About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ben's Daily Schedule vs Mine

Our daily schedule is the topic for this week's Fun Monday. Our host is the very busy working student mom, Gracie over at Mama Rehema's . She wants a description of our typical day. When do we get up? Go to bed? What do we do to get going? Wind down? And all those activities in between? Now before I share my very laid back retired schedule, I thought you might be interested in another person's schedule for comparison. Say Ben Franklin's, a man famous for accomplishing a lot in a day. This daily schedule is from Ben Franklin: An Autobiography and Other Writings.

There's a lot to admire about Ben's schedule. I wish my day followed his pattern, but it doesn't. What better way to start your day than by asking the question: What good shall I do this day? Followed by taking stock at the end of the day--What good have I done today? In between Ben takes the time to connect with "Powerful Goodness", his perception of God. Franklin was not a traditionally religious man, rejecting much of the stern Puritan beliefs of his day. Instead he believed that the greatest service of God was in doing good for man. When I study Ben's schedule, balance and moderation come to mind. He rises, contemplates some higher purpose, gets cleaned up, plans and organizes his day, eats breakfast. Then he works until mid-day when he stops to rest and refresh himself with food for mind and body. After that he resumes work. When the workday is done, he puts things in order and then he spends his evening in pleasurable pursuits--dinner and conversation, music, reading. He ends his day by meditating on what he has accomplished, then he sleeps. A day well spent.

I imagined I would spend my retired days much differently than I do. I thought there would be a schedule that, like Ben's, balanced work and pleasure. I would maintain a very organized, efficient household and still have time to have fun and be creative. Instead, I spend a lot of time caregiving and then compensate by not using my free time that wisely--I escape from my current reality a lot. So Gracie, here's what my daily schedule looks like:

2:00-3:00 a.m. Go to bed

8:00-8:30 a.m. Wake up, leash up Willie for trip to paperbox, feed him, make coffee

9:00-10:00 a.m. Drink coffee, eat breakfast, read newspaper

10:00-11:00 a.m. On computer--e-mails, blogs, more news

11:00-2:30 p.m. Household chores, yardwork, errands & appointments, lunch, read

2:30-3:30 p.m. Walk Willie

3:30-4:30 p.m. On computer again, read

4:30-6:30 p.m. Cook and eat dinner, watch news, clean kitchen, straighten and tidy things

6:30-8:00 p.m. Watch Netflix DVDs on computer

8:00- 11:00 p.m. Watch prime time TV, read, paperwork

11:00-2:00 a.m More Netflix, read, blogging

2:00-3:00 a.m Go to Bed

My good friend S has just retired and she can't get over the freedom you feel after so many years working full time and being accountable for your schedule. I understand. My days don't have much form to them and I like it that way. Although, I keep thinking I could make better use of my time. . .


Sayre said...

Wow... you're quite a night owl! I'm lucky to make it to 10pm most nights. Any later than that is extremely rare.

If and when I retire, I hope I can have a Ben Franklin schedule... but it will probably look a lot more like yours! That's not a bad thing.

wendishness said...

I am a night owl too, I have an unstructured day most days and though a lot of that is beyond my control, I wish I had a little more routine to it. Not much can be done about that for the moment though.

I do like Ben Franklin's schedule and I like his morning and evening questions too.

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

Your's is exactly the schedule I would have if I could! By nature I am a night owl; it is my profession that has changed me.

Debs said...

I'm so jealous. I'd love to go to bed so late, but would never get up in the morning. 1am is the latest I can do it, without wanting to sleep the next day.

Love Ben franklin's questions at the beginning and end of the day.

Jan n Jer said...

I love Ben's schedule...its always good to strive to be the best person you can be. You are for sure a real night owl...I can barely stay up past 10pm...I need at least 8hrs of sleep...I have always been that way. I like to feel prouctive no matter how small it is during each day. You being a care-giver is a big part of doing the right thing. Your sister is so lucky to have you in her life Faye. Thanks for sharing

m (the misanthrope) said...

Better use of your time? You are retired, my dear friend! Good use of your time is exactly what you decide it is. Thank you for sharing; I hope to be back on the FM Bus before too long!

Jo said...

After reading yours and a few other posts about days from retired people, plus today I got a letter from my Mom about their week (she and my father are retired as well) I'm thinking it's about time I retired. Of course 44 is a little young, but it sounds like so much fun!

Jo said...
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Kim said...

I tend to stay up late, too. It's the only time my house is quiet when the kids are home!

gracie said...

Yes, I agree with Sayre, what are you doing awake at 1am? that is when the sleep is sweetest. I like your schedule too. Thanks for playing. I am an early riser, the army changed me, made me start waking up early and that is also the time the kids are asleep

Faye said...

sayre--when I was working I got up really early to do prep for work or just have time for reading, etc. before getting to office. Now I can reverse the whole thing.

wendishness--I know your days are unstructured because you're not well. Hope you get your health back soon.

stephanie--I have a friend who's a nurse and she always goes for the night shift. Too bad your work doesn't match your sleep preferences.

debs--do you write in the shed late at night?

janis--productivity is still important even for retirees, right? Re sleep requirements I wake naturally after six hours so figure that's what I need.

misanthrope--hey! We're all anxious to know how week two of the new job goes.

jo--yes, 44 might be a bit early to retire. 60 was just right--none of us need to work more than 40 years!

kim--when I lived with other people I either stayed up later or got up early to have quiet. Willie, my housemate now, is okay with either schedule. :-)

gracie--I learned about army's early rising when I signed up for a fitness boot camp run by a former army drill sergeant--she had us in the grass doing PT by 6:00 a.m. rain or shine. That went on for three years and she's still my hero.

wendishness said...

Thanks Faye, I'll get there soon enough :)

m (the misanthrope) said...

Hello, my friend! Boy Cat and I are grateful for the suggestion re. an orange for shot practice. I like it! So far, so good after Shot #3. The most disconcerting part is that he has so much skin and fur that I can't actually see the needle go in. But...fingers and paws crossed, all is OK.

I have to tell you, 3 shots in and the change in Boy Cat is incredible. He is no longer roaming and fussing and wanting water and weird food. He is kicked back and chilling out, like his old self. (And I have been warned to watch for diabetic coma, so I'm checking on him regularly.)

Thank you again for the good thoughts and good words! Hugs!