Breland: Prepare for retirement, as it isn’t always what it seems

Published 10:46 am Friday, November 11, 2022

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“Time passes fast when you’re having fun” is an old adage with a lot of truth. I’m also finding time passes faster as we get older, whether or not we are having fun. Retirement can be a part of it.

The week begins on Sunday and there is Monday and the whole week stretches before you. You wake up what seems like the next morning and it is Friday! I don’t know where the time goes. We still have as many hours in a day as we’ve always had, but the days disappear in a hurry.

I get up in the morning and get started and before I can turn around, it is time for lunch! Time never passed that rapidly when I was working. As a matter of fact, most of the time the week just crawled by and with a very tired sigh, we greeted Friday:

“It’s about time you got here, you last day of the workweek,” we thought to ourselves. You do remember TGIF?

When retirement comes, Fridays have little significance except to say, “Good gracious, is it Friday already? Where did the week go?” That is, if you remember that it is Friday! As older folk, we may have to stop and think which day of the week it actually is! And sometimes wonder if it is morning or afternoon — especially after a nap!

It’s the same with the daylight savings time, which went into effect last Sunday. It doesn’t mean a great deal to retired people. We get up at whatever time we wake up, so watching the clock in the early morning is not important information. That is unless we have an early appointment or the coffee pot set to come on and we don’t want the coffee to get stale. That’s usually 6 a.m. for me.

With DST, I still go to bed at the same time, so I wake up at the same time, no matter if it is an hour earlier than it used to be.

When I was working, I got up every morning at 5:30. Now, after a good long while in retirement, I sleep until 6. Big deal! I always planned to sleep until at least 7 a.m. but alas, my body clock is not set that way.

That was a big disappointment, because every day when I was working, as I dragged myself out of bed, I would vow when I retired I would sleep late every morning. To my dismay, I am finding that the older most people get, the less sleep they need.

I am also told by people who should know that time passes slower for people who don’t stay busy. No problem here!

Some still ask me about retirement (except those who think I am still working because I write this column). I tell them it is wonderful … if you have a lot of interests and things to keep you busy. To me, doing nothing or doing little of nothing is the most boring thing in the world. One can only drink so many cups of coffee, watch so much daytime TV and work so many crossword puzzles, then boredom sets in.

If you plan to retire and sit on your “stool of do-nothing” and you don’t enjoy doing nothing, you will probably go back to work as soon as possible. People do just that. They are off from work for a few months and are more than ready to get busy working again.

The words may not be exact, but you get the drift. If you are planning retirement soon, be prepared for an adjustment. Going from a very structured environment to one of almost pure freedom is a lot to get used to.

Just give retirement a chance before you decide to go back to work.

You may actually find that you like it!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at