Keeping The Routine Alive

skd190324sdcWhen I’m on vacation, one of my favorite activities is to drink my morning coffee outside in the warm sunshine and think about nothing. It’s pure bliss. I have a sundeck at the front of my house, and a patio in back but, even in summer, I don’t use either of them when not on vacation. I’m either editing at the computer, then heading out to the day job, or running errands on the weekend before the traffic gets bad and the stores fill up. And then, of course, there’s the housework.

Until recently, I hadn’t given much thought to what, if any, routine I’ll have as retirement day approaches. All I’ve really thought about is living a less structured life, where I can do more of the things I want when I want.

Patio, Summer 2019I love the idea of sitting outside weekday mornings this coming summer, coffee mug in hand, and enjoying downtime and taking life easier. As it happens, my current stay-at-home life is giving me a glimpse—probably a somewhat skewed one—as to what retirement could look like.

Aside from being an introvert, one of the other main reasons I’m doing fine with self-isolation is because I’m keeping a routine. I still get up at the same time and after breakfast, head downstairs to my basement office to work on editing before starting the day job. I’m keeping the same hours at the day job and even taking the same break time. All other activities are pretty much carried out along my regular timeline as well.

Without all of the outdoor errands and other excursions, I’ve had time to organize my bookshelves and clear my bulletin boards of outdated papers. This is a project I hadn’t planned to tackle until retirement. It feels great. I’m going through my clothes closet next.

I’ve come to realize that when retirement starts, it’s probably not a good idea to throw my entire routine away. I like being productive and making to-do lists. I just don’t want to fill up every day the way I’ve done these past few years. My retired friends and colleagues assure me that this can happen before I’m even aware of it, so I’ll be mindful of this in the coming weeks.

wine_PNG9456[1]In some ways, retirement won’t feel that different than it does now. On another level, there is a psychological component, a sense of freedom in regaining a large chunk of my day just for me. I picture myself having that coffee on the sundeck, or a glass of wine in the afternoon. Pure bliss.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

13 thoughts on “Keeping The Routine Alive”

  1. It’s excellent you are thinking ahead. Be careful the first year what say yes to. Some people confuse retirement with nothing to do. Also I have heard it recommended that you enjoy things that you enjoy but never had time for. One of those things for me is cycling.
    One thing you will have time for is those decks. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, David, yes, cycling is an excellent way to use your retirement time. I’m looking forward to summer! Just came back from a short walk and it’s still quite chilly here in the Lower Mainland. It’s funny that you mentioned saying, yes to thing, as I’ve been invited to take part in four different things over the last ten days. Two I’ve said yes to, but the other two no. You’re right. I’m going to really have to watch how much I commit to!

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  2. You’ll find yourself busy but in a different way. Also I still enjoy the bliss of waking naturally without an alarm. I’m slowly learning to say no a bit more too and that gives me more time to get out with my camera and play golf (if the courses open up again!).

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  3. Since I retired and moved to Spain, I have a drink on our terrace and read every day, unless it rains which is seldom. That was always my dream and I wanted to live in a place I could do that all year round. Keeping a bit of a routine, but some flexibility is important when you retire. If hubby says, let’s go for a coffee, I can stop what I’m doing and go.

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    1. This sounds exactly like I want to do, although, I won’t have the lovely weather that you do. You’re quite right that flexibility will be important, which I don’t have much of right now. Thanks, Darlene!

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  4. I agree about all of it. I had to laugh at ‘less structured’ during retirement. For me, ‘retirement’ is work at home, start a small business, days that are extremely structured to get everything done.

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    1. Yeah, I wonder if living a less structured life will be a challenge for me. I’ll have to try different things week by week until I have a routine that’s productive without running myself ragged 🙂


  5. I’m thinking a lot of Americans are going to decide they don’t WANT to go back to their old jobs… This isolating at home may be a blessing in disguise — a chance to get to know more about self and what would make for more happiness — even if it is self-employment….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Really interesting point! We were just discussing that at our house as well. My husband, who’d never been a fan of working at home ( even though he’d not done much of it until now) has found that he’s more relaxed without the long commute. I think this will change the way we all work and learn in a major way, and that’s a good thing.

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  6. A great way to look at this . A practice for retirement! I do think introverts have the advantage in this one. Wishing you well and good luck with the closets and organizing.

    Liked by 1 person

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