Thursday, January 29, 2009

There is no escaping the daily structure

This one is tough for me to admit. After all these years of dreaming about and rebelling against the daily structure that going to work imposed on me, I now find that I need a daily structure.

Yes it is wonderful not to have any schedule whatsoever. It is fun to while away time alternating between reading, browsing and eating. But after a good amount of those, I am left with this feeling of dissatisfaction.

What I am also realizing is that very quickly, a structure gets imposed. One minor example: I am a fan of the TV quiz show Jeopardy! It airs at 3.30pm in my area. After a few days of regular viewing, I now find that I have pre-Jeopardy and post-Jeopardy things that I do. Even viewing a 30 minute show lends a bit of structure to my day.

I know that it would be a lot cooler to tell everyone that I have no schedule whatsoever. But the fact is that without at least a few daily rituals, I am left a little disoriented, feeling that I am not in control. So I actually seek some regularity and structure in my days.

There is no escaping the circadian rhythm, I suppose.


~ Marie ~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~ Marie ~ said...

With about eighteen months of retirement/reorganizing under my belt I have a structure too.

Plan NOTHING before noon...ease into my day with coffee, internet, gazing at bird feeders, breakfast. Ahhhhhhh I still can barely stand myself with the amount of joy I feel with having the sacred gift of time.


Ram said...


Yes, I too have this unshakable feeling that I am somehow going to jinx this free time.

Goes to show how deeply we have been indoctrinated against taking time off.

Anonymous said...

Ram, interesting post. You have done what most of us just plan, but never do. It is definitely good that we have some kind of structure to our daily routine. But, job related stress, and various other pressures are the culprits. They seem to define the volatile structures. I really commend you for following your heart. Most of us just speak, but you have put action behind your words. Not everyone is willing to take the plunge, and I really appreciate that in you. Best always, Adarsh.

Ram said...

Thanks, Adarsh.

Obviously, I am extremely fortunate in being able to take a sabbatical. Quite a few things have to line up for anyone to be able to leave full time work.

Who knows how things will turn out? But mainly I did it because I couldn't live with myself knowing that I was too much of a coward when I got an opportunity.

Retired and Inspired said...

Do you think that your feeling of dissatisfaction comes from the idea that you are not doing anything about your real purpose of your life? It sounds like you're running away from work and not running or moving towards anything. Doing nothing can be very enjoyable for a while but I think we need more than that.

Ram said...

@retired and inspired:

Yes, there is certainly a component of that.

For now, I am enjoying my time off. It took considerable effort to earn that time off, and I don't want to run towards anything too fast.

My list of retirement projects is always growing. I am exploring a number of things which could fall into the category of "useful to society" but they are not yet at a stage where I can share them here.

Jeff Palmer said...

I've been retired 3 months and am normally a go getter but I seem to be struggling to fill my days with excitement. I don't like to be at the house. I do miss seeing folks and meeting new people.