INTRODUCTION


There seems to be a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) and in the absence of my being able to read about other people's experiences, I instead offer you my own "Great Big Retirement Adventure."

My husband (Mister E) and I have moved from the initial concept through the planning stages to implementation and this site is intended to record the whole process. What I am seeking from retirement is now very different to what I thought I was planning and has gradually developed into a quest for fitness and a desire for simplification, with a transition away from both a highly organised lifestyle and the personality traits reflecting a pedantic professional career. Indeed I recently described myself as "a goofy idiot" who enjoys smiling at sunflowers; a far cry from the pre-retirement professional and an indication of just how far I have travelled.

Please visit from time to time and do add your comments. The blog is in reverse chronological order but popular posts and those highlighting our journey are specifically pinpointed below on the right hand side together with a list of topics covered. Alternatively you may prefer to look at the summary or wisdom we have acquired or even our have done list with its retirement atlas and dip in and out of the blog using the links given.




Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sub-Conscious Anxiety


I can't deny that I do have moments of panic when I consider the enormity of the decision we have made to retire. Last night, however, I had the strangest dream, suggesting that I may have a generalised anxiety issue.


In my dream, our house was repossessed because we had failed to meet the mortgage instalments! Now, we're not that stupid and, as we don't actually have a mortgage anymore, I can't really be worrying about paying one off. Maybe I need a dream specialist (I assume there are such people) to explain it.


On the other hand I also dreamt that I had beaten Roger Federer in a tennis match. Quite an achievement, especially as I haven't played tennis for almost 30 years following a serious leg injury.




Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ready for R and R in Retirement


Some ten years ago,  Mister E and I bought a week's timeshare at a lodge on the Langdale Estate in the Lake District, overlooking the Langdale Beck. We enjoy our time there so much that a couple of years ago we decided to buy another week in January, determining that it would be a wonderful way to wind down from the after effects of Christmas  and the New Year, especially when we are retired.

Trouble is we are not yet retired and with three trips away in as many months, some intense hours have had to be worked to get here. Still at least I'm not an accountant because as the deadline for filing tax returns approaches, those in the office next door have certainly been working overtime too, and with another week to go are presumably still grinding away.

The Managing Director came to see me the day before I left. He wanted to know if I would be prepared to work for longer. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who always finds it hard to say no. However, and this is where keeping this blog and making those New Year's resolutions helped, I didn't succumb and instead intimated that I would think about it. 

So here in the peace and quiet of this beautiful National Park, I have been doing some thinking. I don't want to prolong the stress and pressure on me of getting work up to date in order to go on holiday or  of it haunting me whilst I am away. How much more relaxing my time here will be when I haven't set off in a mad rush after a week of panic and intense toil in the office. How much more relaxing my time here will be too when I don't have the shadow of a week's post and client problems building up and awaiting my return. How much more relaxing my time here will be when I don't feel obliged to interrupt my holiday by checking my work e-mails.

Saying yes wouldn't be for my benefit. It might make the MD's life easier but not mine.

Accordingly, I now know what my answer is going to be.  If for only that reason, this holiday has been worth it and next time we come, I should be retired!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Saying No to Routine


Flicking through a new monthly supplement delivered with our copy of the Guardian on Saturday and called Do Something, I was riveted by the Manifesto. "Routine is both a blessing and a curse," it read before going on to describe how "Too much routine isn't merely boring- it contributes to the sense of the years whizzing by, because so little takes place that's new."

Gosh that had me sitting up in my chair. Is that the explanation for the last twenty years of my life; gone in the blink of an eyelid? All the time, there was me thinking it was because life was so busy, busy, busy but in reality it had been stolen by the routine and monotony of daily living!

Interesting too, because some of what I have been reading about retirement (usually the chapter I skip over) recommends the need for routine. Perhaps the reality is far more exciting. I hope so, because my original plan for daily living post retirement is now in the process of being re-designed with the adoption of a new mantra: every day will be an adventure!


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Starting to Count Down to Retirement

I found myself with an empty moment at the same time as I had a calculator in my hand this morning. I decided to compute how many more days I would actually work if I retire at the end of June. Taking into account both my holiday entitlement and the fact that I now work only 4 days a week, it equates to just 90 days.

Whether I can actually complete the case files I have been hired to work on or not within that time is another issue. However, I have a feeling that it will be so much more pleasurable to retire as the days reach their longest and we hopefully have a spell of warm sunny days to enjoy. 30th June is therefore going to be my goal. 


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Resolutions

Today I have eschewed the resolutions of former years. No longer will I vow to lose weight, leave work on time or go to the gym regularly. Instead I have made four resolutions that I am proud of and determined to stand by.

The first, of course, is to retire. Yes I promise that I am going to do this in 2014.

The second, with a view to ensuring that the first happens, is not to accept any new clients this year.

Thirdly (and I am rather proud of this one) I have resolved to promote health and happiness – not just of myself but for others also.


Finally, and yes this is something I vow to do every year, I am going to declutter. True to my word I have jettisoned the footbeds from my ski boots today; after 10 years they were smelling badly, so it wasn’t hard. On the theme of retiring though, I do want to declutter at work (mentally and physically) as well as undertaking the same at home in readiness for and in the early stages of my new life.