Reflections on a Second Month of Retirement

I'm not sure if I had really expected to be blogging now about a jubilant recapture of my joie de vivre and back to back adventures. That is not, however, how the month has gone.  I'm still loving retirement with its sense of freedom and, of course, I have been away again, enjoying a sailing trip in brilliant weather.

If I had to sum up Month 2 in one word though, that word would be "healing." I don't intend to sound all spiritual when I say that, and again it is also not what I had expected to be blogging about.

The healing has been at many different levels. 

At the most basic I have been working hard to try to regain physical fitness. The time now available to me has allowed  me to increase my visits to the gym, join in various exercise classes and swim regularly.

I'm also eating more healthily and, as a result of the combination of more exercise and a better diet am proud of the fact that I appear to be steadily losing those excess pounds.

Coupled with seeking to sort out various bodily ailments, I am well on the way to sorting myself physically and adopting a change of attitude as a result. I did say that I don't want to sound spiritual but the comparison of your body to a temple does spring to mind. Perhaps it is a shame that it has taken until retirement to realise and then be faced with a mountain to climb before I shall have reversed the years of neglect and alternative priorities. When you work hard and enjoy good health it can be a shock to discover that this does not necessarily equate to fitness and that your body may be incapable of doing anything much more strenuous than pushing paper at a desk.

Alongside the measures that I have committed to for physical fitness, I am now aware of the need for mental change too.

My desire to create is being stifled by decades of documents and professional propriety, a fear of the unknown and desire to play safe. Learning to think laterally and to notice in detail the beauty of the little things in life that I have been taking for granted, are a struggle. I have, therefore, resorted to a book filled with 12 weeks of exercises to help rediscover my inner creative self.

I had wrongly assumed in my mad rush to embrace retirement that it was simply time that I needed to enjoy a life of creativity and adventure. The last month when let's say I have  dabbled with those concepts, has demonstrated very clearly to me that the time which I now have available must first be applied to the preparation of body and mind. Seriously, and no I have not gone loopy, Month 2 has been the start of rehabilitation from the world of work.

To date I have only undertaken small steps but do not find the lack of alacrity in my progress frustrating. To the contrary; it's all part of the enjoyable transition from one life to another; a rich tapestry of limitation and experimentation as I acquire the physical and mental tools I need to thoroughly enjoy the new life I have carved for myself.


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