The Blivet Lifestyle and Retirement

We can’t do __________ (you fill in the blank), we’re just too busy!

I would like to have a dollar for every time we have said this to each other since last June. How is this possible?

After all we are both retired, no real job and should have plenty of time to do all the stuff that we want to do. Unfortunately or fortunately depending upon how you look at it – since retiring I have been very, very busy almost every day doing something. Often there have been 7 day weeks to get the things done, that we want done.

What I am Learning

Other retirees have told me that the first year of retirement is the worst, because you start to really notice all of those things that need to be fixed, changed or replaced around the house. You are learning new routines and how to live with less and what you will do with your time during your retirement. Also I have been told that if you believed your job is who you were, the adjustment to retirement is much more difficult. Luckily I didn’t believe that and the adjustment to not going into work or being what I was has been a quite easy.

Initially, I did have a difficult time with the label retired and the negativity and stereotypes that surround that label for someone who retires earlier than is “normal”. So for the first few months I attempted to call my new lifestyle a sabbatical or semi-retirement. They were not accurate.

Now I have come to accept the fact that I have retired and don’t give a damn what others might think about it. I am starting to enjoy my retirement.

New Full-time Job

I found that instead of going to work at a job for someone else, that our little 8 acres of “heaven” has become my full-time job. All the years of doing things half-assed or having the attitude of just make it work have caught up with me. This attitude was mostly because we were always trying fit “repairs or improvements” in around the little time leftover from when we were not at our paying job, but isn’t that how everyone lives? Answer later.

Over the past 5 months I found myself doing lots of small things at my new full-time job like:

  • expanding the garden and doing a lot of work there
  • building a cold frame (with another one being discussed)
  • getting loam to re-landscape the yard
  • getting wood in for the winter
  • cleaning out the garage
  • building our blogging empire (yeah right)
  • the normal household chores
  • attempting appease a 5 mile a day dog
  • getting rid of the fat that I accumulated over the past 2-3 years and rehabbing a bad knee
  • taking care of family emergencies
  • storms (emergency preparedness and then clean-up)
  • other unexpected things that suddenly come up and need to be taken care of right then
  • scrounging and scavenging (more on this in later posts)
  • and so on

All these take time and effort to get them done, something that used to be in short supply.

The Blivet Lifestyle

We both often stop and wonder how we did all of this in addition to our “regular” jobs before we retired.  Personally, I think that our lives before retirement were more like what my grandfather called living a “blivet” lifestyle – 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.

I rather like the Urban Dictionary’s definition

I believe that this is a pretty accurate description for far too many peoples lifestyle, most of us try to pack way too much stuff into our lives and don’t really stop and take the time to just enjoy it.

No focusing on my job around the house, the hyper dog and getting back in shape are more than enough to fill my 5 pound bag right now. So waiting a while before adding additional “stuff” to that bag seems to be the right thing to do for me now.

Being retired has enabled us to simplify our lives, spread out that 10 pounds of shit and put it into the bag at times that are more convenient for us to take care of it, very seldom do we overfill that 5 pound bag and let it become a blivet again purposely.

Seems like a good thing to me, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now while waiting for the Septic Tank repairman (talking about something full of shit…well you know) to come and not be stressing out about when are they going to show up. They will make it today, but if they don’t they will be here Monday. The old pump still works enough to not get too worried about, but it is time for it to be replaced before the cold weather really sets in.

After all I don’t have to get back to work or reschedule my schedule to be here when they get here.  It is that change in attitude from me that wouldn’t have happened before.  I would be all stressed out about when they were showing up and how it would affect work.

No life is certainly a lot less stressful since I retired and I am glad that I have left the blivet lifestyle behind.  Now if we could only win the lottery – that would make things a little easier 😉

Is your lifestyle the blivet lifestyle, what can you do to change it.

If you are retired also, did you notice this change to how you look at and do things?

Was the first year after you retired the hardest?