Monday, November 5, 2012

31,566, 926

By Lillian Duncan

31,566, 926

Did you know there are 86,400 seconds in a day? That equals 604, 800 in a week and 31,566, 926 seconds in a year. That is a lot of seconds to fill up if like me you are retired.
Let’s just focus on one day. Pre-retirement life probably looked something like this.

SLEEP:       8 hours = 28,800
WORK:      8 hours =28,800DRIVE:      1 hour =    3600

TOTAL:      60, 600 seconds

That only leaves 25,800 seconds  (430 minutes or a little over 7 hours) to fill up with the rest of your life, including household chores, cooking, eating, exercise, family, friends, hobbies, church, social activities, and if you were lucky a little time to just hang around doing nothing.

But no more!

Now I have 86,400 seconds to fill up day after day after day... Are you kidding me? And less money to spend to boot!!  As the end of summer approached and still no job for the coming school year in sight, I felt the panic beginning to bubble up.

How was I going to deal with total retirement? I loved semi-retirement-working three days a week was perfect for me. It gave me extra money and the time I needed to work on my writing career. What was I going to do with those 60,600 seconds day after day after day?

Whether I liked it or not, life had changed once again so I decided to STOP whining and START embracing the change.

Here’s a few ideas I have:

1.     STOP MULTI-TASKING. That’s right do one thing at a time instead of five and take your time while doing it.

2.     STOP DRIVING. I live in a small town so I can walk places to do some of my errands like the post office or shopping. It will take longer (and better for my health).

3.     STOP PROCRASTINATING. That’s right stop putting off all those annoying little chores. Just last night, I told my husband to buy the paint so I could paint my new bathroom he built in the basement. Ok, it’s not that new-about 5 years old. I’m really good at procrastinating.

4.     STOP BEING SO EFFICIENT. For many years, it’s been a necessity, but it’s not any longer. Take 3 trips to the grocery store every week instead of one.

5.     STOP HANGING UP ON TELEMARKETERS. Talk to them. There’s no reason not to-you have plenty of time.

6.     START A NEW HOBBY. Notice I said a NEW hobby. Keep up with your old ones but add something new. Learning something new keeps your brain busy and that’s a good thing.

7.     START VISITING. If you’re an old geezer, then chances are your family spent time “visiting” other family members and friends when you were a child. This was before cell phones, texting, and emails put an end to such civilized activities. Make a commitment to visit at least one friend or family member every week. Who knows you may enjoy it so much you do it more than once.

8.     START A NEW COMMITMENT TO HEALTHY LIVING. No matter what level of health you’re at right now, make a commitment to improve it. There’s a lot of time to be wasted...oops, I mean used to healthy living. More exercise time, more time cooking healthier meals, more time finding fresh fruits and vegetables.

9.     START READING. Since becoming a serious writer, my reading time has fallen off, but no more. I’m planning on catching up on my reading. And no better way to do that than to read some of my books. That’s right a shameless plug. You can learn more about my books at

10.  START BREATHING. That’s right. Don’t feel you have to fill up every moment of every day. Sit on that porch swing and breathe. No TV.  No book. No phone. Take a minute to relax—you’ve earned it! And so have I!

I wrote this in mid-August and it’s now November. I’m happy to report I’m finding ways to fill up most of those 86,400 seconds in interesting and useful ways.

Now it’s your turn to share some ideas with me of how to fill up those 31,566, 926 seconds this year.

Lillian Duncan is a Christian fiction author who lives in Ohio with her husband, four parrots, one Jack Russell, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She’s been a Speech Pathologist for over thirty years. She writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. she writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:  She also has a devotional blog at:  


Deborah Dee Harper said...

Lillian.... thank you for reminding me (also retired) that it's not too late to either power up (or down)those activities I had before retiring. Some things just don't hold the importance or necessity as they did prior to retirement (e.g., one huge trip to the grocery store). Take the time to enjoy seeing people, cruising aisles you wouldn't normally visit, get to know the cashiers. It brings a whole new perspective to our lives! I enjoyed your post immensely :-)


Patti Shene, Executive Editor, Starsongs Magazine said...

Fun post, Lil, but I'm afraid I need double the seconds in my day! My question is how and when did I ever find the time to work? Seems I'm more busy as a retiree than I was when I was working mom. LOL!

David said...

Having taken the retirement plunge in 2011 I read with smile on my face the trials of a newly freed time consumer. That's what some of my friends think retirement is. one just sits around consuming time. Yup, an unproductive drain on the nations resources.....NOT. You hit the nail on the head. We need to slow down just a little, learn a bit more, laugh a minute longer, and love the fact that we can
Thanks for the post Lillian.

Annis Pratt said...

What a nicely thought through idea. It's especially satisfying for a writer to be able to retire from a day job to rewire any way you want.I heard what might be a (spiritually) apt addendum to your point 10 on breathing just today -
"It isn't how many breaths that you get to take that is important in life, but how many things leave you breathless with awe."

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

I like your idea of talking to telemarketers. Keep talking to them until they hang up on you in frustration! Then they won't have time to call me!

Lillian said...

I'm glad everyone had fun reading the post. I sure had fun writing it.

And apparently worrying about what to do with my extra time doesn't appear to be an issue. I'm finding plenty to do!

Donna B said...

Very cute, Lillian, just keep up the writing, sounds like you've got plenty of time to spare for that!