Who knew that it would take being retired to finally get to use the commuter lane? When I was working, I always commuted alone in my car, so I never was able to drive in the carpool lane. These days, we generally stay off the freeway during commute traffic if we can avoid it. But on Friday night, we were picking up dinner in the city for our friends, and were caught driving during commute hour. Alas, we finally got to take advantage of the commute lane.
Ironic, isn't it, that now that we have all the time in the world, we get to save time by riding in the carpool lane?
Just like many other things in our retired life. When you work, you have to run all your errands during your lunch hour, after work, or on the weekends. And that's exactly when everyone else in the world is running the exact same errands.
We would never think of going to the grocery store in the evening now. Nor would we step foot into a bank during lunch hour. And I never, ever go to the mall on weekends.
So those of us with the most time on our hands wind up getting to do things quicker than those that are working every day and don't really have time to waste.
We recently made the mistake of going to our almost-weekly matinee on the Friday after New Years. We never leave time for waiting in line because there never is one. In fact, there are usually so few people there at all, we frequently have the whole theater to ourselves.
So we were shocked to actually be late for the previews because we had to wait in line to see Marley and Me. In fact, we got nearly the last two seats together in the theater. We forgot it was the last day of Christmas break and that the whole world had time to go to a movie on a weekday.
Since I've been blogging lately about how little time there actually seems to be when you retire, I thought I should disclose that there are a few time-saving advantages to being retired, even if I do wind up squandering that advantage over the rest of the day.
In my 'not working' life, I am finding the exact same thing. I am going to places and running errands at times that I would be otherwise in my cubicle or in a work meeting. (BTW, I am surprised at how crowded the library is on a weekday at 2.30pm.)
When I was working, I used to get mildly annoyed that those who had other options still came shopping at exactly the times when us workers were forced to. So now I stay away, and I even think of it as doing a small favor to all my working friends, because I am reducing the rush by a wee bit by not being there.
Posted by: Ram | January 12, 2009 at 07:57 PM
The thing I always think of in this regard is flights - I'm usually stuck with whatever schedule and price (and stopover!) is available the evening my vacation time starts; but my parents have the luxury to buy last-minute, put off a trip a week or two if necessary, and fly at all sorts of weird days and hours.
Posted by: guinness416 | January 13, 2009 at 07:27 AM
@Ram: I never thought of it that way, that since we can help alleviate the rush at busy times, it is more considerate of those who have the time to try and do just that.
@Guiness: That's definitely a great perk, to be able to act upon last minute travel deals, not just for the convenience but also for the cost savings!
Posted by: Retired Syd | January 13, 2009 at 10:12 AM
Now that I am free from paid work, I wouldn't be caught dead in the stores during the "after work" hours or on weekends.
Nothing altruistic about that; I can't stand the crowds.
We are so lucky to have the option of when to run errands, do food shopping, etc. Even if we surely didn't gain much time (as you have said) during retirement.
Posted by: Imani | January 14, 2009 at 04:49 PM
This is a good article with a good point. I still work full time. When I go out to shop, I often wonder why I as so many retirement age people in stores at the busy time of the day. I have promised myself the luxury of shopping when it is not busy when I retire.
Posted by: Ann Alka WorkingBoomer | June 08, 2012 at 10:50 PM