How to use an alarm clock

Everybody has an opinion, but I was shocked to see retirement advice stating it’s important to establish a routine by getting up with an alarm every morning and filling your day with activity. I was going to leave a comment, but this particular site doesn’t enable comments. Here’s my comment:

Are you smoking crack?

Seriously, that is the dumbest advice I’ve ever heard. Dumber than even the new Abby, who hardly ever gets it right, in my opinion. The old Abby had her act together.

Back to the subject of sleep. The author says once you’re retired and don’t use an alarm, your whole day might be spent in bed or on the couch watching TV or on the porch watching the world go by.

I imagine there are retirees who might spend 30 or 40 years working their butts off and then suddenly decide to squander the rest of their lives doing nothing, but no, I really can’t imagine that. Even in my quest to be less productive, I have many interests, and well, shit must be done.

My body wakes up naturally around 6:30 a.m. I read the news and do the NY Times mini puzzle from under the covers, which by the way, is an art form. Bad things happen if you press too hard on the back of the phone. Most mornings I choose not to get up until around 7 a.m. I pack a lot into my days, but I go for the late start and ease in slowly.

The blur of breakfast and lunch can be problematic if you’re not careful, but retirement meal clash can be avoided with proper management.

Waking up without an alarm is one of the greatest joys retirement brings. I waited my whole life for this. While there’s no shame in getting up early to be productive if that’s how you roll, I’m here to say you can ignore all the advice if you like. Not everyone needs a routine. You don’t have to be productive. You can do what you want. You can sleep in.

During my last few years on the job, I had a long commute and got up every morning at 4 a.m. I don’t miss it. In fact, I was thinking the other day about what I do miss from work, and it was hard to even make a list.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

Room service! A tiny moment of pure joy after a long day of business travel and painful encounters with disagreeable executives. So, yeah, I miss room service, but I could probably get Dale to pretend.

I only set an alarm if I absolutely positively have to be somewhere early, and these days, that usually means golf. Alarm clocks are also good to make sure you don’t overdo it on a nap. 

11 thoughts on “How to use an alarm clock”

  1. I agree with you 100%. I read that same line in that blog – establish a routine by getting up with an alarm each morning. The biggest delight of this retirement is NOT getting up to an alarm clock. Like you, I set the alarm so as not to miss an early appointment. I have control over my day now and strive not to make those early morning appointments anymore. I don’t know when I wore a watch last. Slow mornings are part of my retirement routine. Having said all that, I’ve been waking ~5AM, too early to start my day with anything other than listening to a morning radio show and reading, including my favorite blogs. i enjoy your blog and sense of humor.

    1. Hi Mona — thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you are also enjoying those slow mornings. It’s the best.

  2. Seriously? I couldn’t wait to retire so I could get up when I wake up without an alarm. I get up around 7:00 and that’s plenty early. I do tend to get around slowly for which I sometime chastise myself but what’s the big deal? I still get plenty of things accomplished. I also avoid early morning appointments because I hate to mess up my retiree routine.

    1. I know what you mean about those early appointments! To be avoided at all costs — unless it’s golf!

      1. I’m not a golfer so I can’t even say that!! The only things I get up for are trips to see the grandkids or breakfast with a friend who still insists on meeting at 7:30 even though he’s retired now too.

  3. Who is this crazy person and where is his or her blog? Im gonna bet it’s one of those early retiree types? Honestly, the two best things about retirement are no alarm clock and never having to shop or travel on the weekends if you don’t want to!!

  4. There’s a “New Abby”? (And Google tells me this happened in 2002)! Sometimes I think I actually do live under a rock! 🙂
    Back to the Alarm Clock. I’m completely with you on this. Why in the heck would any self-respecting retiree set an alarm clock, unless s/he had to catch a plan or had an early golf game?
    I’m writing this (beside my fireplace, cup of tea in hand) at 6:21 am — without the help of an alarm clock. But I did shameless go to sleep at 7:30 last night. That freedom totally spells “retirement” to me. 🙂

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