Is retirement busy doing nothing?

I saw a “mash report” article this week on social media, commenting that the author’s parents are retired and spend their time doing jobs that really do not need to be done. It is very common to hear retired people saying that they have no idea how they ever found time to work, given how busy they are. It made me wonder if that is us too.

North Wales Coastal Path near Prestatyn

We are certainly busy. During the summer months we were moving the narrowboat most days, and that took up much of our time. I’m not complaining. It was more like a holiday than work and we loved it. And when we returned to our house, there were many postponed jobs to be done, so again I was very busy. But this week we have been back at the boat, in a marina, so there is no excuse for not just chilling. And yet I find myself still with lists of things to do. Is it “make work”?

I’ll let you decide. This week I have been on lots of long walks with the dogs, including a big chunk of the North Wales Coastal Path, and around an Iron Age hill fort. I have been to the chandler to find out why the new metal plate on my deck is corroding (it is aluminium and needs painting). I have spent time on chat with British Gas, trying to sort out why my smart electricity meter will not talk to them. I am trying to source a bendy metal strut to hold up the middle of my new tonneau cover on the back of the boat. We had a trip out for lunch to see some friends in Wales who we have not seen for a while. I have visited two National Trust properties – Chirk Castle and Erddig house. And we spent a boozy Saturday night talking to other boat owners in the marina bar. My “to do” list still has booking a ski holiday, finding a new car, booking a hotel in Salisbury for when we go on a road trip at the end of the month, buying new walking boots, and arranging sight and hearing tests.

I am enjoying retirement. That is certain. But am I just making up things to do, or am I making the most of the time we now have? What do you think?

Blog at

Up ↑