This is the first time in my mature life that I have not been working by choice. When I was living in Toronto a few years ago I was not working but I was not resigned to it and I did not like it. My life was stopped, is all. Here, after a spate of looking for work, probably half-heartedly with therefore few results, I have made the decision to be retired and I am enjoying it much more than I expected.
It is nice to get up in the morning and know I don’t have to get ready to go somewhere. However, although I am not working, I do still have a loose routine. I go to aqua-fit three mornings a week. I usually walk downtown once a week or so. I have very slow mornings, reading Facebook and mail and newspaper headlines. I do the crossword on yahoo every morning. If it is a Tuesday or Thursday, I do sort of yoga to get going. Once every two weeks I go to the laundromat with my neighbour.
My father’s wife proudly tells people that she has been retired for 25 years and is busier than ever. She goes to meetings and helps with newsletters for several organizations. And of course there are also the multitude of doctor’s appointments hither and yon. I doubt that this will be my retired future, or I sure hope not, as far as the doctors go.
I see advertising and articles geared to retirees to buy property or rent or travel in other countries. I am really glad that I have already done that. They have more money than I do for retirement, but I did not have health issues when I lived abroad. I also lived abroad. I was not really travelling, which is a way of skating through places. I think we ‘own’ the places that we have touched and I am glad that I have touched some places very deeply. I do know some American retirees in Turkey and they live fairly well there. But again, they are living there.
Sometimes I ‘waste’ time. Occasionally I lie down. I don’t nap, but I drift close by. Even without work and all its attendant thoughts, there is still a lot to think about. Now that I am back around my family, there are certainly family issues to consider. And a pregnant daughter waiting for me to get my green card.
I have the time. Sometimes I am busy and sometimes I am not even here at home. But mostly I am at home alone and I mostly have no problem with that. For many many years, especially the cafe years, I intensely shared my personal space. Now I do not and it is kind of a relief. The size of this place precludes any gatherings anyway, so it is a bit of an excuse.
I like time with myself. I can do what I want, and that has been creating things as I mostly listen to talks on YouTube and later watch ancient movies. I go outside to smoke once in a while and sit on the porch and watch what little traffic there is. I observe the squirrels and the various seasonal birds and see the occasional pedestrian.
I think about the pieces I have been making. Truthfully, I am a little shy about them, because they are somewhat odd, eccentric, unique, but hopefully other people will like them too. This winter has seen an incredible creative outpouring. It was important to keep my hands busy (idle hands are the devil’s handwork) and it was such a pleasure to let these ideas come up and be formed by my hands.
And it’s all my time. If time is money, what I lack for money, I make up in time. This is probably temporary as, inshallah, I move to a bigger city and get busy with a grandbaby, settling in, and making new friends. But for now, I treasure it.