Planning, Preparation and Procrastination

What has happened to me?

I’ve changed…

Since leaving the paid workforce in December 2016, I have noticed a change come over me – and no it’s not what you think!

Instead I’ve narrowed it down to a combination of the following:

  • I’ve lost my sense of urgency
  • I don’t have enough hours in the day anymore to do all the things I want to do – but how can that be when I’m no longer working 7 hours a day and how did I still manage to get so much done and work at the same time??
  • I feel like I’m floating through my life
  • I’m so easily distracted these days

Can you relate to any of these points? I’d love to know I’m not alone.

Midlife adventure and reflections

Work Rage is a thing of the past

I listened to a podcast the other day while walking, (yes more multitasking I can’t just ‘walk’ anymore I have to be listening to something at the same time) and they were discussing drama at work and, in particular, ‘work rage’.  I smiled to myself and thought back to the days when I would get all het up over some incident, some remark, some perceived slight.  It was so real to me back then, but now I wonder, ‘who was that person??’

I remember returning from a leadership course and telling The Mathematician all about some test results which showed I was an angry person!  Me?? The indignity of it all and as I railed and whined at him, he calmly said to me, why are you so angry about it?  I spluttered and choked back tears at his obvious misunderstanding of the situation.  They were saying I was an angry person and what….he was agreeing????

In hindsight (which is a wonderful thing) I wasn’t so much angry as frustrated and it was killing me. I know that now. I was a sensitive soul and despite outward appearances, my self confidence and self esteem weren’t particularly high.

At the time I was working in a correctional centre for men, which was a tough world and very much a boys’ club in oh so many ways.  I fought the system at every turn striving for a more balanced and less reactionary outcome.  I was seen to be a pain in the neck at times and it would often end in tears (mine). There weren’t many women in management roles and we had to stick together or we were mown down by the drama of it all. To say it was stressful is an understatement.

Fast forward to now

I rarely have a day that has tears in it or even much drama for that matter!  Work rage and drama are a thing of the past and that’s a good thing….right?

I’ve read some great posts recently about midlife and retirement and in particular, Donna’s experiment on how she uses her time, was a great eye opener.  I am reluctant to do such an experiment for fear of what it would show!  What it does tell me though, is that other people are experiencing similar concerns with how we spend our time once we’ve left the paid workforce.  Sue from Sizzling towards 60 and Beyond, also shared a timely post about our purpose in life once we leave work.  All these help me a great deal.

Midlife, Travel and Adventure - a blogger's journey
Midlife, Travel and Adventure

Planning, preparation and procrastination

I used to feel so organised and in control.  I could organise an overseas trip while working full-time, I could boss people about and run my busy social life without batting an eyelid.

At the time of writing this post I was looking at heading overseas for 12 weeks, and feeling slightly overwhelmed by it all.  I needed to get prepared and start planning what we’d do, where we’d go and how we’d get there….but what had I been doing instead?

Cue procrastination….which is summed up so well in this post by Donna (another Donna, not the same one as above!).  I’m sure she won’t mind me linking to her most excellent and funny post.

  • I reorganised my linen closet,
  • I decluttered the entire study, shredding mountains of useless paper records
  • I caught up with the ironing
  • I tidied up the guest bedroom, ready for guests to arrive
  • I enjoyed watching bits of the Winter Olympics
  • I read a ton of blogs
  • I read some great books
  • I walked and started to run again – without any knee pain thankfully!
  • I undertook a 12 week healthy lifestyle challenge
  • I attended an aqua aerobics class twice a week, (when I’m in town)
  • And if that’s not enough lost my father earlier in the year and I think it actually hit me harder than I thought!

Plans made so far

To be fair to myself, perhaps I should look at what I had completed at the time:

  • Booked into my daughter’s new house and received permission to use it as a base as we travel around
  • Booked and paid for our airfares
  • Booked and paid for our week-long cycle and barge tour in Holland
  • I bought my ticket for the annual Bloggers Bash in London on May 19 – so excited *insert squeal of delight that I will be able to actually meet and talk (hopefully) with many of the bloggers I have been reading and following for years
  • Investigating walking Hadrian’s Wall
  • Thought about walking some of the Camino
  • Considered random places (like Iceland) that we can fly to from a nearby airport

Moving on

So from now on:

