Loafing and Puttering…How I’ve Missed Thee!

One of my favourite features of retirement is the ability to ‘loaf and putter’ whenever I like. Okay, maybe not precisely ‘whenever I like’…but pretty close. One of the things that I was looking most forward to when we returned home from our Camino Adventures on September 1 was loafing and puttering. Somehow it didn’t turn out that way. With just twenty-seven days between our returning home from the Camino, and heading out to our Home Exchange in Palm Desert — with Richard’s 70th birthday thrown in between — things were a bit crazy.  So, what did we do during that time?

Here’s what my calendar said that we did:

• Planes/Trains/Buses/Ferries/Kindly Neighbours involved in our return home
• Happy Hour with neighbours
• Catch up with other friends/family
• Monday Euchre Club
• Tuesday Volunteer Dog Walking for SPCA
• Wednesday and Weekend Walking/Hiking Group
• Twice monthly Book Clubs
• Newcomer’s Monthly General Meeting
• Newcomer’s Supper Club (Let’s Do Dinner)
• Artists’ and Crafters’ Monthly Working Session
• Trivia Pub Night with Friends
• Coffee with Friends
• Lunch with Friends
• Meet up with fellow blogger (Dr. Socks)
• Visit with one of our sons, DIL & granddaughter at Nanaimo Campground
• Visit from close out-of-town friend (two nights)
• Drive friend to  Victoria airport (five-hour return trip…worth every minute)
• Dentist Appointments (two) and Hairdressers
• Preparing for Richard’s 70th birthday celebrations (this deserves many lines!)
• Ten people sleeping at our place (two+ nights) for Rich’s birthday weekend
• Pizza supper of fourteen people at our place
• Backyard BBQ to celebrate Rich’s Birthday (forty friends, neighbours, family)
• Prepare for upcoming home exchange to Palm Desert
• Drive to Kelowna (six+ hours) to spend time with family en route to Palm Desert
• Three nights in Kelowna
• Three days drive to Kanab, Utah to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
• One night in Las Vegas (we met one of our sons who was at a convention there)
• One night in Yuma to help my parents sell their Park Model Home
• Drive to Palm Desert (for a five-week stay)
• Not on my calendar, but equally included in this time period were  blogging, Guest Posts, volunteer website work for Newcomers, household chores, shopping, cooking, etc. etc.

When I was working,  I never understood the retirement saying “I don’t know how I had time to work?” I completely understand this now!

For those who prefer visual input, here, in random order, are some pics from our small gap between the Camino and our Palm Desert Home Exchange.

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Let the ‘loafing and puttering’ officially begin!

56 Replies to “Loafing and Puttering…How I’ve Missed Thee!”

  1. The photos and the list make it super obvious that you’ve been crazy busy having the time of your lives. Are loafing and puttering truly on the agenda after the current home exchange?

    1. Thanks, Karen – We arrive home toward the end of November…which leads us right into Christmas…and another big family gathering! I will sneak in all of the loafing that I can now during this home-exchange!

    1. Hi, Christie – I actually am loafing right now (and checking my blog…in a puttering kind of way)! I’m so glad that you had a relaxing week. I remember the feeling of going back to work on a Monday after a tranquil break. Although I loved my job…its funny that I don’t miss that feeling at all! 🙂

  2. You nailed it! I didn’t believe it either when retirees said how busy they were, but now I know. I’m enjoying some “down time” between travels but remain extremely busy (in a good way). Sometimes you need to really get away (like you are now) in order to truly loaf and putter. I hope you are enjoying some leisure time in the desert.
    Janis recently posted…GratiTuesday: Those who rush towardsMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Janis – I am grateful for the busy times (our life is very full) and for the down times as well. Right now, I am greatly enjoying our ‘chill out’ time in the desert. I look forward to seeing you and Paul here shortly!

    1. Yikes! That’s eleven more years before I get to rest!! 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words. I am continually inspired by the examples of others in this little corner of the blogging world – yourself included!

