I’ve been sort of a slacker when it comes to writing, but I like to think of it as refining the art of the slack. I’m exhausted by the high standards of productivity some people set for themselves in retirement. Certainly, my days are reasonably busy, but I don’t document my activities with quarterly reports and the dreaded self-assessment.
While big goals typically require planning, preparation, and commitment, in the art of the slack, it’s important to set a low bar for the routines of daily life. This is contrary to my former approach, which was anything worth doing was worth doing with disturbing ferocity. I used to say my tombstone should read, “She tried hard.”
Retirement has mellowed me. I’m learning to enjoy life with less effort. It turns out the universe will nudge you one way or the other, and it all works out in the end. Still, I’ve learned a few important lessons you’ll want to know about.
- Try to wash your sheets once a week, but they can wait if you’ve got something better to do.
- Dress for less. You probably have all the clothes you’ll ever need.
- Go gray. It’s less work, less expensive and beautiful.
- Dust settles and will sit quietly minding its own business longer than you think.
- Weeds look like flowers if you squint.
- After a shower, squeegee and wipe it down with a towel. It’s a pain in the ass, but you might only need to scrub the shower once a month or less.
- If you have a dishwasher, skip the pre-rinse. Google it if you don’t believe me.
- Go ahead. Make a top-10 list but stop at eight.
If you’re among those who enjoy gathering metrics, please feel free to call bullshit on me.
We’re all here to learn.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.