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Two More Episodes of the Serial Fairy Tale This Weekend

An Elder Morning Slob Routine

category_bug_journal2.gif For nearly 50 years, my weekday routine was the same: shower, dress, coffee, feed the cat, leave for work. Depending on the job, I followed that daily ritual beginning anywhere from 4:30AM to about 7:30AM. There was little time for dawdling.

Then came retirement without the need to get somewhere by a specific time. Now it goes something like this:

  • Brush teeth, wash face
  • Start coffee
  • Feed cat
  • Publish TGB and ESP
  • Answer overnight email
  • Read newspapers and Google Alerts
  • Sunrise on the deck with coffee and cat
  • Read more newspapers and Alerts
  • Make notes for future blog posts
  • Read some blogs and websites
  • Go over to-do list for the day
  • Add and subtract items on to-do list
  • Play with cat
  • Have some breakfast
  • Maybe write a blog post
  • Think about cleaning up desk; add it to to-do list
  • Organize research notes for future blog post

Note what's missing: shower, dress, make bed. Good god, I've become the poster girl (aging variety) for pajamas bloggers and am fulfilling my worst nightmare of an old woman in retirement, sitting here in my granny gown, fuzzy slippers and raggedy chenille robe (as now) until almost noon or, on a more organized day, mid-morning.

And I love it, leaving behind 60 years (if you count school) of living on someone else's schedule. I've always disliked hurrying to do anything and for the first time in my life, I can slob around on my schedule.

Of course, there are the days when the Fedex or UPS guy shows up and I appear at the door to sign for the package with long, gray hair flying every which way in my unkempt night clothes.

Then I resolve to shower and dress directly after posting the day's blogs. But if that worked, I wouldn't be telling you about this.

And don't think there isn't some guilt involved, most particularly that my daily walk gets postponed, sometimes clear until evening, and it takes a bit of mental effort each day to force myself to do it. Science is not high on my areas of knowledge, but isn't there some physics rule about inertia? That a body at rest tends to stay at rest? That's me these days.

I keep telling myself that I should develop a better routine - and perhaps this morning slobbing around will run its course in time. For now, I love following my whims so damned much that I'm determined to get over the guilt.

Even so, it is high time to shower now and get on with that to-do list.

[At the Elder Storytelling Place today, Pat Temiz explains the complicated maneuvering required to eat American-style in Dinner at the Drive-In in Istanbul.]


My morning routine is supposed to include a walk. That exercise is so essential to my health. If I allow myself to sit down at the computer to blog or read email before I've taken the walk, the walk may not happen. That's my most difficult act of self-discipline as a non-scheduled elder these days.

Retirement reminds me of spring days in the 50’s when school would end and the summer stretched out before me. Casual, carefree, spontaneous days.

Yeah, sometimes I feel the guilt you describe but I’m working on that.

I am smiling as I read this mornings blog because I am sitting here in my night shirt and robe reading it. My morning routine is similar to yours, Ronni, except I do not have a pet. Hang in there people, the guilt will leave and you will fully enjoy having the leisure to start the day with the relaxed freedom to do as you choose. The morning rush is behind you; leave it there guilt free.

Virginia says it perfectly. After several years of night clothes living, I now opt for clothing as soon as I get out of bed. Nothing fancy mind you, just PJ bottoms and a polo with my coffee. I confess, coffee starts via a timer while I am still snoring, and I drink my coffee and eat breakfast in bed with the paper and TV news.

First thing I do in the morning is bring in the paper. I read the obituaries and if my name isn't listed, I get dressed.

Seriously, I love to get dressed as soon as I am up. My Irish Granny (Who lived with us for a year) had a saying for every contingency. About getting up, she would tell me" It's important to get up early in the morning before all the good goes out of the day."

It is wonderful to follow the natural rhythms of our bodies, minds and hearts. For me that is the great fortune of retirement even when it is often interrupted by other activities which we must do or want to do.

Be happy with your routine, Ronni and be grateful you are not constantly tempted to fall back asleep!