    1. Hi, Sue – Thank you so much for commenting during your busy travel schedule. I greatly appreciate it. I look forward to reading all about your adventures in Spain. Enjoy Toledo!

    1. Absolutely not! But a wee more time to putter and loaf last month would have been warmly welcomed. Even in retirement, I’m still that driven girl who thinks that she needs to complete ALL tasks assigned to her with efficiency and in a timely manner. Sigh!

  3. Although I absolutely LOVE traveling, I also am always glad to get back to my day to day routine, which always includes lots of time to do nothing or anything—whatever I feel like doing st that particular moment. Oh, the joys of retirement!

    1. Hi, Shelley – I’m totally with you on this. It’s funny how even after amazing travel experiences, we can miss the most basic routines of home!

  4. Do more of what makes you happy, Donna, including loafing and puttering 🙂 I just got back from a very enjoyable time in Ireland. Look forward to reading about your stay in Palm Desert.

    1. Thanks, Natalie. I look forward to reading about your time in Ireland…and featuring your Guest Post at the end of this month!

    1. So true, Lynn. Years ago, in a ‘meaning of life’ debate, a friend simply stated ‘the meaning of life is our relationships with others’. I totally agree!

  5. Hi Donna! WOW! I’m exhausted just reading your list! Hopefully, you’ll be able to relax a bit now that you’re here in the desert. We just returned from our trip and am happy that things have settled a bit. Looking forward to getting together with you and Rich (and helping him celebrate his birthday!!) Until then…~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted…Your Big, Empty-Nest House Could Be the Solution to 3 ProblemsMy Profile

    1. Hi, Kathy – So funny! I had just said to Richard that we have celebrated his 70th birthday for over 70 days (totally true because we began hiking the Camino in July in celebration of his birthday). It is my birthday tomorrow (albeit not a ‘big’ one) so I think that makes a nice official ending to Richard’s 70th birthday celebrations! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  6. Now that is a busy calendar, Donna! Wow! Good you write it all down. What fun, though, the events and the photos. Once again a happy 70th birthday to Rich! You have been celebrating in style and in many different ways, involving all the senses, exercise, nature, friends, family, travel. Could it get any better? Plus all the activity will keep him looking and feeling younger than he actually is. Enjoy the relaxation of the desert! And, see you both very soon. 🙂
    Liesbet recently posted…Rocky Mountain National Park, ColoradoMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Liesbet – The list was likely a bit deceiving as it only reflected what I had written on my calendar (usually, the fun stuff).
      What it didn’t reflect as well were things like preparing the house and food for 40 people for Richard’s birthday celebration, putting together Richard’s digital pictures presentation from birth to present (even using just the highlights, that a lot of photos…and Richard kept requesting to add more :), plus all the monotaneous things like deep cleaning the home for home exchange, etc. etc. As I wrote to Marty, it was not writing a blog post for over 3.5 weeks that let me know I was lacking balance. But you are right, it is a rich full life and I am incredibly grateful. I look forward to seeing you soon!

  7. I think I took a step further when I heard retirees make that statement. I would mutter under my breath a combination of disbelief and jealousy. But now I really do see it to be true. Just this morning I was “complaining” to my wife how I haven’t had a chance to even keep up reading blogs let alone write one lately. These are such “first world” problems, but admittedly I’m grateful.

    I too am floored by your list, Donna. I don’t think I could keep up with you. Seriously!

    1. Hi, Marty –

      I’m still not sure what it is about you and my spam folder. Seriously, true spam doesn’t even go into my spam folder…just you! Is there something that you are not telling us? 🙂

      It’s funny, not keeping up with blogging…and not writing a blog post for 3.5 weeks (a first for me) was the first indicator that I had taken too much on. It’s funny that the concept of ‘how much’ is ‘too much’ significantly changes after retirement :).

      BTW – I am sure that you could keep up with my schedule…and pass it any day!

  8. I agree that when I get busy, blog posting suffers! Right now my busy is the downsizing move…and I too am looking forward to some loafing & puttering…maybe next week. The days aren’t long enough, nor is the body young enough, to get all the daily to-dos done. Today, body gave out, so sitting reading some blogs while hubby makes dinner. Tomorrow, refreshed to start again.