  • I will get organised – remember my word for the year is FOCUS after all!
  • I will make lists and cross things off for that smug feeling you get knowing you’ve actually achieved something
  • I will start contacting people who we would like to see if we can manage to do so
  • I won’t beat myself up.
  • I’ll remember how work rage is no longer a part of my life and relish that fact. I also have that blissful feeling that comes from the lack of toxic people in my daily life 🙂
  • I’ll enjoy that feeling of calmness and floating through life without a sense of urgency
  • I will get excited for this amazing trip we’re planning

My tips – hopefully I’ll take my own advice

Go easy on yourself

I’m not one to generally offer advice and my blog is really just a compilation of my random thoughts, so I will leave the advice to others who do a much better job at it than I ever could. But I am always open to advice if you have any to offer 🙂

I also need to remind myself I’m keeping busy and being productive, but with different activities. Many of you who are retired would be in the same boat and we seem to have a different purpose to life these days.  I commented recently on a blog pointing out that blogging has taken over from my previous work as a means to prove I’ve achieved or produced something. Does that resonate with you too?

What would I be doing if I wasn’t blogging?  It’s an interesting question.

Surround yourself with nice people

My top three go-to bloggers just happen to have been guests on my blog, and very popular guests too I might add!  If I’m feeling down I will go and read one of their posts and immediately feel my spirits rise.

Sue at Sizzling towards 60 and Beyond – full of practical, sensible advice

Donna at Retirement Reflections and all her guest posters who have so much wisdom to offer

Miriam at Out an About who has a special wisdom all her own. Louise writes a great blog The Year I touched my Toes about trekking in Nepal.  A year ago I met Miriam and Louise in real life and we had so much fun talking blogging, life and everything in between. They are both regular commenters on my blog and a constant support. Here’s a lovely pic.

Meeting up with two of my favourite bloggers
Meeting up with two of my favourite bloggers

I gain a lot from these bloggers and so many others around the world. So thank you one and all.  May we continue to be leading lights for each other.

Thanks for being there for me 🙂

Deb xx

You can also find Deb’s World here – let’s stay in touch!

71 Replies to “Planning, Preparation and Procrastination”

  1. Hi Deb, I do hope you will link this up to our Midlife Share the Love party this week it would be perfect. I feel all those things that you feel and more. I think that when we retire we have a totally different thought pattern on what it actually is. That is why recently I decided to change using the word ‘Retirement’ to ‘Lifestyle Change’. There are so many things I would like to do but then I sit at the blog and that is it for the day! We have retired from work but not life and I think that is the key. You certainly have some wonderful plans and that is important – to have things to look forward to. However, as work was such a huge part of our lives it can be difficult to adjust to having time to fit everything in at a more leisurely pace, when we feel that we should still be going a 110%. Thank you for your lovely comments about my blog and the support you give me. Just knowing that even one person gets something out of my thoughts that is positive and inspiring makes it all worthwhile. I do wish I was brave like Donna and could take a week away from it. It would be interesting to see how my pie chart would look! Have a beautiful day, my friend, and hope we can have a coffee catch up this year. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Sue, I’m so glad you understand and I consider myself very lucky to have ‘met you’! I was trying to get it written in time for tomorrow’s linkup so I’ll definitely share it there. It will be interesting to see what I do when we go away in terms of blogging so I might be following Donna’s experiment. I have met so many inspiring people in this community and it has helped enormously. Definitely want to catch up in real life one day soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know blogging can really take over if you let it and I think Donna’s experiment certainly had merit. I remember when we went to Spain and I worked for weeks on end scheduling posts but in the end I’m not sure anyone would have cared if I hadn’t posted. Sometimes, I think I take it all too seriously but that harks back to my working life when I was always a 110% girl. I just love the connection with others and like you I have my favourites – you included – that I’m just so pleased I met and that are on the same page as me. Have a great week and remember you have had some stressful times lately so the world won’t end if you take some time out to be kind to yourself. Enjoy! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Deb, your post is so bang on!! I met a friend for coffee this morning and I said exactly what you said, my sense of urgency has disappeared and I now find that getting things accomplished is ridiculously difficult! Procrastination central here. I started writing my 2018 plans in early January and I still haven’t finished it. I have been thinking about this a lot though and my next post is going to address this state of mind and what I am going to do about it. I’m glad you wrote about this, it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone.