Yes, it's easy to get into such a routine. I'm there myself a lot of the time, but more likely in sweat pants than in pajamas. I don't even make my bed every day! If I didn't have a cleaning woman come in every two weeks, the place might look like a pig sty. I guess I spend too much time at my computer.

Anyway, I insist on having one change of pace every week: Thursday mornings I shower and get dressed right away and head off for my volunteer assignment at the Cultural Center. It's good to vary the routine at least once a week!

Ain't retirement great!? I think you can see by all the comments that you have a lot of company in your habits. I just don't understand all those people that tell me they'd be too bored if they didn't work.

Oh Ronnie, I hear you loud and clear. I'm a retirement slob too...and I love it also... going at my own pace, no rush to shower and dress, and the FedEx and UPS men (or women) have caught me in my robe and slippers many a time. Oh well, who cares?

I caught a few minutes of your interview last night on the A channel. You looked terrific. I just wish the interview was longer. You looked exactly how I pictured you...calm, serene and comfortable in your skin.
Talking about lazy days.....a few years ago, my mom happened to walk in on me on a Saturday. When she saw me in my nightie at noon time...she asked if I was sick? In my mother's day....if you didn't make your bed and get dressed the moment you got were either a 'loose woman' or you were sick. She wasn't too pleased.

Sounds like heaven to me... :)

Years ago I had a friend in her eighties whose husband hated that she didn't get dressed in the morning. She had a daughter in law who was a whiz at sewing. I designed a lounging outfit to be made of the thinnest Polarfleece in elegant not-sweet colors, like silver, and the DIL made her several of them. Thereafter she wore them when she was at home, in and out of bed and husband no longer knew if she'd dressed or not. They are both happy, but they also have separate bedrooms. If they didn't he'd have caught on, because he's nobody's fool.

I finally have discovered my inner clock, after years of living by everyone else's. I am most creative after 10 pm and I can work till 4 am with ideas flowing and enthusism churning. Around 4 am I start to wind down, and I fall into bed and sleep until almost noon. My husband leaves for his office at 6 am, and comes home after a good 8 hrs of writing about 2 pm ready to take a nap. We're in 2 different time zones. But it seems to work well for our body clocks and I'm embracing the freedom to follow it. Why not go with it? I'm in a life and profession that can be in submission to me, rather that I to it. It makes life new.

Oh yes, it's such a treat to lie-in after getting up at 6.30 every morning for years.
If it weren't for the cats I'd probably sleep till nine but they start prodding me about 7.30 and if I'm not out of bed to let them out by eight a couple of them try chewing my hair.
As I have an aging husband and a handicapped ex-husband to look after I do feel I have to shower and get dressed before starting the chores - drinking a cup of tea and then a wake-up coffee in between jobs - but at weekends I put on my dressing gown, do the necessities like feeding the cats and the men and then have a leisurely bath about 9.30.

Ronni, you are not a retirement slob. I check your reflection here frequently and I find you looking as neat and pretty as can be. Every hair in place, groomed right down to the letter.

As elders, seems we're much more vain about our appearance than we ever were in our youth. But the reflection we keep tending to is not the one in the mirror.

Brilliant! "..the reflection we keep tending to is not the one in the mirror." A quotable quote.

Ronni,I LOVE IT!!!!
1. Saw you on Life Part 2 - PBS - and you were just a delight.
2. Your blog - if that is the correct term - since I am a "ludite" - says it all. On Rosh Hashanah there is a special prayer (in part) that is said "who shall be serene and who shall be torn apart - who shall have rest and who can never be still" for on the New Year it is written and on the Day of Atonement sealed. NOW this is your time - so ENJOY and never feel guilty - for your own serenity and pleasure is well deserved. For it is said in the Ethics of the Fathers - "who is rich - he that is happy with his lot."

Now that I am 68 and retired, I follow a similar routine to yours. I have neither a cat nor a blog. I spend my time doing what I love, painting paintings that very few people see and writing stories and poetry that very few people read. All in all, I'm like you in a great many ways. Enjoy...I try to!

After the cat wakes me up (darn cat!) some days I go out and bring in the paper and go back to bed until noon, reading and watching Oprah and The View. Lazy me!

