A few months ago a newly retired reader left a comment that included a phrase I love, one I told him I would "borrow" for a post. As his life unfolded he had decided to take a freestyling approach to retirement. From that I believe he meant he would not be adverse to new experiences, new activities, and new challenges. After a life time of restrictions at work, it was time to sample everything at the buffet table to see what he enjoyed. He would improvise as needed. He would add what he liked and discard what he didn't from his day without being concerned about a previously set schedule.
Two weeks ago I wrote about my need for a schedule to accomplish what I wanted to each day. Over the last few years I had come to realize that too often I would put something off for no valid reason, except that I could. It was just too easy to say "I'll do that later" and then never get to it. Having a time slot for writing, exercise, and guitar practice increased the odds that I would accomplish what I have determined is important to me.
Most of my day is not "on the clock." When the spirit moves us Betty and I will decide to see a movie, have lunch at a new restaurant, take Bailey to the park, or simply read a good book while sipping coffee on the back porch But, for the three things I noted above, I have found that a set time during the week works for me.
Hold on. Isn't that the opposite of freestyling? Isn't my need for some structure too rigid to allow me to improvise or do something because I feel like it? No, I don't think it is. In fact, the scheduling of certain activities frees me to take on new things or change how I approach a problem or challenge. I don't worry about skipping something that is important because I know I have that covered. In a counterintuitive kind of way having a set schedule for certain activities is actually quite liberating.
I imagine I am not in the majority with this approach to a satisfying journey through retirement. Having even a partially set schedule doesn't seem to fit what most people envision when finally freed from the working world.
I am very interested in your reaction to the concept of freestyling in retirement and what that phrase might mean to you.