Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What Do You Do All Day? Mostly The Same Old Shit

What does one do all day, camping out?

When I retired, one reader opined that I would be bored out of my mind, with "nothing to do"all day long.  And yet, activities filled the days, with no free "bored" time to be had. In fact, I find there is less boredom in retirement than in the working life.

When RVing, people ask, "what do you do all day long?" which is an interesting question.  To be sure, on what we call "house moving day" there is a lot to be done - cleaning up our campsite, putting things away, hooking up the camper, and driving to our new destination - preferably less than 100 miles away, and our new home for several nights, if not a week or more.

But once there and "set up" what to do?

Well, most places are near water, so we have a kayak that we use to explore. It seems kind of scandalous to us to go to such a place and not kayak, so that sort of pushes us to make use of the facilities while we are there.  We also have mountain bikes, so we can explore the campground and, if available, local mountain bike trials.  Or, if near a city or town, we can ride into town to explore there - local museums and attractions, maybe a winery or whatnot.

We also like to go on hikes - fairly short ones, that is, unless you place your faith in a NYS DEC trail sign that says a hike is 3.7 miles and a mile into it, suddenly becomes 4.3 miles and then 4.5.   Always have a trail map - and GPS!

There is also routine personal maintenance.  Just because you are on "vacation" doesn't mean there is isn't laundry to be done, beds to be made, meals to be cooked, and floors to be cleaned.  Life goes on, and life is a lot of work - if done properly.   There is also RV maintenance - minor repairs which always need to be done.  A new propane tank for the trailer, a new AGM battery for the truck. A hook to be hung up here, something to be optimized there.  It never ends, unless of course, you want to live in your own squalor.  Many choose to do so - without ever leaving home.

You find your life revolves more around the weather forecast than the news stories.  Rainy day?  Good time to go into town and do laundry and get groceries.  Nice day?  Maybe today we get out on the kayak or take that six mile hike (that turned out to be eight or more!).   What you do is based on what is available, not what you are scheduled to do.  Doing things on a schedule make less and less sense.

And a lot of things are spontaneous.  As I noted before, we tend to stop at waysides, tourist information centers, rest stops, museums, old forts, and whatnot, just to have a place to park and have lunch and to see what the local situation is like.  Many a small town puts a lot of effort into creating a town park - often not appreciated even by the local residents.  But often such parks lead to local sales, at the gas station or grocery store.   It is an investment, tourism.

But the long story short is this: You don'r run out of things to do in retirement.  In fact, you finally find the time to do the things you want to do, in the way you always wanted to do them - not hurried or rushed or on a deadline.

And it is a nice feeling. let me tell you.

But others, who failed to save for retirement, claim they will work until age 70 - a nice theory, if they let you do that.   They claim they like work and that being retired would be "boring".

Perhaps. Or perhaps a post-hoc justification for poor life planning?  I tend to think the latter.

Because not working really rocks.  It really does!