Three months ago, to the day, was the first day of my retirement, of my new life. So, I can hear you asking, how has it been for me so far?
These are the
things I love: Not having to get up in the mornings until I feel like it. Not worrying about the day ahead. Not waking up in the middle of the night, thinking of something I've forgotten to do at work. Not returning from work all frazzled
Being able to see my grandchildren on their actual birthdays, even if those birthdays fall in the middle of a week, rather than having to wait for the weekend. Meeting friends
for coffee and a chat about books, TV programmes, the news and generally putting the world to rights. Being able to watch Wimbledon, the Olympics and the Paralympics any time I want to, and not having to wait for a Special Highlights programme - what
a Festival Summer of Sport we have had! And, talking sport, I love feeling fit because I spend so much time at the health club. Even if most of that time is spent in the coffee shop, reading the newspapers and sipping a latte, after a stately (i.e.
slow) progress up and down the swimming pool.
What I've missed: the fun of being "in the middle of things" which came with work. The lovely people
I worked with. The excitement when things were going well, the challenge of putting things right when they weren't going so well. The sense of purpose that came with getting up every morning and going to work, ready to do as good a job as I could
over the course of the day.
What have I learnt over the last three months? Well, firstly, people do treat you differently, when you are retired. I've never been one to stand on status,
but even I have found it a little hard to be on the receiving end of the occasional patronising comments of those who don't really know anything about me. I have to keep reminding myself of grand-daughter Katie's interpretation of OAP - "Old and Proud."
I love that girl! On the positive side, volunteering for the Summer Reading Challenge at the library over the course of the school summer holidays has taught me that I do need to have some kind of "work" to do. And,
interestingly, that work for which you don't get paid is actually even more rewarding than taking home a pay packet.
Mr B, practical as ever, asks me if I would go back to work, if asked to do
so. He is relieved (I think!) that my answer is a very definite "no". I've moved on, you see, and started to shape my new life. It's not fully-formed, by any means, in fact it's definitely sketchy round the edges. There's a lot more
I have to discover about this latest stage of my life and the promises it holds for me and Mr B.
Putting together this website and, particularly, writing the Daily Blog, has been a huge part of the
last three months. I've loved hearing that I have made you laugh - and cry. Thank you for reading and for helping me make sense of the last three crazy months.