Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Now that I'm retired" wrote Caroline to me, "I wonder where I ever found the time to work."

I understand completely. I often wonder the same thing myself. So I've thought about it. And there are two issues.

Firstly, running a home is actually a full time job in itself. It's not just the housework. It's the bills, the shopping, the meal planning, the dry-cleaning, and making arrangements to go out in the evenings and weekends.

Doesn't sound like much, but when I was working, these things never got done. OK, we had someone in to do housework twice a week. Meals were unplanned. Shopping was chaotic. We paid approximate amounts to the electricity company, council, phone company, etc, hardly ever reconciling the bills to the amounts paid. And we never went out. Sometimes we would visit friends over the weekends, and sometimes they would pop around to us.

The second issue is routines. When you're working, you have routines to carry you through the day. You have to be up by x time in order to get to work. You learn to drop the drycleaning off on the way. This is all functioning on automatic.

Now that I'm not working, I'm not wondering what to do with the time. I'm wondering where to find more of it. I'm developing non-work interests again. In short, I'm getting a life. I think.

The main issue is, no routines. Flylady would not be proud of me.

Now that I have ice-skating lessons on a Friday, something is changing. I get up before Paul to shower, as I would never make it on time were I to wait for him. So while he's still snoring, I get a bunch of things done. Shower. Dress. Check email. Make tea. Take bread out of breadmaker. Feed cats. And then it means the bed is made and the dishwasher is loaded by 8.30 am. Normally all this takes until 10.

I just gained an hour and a half. Hmmm. Maybe this should be a daily routine. Get up before Paul. I used to do that in South Africa, why did it change?

So let's start the new routine with that first small change. I'll report back.