When the day comes that your working life is over, maybe through illness, accident or apparent decrepitude brought on by reaching a certain age, it can give you quite a jolt. Even though I anticipated it with pleasure the realisation that I was now a non-worker so no longer ever going to earn money again was quite confronting. I also wondered how I’d feel when all my colleagues returned to work after the holiday break, usually I was ready to start another working year by then. What actually happened was that I was swamped by an overwhelming feeling of relief. No more meetings. No more pointless meetings which seemed to continue simply because they were part of the calendar. No more following inane policies which inevitably resulted in hours of extra T&D sessions, no more hours and angst invested in implementing the policy which would eventually be supplanted by another policy to show that we were innovative, progressive and not afraid of change.
Absolute relief. I could do what I chose to do! The first thing I chose to do was stay in bed an hour later ……….. on the cold winter mornings which inevitably arrived I snuggled under the covers for even longer! Workers ask what I do all day and it’s hard to explain but I am busy all day. I don’t watch much TV and I never switch it on during the day, it doesn’t interest me. If I discover a really good book I have to prise myself away from it or I will read to the end in one sitting but I actually prefer to be outside and doing things.
I would love to be able to capture images I see on canvas but I’ve always been disappointed when I’ve tried so I take the easy way out and use a camera instead. Photography also allows me to see detail in tiny creatures, details I can never normally see eg did you know flies blow bubbles? I find that fascinating. Helping things grow, placing objects for interest and wildlife shelter and observing creatures that move into the new environment is another interest and just being out walking recharges my batteries. Inevitably boring stuff like housework interferes with my enjoyment but I always manage to keep that at an absolute minimum. I have made lists of things I need/want to do but so far haven’t got around to those yet. Many people seem to see travel as filling their retirement but after a few weeks I’m always happy to come home to my bed, my shower, my garden and my space.
People always advocate volunteering for retirees but I’m not ready to do that yet, I’m just relishing the luxury of choosing what to do in my time and being able to decide on the spur of the moment. I love it!