Posted in My Memory Bank

The Highs and Lows of Retirement – 3

One month down and a lifetime to go!!  And just how am I doing after my first month away from work?  Just brilliantly, thank you.  The truth is – I feel calmer, happier and free-er than I have in all of my life.  I truly feel liberated.  It is as though I have just now become the person that I have waited a whole lifetime to be.  How very lucky I am, but let me try to explain.


Firstly, I have a new found calmness that  is the most deliciously warm sensation – one could easily become addicted to it!  As many of you will know, I am not known for my calm nature, preferring to be a person that lives “on the ceiling” or “at the edge” for most of the time.  This calmness, or perhaps it’s actually peacefulness, just sits inside of me all the time and helps guide the very flow of my day.  I have used this new calmness to help me organise myself, so that I can feel like I have still achieved something positive each day. To others, these chores may seem trivial but to me they encompass the very style of life that I have always yearned for – that of a housewife.  Every few days I have set aside time to do the very things that I was never fully able to cram into my two days off.  Simple things like cleaning my laundry, tending to my herb garden, taking down cobwebs or going through all my family history paperwork, have become tasks filled with joy and purpose, and chores to take pride in.


The “happiness” side of things took me a little by surprise.  I think beneath the surface I really was a little concerned about how happy my retirement could be.  I have found that my happiest of days in this past month have been the days that I have been at home on my own, or the time I have spent with my family or friends – and lets face it – that’s the way life really should be.  Before retirement though, it was difficult to fit “everyone & everything” into a weekend, whereas now I have the time to decide that I will go visit my children or grandchildren, I have the time to sit with friends and while away a couple of hours having a casual drink and laugh.  The truly big discovery here though is that I am quite happy in my own company, I don’t miss the “press” of people from my working life which was filled with the noise of constant chatter, tears and raised voices.  That is not to say there are not some specific people that I don’t miss.

Being a calmer and happier person has brought with it a freedom that I absolutely did not expect.  The fear of trying new things has largely slipped away.  Of course a fear of trying new things is really all about the fear of failure – honestly, what was I thinking?  I have branched out with my cooking – a thing that I have always loved, but have never had the time to fully investigate. My hubby and I are enjoying at least one if not two new savoury recipes each week or fortnight and I am baking our own cakes and biscuits. We have always been adventurous eaters, but this has taken it to a whole new level.  Lets face it, what’s the worst that can happen?  If we decide we don’t like the recipe I just won’t make the dish again.  I have also started learning to decorate cakes and although I have huge room for improvement, I have found that I love it. Who knows, maybe I’ll get good at it.  This new found freedom has also allowed me to help my kids who are working hard, purchasing homes, raising children and finding there own way.  As a young married woman I always thought that if I had just a little practical help that I wouldn’t be such a failure at “wife and motherhood”.  Long story short – I can do ironing or clean a house to within an inch of life.  This I can offer them, and it gives me such great joy to be able to help them.

“Helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life.”

Todd Stocker – Writer, Speaker and Pastor

So you see, these last few weeks have truly been an eye-opener, the best part of which is that my family have noticed a positive difference in my nature and outlook.  I can only finish this by saying – retirement is nothing to fear, but something to jump feet first into!


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