Time On My Hands

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    Welcome to installment #20 of the A to Z for a Rocking Retirement. T = TIME ON MY HANDS. It’s day one of my so-called retirement and I wake up with joy in my heart over not having to be startled awake from that dreaded alarm in the wee hours of the morning. At last – I can sleep in and I am finally in control of my TIME. Freedom at last!

    Time On My Hands

    And this begins my latest phase of life where I decide what to do with my time. No schedules, no orders, no pressures. So what should I do today? Good question to ask yourself right now. For me, it has been a few years since I semi-retired (I doubt I will ever be fully retired since I just love to work. Can't help myself!) and I've seen some patterns emerging when it comes to nurses I know who have retired and have answered this question with their actions.

    Rolling Stones

    These are the travelers who take off on a long retirement trip, or multiple shorter trips, or even sell their house and tour the US in an RV.


    These are the grandmothers who sign up to watch the grandkids whenever their offspring call, and they do call often. Not a bad gig, but I hear the grandkids have more energy than grandma can handle. And imagine my friend who has 20 grandchildren already and how "on the go" she is finding herself.

    Home Bodies

    These are the nurses who have had it with any kind of work and just want to be home to make up for all the time they missed while working. They are very content doing home stuff, visiting with friends, and inviting people over, or just being present with their home life.


    It seems like a switch turns on when you get older and you really want to give back. Maybe it's because we feel we are running out of time on the planet, want to leave a legacy behind or just want to make a difference in other people's lives with no strings attached. These nurses turn to volunteering their time and skills to benefit others. For me, I recently got my dog Ace trained as a Therapy Dog so I can visit cancer patients and bring them a bit of joy.


    These are the nurses who have the pattern of changing roles about every 5 years in nursing because they are restless and get bored. Even in retirement they will be reinventing themselves so they can keep working and providing service. (This is me!) It may not be in nursing but they will be busy doing something.

    There certainly could be other categories that nurses migrate toward or maybe you fit a bit into each one of these. And isn't it great that there is plenty of life left for us to explore once we retire?

    Now here are some wellness tips to keep your life in balance that are JUST ON TIME!

    T - Try new things that fit your passions but don't wear yourself out getting too busy. Now that you have "free time" your life can get over-busy and you'll be exhausted once again.
    Wellness tip: For every hour you are busy, schedule one hour for downtime.

    I - Invest in your future by planning ahead. Dream a little about what your next life will be like and start making notes of what feels right for you. Begin creating an exit strategy from work so you can make a smooth transition into the world of free time.
    Wellness tip: Writing your ideas down takes it out of your head and leads to less worry and stress.

    M - Make the most of the many years ahead. Remember this is your time and what you decide to do with it is all about what feels right for you.
    Wellness tip: Living a life with purpose is a spiritually rewarding experience for you and others.

    E - Enjoy your new lifestyle. Live, laugh and love every day. You might go thru a bit of withdrawal after you leave the traditional work world, but once your new lifestyle settles in, you won't believe how great it can be.
    Wellness tip: Cultivating joy releases "feel good" hormones and helps you live longer and better.

    Please share how you plan to use your new FREE TIME when you retire. Even if you are not there yet, what thoughts do you have about this?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 15, '18
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  3. by   spotangel
    Write and then write some more.
    Holy land trip.
    Road trip to all 50 states with hubby and plenty of postcards.Check in on the kids occasionally.
    Sleep under the stars.
    Plans all made------retirement far at a distance!
  4. by   moldyoldyrn
    Retired, here, after 3 surgeries, two on ankles one hip replacement I am surging ahead. All of the surgeries a result of 43 years of answering that pesky "alarm". I still wake up at 4AM as I always did. Had to take care of my animals, get my coffee, set the house up before leaving for work. I also had to be there a little early to find out what disaster I was facing that morning. Helped to have a jump on things. Do I miss all that? Yes. I miss the patients, the goal setting, the thrill of seeing some one reach a goal and moving to the next one. I miss people who came back to see us after they went home and learned how to live again. Even when we provided hospice care we had loved ones who came back and back because of the bond we had forged with them. They obviously felt a bond with us as they would just wander in and walk around and seek us out. We filled a void when the loved one died and continued to fill a void. Nursing is a way of life not just a job. If anyone views it as just a job they are missing the whole thing. It is combining science and art to help people. Not a profession for the faint of heart or those who do not enjoy hard work. I have retired my licenses but I still pattern my life and relationships around helping others and applying that old thing called ADPIE. It works on most of life's challenges.
  5. by   Carol Ebert
    What a great plan. Doesn't it feel good to have that to look forward too?
  6. by   Carol Ebert
    Well said, and lots to be proud of. Nurses Rock!