I'm so longing to be able to quit my day job and blog by day and not night. I dream about being able to write all the things I started and never had time to finish. Showers, make up, and street clothes I may never wear them again. I just might become Mrs. Hugh Hefner and wear pajamas for the rest of my life. I'm 61 and I hope that will be at least for another 40 there..

Dorothy from grammology
the self help blog for grandmothers

I just reread your schedule and I say, "You get that all done by mid morning!!!!" You are no slacker no matter what you are dressed in!

I could live your life ...and like it. I am 57 years old and have
taught 6 graders for 36 years. I
am ready for no bells or roll checks. Pjs and coffee on the deck...can do!!!

I'm like you on my days off, Ronni! The next couple weeks I will be off my slob routine. Life is intruding, dammit! I hate when that happens!

Pajamas media, you know. I can relate.

Ronni--I'm not retired yet but recently bailed out of the rat race to work at home. Am loving working in pjs and finding my own pace in midlife. It's about time. As for the exercise, I bartered life coaching for personal training from one of my clients. So far so good.

I didn't give you permission to post about me. Sheese how did you know? giggle.

Great post, and why should you rush. Everybody who comes to my house knows I don't do mornings. Heh don't like it don't come be noon.

12noon to 12:30 is take the dog for a walk, then make the beds, empty dishwasher or some thing like that LOL.

As someone who is still working and raising teenagers, I read this post with the utmost envy! It's the freedom you have earned!! Enjoy it!!! P.S. Maybe add a little streching while the coffee brews to prime your body for movement?

Oops...that would be stretching. (See what happens when you try to give unsolicited advice!!

I practice the presence of God which simply means I live in constant conversation with Him.

So, given that as my framework, here's how my day goes:
Get up, coffee, putter, eat something, rest, putter some more. Repeat as day flows by.

Through His grace I've been transformed from a striving, driving, Type A personality into a slow, tortoise-like putterer!

And if one wants to measure in worldly terms, I think I even get a lot more done now - at least the things that matter to God.

Certainly, there's a wonderful freedom - like Saturdays when I was a kid at home in doing what I want, when I want the way I want to do it. However for any younger wage slaves who are reading all this with envy, please note; there is no free lunch, no causes without effects. If you decide to do what you want, when you want etc., you must accept the fact that you will be doing it alone.
The price of freedom is alienation or isolation. I would not give up my freedom for the pleasure of someone else's company on a regular basis but I would caution any who dreams of being a greying "easy Rider" that the trail is a often lonely, so make sure you're easy in your own company

I just came across this website. Loveing it.
I want so to slow down. Do not like my Type A personality any more. Just built a new smaller home and moved closer to my children and grandchildren.
Always an early riser. Love the morning but I have my pj's on at 7:00in the evening.
I keep thinking at 70 when is my retirment going to click in.
I am up at 5:00. Wash up,dress, make up bed,glance at TV to see what weather is going to be, walk Sadie the dog and feed her.
Then water my new trying to survive grass and flower beds (love to garden) Exercise briefly. Then it is almost 8:00 so I have my breakfast check Emails and some blogs. Run errands if needed. Some housework or washing if needed. Then it seems like lunch. Try to eat lunch out 2 days a week for a treat and people contact. Then 12:00
On the computer again and then I am weary and will try and sit and read a little. Phone has been ringing and before I know it 4:00. Fix an early dinner and then back on computer and slow down for evening.
This evening I have my 2 little granddaughters for a couple of hours while my daughter and soninlaw go out to eat. Since moving into town and my children are near. Only saw them every couple months in the past.
So I have started making Sunday dinner. So tomorrow they will come at 5:00 and needless to say when they leave I am weary.
Then my daughter and son are saying mom you need to be out and around people more. Do some volunteer work, travel (no one to travel with)
What am I doing wrong. Seems this is retirement and I have no time.
Thought with this smaller home there would be more time but just moved in 3 months ago and finally settled.
Looking forward to rainy and snowey days where I can stay inside and curl up in my old cloths. Read, computer and just daydream.

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