Before I quit my job and headed into the great of unknown of being a Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) I had all kinds of thoughts about how this blog could follow along. First of all, I could be different from other bloggers that hit retirement and then faded into the sunset (and kudo’s to them for pivoting away from the blogging world to live life). That won’t be me, I said, I can write about all this new stuff! There’s so much new stuff it won’t be difficult at all coming up with blog posts each, I said… That’s true! I have a shitload of new and different situations going on with the SSC family. Except that one thing has changed that has made a significant impact on the blog. That one thing is the fact I’m not in front of a computer 8-10 hours a day anymore.
Unlike most bloggers, I did most okay, all of my blogging at the office. Oh yeah! I got to work at 6am and had a solid 2 hrs before the rest of the company showed up to work. If you look back at old comments you’ll notice most come between 6-7am, lol. I also used that time to write posts, edit posts, and tinker with the blog. Nowadays, my computer is upstairs in my music/art/office area. It’s great!
My own little space, nice view out the window. A perfect writing nook. For it to be functional, I need to actually be up there and writing and that just hasn’t been happening. I’ve got too much other stuff going on to head upstairs for 2-4 hours a week and bang out a post, respond to comments, etc… Life is just too damn exciting!
What’s Been Going On
I’ve been staying busy with the house, kids, getting adjusted to the SAHD lifestyle. It’s been pretty great so far! I haven’t been super great at managing time as I wanted to be. My time debts get racked up pretty quickly some weeks and others are smooth sailing. The cold has finally broken here so I’ve been a bit more focused on the outside since things will be green, ticks will be out (wait, they’re already back), snakes and scorpions will be out again, and I can’t willy nilly go grabbing anything off the ground. We’ve gotten a LOT done over the winter and the “backyard” is way more usable than it was when we moved in last summer. Not the fenced in part, but the woods outside of that area. We had someone gather and haul off 120 cubic yards of brush/trees that I’d gathered up or where scattered around the property. I cut down over 30 trees and hauled at least 20-30 cubic yards of mostly decomposed wood into an old ravine on our property. I figured I could use it to make a hugelkultur of sorts and fill it with wood. The guy with the skid steer squashed it down once, then I mounded it up again and he squashed more and then topped it with dirt from around the yard. At least some of the trees will go back into the ground, right?
School and CASA
School volunteering is moving along, but it hasn’t been as consistent as I expected. Mostly from my own doing, but I’m getting back to at least once a week being a Watchdog. Prior to that, I’ve been volunteering for every other thing like, field trip chaperone, state testing monitor (OMG, so dull…), PT librarian, and more. That’s been fun and it’s great getting to see the kiddo’s during the school day.
CASA training is nearly complete! Woohoo!! 8 weeks of training is coming to a close and we’ll have our swearing in this Friday. It’s been difficult as it has been 3 hrs a week of training, but mostly difficult because it occurs at the same time as my DBSA group meetings. DBSA is the Depression Bi-polar Support Alliance and the have group meetings for people dealing with those issues or anxiety or anything else they want to come and talk about. Those have been super helpful for me and I’ll be glad to get back to my Thursday meetings. It’s just nice having a place to share and be open with people dealing with same/similar issues. It’s been rough missing those, but that’s almost over.
I previously thought I’d be doing exercising/training a lot and putting in time to all my different hobbies with all this free time and that hasn’t quite worked out how I thought. Everyone is always saying “retire TO something…” not away from things. Well, I have a shitload of stuff I retired to, but like my last posts have pointed out it doesn’t mean that your hobbies are now your new default time killer.
Yep, whatever habits you had before retiring don’t magically change with more free time. If you wasted a lot of time on phone games, that won’t change until you break that habit. Same with TV, naps, procrastination, etc… Like Maggie at Northern Expenditure said, “Retired you is still you.” That is SO true. I’ve struggled with this even though I’ve also been doing hobbies and tackling the yard/woods/house like crazy. I finished building my banjo and it actually plays! Yay! I put together 2 adirondack chairs and stools that my FIL brought up for us. I’ve got the plans picked out for the cedar woodstrip canoe I’m starting on, and have been scouting spots for a garden for next year or this fall. I’m putting in a compost pile today and have the front flower beds I’ve been transplanting bushes out of and making a plan for them.
Inside, I have a lot of painting to do, an attic exhaust fan to rebalance, one last horrid push of adding insulation before it gets really warm and the attic comes to life with spiders, scorpions and god knows what else. They’re already moving around as I saw a spider in our shed yesterday, so sooner is better than later… Also, it’s a really, really tight spot, just to get into another really tight spot. Shudder…
Triathlons and that kind of exercise have disappeared lately. I let the Texasman tri and OKC Memorial Marathon (half-marathon for me) sneak up on me and won’t be ready for either of them. Mainly because I haven’t been running consistently or swimming at all since we moved. Unless it’s open water swimming, my only other option is joining the university pool or the Y. Both are a little spendy considering when the kids get out of school in another month or 2 I won’t have free time to bike, run, or swim as I’ll be full-time babysitter. Yipe!!
Also, the meds I’m taking are not helping with my motivation. In short, if I could nap 2-3 hrs a day I would. I sleep from about 10-10:30 pm – 5:50 am so it’s not like I’m getting too little or too much sleep. Regardless, I feel like I have zero energy constantly, zero motivation, and a massive amount of apathy towards exercise in general. That’s led to putting on about 8-10 lbs though, so I need to get over it and get back into exercising, drop some weight, and be a better health role model for the kids.
Time for New Habits
In short, I’ve designated April as the month to break bad habits and work on new ones. Starting with this blog post! Sure, it’s a day late from my usual Tuesday posts, but it’s also a month behind my last one, so… You gotta start somewhere right? Secondly, I deleted a couple of phone games as I realized they’re way too much of a timesuck. I’m going back to my previous google calendar schedule of exercise, playing music, painting, woodworking, CASA, school volunteering, etc… This will just have to be a slower approach to some of these, but as long as it’s consistent I think it will work. Finally, I’m getting back to blogging consistently, well more consistently than once a month, lol. There is a TON to write about with how things have changed with our budget, lifestyle, routines, spending, just everything. I need to be better at putting it out there and writing about how things change post-work life and every other thing I’m now dealing with, like grocery shopping (I found our ALDI and had good $$ wins there), being default parent (kids dr’s, dentists, summer programs, homework, laundry, etc…), and taking care of this property. There’s so much I want to do, but it just takes time. Like bees! I wanted to get a couple of hives, but will have to wait until next year due to budget issues – mainly my allowance is at $0.
I let life run my schedule and didn’t fight back when important things got pushed out of it. It’s easy to get so “busy” living life, cleaning house, doing your thing that you realize it’s been 2 months since you’ve done the stuff you thought you’d be doing all the time. It’s time to be more mindful of my time. I mean, I’ve been mindful of it, it just hasn’t been spent the way I would’ve thought. Now to redirect it back to the things I’d rather be doing, and the blog is one of them. Yay! It will continue! I realized when I was working I had limited time so I made the most of my free time and tried to fit as much stuff in there as possible. Now that I have loads of free time, the drive isn’t there because – I can do that tomorrow – and guess what? Tomorrow never comes… That changes this month.
Have you experienced this or am I the only one?