    I think you have some really cool things on the go though! I think you’re going to have an amazing 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marian, I’m so glad you understand and can relate to what I was talking about. It’s a funny thing isn’t it that now we have all the time in the world we can’t get things done?? My husband is very disciplined and mows through his to do list but I just faff around and get nowhere. I am very lucky to have this trip happening and am really looking forward to it, but with dad’s recent passing it seems to be hard to get excited just yet. I look forward to your post when you get around to writing it 🙂 Thanks again for your comment, I love hearing from readers.


  3. Oh I so get this. I have not been in the workforce since 2014 yet my days are busier than ever. No stress anymore. Waking up and knowing that there are no longer any more long work commutes. Will I get a seat on the train, will it be on time, will it be cancelled? No more having to hope I say the right things on the phones to customers and no more wondering which call will be listened too. making targets…my targets now are so much easier. Walk the dogs, read some blogs, write some posts, comment on other blog posts. Watch a bit of TV, perhaps read a book. Go to physio and do my physio at home. I can have lunch breaks when I want, coffee breaks when I choose. I am my own boss!… planning trips to see my daughter and my sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can so relate to your comment, thanks for joining in the conversation. It seems I’m not alone after all with these thoughts. It’s just gone 12.30 and I have no idea where the morning has gone – what fun!! Enjoy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So like me …I have to have lists..many lists ..5 and it is only Tuesday..Oh and a diary… I think the title of my blog sums up my life Retired No One Told Me!… But the stress has gone as I meander through my life..I wake up…I go to sleep when I should be waking up…I have been reading and commenting on blogs for the last ..ohhhh 2 hours and once I have drunk my tea I will be planning some future posts in my head while watching My Kitchen rules and then a shower and a walk then maybe lunch and then more blogging until ..Oh who knows and then… Procrastination is also in there somewhere as well…I must finish that cookbook…Time, where does it, go???? Great post x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Carol – your day sound very familiar. I’ve just noticed its lunchtime here and wonder where the morning went!! I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this meandering life I’m living. I think your blog name sums it up perfectly!! I love the no stress part but then I go and start stressing about not stressing 🙂 Lovely to have your comment in this conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Deb – I ❤️ your reflection. It always resonates so deeply with me. Thank you so much for the mention and the shout-out. You’ve made my day!
    PS – I am very jealous about the Blogger’s Bash!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna, I’m so happy you didn’t mind me linking to your post, it really resonated with me when I read it. I am really excited about the Blogger’s Bash and will give detailed reports after the event you can be assured of that!! I love having your input and comments 🙂


  6. The first part of your post showed up in my feedly – and I was shocked at how similar your experience was to mine! I might have retired earlier, though. I was 46, but had to leave, for all the reasons you mentioned. I am currently travelling the world for a year with my husband and 2 teenaged children. We are just over halfway through, in Cape Town right now. I am working on my blog and creating videos for youtube, mostly about our trip. All the while, as my kids do their school work online, my husband works remotely, I am working towards an online business. My idea is a new word – A creative, spa-like retreat for women who want to reduce stress and live in a more creative way.

    I can relate to your experiences at work, even though we were in totally different industries. I have questioned my abilities to get back on track in my life since December of 2016. I think I was recovering from something. I am almost done with dreams about work, thankfully. I also completely relate to the ‘rage’. That has died off as well.

    Surrounding yourself with nice people is excellent advice. I find more joy in this than in anything I have done so far in life!

    -CW at

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your great comment CW! It’s so good to hear of your similar experience and how you have responded.

      Your new life sounds amazing and I love the new word you’ve created. I’ve popped over to your site and followed you as I think you have a lot to offer.

      I understand about being done with the dreams about work – I’m so with you on that one!!! I also agree wholeheartedly about the people around us make such a difference.

