It’s been three full years since my retirement. I can still (faintly) hear well-intended voices saying, “You’ll regret leaving work early.” “You’ll be utterly and completely bored!”
Now that ample time has passed, I can honestly reply, “No” and “Not one little bit!”
Boredom never crosses my mind. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. A few friends and I were discussing this topic earlier. We are always busy, but can’t always say why. As the purpose of this blog is to record my reflections on retirement, I thought I’d look a little more closely at my calendar. What in the heck have I been doing?
Let’s look back at this past week, shall we?
Yesterday was my turn to host cards over at my place. It’s been a busy card-playing week. That’s highly unusual for me. I did also prepare snacks. That’s a very common activity. So much so, a retired friend recently mentioned that she has made more appetizers during the three years of her retirement than she had made in all previous years of her life.
Sunday – This is the final holiday weekend of summer. It is also the first Sunday since June that Richard and I did not have a commitment (or two…or three…) on our calendars. I attended my favourite morning yoga class (first one this month) while Richard went to the gym. We then took a 14 km (3 hour) round-trip walk from our home. If it sounds ambitious, we did stop at the half-way point for a drink at the Marina. Incentives always work for me!
Saturday – We managed to take in a pancake breakfast, a Farmers’ Market, and a Fall Fair. At breakfast, we ran into good friends. My girlfriend was doing her best to model retired life…she had mistakenly left home still wearing her fluffy slippers! When we left breakfast, she was in search of a new pair of flip-flops so that she could redeem herself for the remainder of her outings.
Friday – Richard and I went to visit a friend in the hospital. We have been inspired by our friend and his wife’s incredibly positive attitudes. When others may focus on what they’ve lost, they both have focused on what they have. It’s been a powerful reminder to live our lives fully and to hug everyone that we hold dear (you now have been sufficiently warned)! The calendar reminded me that today was officially “Eat Outside Day.” We grabbed some salad and drinks from our fridge, picked up some cheater-chicken and headed out to the beach. We both wondered aloud why we don’t do this more often!
Thursday morning was our weekly hike with the Muttley Crew Walking Group. It was also Part Two of teaching friends to play euchre. That finished just in time for me to attend another friend’s home for dinner…sneaking in the last of the traditional BBQ season. (Just in case said friends are reading, I need to mention that the evening could not have been more lovely.) In between walking and euchre, I also put out the recycling (some jobs you’ve just gotta do) and mailed off winter clothes to our youngest son who will be moving from Singapore to England.
Wednesday was Book Club #1 (I’m in two book clubs). We had an engaging discussion of Nancy Horan’s ‘Loving Frank’ (centered around the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick). This biographical fiction invites a large variety of opinion and is an excellent choice for debate. Wednesday was also consumed with washing the previously mentioned winter clothes and sweaters.
Tuesday was Part One of the euchre lessons that I am helping to teach. It was also Richard’s and my weekly volunteer work at the SPCA. Looking to add more unconditional love into your life? There is someone who would like to meet you here or here!
Monday was catching up with a friend who lives part-time on Vancouver Island. Both of our schedules have been so crazy that this is the first day since June we were able to book in together. This friend has recently returned from an ice-breaking voyage to the North Pole. I have (vicariously) experienced many incredible travels through her rich and compelling recounts.
Sunday I returned from my babysitting stint with Charlie (where I wrote my previous blog post on the Ferry). If you missed that post, you can find it here.
For Richard and I, this summer has been filled with driving (Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Rocky Mountains) hanging out with friends and family, as well as TONS of BBQs! Looking at our upcoming calendar, there will be even more BBQs. Richard and I will combine our birthdays and celebrate them together (131!). We will then do more driving for our annual home-exchange in Palm Desert. On top of this, we are getting more serious in our planning for our 1000 kilometer (621 mile) hike across Italy next spring. We also need to add in reading, cooking, cleaning, and… home maintenance among other things.
Perhaps it is simply Parkinson Law, but many of the items listed above seem to consume more time than they once did. My husband and I also outsource less than when we were working. I hand-wash instead of dry-cleaning, we eat more meals at home, and I’ve become my own IT department (groan here). When Guest Hosting for Mr. Money Moustache, Darrow Kirkpatrick addressed the issue of ‘retirement busyness’ with incredible insight. He wisely stated, “All the projects, goals, and activities that were not possible when you were working, now become possible.” So true! Resonating even more strongly for me, he wrote, “Research and writing is the backbone of my new weekly routine….Blogging lets me produce something creative…. it has plugged me into a network of like-minded people.” I believe that this can be true for any passion, not just writing.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to live a retirement filled with family and friends. Living in a highly walkable town that offers a wide range of things to do in all seasons has been an incredible advantage. I am always surprised how different each week is from the others. Last month, I managed to squeeze in 22 yoga classes. As I mentioned above, this month was not great for my yoga attendance…nor my gym attendance. At least, as this post confirms, I did remain active.
How was your week?