It is nice when I have the house to myself and I no longer have to go to a place where I am employed. Retirement has many blessings if you prepare for it. It also can be too quiet.
There is nothing to watch on television worthwhile these days, so my husband and I enjoy the reruns in the evening that we have recorded on our DVR. “The Waltons,” “Columbo,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” to name a few. We used to enjoy the news and politics, but now it has become so hostile and depressing, we can only take it part and parcel at a time.
It is hard to find the absolute truth. Friends don’t come around, not that they ever did. We have a quiet social life. Neighbors might stopover, but the Chinese Communist Wuhan Virus has changed the way people do things. I hope this won’t be permanent.
With so much time on my hands and really not anything urgent or important I need to take care of, I find myself quite useless at times.
I seem to have lost a sense of purpose these days.
Children are all grown, and they only want to “text” rather than carry on a conversation, on the phone, or better for me, face-to-face. I find myself reading more, practicing my piano, and thankfully, tending to my flower beds. Springtime at least gives me more to do, unless I enjoy cleaning closets.
I am writing to share how I get through an otherwise very uneventful day. For those who like always to be busy or have something to do, boredom could be a hopeless situation. Don’t lose hope. Use your imagination.
Look around and see what you can see.
- Do you like to clean? Do your windows need cleaning or just a patio door? Have you cleaned your oven or refrigerator lately?
- Does your garden need weeding? Your lawn?
- Did you make your bed? Hang up your clothes? Need to do some laundry?
- Do your houseplants need watering?
- Does your desk need to be tidied up.
Sometimes we are hanging our heads down so low, we forget to look around to see the world around us. Be observant, listen, look and learn.
Make some noise.
- Open your windows if the weather permits. Let the noise come in, even if it is traffic. Unless you are concentrating on something important, noise can be a motivator. Days have been too quiet, it seems, during the pandemic.
Also, no more pitter-patter of little feet is around at our house. No pets, by choice.
- Do you have a CD player or radio? Can you listen to some podcast or music you like from your phone or computer? I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh daily. He would keep me company during the daytime and Mark Levin at night when I was in my sewing room.
I like to blast my music CDs when running the vacuum or cleaning in another room.
Set some goals.
- Make a list of things you want to accomplish, even just for the day. You can always add bigger tasks for weekly or monthly goals.
A list will give you satisfaction knowing you did something that, for you, was worthwhile. I am in the habit of telling my husband the things I did during the day when he was away after he comes home. I do it more for me than for him. For some reason, it reminds me that I do add value to our marriage and family and our home.
I need convincing that I am useful because my mind sometimes will tell me lies.
- My home is not a million-dollar mansion. Any home can be pretty or made to look comfortable with very little work or expense.
Do you want pretty fabrics for pillows? Need the room decluttered? Does your space function well for your purpose?
What could you write on your list to help you get there?
I sometimes walk into a room and tell myself I can’t leave until I put 5 things away. The clutter gets me down or just the disorderliness. Pretty soon, all the little messes scattered throughout my home are picked up with little effort on my part.
Be kind to your body.
- Get rest but also exercise. Eat healthily, cut down on the sweets.
- If I feel good because my heart is working as it should, my lungs breathe freely, and my muscles are strong for the tasks I do throughout the day, I accomplish more things. I have more energy.
- Drink water instead of sweet soft drinks.
We refill our empty gallon cartons with reverse-osmosis water at the grocery store. It cost just .39 cents a refill. Much cheaper than bottled water, and nothing goes in the landfills.
I try to drink plenty of water during the day, especially closer to nighttime. Most people over 50 starts limiting their intake of fluids before bed, so they don’t get up so much in the night to empty their bladder.
If I don’t drink enough water, I can be up in the night with leg cramps. A good night’s rest is important for all of us.
- Exercise- you have no excuse unless you are severely handicapped.
- Stretching is even a form of exercise and will help keep you from severe muscle injury. Balancing is a good way to strengthen muscles you didn’t even know you had.
- Walk around your property or the block. Walk your driveway.
Get outside. You walk your pet THIS TIME if you leave it always to someone else in the family.
- Challenge yourself.
I am working on pushups to strengthen my abs and upper body. I can’t do even one yet but have come further than when I started. Still on my knees but doing them more now with confidence. That is some progress!
Feed your mind.
- What goes into your mind feeds your thoughts.
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
- Do you like to read? If not, work at it. Knowledge is power.
The most important book I read daily is the Bible. It may be a chapter or just a verse but it feeds my mind with good things.
It is food for your soul. If you have ever felt more empty as the times we live in now, God’s Word can bring redemption.
- Give yourself permission to read a good book, browse through a publication (magazine or newspaper) that has some articles of interest to you. Become informed about a topic.
- Even if you know little about a topic, you will be surprised how your new knowledge, comes in handy, talking to a stranger or new acquaintance at a party. You will be amazed how many topics in conversations you may be able to interject a piece of what you learned or read.
- Is there a craft or hobby you enjoy? Take the time to work on something you want to create. I recently learned how to make a flower press. I framed some of my garden flowers and gave one arrangement to my son as a gift.
I enjoy crossword puzzles too so I will dump one out in the winter months to work on over several weeks. Give yourself permission to have fun, now that you have the time.
Give to someone in need.
- Visit a neighbor, elderly or shut-in. (When restrictions are lifted and the threat is less likely.) There are so many lonely people now more than ever.
I always enjoyed visiting with my elderly in-laws, people I used to clean for, or stop by a nursing home for a visit with my grandchildren to fight off the blues I might have any given day.
Now, this is something we don’t get to experience.
People are either afraid of the virus, or rules restrict interaction with others at the institution or association where they live. These are sad times we live in. Human interaction is missing more and more and the main cause of depression and suicide, in my opinion.
This problem is worse than the virus itself. But, if possible, find a way to see other people face to face, without masks, but social distancing, if required or out of respect.
We attended a wake for my husband’s cousin’s son, who died of a drug overdose. People were there, with or without masks on. I wanted to hug an aunt I had not seen in a while and told her I had immunity and no Covid. I asked if she required me to put on my mask to hug her. She said it would be better if I did; I could still be a carrier.
It is weird to see how some people react, even when you tell them you don’t have the virus. I just walked away because I thought it was silly.
I am sure I could have acted more graciously.
- Do you like to write? Besides writing your blog posts or commenting to others on social media, do you know someone who might be lonely or wondering what you are up to? How about writing them a letter.
It is amazing how many hearts are lifted when receiving a letter from a friend, acquaintance, or stranger. I have seriously thought of writing to “strangers” picked randomly from some list.
I sometimes feel very desperate for what I should be doing during these times. We always think there is something we need to be doing but sometimes, and most times, God asks nothing from us. He gives us everything. He wants us to love him, honor him and obey.
Rest in his arms during this restful time of my life. It makes me think of John the Baptist when his friends were concerned about so many of John’s own followers that left to follow Jesus.
John said, “He must become greater so I must become less.” (John 3:30)
Maybe I just need to find ways and do things to lift up my Savior and give him the glory in my life. I need to focus more on HIM!
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7,8)