High Five

 
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Incredible though it may seem, today I reach 5 in retirement years! I'm not sure whether, like dog years, they count for more than the rest of my human years, but they certainly seem longer. 

This past year has been no exception with so much crammed into it. There have been wonderful trips to Madrid, the Adriatic, Dubai and of course our long stay in New Zealand. We have been back to the Lake District twice for walking weeks and have made innumerable trips to Crinan to further the restoration project we took on last May and also to enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of our country. Closer to home, the quest for fitness and commitment to volunteering proceed, whilst our bathroom project is nearing completion. Last year I kick-started my desire to be creative by taking a painting workshop and my dabbling on canvas continues. In the garden, the sunken vegetable beds and efforts at creating a permaculture reap rewards, although with very different weather conditions this year to last. In the big wide world Brexit has dominated the headlines and kept us mentally entertained if somewhat politically challenged.

My fifth year of retirement very much started, however, with being invited to speak about retirement at an event in Bristol. Seriously, I can hardly believe that was almost a full year ago and still recall the enthusiasm that I hope I conveyed to the audience on that occasion.

After 4 years of retirement I mooted that after a period of recovery and transition followed by increasing energy, drive and passion, I was beginning to feel an aura of calmness creeping in. Of course that hasn't meant that we have laid back and relaxed (at least not all of the time) but rather a sense of wisdom has pervaded. We have developed an understanding of our values and by seeking to follow them created both happiness and, hopefully, a meaningful retirement.

If anything has spoiled our contentment, it is still the "headless chicken" activity when we have taken on too much and ended up like the proverbial grasshopper moving from one commitment to another. Structuring retirement to fit everything in that I would wish, is proving far more difficult that I would ever have envisaged. However, and having realised this, as we move into Year 6 we are purposefully prioritising and organising our time to avoid distractions. There will be a time and place for everything that we want to do, so long as we don't seek to do it all at once.


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