My mom retired at the end of last year. She still goes to her old library twice a week to slowly clean out her office (she didn’t have time to do it before she retired), but most days she stays at home.
I know she only retired less than a month ago, but I feel like my mom is already in a rut. On days when she’s at home, she wakes up around 9:30am, reads the Chinese newspaper while eating breakfast, and then watches Chinese soap operas on TV. After lunch, she might check her email (which somehow takes hours), and then watches more Chinese soap operas (she records at least five different series on her DVR). She calls her old friends who have also retired and chat, but it’s pretty rare and only has time to call one friend per day. Around the late evening, she’ll begin to prepare dinner (while keeping the TV on in the kitchen). After my dad and I come home from work and school, she tells us that the day just flew by.
I’m very afraid that this routine will be what my mom does for the rest of her life. I want her to get a hobby, go outside, or do something “productive” (a very subjective word). I want her to stay busy with things that don’t revolve around sitting on the couch watching TV. I asked her what her plans were, and she sounded defensive.
After she cleans her office out, she wants to clean (declutter) the house and then organize old photo albums (it sounded like the whole house had to be clean before she could even think about doing something else). She has vague travel goals (she’s always wanted to travel to Europe), but no definite plans or timeline have been made.
Her main issue with my questioning her retired lifestyle is that she’s happy relaxing and watching TV, so what’s wrong with that? After working for over 40 years, she likes not having to use her brain. It’s true, I suppose. At the end of the day, it’s her life, right? If she’s happy watching hours of Chinese soap operas every day, who am I to tell her not to?