Living an Unstructured Life

Good morning. Coffee or tea? coffee

I have a routine in the morning. It includes watching business and financial news. This morning, when I turned on the TV, they were discussing retirement psychology... talking about adapting to living an unstructured life. playball

If you didn't have obligations... weren't expected to be at work... didn't have appointments... what would you do? dunno

> Would you get involved in groups and activities and create new structure (new obligations)?

> Would you create your own routine? ... breakfast with the newspaper, go for a walk, read a book, tend to the garden...

> Would you just see what happens... allow each day to take you wherever it goes?

The discussion was about adjusting to an unstructured life. It was about being able to keep active and content without external forces (like obligations to work or caring for your family) filling your day.

Would you like to have an unstructured life? How would you approach it?

Do you have it now? Do you have advice for the rest of us?

writing crazy violin party wave

Comments (22)

Dear Richard, Being early retired ( or unstructured life as you call it ), I now have the time to do things I have put off for some time . I do volunteer work on the Island . I do it because people benefit from it not some bottom line . I also have time to persue some technical interests I have been wanting to discover . I also have more time to travel and see the world or at least parts I haven't yet . I also do not have to worry about what time it is or what day it is because of some ocupational obligation . I can take my time and enjoy all the wonderfull things this plannet has to offer anytime anywhere . Yes it is the best " job " I have ever had .. .yay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PS: Having done so much and taken so mush crap from all those self obsorbed bastards I worked for, It's my time now !
Hi Frank!

Taking crap... yeah... I know that road too well. roll eyes

I'm about half way to unstructured myself. I have work obligations but they are typically in terms of days or weeks rather than specific times... "needs to be done this week" - that sort of thing. It's very liberating. dancing

Being in charge of your life is awesome... It's great that you have that! ... To mostly run by your internal clock... to self-regulate.

Did you spend some time getting used to this? Were there weeks/months where you wondered what you should do with your new level of freedom? Did you plan for it or just figure it out when it happened?

(sorry for all the questions... I'm a curious person... people handle this change in all sorts of ways... so I'm wondering about navigating the transition... how to getting from here to there went for you)

Richard, I just took it as it came . I really did not plan for it, it kind of fell into my lap at the time . I decided to go for it and never looked back . It does take a little while to get use to not having to worry about getting to work tomorrow, an it does mean Sunday nights are now just another day . It also means more time for family and friends and especially grandkids . Try it, I think you will like it !. . dancing
Afternoon Richard the coffee was greatgrin
I was actually so looking forward to retirement, my boys did not beleive I would retire as I have been fully absorbed in working chasing work even when being made redundant.super
These last few years have been wonderful, I live now, not work to live. I absorb all things that my eyes never picked up before and enjoy my life within my own structures.
The biggest best feeling is not being restricted in anything. I can move if i want. I also travel and see countrys and cultures I never dreamed that I would do. I missed out on so much learning I am filling in those gaps now and enjoying life so much.
I do however at the start of every year write a list of things I would like to achieve and aim for. Parachute jump with free fall wonderful. learning to write poetry, short stories and to get at least one published, still working to do that.
Go Karting etc etc. If I do not achieve that year no hassle move it to the next year.
Also my religion if you like put something into the big pot of life or it will run dry.
So all in all I am a very lucky lady it has took all these years to find an inner peace I have that in the main.
Next holidaytinfoil hat transport laugh in my dreams.grin I will have a few cheers cheers cheers first.
No the bestest thing is walking in the woods or coast and actually seeing and being at one with nature, does not cost a thing but better than a lottery win.applause peace yay
Jolly good to see you, Richard. Well, I guess the unstructured existence is the path of least resistance and the lifestyle that brings with it a sense of life and living to me. I absolutely love the freedom it offers as well as the element of unknowns that is inherent with my choice. The idea of not fully knowing where I'll be in a few weeks or what I'll be doing imbues my life with excitement and interest as a whim may find me volunteering in a rural village in India, helping friends put together a music festival in Scotland, living in a bamboo hut on a tropical island or paddling 900km down a river.

Interestingly, if anything should mess with my breakfast routine I am perturbed. For some reason I need the organized certainty of my first hour and a half of the day.

After breakfast the universe can screw with me as much as it likes.
Hey Frank, handshake

Some plan for years and for some, it just happens one day.

