Lasting Memories
Talking Down

Routine Problem

The 50-hour workweek of the job I just retired from required me to be super-organized when I wasn’t at work.  Saturdays were devoted to laundry, plant watering, grocery shopping and other errands.  Sundays were my real break from the frenzy of the rest of the week.  I loved Sundays.

I haven’t developed my retirement routine yet.  So I don’t even know what day of the week it is.  For example, I watch the evening news on TV.  (Yes, I do read breaking news online, but just as I still like the rustle of the newspaper in my hand, I like my news on a big screen.)  When I commented to Peter last weekend that I thought it was unusual for the weekday news anchor to be on the air on a Saturday rather than his regular weekend replacement, Peter reminded me that it was Friday.

And then there are our plants, always watered before breakfast on Saturdays.  For the last two weeks, it took me until late afternoon to realize that it was Saturday and I had forgotten them.

I have decided that I need to pay more attention to what day of the week it is, and I have found an easy solution.  It’s my bright red pill container.  It is divided into seven sections, each marked with a letter.

M, T, W, T, F, S, S.


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I noticed the same problem when I was part of the 'global redistribution of labor' in 2009. I had to make a point of noting the date and the day of the week after i was laid off and spending my days at home. If you aren't working, you aren't tied to that information in the same way. I'm an older adult and found it disconcerting that knowing the date is part of the test for cognitive impairment. Certainly, it's appropriate to know the season and the year, but I question the validity of asking non working older adults the date.
Good luck on your transition from working to non working. I always enjoy your posts!

Nina Mishkin

I am seven years older than you are. I retired from my earned income stream eight years ago. (I was a Boston lawyer. Perhaps that's a bit less pressured than New York lawyering. Or dean-ing, if there is such a word. Perhaps not. It was pressured enough, though.) You may notice that I am side-stepping use of the word "retirement" because what I have discovered since closing my legal practice is that life "in retirement" is a work in progress. You're not really retiring from anything except a job, which probably consumed too much of you (if you're honest about it). Discover what meaning life can have for you when it becomes self-invented by gradually letting go of most outer-directed scheduling and instead letting things happen.

Yes, schedule the medication. But Peter will adjust to you, and so will the plants. (If you push it, they'll droop, and then you'll know it's time.)

I hope your "retirement routine" -- as you put it (although I wish you hadn't) -- finds you organically, and that it never really becomes routine. As those of us in the eighth and ninth decades of life should know, life is both precious and precarious. Enjoy it to the fullest, while you can.

Red Brick

When my husband retired before me, I noticed with interest his establishment of different routines. One of which was holding up his morning pill as he was looking into the mirror and reciting the day of the week, the month, the days date, and the year. ;) Thank you for sharing your adventures.

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