Adrift without a routine … any advice?

Have you ever wondered how some individuals, liberated from the daily 9-to-5 or similar constraints, manage their lives? I mean, just everybody I’ve known has always envied that “free from it all” possibility, but what does that mean in reality? Even retirement?

As for someone who’s “financially set,” how do they arrange their lives?

The last thing I’d want to do is squander my time in front of a TV screen. The computer monitor, by the way, is a different matter. It’s more like a command post, not that my doctor would agree. You know, the new form of “couch potato.” If you’re reading this, you’re likely also guilty. Maybe we need to join ranks.

For years now, there was always the paying job to contend with. In addition, I’ve always had a big writing project at hand, as well as the rhythm of Quaker Meeting. There was also contradancing. Retirement added blogging, daily swimming and then Spanish drills, along with weekly choir rehearsals, at least before Covid.


SOMEWHERE IN THE PAST two or three decades I had an annual year-end practice of blocking in my goals for the coming year, as well as a five-year plan. That’s faded away since my leaving the newsroom, but when my wife first came across those, she was both amused and annoyed. Seems I left out a lot of important things, even in a single day, meaning the plans weren’t especially practical or entirely focused.

I’ve recently come across a file of those aspiration but find I’m unable to get very far in rereading them. My plans were grandiose, ambitious, regimented, even militant, and besides, I no longer have the energy to keep up that kind of pace.

On the larger scheme, I broke out each season with Personal items like birthdays, vacations, auto inspections and license renewals, routine medical affairs, maybe even a reading binge or a recognition that I needed to get some exercise, at least by hiking or some such. There was a Domestic category to remind me of getting the furnace cleaned, paying insurance, tax deadlines, setting aside time for snow shoveling or getting garden stuff moved, even ordering firewood. Creative was the one that set goals for writing, revision, and submission. Spiritual was mostly Quaker activities. And, for a while, there was even Astro, to keep me apprised of what the heavens indicated I should be aware of.

Retirement was when I was finally going to be able to go Literary in a big way.

On the smaller scale, I tried envisioning daily and weekly routines in which I would block out so many hours for each of my larger categories and goals.

The problem was that there were never enough hours to work it all in.


RELOCATING TO EASTPORT was initially a writer’s retreat where I could focus on the Dover Quaker history book, but now that the project’s wrapped up, apart from getting it published and promoted, I’m feeling adrift.

No matter what time I wake up, anywhere from 3 to 6, usually, I can’t get away from this keyboard and screen until after 10. So much for the early morning meditation and study I originally envisioned! Well, these are the hours I’m finding clearest for writing and corresponding.

But from there? That’s the problem. Nothing feels structured, much less directed.

The introduction of an hour of walking in the school gym may change that, though it means moving some of my computer “butt time,” as writer Charles Bukowski put the practice. OK, back in college, I was a night owl and found midnight to two or three to be prime time. (Not so any more! Eastport is in the “land of the dawn” or Sunrise County.)

A big cooking day? Say, Wednesday? As for cleaning? A set amount of time daily or instead a big round on a specified day?

Well, that’s what I’m looking at now. The one big difference is whatever emerges will be more flexible than the earlier incarnations.

Any advice or specifics, especially things that work for you?


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