That's sort of how it went for my father... he was getting close to retirement (a few years still to go) ... went to work one day... came home around noon and announced "I'm retired". ... he did go to work elsewhere for a few years but a 35 year career wrapped up in an unexpected way. sigh

I can relate to your words about Sunday nights... it's much easier to enjoy them when you don't dread Monday morning. blues

Thanks for your encouragement! cool
Redex - Hope your evening is going well. wine

Jobs are necessary but tie us down, don't they? It's a different life when you don't have to schedule the rest of life around your work schedule. dancing

I like your 'annual list' strategy grin ... nothing rigid but life is out there, waiting to be experienced.

And peaceful time in nature ... it's nice to appreciate that ... and to live at a pace that allows a walk in the woods to be the event of the day. cool

The annual list and other adjustments you've made --- Did you just figure them out as they happened or is this something you did before you retired?
Richard, One of my new hobbies is getting up in the morning ( when I feel like it ) and going into the kitchen . I make a pot of coffe then go to the sofa, turn on the radio and me and my little dog listen to the trafic reports . We bith have a good laugh at it especially if the weather is bad and there is a major trafic jam somewhere . Even the cat joins in . Yes I do have a mean streak at times . . . rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing devil
Hi Richard! Good morning!

Tea please {smile}

I like your topic here and decided to stop by and listened to you all here with this cup of warm tea for my early morning here.

Well, I can say I might too early years before I can talk about this unstructured life (retirement) but anyway, from your question, "if you didn't have obligations, weren't expected to be at work... didn't have appointments... what would you do?" I guess we are all here have to do something to pass the life. I can heard some people say on the bus that they are lazy to work and don't want to work. They might enjoy the time for gathering with families or friends and doing another things, as you mentioned above. But anyway, I think if we don't have obligation and no one want to do the work like we are doing now, then the world might be different place to life. Everyone has their own support for our life. I myself enjoy my work, my time for family and friends and my "me" time. I plan to work until I'm old and they told me to have a happy rest at home {smile}

Ham !!! Hammock !!! Hammish !!!

I do like a good hammock ... I'm a big fan of naps when the air is fresh and warm and life is serene. sigh

Unstructured life ... I had to think of you when I started this blog... going where the wind blows... where desire leads... without a need for a long-term plan.

Clearly this works for you... the freedom brings happiness.

For some, I have to wonder what they'd do. I think many people would find ways to make life busy... they want their time to be driven externally... they find comfort in having structure imposed... for them, perhaps it's a freedom from responsibility that's appealing...

I find this topic interesting... how some feel comforted by structure while others feel controlled and imprisoned by it.

Thanks for sharing about your morning routine... some time allotted for structure each day... a comforting start each morning...
Frank - You're evil, aren't you? rolling on the floor laughing

Thinking about the poor saps ... out there in the hot sun ... waiting in traffic to get to the job where they won't feel appreciated ... just getting through their day ... tongue

(I'm smiling) ... With my schedule, I'm rarely on the road during rush hour myself (not that there is much of one here) ... I go in late in the morning and come home an hour or two after most others...

It's a wonderful luxury, isn't it? ... To not need to chase the clock... cheers
I always wondered why my father continued to work on his farm day after day year after year until the day he passed on at age 72.

Now I know why. Not working is really boring, so I continue to work.

The only advice I have it to see what's good for you because only you know.
Summer - hug

Hey there... Tea for you... coffee << tea mug :)

It's nice to see you on this fine day. It's after midnight here... but late morning there... hope your day is going well.

You point out the difference between the things we do to live... the jobs we perform so we can pay the rent and take care of ourselves and our families... and ... the things we would do so we could feel accomplishment and success... to learn and grow...

Some are fortunate to find fulfillment in their jobs... to do the things they enjoy doing and earn a living while doing it. I think it's rarely 100% of this... but some just do what they need to... either that's all they want from their job or just all they've been able to get...

working until you're old... to keep accomplishing things is good... to enjoy your work is good... I suspect you'll find different ways to use your education and skills as you get older... I know it has worked that way for me... just a couple of changes along the way, but not really changes I would have expected years before.

Thank you for adding your thoughts! teddybear
Hey Ed, wave

72 ... that was the age for my father too...

Okay ... not working is boring ... hmm ... nope ... can't agree with you. But - it's just a shift of perspective ... depends on what role work fills in your life. And you know your own perspective the best... so I'm glad you've been making the choices you wish. thumbs up

I've known people who work because they like having a place to go each day ... somewhere to be ... things to be done and people expecting them to do them. They don't work "in the mines" (nothing to hard or stressful) ... but they keep working... as long as they are able.

There's more flexible income this way... to supplement a pension... a way to take nice vacations and spoil grand-kids... things like this.

