to my surprise, I am busy each day running this household, managing financial matters, cooking, cleaning, working out, and chatting with Tom, family, and friends. It’s almost as busy as it was before we began traveling.

I’m not complaining; I love the daily activities, except for the cleaning, as mentioned in yesterday’s post here. Even once I’ve prepared tax stuff for the accountant, I enjoy the time spent managing money each month. The tasks aren’t difficult or time-consuming, providing a tremendous sense of accomplishment when done.

Speaking of which, it’s time to finish exercising for the day, after which I’ll wrap up the preparation for tonight’s dinner: steak and rice for Tom and salmon for me, along with the big salad I prepared this morning. Last night, we dined at The Pub and had a fun evening and meal.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 23, 2014:

While walking in the souk, I often hold the camera and shoot, getting whatever I can. Sandals and shoes are popular items for sale in the souk in the Big Square. For more photos, please click here.