Throughout my writings and in my books, I mention a lot about the second half of life. But what do I mean by this? The second half of life is to do with the quality of your attitude more than it has to do with chronological years. Let me explain. You may be a person in your 20s, and yet you have a maturity of a much older person; therefore, I would class you to be in the first half of life.
Chronologically, I am in the second half of my life because I am nearly 66. For me, it is only the last several years that I have felt that I have been able to manage my attitude and my emotions and put them to fair use. I am aware that at any age, time is precious, and it’s an easy thing to squander if we are not careful.
The Importance of Scheduling your Time.
In this post I want to share with you how I manage my time and in doing so, I value myself. This is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living which features mindfulness and issues around mental health. I am in process of writing it. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a look out for that! Also, If you struggle to make self-care a priority, check out my courses which will be available in Summer of 2021.
I hear time and time again from people that they have never been so busy since they retired. We can be fooled into thinking that you have a lot more time because now that you are retired, and therefore, you are less likely to stick to a routine or schedule. If you don’t value your time, others will impinge upon your time, routine, or plans.
And this is what I specifically want to address today to help you get your life back on track. Last year a friend in her retirement bought a dog for the first time. She looked forward to being a dog owner for many years, now retired, she has the time and energy to devote to a pet. For the first few months, she was able to enjoy the little pup, pamper it and take it for daily walks- she loved it! Because she was now retired, family and friends wanted her to do things for them, and she helped out when she was asked. Her days became filled to the brim, and she hardly was ever home. She found those precious moments of pleasure with her dog became less and less, and the poor little thing now has become a burden. Why? Because she has allowed others to reschedule her schedule. She has allowed other people to impinge on her precious time and manage her diary for her.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If someone in your life keeps wanting you to do stuff for them and if you say ‘no’, they impose a guilt trip on you, so you end up doing it anyway. Maybe you feel you need to say ‘yes to family or friends even when you don’t want to just to keep happy, because of the fear that you might lose them. My friend did have all the time in the world; however, now she does not. Others have taken a little piece of her time, at a piece at a time, and then one day, she had no time to spend how she would like.
Time is Precious.
Time is precious; your time is precious, you will never live this moment – this day again.. During the numerous COVID-19 lockdowns, we seemed to have all the time in the world. We No longer need to travel to work, or like my commute up and down the motorway and clock up 150 + miles daily. Due to the pandemic, different UK locations have been opened but then locked down again, and we are less likely to visit with family and friends. However, things like social media, zoom, skype, facetime, messenger video, WhatsApp, telephone, or the TV, can eat up our time before we know it. Unwittingly, we are allowing these applications to schedule our diary and rearrange our plans.
I battled with this, but now, I am disciplined by sticking to my diary the best possible. In taking control, I can look back on my day in satisfaction; I smile as I look at those mark offs next to the items on my to-do list.
And for the retired who are reading this, find the creative you. Say ‘no’ to unwanted demands on your time and stick to it. Turn off that TV, and try learning a new craft; there is a lot available to you to enjoy. Get outside, enjoy your garden, neighbourhood or pets and breath in the Photons. Exercise your brain by learning a new language. Get to know your computer a little bit better – we never use it to its total capacity. Write your memoirs as a legacy to your family. Whatever you choose to do, allow your time to be your time and keep it under your control, and not someone else’s. Liberate yourself. Don’t submit yourself to the whims of fancies or the demands of anyone else.
I come across far too many retired people who are so exhausted. They no longer enjoy their lives because they are always running around fulfilling duties to keep others happy. If your family or friends will only stay in contact with you because of what you can do for them, I would question the quality of that relationship. I am sure you are not a person who put such conditions on any relationship in that way, and it is difficult to understand why others that. But they often do, their attitude is – if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. However, this is not the way a relationship should be. I hear people say how drained and used up they feel after running around after other people’s demands in my counselling profession.
So, what can be done? Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Ask God to help you formulate a weekly schedule.
2.Keep a strict diary.
3. Stick to as far as reasonable to the plan.
4. First thing in the morning, look over your schedule.
5. The last thing at night, review your day and ask yourself what the best part of your day was?
It is prudent not to book yourself up to the hilt; leave a little time so you can be flexible for unexpected events. Whatever the challenges you may have experienced, feel the feelings, then work through the emotions, and give them God, giving thanks in every situation. Leaving every result to God. Then you will be able to sleep peacefully without worry.
Use Your Diary
Don’t cancel that nice river walk with your puppy like my friends did to fit someone’s timeslot unless it is urgent and cannot be avoided. When someone wants you to do something for them, develop the habit to check your diary first. If what is asked of you is inconvenient, then offer other times and dates. This shows them that you value yourself and your time. Do not just have a quick knee-jerk reaction and wipe your schedule to fit in with someone else’s. I have done this for too many years, and I know it causes stress and burnout out, and I do not want that for you.
Be strong and consistent, and you will find that your time will not be slipping through your fingers.
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Paula Rose Parish
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