    1. Thanks, Pat – My exercise team (gym and yoga) also suffered greatly. I was at the gym/yoga studio ‘0’ times after returning home from the Camino. Now, in Palm Desert, I am back on track (she says with confidence). Blog post out (check), Gym (check), Yoga (check). Hopefully, I will now stay on track and sustain this. Good luck with the rest of your downsizing. Kudos to your husband for making dinner while you have some downtime! 🙂

    1. “Team Loaf”…I love it! You’re absolutely right that balance is everything. I’m already feeling back on track. Hopefully, I can now sustain this. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, ALly. I greatly appreciate it.

  9. It is wonderful keeping busy and equally so is having time out doing nothing for a day or so to recharge our batteries, as we are doing at the moment. Blogging is definitely harder to do though I use it as my timeout and creative time!
    Look forward to reading more from you Donna 🙂

  10. Hi, Suz – Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Enjoy your time in New Zealand. I look forward to reading more from you as well! 🙂

  11. You have most definitely failed at the tasks of loafing and puttering. I am glad to see that your crazy, busy time was seemingly filled with endless happiness…. it oozes from the photos. Wishing you some loafing and puttering in your near future (but imagine you will be too busy for that :-). Have a Happy Birthday 😀🎂.

    1. Hi, Lisa – You’ve caught me out! 🙂 I have never been good at the classic ‘doing nothing’ or even just watching television without multi-tasking. But I am fabulous at having pajama days where I idly putter. I have greatly missed those – but have done some major catch-up in this area since we’ve been in Palm Desert. Thank you for the birthday wishes — you are very observant! 🙂

  12. You elevate loafing and puttering to a whole new level 😃

    Like so many others have said before me, it comes as a continual surprise – even 6 years later – how busy I am. I wouldn’t change it for anything … and I suspect you wouldn’t either!
    Joanne Sisco recently posted…Technology HellMy Profile

    1. Hi, Joanne – I agree that the ‘busyness’ in retirement takes many of us by surprise. As we’ve discussed in other posts, ‘flexibility, ‘balance’ and ‘not over thinking’ are great tools for retirement. But they each take continued practice (and steady reminders… at least for me)!

    1. Thanks, Terri – This is a great reminder. ‘Tasks,’ ‘commitments.’ and ‘activities’ do expand to fill the time allotted in work as well as in retirement. I’m now feeling ‘back in balance’ again (she says with confidence). 🙂

  13. Wow, Donna, your list, and photos are making me tired just reading and looking at them! I think it would be way too easy to let your days and nights get overfilled in retirement since you are at liberty to commit to a lot more. If you were working you would have the excuse to say no, sorry, I have to work. I believe it is good to stay somewhat active rather than rocking your life away on the porch but one needs to find a middle of the road between the two extremes. So let the loafing and puttering begin indeed! I would say you have earned some R&R after that crazy schedule. 🙂

    1. Hi, Susan – You are very insightful! Work WAS my excuse most of the time. Although I have tried to achieve an ‘artful balance’ in retirement — sometimes I am more successful at this than others. To compensate, I am definitely doing more ‘loafing and puttering’ now…way more! 🙂

  14. Hi, Hugh – I agree about time passing much more swiftly as we age. Somehow I thought that things would slow down in retirement. The opposite has been true, at least for me. You’re right…..I wouldn’t want it any other way! (:

    1. Hi, Debbie – You and Hugh are right. Busy definitely beats bored any day. Balance is definitely my preferred state…when I can attain it. Easier said than done! 🙂

    1. Hi, Sheryl – Thank you so much for stopping by. I just visited your blog and was very, very moved by it. My sister also suffered from Lupus.

    1. Hi, Jude – I’m quite bad at sitting still or even just watching television without multi-tasking. But puttering I’m fabulous at! Especially in counterbalance to having taken too much on. Thank you for attending Richard’s BBQ and for the kind birthday wishes!

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