Between my job, our kids, and numerous chores/errands, my life doesn't afford a lot of time for leisure pursuits. Amy is similarly schedule-constrained. Such pursuits may have to wait til retirement, when or if that ever arrives.
But earlier this month Amy and I got a chance to do a trial run. She came with me to a conference I attended in Orlando and we left all three kids with our nanny. From Saturday night to Tuesday morning, with the exception of my conference attendance and pre-conference presentation prep, neither of us had to worry about work, kids, or chores/errands. It was quite a treat!
Granted, four days and three nights, with normal life looming upon our return, is different than being retired. Still, it was interesting to me to think about how we would choose to capitalize on our relative freedom. Because I'm a nerd and a consultant, I'll sort things into four categories:
I. Things we do now that we still did on vacation. Surprise! Every morning, I woke up early and exercised. Maybe this isn't a shocker, but to be honest I wasn't sure. Is my morning routine determined by my busy schedule, or is it something I would choose in the absence of anything pressing in my day? Wasn't sure it would necessarily be the latter but indeed it was. Good to know.
II. Things we don't do now that we did do on vacation. Well, obviously, have lots of fun! But, what kind of fun. Since Amy and I not only have very little free time but even less couples time, we spent a lot of time just walking around. Twice we walked through Disney Springs, which if you've been you can attest that that is quite a physical feat. And, twice we walked 20+ minutes from our hotel to a shopping plaza to eat out. Clearly, walking and talking will feature prominently in our retired life!
III. Things we don't do now that we didn't do on vacation. Surprise! We went to bed early every night. So, no night life. And, quite frankly, nothing too crazy while the sun was out, either. I knew we were fairly low-key, somewhat anti-social creatures, but it was still telling that freedom from work and children didn't even activate even a little bit of party animal inside us.
IV. Things we do now that we didn't do on vacation. Well, obviously, go to work, take care of kids, do laundry, play chauffeur...
Orlando is clearly a unique, fairly kid-oriented destination, so maybe our vacation itinerary would have been different if we were somewhere else. Still, this was an eye-opener for us, revealing what we like doing but don't currently have time for, what habits we will carry into retired life, and what new adventures we're not likely to jump on even if given the space. Now, in 50 years when we are ready to retire, we'll truly be ready!