Saturday, 16 February 2013

What Day is It?

summer in the Blue Mountains - on a mid-week escapade
In talking about how great it is to be able to do mid-week escapades, I didn’t mention that there is, actually, a down side to it – how do you remember what day it is? It is soooo easy to think it is the weekend, when it isn’t, and I have to keep reminding myself of that.

When I was working, there was a lot of structure to my week, as my job was a regular 9-to-5, Monday to Friday, or some variations on that theme, but never involved weekend work. Anything else I did basically had to fit in around my working days.

But once I retired, the basis around which I organised my days went out the window. I still have regular commitments – coffee with friends on Thursday mornings, dinner with other friends on Wednesday nights, drinks with a different group of friends on Sunday evenings,  you get the general idea. But the majority of the time my days have no need to be so structured. I can do the grocery shopping any day I like. I don’t have to fit appointments into my lunch hour.
So without that regular getting up to go to work, weekly meetings, monthly state-of-the-nation-type company updates, and accounting for my time, I’ve found it can be a challenge to remember what day it is.

a way of keeping my brain active
I struggled with this at first. I mean, how bad is it that I don’t know what day it is? What I used to think of people who didn’t know what day it is was not complimentary. Isn’t that a question asked of people when they are testing them for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Is structure to my life important to me? Do I need it so I’m not just floating along without any purpose? It’s a bit scary, because I felt like I was losing control of my life.  

But thinking about this, I decided that no, it isn’t important. I don’t need the structure, or the organisation. In fact, it’s quite liberating not having that structure. As long as I make it to the appointments I do have, the rest can just go with the flow. How do I feel today? That’s what guides my choices, rather than what day it is.
some of the books in my To Read pile
Having said all that, I do like to have a general idea of what day it is, and to be able to look back and know that I've actually done some things. To manage this, instead of implementing anything fancy or structured, Les and I just use a page-a-day diary. At the end of each day, when we are sitting on the lounge, we try to write up a brief summary of our day in that diary. It serves as a way for us to see that yes, we have actually done something instead of “wasting” the day. And it reminds us that today was Saturday!!!

This may sound like I’m in denial, and my brain is turning to mush as a result of not being used – use it or lose it, they say. I don’t believe that. I do use my brain, but for different things than in the past. The things I need to remember now are different. And there is only so much space in my brain, so something had to go. It appears that what day it is was one of those things – you see, most of the time, it doesn’t matter!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you! When I first stopped work, I would sometimes wake up with a start and ask myself 'what day is it?', sometimes in a state of panic. But you are quite right. It is not important what day it is, generally speaking.

    I also use a diary, but a week to a page, and I note every important thing in there, ie when bills are due to be paid, days I pick up beautiful grandson from school etc. I check the diary every night before I go to bed and each morning after a cup of coffee.

    Enjoy your day, whichever one it is!

    Regards Diann


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