So, as I said, 10 weeks. That doesn't sound like a lot, does it? 70 days. I think being retired is like any other habit, it takes time to form - that is, to feel comfortable doing it without considering other options. Like my 4 miles on the treadmill 5 days a week. It took me about a year to make that so automatic that I no longer even consider skipping a day; it is one of the reasons that knowing what day it is becomes important. I don't workout on Friday or Sunday but every other day I do it without thinking, now.
"Researchers from University College London examined the new habits of 96 people over the space of 12 weeks, and found that the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is actually 66 days; furthermore, individual times varied from 18 to a whopping 254 days." - Research Article.
For almost a year I did sometimes try to convince myself that I would just skip today and workout on Friday to make up. Luckily I forced myself and now the only question in my mind is what day is it and I think I have mastered that too. So far, before I go to sleep, repeating what day it will be when I wake up, is working (yes, I already admitted I am nuts).
Some of the stuff I read online references quitting smoking; I don't consider that in the same light. It took me about 2 hours to form that habit and a lifetime to quit. I mean I quit years ago, but I am fully aware that one cigarette would lock me in again. It doesn't really qualify as a habit, it is an addiction. I am not sure I would like to be addicted to my treadmill habit; if I was, I would have withdrawal while on vacation and that would be no fun.
I definitely don't have this retirement habit down quite yet. In the back of my mind I still expect it to end as you would a vacation. I still occasionally dream I am back at work, though not as often as I used to; it is still exhausting, writing code or running tests all night long. Or fighting with an irrational bitch, as was the case for the last few months prior to retirement. (Sorry, but sometimes strong language is unavoidable, required even).
I have completed every Masterclass on writing, some I have returned to for specific classes more than once. In particular for character building as I write my book. Yes, I am now writing my book. So far, it is slow going but I am hopeful that too will become a habit as I get stuck into it. Of course, I continue to write this blog because that is my therapy and my writing practice, and my way to communicate. I have also returned to my embroidery.
|My most recent t-shirts
I generally write in the early mornings at my desk; and throughout the day in my head of course. I create embroidery patterns and do initial test runs in the afternoon, creating the final article the following afternoon, or next afternoon that is free. Some afternoons I cook or bake, also something I love to do. If we go out in the boat, that will reduce my writing time, and in that case I will write in the afternoon instead of embroidery. The majority of my reading is done on the treadmill, but also occasionally in the evening when TV is just too boring to tolerate. I sit in front of it, but read rather than watch it.
Yes, I am enjoying my retirement; but it is still enjoyable like a long vacation, where an end is expected though not necessarily looked forward to. I am never bored, there is no reason to be, I have so many things I can do why would I be? If there is ever a risk of being bored, strangely enough it would be at the weekends. The lake is way too crowded to go out in the boat, but I still have my reading, writing, embroidery, cooking, baking etc. to turn to.
So, not yet a habit. Perhaps it is supposed to always feel like a vacation? I will report back in a few more weeks - I think the winter will be interesting. I retired at the end of May, so let's see how I get through a winter of retirement, without discontent.