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A Retirement Diary: What Does Your Day Look Like?

January 21, 2023

Another Way for week of January 13, 2023

A Retirement Diary: What Does Your Day Look Like?

I have a friend and fellow columnist, Lovina Eicher, who occasionally writes a diary of her day, which is always interesting because it gives a window into the life of an Amish writer, mother, wife, grandmother. So, I’m going to copy her.

Morning. This happens to be on the grounds of where Stuart had his leg surgery.

5:30 ish: Get up. If I’m lucky, my husband has the coffee made and waiting for me. He likes to keep the coffee thermos hot by first heating up water to put in the thermos to warm it up, and then places a cover over the top of the thermos to keep the heat in more. He is less concerned about putting away all the coffee paraphernalia so I clean up the counter corner where we do coffee.

5:45: This winter, I scurry to the basement to remake the fire in our wood stove. Ordinarily Stuart would do this too, but right now he’s recovering from knee replacement surgery and it is harder to walk steps. I don’t mind the job, because I love standing by the fire/wood stove. Our daughters used to put their arms around the stainless-steel chimney at our old house where we had our wood stove, and jokingly called the warm wood stove “my boyfriend.”

6:15 ish: I sit down at my laptop to check email, scan Facebook, and early in the week, make sure I have a solid idea going for this newspaper column by Monday or Tuesday. I usually have several ideas jotted down weeks ahead but occasionally the well goes dry (so to speak). I like to have the column finished by Wednesday so it can “rest” a day before I do several final proofings—before I send it to newspapers early on Thursday.

7:00: I usually eat my smallish breakfast of Kashi cereal topped with slivered almonds. In the old days, before retirement, I would shower and leave for work by 7:40 or so, heading to Mennonite Media where I worked for 43 years. I should explain technically I only “worked” 42 years because of three maternity leaves (three months each), and one three month “professional” internship—in the “news” department of a poultry processing plant.

9:00: I might have a “second breakfast” (as in Lord of the Rings) of a small piece of toast with some leftover scrambled egg from Sunday.

9:30: Three or four days a week we head to a wellness center with a pool for water exercise—me with a class of women similar to my age, and Stuart doing his own water routines. These folks have become valued friends we chat with and care about. We never never expected to be doing this in our later years. Stuart started at the pool while I was still working, upon the recommendation of a physical therapist. This routine gets us out of the house—along with enjoying exercise and friends.

12:00: We have lunch of PB&J, grilled cheese, or ham sandwich for my husband, and I usually choose a tortilla browned in skillet with cheese and a slice of some lunch meat. Both of us have chips, and a few veggies.

1:30 to 4:30: At some point in the afternoon, both of us take naps, Stuart in the recliner and me on our bed. I usually ask “Siri” to set my phone to wake me after 20 – 30 minutes. I also do writing, laundry, tidy up things, or tackle projects.

4:30: I start prepping for our main meal of the day, supper. I have tried for the last year to have menus sketched out for the week, which eases the “what should we have for dinner?” stress considerably.

5:45: Most days we sit down to supper together, take turns praying, and in short order, finish our supper with news playing in the background. I would rather have music, but that’s marriage, give and take. Our out-loud prayers give each other keys to what the other is thinking about, concerned about, and praying for. Highly recommended!

9-10 p.m: I like to read and am usually in bed before 10. Husband may not get there till 11. Good night, folks!

What does your average day look like?

What does a really great day look like?

Comment here or write to me at Another Way, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834, or email

Just for the fun of it, here’s one of Lovina’s “A Day in the Life” columns.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of ten books, most recently Memoir of an Unimagined Career. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. My day looks a lot like yours, except I get up a little later, around 6:30 or so, except on blog days. I take naps too, or at least lie down a bit. One thing I do regularly is write down what I do, either at the end of a day or the morning after. And I always count my blessings.

    For me the favorite part of your post was the description of your daughters seeking warmth, ” jokingly calling the warm wood stove ‘my boyfriend.'”

    I wonder if you noticed a bump in your blog views recently. I referenced your post “To the Dump” as inspiration for recycling glasses. You asked, “What does a really great day look like? For me, getting the press proof copy of my book in the mail in a few weeks.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Melodie!

    • Like you, I sometimes only lie down for a bit — depending on the day and how busy it is. I do not like to take hour or more naps, because I wake up groggy and the waking back up goes slowly. 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed the “wood stove boyfriend.” I didn’t caption that photo but the daughter who invented the name is shown with her two small “boy friends” who are also her sons. 🙂 And of course she has a real boyfriend: husband.

      I can detect a small bump this past Wed., thanks for the link! Blessings as you wait for your new “baby” — the next book.

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