      I remember travelling to Cape Town in 2004 and loving the place! All the best and thanks for joining in with your thoughts. Deb 🙂


  7. Looking forward to seeing you at the Bash – we had a committee meeting last night – google hangouts, get me! and it’s going to be sooper dooper! I try my best to procrastinate, just as you’ve described but Sacha is a tyrant! No slacking!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was lucky in that I slowed down to part time work for a few years before finally taking the plunge three years ago in to complete retirement. I had been a school teacher and so my life had been very structured with time tables, terms and holidays all laid out for me with no choice required so in the beginning I approached retirement like a puppy let off the leash for the first time in an empty field. I rushed everywhere, tried everything and exhausted myself before finally realising that I now had the great gift of time. Since then I have started blogging, written two books, moved house, travelled and now accepted the fact that days just pass. Some are infinitely more productive than others in a tangible way but the ‘lazy’ ones when we walk for miles, share a picnic and have time for freefall thinking, will bear fruit in their own good time. For all of us who worked hard, ran a house, brought up families we deserve this time so my advice is slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your sensible advice, I love it! I also love the image of you being a puppy and being so excited at first. It gave me a good smile as I can see myself a bit in that too. Time indeed is a gift and some days I feel energetic and others not so. I’m learning to slow down and enjoy the ride. You’ve certainly been busy and seem to have a great approach so I appreciate your thoughts on the subject.


  9. Hi Deb, I think it’s quite OK to just ‘be” and not always “do” something to feel productive. Your mind and body will lead you back to ‘doing’ when they are ready. I look forward to reading about your Blogger Bash and your 12-week adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Natalie, you’re so right about being and not always doing! I think we get caught up with being productive these days and it can be nice to do nothing much at times. I’m really keen to meet other bloggers at the Bash and will definitely report back! Lovely to have you join in with your insights. Thanks.


  10. It sounds like you are learning to readjust your life in positive ways. I struggled with a loss of identity when I first left my job. It was confusing because I knew how to be successful in one world, but wasn’t actually sure what I wanted to do in my new world. I thin k it takes time, and no one should rush us into anything. I, too an loving life now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear you re now enjoying your new life Michele. It is hard losing our identity after we finish work. It all takes time and I still fluctuate in how I feel about it. Thanks for visiting and joining in with your thoughts.


  11. I find it really interesting reading posts from bloggers who have retired and seeing how their world view changes. They all seem to become more laid back and tend to go with the flow – not se constricted by time and the daily grind. I’ve found that reducing my work days down further has made a huge difference to my mental health – leaving some of that work drama behind and breathing again is amazing. You seem to be doing so well – and I love your blog and the balance you seem to have found. Good luck with the rest of the trip planning – you sound like you have your head around it all! Thanks for sharing on #MLSTL – I’ve shared this on my social media x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, I often need to remind myself of my fortune and it usually ends up being a reflective post!! I’m glad to hear your mental health has improved due to reducing your work hours. I really don’t miss the work dramas!! I’m working hard on my planning and am starting to get excited by our trip. I’m really enjoying the midlife linkup, so thanks again for taking the initiative. X


  12. Relax, Max. Listen to your own good advice and be gentle on yourself. Don’t underestimate the grieving process you are going through. That fog you are talking about is that. And it can take a long time to clear.

    Re the trip – sounds fantastic and remember the trip doesn’t have to be planned down to the nth degree. Allow for some organic things to happen. Chillax. You don’t have to be that hummingbird anymore …. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Louise I love your advice!! I’m definitely not a ‘hummingbird on speed’ anymore!
      I also love the fact that you understand that travelling can be spontaneous and not planned to the nth degree. I will accept your wise words and relax. The fog is real and I must remember it’s a part of the grieving process as you say. Thank you so much for your sensible and insightful words, you don’t know how much better they make me feel ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Procrastination or distraction. Haven’t figured it out yet. But I do know that if I want to clean my house, then I should focus on some large writing project that I want to accomplish. A surefire way to get that cleaning done!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for sharing this post, Deb. You may not actually feel like you’re handing out advice, but your experiences contain wisdom that feels a lot like good advice–not to mention all the thoughtful comments. I am so fortunate to have found this wonderful blogging community before I retire. I know there will be lessons I have to learn myself by trial and error, but I’m getting a great head start by studying those who have gone before me. You guys are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christie, I’m thrilled with all the insightful and thoughtful comments here and love that everyone has been so honest in sharing their thoughts. It’s one of the great ways blogging has impacted on my life, this fabulous community. Thanks for joining in.


