Everybody has an opinion, but I was shocked to see retirement advice stating it’s important to establish a routine by getting up with an alarm every morning and filling your day with activity. I was going to leave a comment, but this particular site doesn’t enable comments. Here’s my comment:
Are you smoking crack?
Seriously, that is the dumbest advice I’ve ever heard. Dumber than even the new Abby, who hardly ever gets it right, in my opinion. The old Abby had her act together.
Back to the subject of sleep. The author says once you’re retired and don’t use an alarm, your whole day might be spent in bed or on the couch watching TV or on the porch watching the world go by.
I imagine there are retirees who might spend 30 or 40 years working their butts off and then suddenly decide to squander the rest of their lives doing nothing, but no, I really can’t imagine that. Even in my quest to be less productive, I have many interests, and well, shit must be done.
My body wakes up naturally around 6:30 a.m. I read the news and do the NY Times mini puzzle from under the covers, which by the way, is an art form. Bad things happen if you press too hard on the back of the phone. Most mornings I choose not to get up until around 7 a.m. I pack a lot into my days, but I go for the late start and ease in slowly.
The blur of breakfast and lunch can be problematic if you’re not careful, but retirement meal clash can be avoided with proper management.
Waking up without an alarm is one of the greatest joys retirement brings. I waited my whole life for this. While there’s no shame in getting up early to be productive if that’s how you roll, I’m here to say you can ignore all the advice if you like. Not everyone needs a routine. You don’t have to be productive. You can do what you want. You can sleep in.
During my last few years on the job, I had a long commute and got up every morning at 4 a.m. I don’t miss it. In fact, I was thinking the other day about what I do miss from work, and it was hard to even make a list.
Tick tock. Tick tock.
Room service! A tiny moment of pure joy after a long day of business travel and painful encounters with disagreeable executives. So, yeah, I miss room service, but I could probably get Dale to pretend.
I only set an alarm if I absolutely positively have to be somewhere early, and these days, that usually means golf. Alarm clocks are also good to make sure you don’t overdo it on a nap.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.