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Quiet Time is Never a Waste of Time

Followup: I will blame it on the eggnog and staying awake until 12:30 AM on New Year's Eve. Replacing the word Retirement with Re-Vision is a non-starter for this blog.

I asked the question, knowing that you would tell me exactly what you thought and why. I depend on you, dear reader, to help me stay on track and keep my focus on what you expect on these pages.

While a few comments voiced support for the idea of re-vision being a good replacement for retirement, the "No" votes were more persuasive. I think the word, re-vision, might reappear on occasion as part of a blog post, but not become the official name of the blog, nor is it destined to become the new word for retirement. There were several excellent suggestions, though, that you can expect to see appear in future posts. 

So, back to the subject at hand:

This is the time of year when those of us who live in the desert southwest come out to play. After 5 months of non-stop heat, temperatures are finally perfect for outside activities: picnics, hikes along the canals, lunches and dinners on the back porch or restaurant patios, romps with the dog in one of the many parks in our area, and a quiet hour outside with a book.

The pots in the backyard have been re-planted with colorful impatiens, begonias, geraniums, snapdragons, and others that look pretty, but I'm afraid I've forgotten their names! The Bermuda grass has gone dormant, so cutting and raking chores are over until March.

I have refilled the gas grill tank and started looking for recipes that work well when cooked outside. I store a bottle of red wine on the back porch because the temperatures keep it just right for a glass each afternoon, not too cold, and not too warm.

A new feeder we bought during our last RV trip is attracting dozens of hungry birds to a section of the backyard that comes alive when they fly in and out a few times each day. They aren't very colorful, but I am happy to help them stay fed and healthy.

Bailey, our soon-to-be 5 year old cocker, has found new joy in going for long walks, sniffing for lizards, and not finding her paws painfully hot from overheated sidewalks. 

The two bikes we bought last spring have had their tires pumped up, helmets dusted off, and neighborhood roads explored.

Betty has a stack of different projects for our home. We visit flea markets and antique stores, pick up something interesting, and let her creativity soar. Coffee mug displays, a new clock for the family room, inspirational words we bought at the Magnolia Store in Waco....are destined to add color and warmth.

After a year with lots of vacations and special trips, we are sticking close to home for the next several months (except for a quick weekend trip to Disneyland with the grandkids). It is the season for quiet time with our thoughts and our family.

To some, this might sound boring, or a waste of time. We should be much more active and involved while we are able. We can save these quieter pursuits for later in our retirement journey.

I heartily disagree. Too often folks fall into the trap of thinking that only activities that push your limits or involve major time commitments are worth doing. Enjoying an afternoon on the back porch, or in a local park, seeing a move at a 2 PM matinee showing,  tackling a new Bible study together, or working on a project at home are not time wasters. They are time enrichers.

Quiet time, doing smaller things, is not a bad use of time. It doesn't represent a missed opportunity. Actually, it is one of the true joys of retirement: having the freedom to construct a block of time in a way that feeds you. 

Your climate may not encourage outdoor activities, but quiet moments are possible anywhere. You simply have to decide that time spent slowly and deliberately is not a waste, but a treasure. 


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