Morning Inspiration

In retirement, do you ever wake up in the morning and feel that there isn’t anything worth getting out of bed for? (No job to get to, no boss to please or displease, no kids to get off to school.) I feel that way sometimes, and I thought you might want to hear what I do to get my motor started and ideas running (or at least creeping) through my head.

First I go and drink a cup of strong coffee. My coffeemaker is on a timer, so the coffee is ready by the time I have realized that the crack of dawn has arrived. At least coffee gets me motivated to get dressed.

Next, it’s a good idea to think of people you love, others you like to be with, or someone you think might appreciate a call to say you are thinking of them. (When I make a call like that it puts me in a cheery mood all day long, and I hope it makes them feel good too.) Nothing works as well as talking to someone to get your brain in gear and your horizon to expand. But don’t do this too early, or you might catch them before they’ve drunk a lifesaving cup of coffee.

Asking what that person has planned for the day often gives me ideas on what I might do with my day. If it doesn’t, here are some other possibilities.

When my kids were little, Saturday was chore day. I would write a list of 10 jobs and they would alternately pick four each. Some were easy or fun and some were horrendous. Of course those were always left behind with relish.

That kind of list still works for me today. I gleefully tackle the fun and easy ones, and leave the others for another time. Of course “clean house” is at the bottom of the list. (Procrastination is a blessing at our time of life. Isn’t it interesting that some things that were considered vices, like procrastination, have somehow become something close to a virtue or at least a necessity?

If that doesn’t work for you, here are some other suggestions:

Go to the library. Find some interesting fiction in the large print section, and then browse through the non-fiction shelves for subjects you’ve never considered before but that now sound interesting. If reading alone at home doesn’t appeal to you, read where there are other folks around, the library, park, mall, a kids’ playground, a gym where all those athletic bods are working out. You get the idea.

Go to your closet and take clothes you never wear to the Salvation Army or Good Will. (You’ll feel so virtuous, and you’ll also make more room in your closet.)

Go to a craft store and find a fun project. That way you’ll have something interesting to do as you’re watching television reruns.

Invite a friend or friends over to chat, play cards, eat lunch, etc. (No, you don’t have to dust first. Their houses are dusty too.)

Take a class at the park district or at a nearby college or university. You can audit classes there for a nominal fee and you don’t have to take tests, write papers, or worry about a grade. Just go and soak up a subject that interests you.

Have your hair restyled, or buy a wig so you have an “instant hairdo” that always looks nice and makes you “ready to go” at a moment’s notice.

Get out your photo albums and enjoy occasions or trips again. . If your pictures are just crammed into shoeboxes get into "scrapbooking", a fascinating hobby. Call people in the pictures that you haven’t contacted in years and enjoy reminiscing about the time with them again

Do something that will affect someone’s life. One year I volunteered at a local school and they gave me a little girl to tutor who was two years behind in reading. I only helped her for two hours per week, but by the end of the school year she tested up to her grade level in reading. I was so proud of her, as was she. It felt really great to make a difference in someone’s life!

I’m sure that if you work at it you can think of other projects to tackle. I hope you find lots of activities that will make you eager to get out of bed every morning! Writing this got me up and going as soon as my morning “cuppa” kicked in.

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