I can see it... and I would always want to feel useful... but I like the prospects of "unstructured" ... at least 'mostly' ... maybe I'll start a web site or something ... perhaps a way for people from everywhere to talk about whatever is on their minds... perhaps ... some day. laugh
Richard, guess as a freelance I have been living an unstructured life these past 10 years. Being a freelance gives me freedom to work whenever-wherever. My only routine would be waking up in the morning thinking where I want to work that day. The answer could range from my study room or some unexpected places. I could just get up, pack my things and go to the airport, thinking where to go along the way. I like surprises ;)
kenanga - Interesting thoughts cool

It's a new morning here... sunny and very warm ... freelance work is fun, isn't it? ... as long as you have as much work as you need and don't have to worry too much about the money... a great deal of flexibility... quite liberating to work this way. dancing

Did you have a prior job with a committed schedule? If so, how did you manage the transition to freelance? Was it a smooth time of change or a stressful time of your life?

My own transition... to the (nearly) freelance work I do now... my transition was planned for months and was quite smooth. It's been 8 years now and I still feel fortunate to earn a living this way. yay
Richard, I was working as an editor in a city life magazine, when the opportunity to become a freelance scriptwriter came. Being an editor as such magazine was pretty much a structured-unstructured life. In the early month after finishing giving assignments to contributor and writer, I could come to the office late in the afternoon. But later approaching deadline means staying late at the office. So I guess I was used to a so called unstructured life hehehe

The transition was not too hard, as a freelancer scriptwriter for a tv series the routine was also structured-unstructured. I got weekly deadline, but I'm the one who managed how and when and where. Now it's even more loose since I don't write series anymore. I work whenever I feel like to, or when my bank account is approaching zero hehehe

Hey Rich,

I hope you're now fully recovered hug

In Indonesia, when you reach the age of 55 or 56, that's the time of your retirement. Some people above those ages can still work as long as the company still needs them, maybe 60 is the maximum. If you have your own business, then usually it's up to you to decide when you're going to retire.

It's a common thing to see that most of the retiree people taking care of their grandchildren especially if their kids need their parents' help for looking after the kids while they are working (not all of them can afford to pay nanny). The grandparents, most of them, would love to do it.

My mom, after she retired, she kept herself active by getting involved in church activities and attending family choir rehearsals up to now. Even though we moved far away few years ago, she still managed to come to the same church and keep singing in family choir. When I asked her about this she said she can't stand staying at home for days doing household chores only as she still needs to socialize with others and to keep her brain keeps functioning well. I think I would follow her steps by getting myself involved in groups and activities when I reach my retirement age daydream
richard before I retired 5close people died within 4 years this made me reavulate my life and some sayings had deeper understandings
(1) life is precious

(2) You only have one life
(3) Don't live with regrets
Many more that we just say but had more meaning to me. 2 people died peaceful they had accepted what was coming. The other 3 life had dished cruel blows and they had left things undone, unsaid, Sad very sad to watch.
This experience changed me, some people who are religouse you know already have a basic structure to work on, but without any beleive you have to work your own structure. To live without some kind of aims and waiting for chance, destiny I felt sure I would miss out. So as my life evolves I find new aims andsuper
for them, ever mindful of lifes pot as I call it.
Wishing you well Richardteddybear
Hi K -

Editor... then scriptwriter for a series... now scriptwriter, as needs and moods dictate... less and less structure with each step...

That's a very interesting career path... and interesting work...

We don't need to continue on this blog but one of the questions that comes to mind is about story research... to write for characters has to be interesting on its own... but any story of depth is going to have technical or historical details to work out... to be (mostly) accurate and believable where fiction and fact meet... hmm... perhaps that part goes back to the editor to think about.

Thank you for sharing your journey! bouquet
La Chica es Bonita in Jakarta - Isn't it fun to share part of real life here? ... just a group of nice people talking about life ... sharing stories. hug

I will do a medical blog next, I think. Having multiple medical appointments lately makes me want to share some experiences.

Retirement at 55/56... The standard age for retirement in the US used to be 65. The government pension (Social Security) can start at age 62, but you get more per month if you wait until 65 or later. (the dates and amounts are a puzzle that seems to keep changing)

I'm glad your mother has good social habits... to stay involved physically and emotionally... good use of unstructured time. cool

For yourself... having options and being involved... and having the time to do this... So you'll bring some structure into your life... but like your mother, with a purpose.

Redex - Re-evaluating ... I understand ... a smart thing to do.

Thank you for sharing your thought process... this really addresses the topic of the blog... the choices made and when we don't make choices and things just happen...

Thank you for your fond wishes. hug
thinkinjoe: "NEW KID ON THE BLOCK BE HONEST"(meet us in the profile reviews)

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