  15. Deb, Even when we slow down or have a lifestyle change that doesn’t involve going into work every day, the need to manage our time, energy, drive and procrastination still persists! Even though I am easing out of my work life, I still have rental properties to manage and now the new blog! I too have found that a lot of jobs get done fast when I’m procrastinating about doing a big job that looms large.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Linda, I’m not alone in the procrastination stakes after all!! You’re right we all need to manage our time as best we can. You sound like you’re going about it the right way for you. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave me a comment.


  16. I loved your post- I so empathise with the ‘angry’ outburst, that could have been me some years ago. I retired about 6 years ago, and haven’t looked back. I say I am always busy, but now I take the time to look around me. Today the sun was beaming in the lounge, first thing, so I sat in the chair in the sun and caught up with my reading while I enjoyed my cup of tea. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I certainly didnt have time to do it when I was working.
    And I no longer have Mrs Angry / Mrs Frustrated episodes…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Erith! I’m so glad you could relate to my post and reflections of a different time of my life. I like the sound of sitting in the sun reading with a cup of tea, I do it a lot!! I’m happy that I no longer have the angry episodes too. Thanks for your delightful comment.


  17. How refreshing and engaging is this post along with the comments. Finding a rhythm in the day was quite the challenge for me when we first moved away to a new area to live and I no longer has grandchild care responsibilities nor any part-time work. All of the changes were by choice but it sure took me a while…around 2 years to adjust. And I am still. Getting cancer and having to go back to Sydney for surgeries and dental restorative work sure gives me a plan. But not a plan I love although I am grateful for this! At our age, much closer now to 70 we find medical stuff takes up more of our time. Sigh. But I also like the gentler rhythm of my days with blogging and commenting, making some art, going out for a coffee each day, and choosing an outfit of the day to be great motivators for me now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have made my day with your lovely comment Denyse. I love receiving comments and agree that they can make a post even more interesting with a lot of collected wisdom. This is one of those moments. I appreciate your honesty in sharing your situation and love the sound of the gentle rhythm of your days. It all takes time to adjust to as you so rightly say. Lovely to have you join in with your thoughts. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Some great tips there. Although a slightly different situation I can absolutely relate to some of thoughts. When I had more structure to my days and weeks I seemed to fit much more in. Even though I had commitments I still found time for all the other stuff. As you say I’m not really in a rush so this means my day is slower. I have so many hours but there never seem enough of them to do what I’d expected I would. Probably because not many of these have deadlines.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Terrific post I am impressed with all your intent and goals and plans… whereas I do my best to do as LITTLE as possible hahaha. You know the saying,” if you want something to get done, give the job to the busiest person.” But jokes aside, all change takes time to get used to and serves as a transition period from one stage to another, one chapter to another. You do such a good job of summing everything up and have written a very interesting post about it.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Peta, for your honest comments on my post. I usually try to write what I’m feeling, as it helps me work through things! You’re right change and moving on to a new lifestyle does take time and I find I fluctuate between feeling in control and completely out of control, sometimes within the one day!! Lovely to have you visit my world 🙂


  20. Aw Deb, as if this wasn’t a wonderful post that I could totally resonate with and then you went and mentioned me and Louise and put our photo in, what a lovely surprise. 🙂 Yes, I can see how you feel you’ve changed and it’s all for the better. I feel much the same way these days. Calmer, more relaxed and focused on what brings joy. I can’t think of a better way to live. Happy planning for your upcoming holiday my friend. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and to hear that it resonates with you too. It’s good to know you’re feeling calmer and relaxed these days, it’s a good way to live each day isn’t it? Our planning is going slowly but we’ll get there 🙂 Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Deb 🙂
    I am planning to teach for another 5 years and retire at 60. It is on my mind a lot.I am looking forward to retirement but I know from friends that have gone before me that there is an adjustment period. Even so, I believe a well planned retirement can be the icing on the cake of a well lived life. I am excited for extra time for travel and adventure, taking a class or two that interests me and finding groups of people with similar interests such as music and writing to connect with.

    I giggled at your statement about wondering how you got so much work done when you were working full time. Being a teacher i get a taste of that feeling every summer. A couple of loads of laundry and running to the store takes all day, doesn’t it? How can anyone possibly have time for a job and laundry? Never mind working out, walking the dog, or anything else.

    I do think about post retirement finances for the long term. I am trying to be creative on ways to generate income from home after retirement from teaching. On my own terms, of course. 🙂

    Congratulations of joining the ranks of the retired. I know it is going to be an awesome adventure!


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