It is forty years this month since I retired. Forty years! The largest part of my life if we divide it up into chunks.
Birth to 19 - at home with my parents.
19 to 58 - happily married to Husband Number One. 50 to 58 adjusting to early retirement.**
58 to 60 - adjusting to widowhood.
60 to 83 - happily married to Husband Number Two.
83 to almost 91 (one month to go) alone and adjusted. **
And my Mantra Daily is - 'Don't sit about thinking what might have been - it is what it is - get on with it, fill the time, enjoy it, find ways of not being alone all the time and of enjoying being alone when the occasion arises - which it undoubtedly will.
**And of course 'chapter two' also includes the birth and the bringing up of my son -now 65 and making me feel ancient, although having seen a lot of him since he came to live up here he still looks about forty to me! Or to put it another way:
Four legs to two legs to three legs to six legs crawling to walking to needing a third leg (a walking stick) to walking around with Priscilla, four wheels plus my two legs.
Of course I am preaching to the converted aren't I - so no use getting on my soap box. But anyone newly retired and wondering what to do with themselves could do worse than run down my side bar and just look at what is on offer:
John (Stargoose) going on amazing walks around where he lives and taking photographs as he walks and making everywhere look like Nirvana; John (Going Gently) embarking at University part of each week on a new string to his bow in his early sixties; Joanne (Cup on the Bus) beavering away at her loom (I can vouch for the efficacy with which she turns out beautiful tea towels); Si (Careering Through Nature) describing in detail how"good" he is at cricket and while ostensibly fielding taking fantastic butterly shots.
I could go on. But by the sheer fact that they are all - and many more - on my side bar we know they have all found plenty to be getting on with as my mother used to say.
Feed the mind early - straight after breakfast if you can - wordle, crossword, sudoku, doesn't matter what just give the old brain cells an airing.
Contact people - they won't come to you if you don't keep in contact - that's what phones are for. Oh and keep a supply of Kit Kats, Biscuits, Fruit cake, cheese and bix - not all I hasten to add, but just something to put on the tray as well as the coffee cups.
Don't sit watching TV all day - libraries are there for readers, paperbacks are cheap enough, nothing beats a good book. (am into Derek Jarman at the moment).
Consider blogging!! Not for everybody I know but I count my blog friends as a huge part of my life. They make me laugh (yes I mean you Tom), they make me think, they take pictures that bring me great pleasure and get me out into the countryside I can no longer visit every day (you know who you are), they let me share in their lives - their joys, their worries (a trouble shared is a trouble halved). I almost feel that I am there in the room with them.
And by golly having to think what to put on my blog each day doesn't half make me think. Heavy rain beating on the window as I type - so there's always the weather if one runs out of ideas.
Have a nice day rain or shine.