Day 11: Organizing My Brain With Technology

I am surprised how quickly this week is going, especially compared to last week, which seemed like a month. I think I might have found a solution to my not-quite-right feelings about my new life (delight!) Details below.


I spent much of today writing lists — long-term goals and regular goals — trying to organize my mind around how to spend my day-to-day retirement time. Then (being a “technology will solve everything” kind of gal) I searched for an app to help with those lists. I ended up downloading the Habitica app again, a program I’ve used before, but always discarded mostly because I don’t like the game aspect of it.

The program divides tasks into three categories:

  • Habits — things you want to change about yourself, good or bad
  • Dailies — regular goals, can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
  • To-Do — long-term goals

I like that you can create checklists for the goals (not habits though) to divide it into manageable tasks. Another thing I like about this app is that it can be used either as a mobile app or on a desktop, so it is always in my pocket, but I can enter or edit the goals on the computer if I want.

Everything this program does can be done with pen and paper, but this is easier for me.

Another delight today was a phone call from Clare. Even though she was upset about work, it is always nice to talk to her and I always feel honored that she feels comfortable unloading on me.

Profile card of Dona Patrick's Habitica character showing icon of warrior and pet fox.
My Habitica profile

Day 9: Mostly Lists but [Trigger Warning] a Spider Too!

I am going to have to figure this retirement thing out. While I forced structure on my work life when I first began working from home in 2003, that never spilled over to my non-work life and I flitted from task to task, often finishing none of them. That’s what happened today (despite the list I mentioned below). I fear this is what retirement will be like — a whole bunch of unfinished tasks.


I make lists nearly every day to help me keep on track. My lists have always included some work-related tasks in addition to home related tasks. This morning, as I made today’s list, I was delighted to note that my lists would never again feature work-related tasks (unless of course I do some side PDF gigs) (and I’m not counting volunteer tasks as work).

Other delights included:

  • The blue jays, Carolina wren and crows that provided background music for my morning coffee in the lodge — formally known as the screened in porch until it became a three-season room.
  • My camera arrived!
  • I found an extra 32 gigabyte SD card for my new camera
  • The camera takes better photos than my phone (Neither photos on this page are very good, but the bottom shows the hairs on the legs of the spider)
  • The huge spider who built a web outside our kitchen door
This was taken with the new camera (the top photo was with the phone).