Thursday, 15 October 2015

Very, very wierd...

Earlier in the year my 'fantasy retirements mornings' were filled with harp practice, walking, regular blogging and keeping on top of the housework.  The afternoons were going to be more sociable - meeting friends, crafting, clubs, and my working with my instrumental pupils. 

Hmmmm...... at the moment I have absolutely no routine whatsoever.  Don't get me wrong - I'm having masses of fun and I'm loving every moment of it - but I've spent my whole life following rigid timetables so this feels very, very weird.  Even as a teenager, my life was completely regimented by a programme of practice, homework, orchestras and clubs.  My 'Fly Paper Memory' (everything sticks to it!) means that I could probably still work out what I was doing at 4.30 pm on a Tuesday in February 1984.  I have 26 years of teaching timetables stuck in my memory archives too.

At the moment I'm trying to bring a small sense of 'order' to this apparent free-flow.  Each morning I write a little list of tasks for the day, then each week I write a more general and aspirational lists.  I must confess that I feel better when I've started to tick these tasks as completed.  (Old teaching habits die very hard.....!)

However I can see that the benefits of all this flexibility and I'm trying not to beat myself up if I my lists remain un-ticked for a few days.  Last Friday afternoon my piano pupil cancelled, so Mark and I took the chance to enjoy a walk in the sunshine through Worcester.  I'm so glad that I had my camera with me because the colours were amazing...

The river was really still, which gave some great reflections...

On Saturday I had plenty of time to prepare H's celebration meal
(H is next to her Dad at the top of the table)

...and on Tuesday morning I spent a couple of hours making a fabric bag for H's charity raffle at the beginning of November.  (This is another 'stash-busting' project - using some 1990s Dorma fabric from my Mum's hoard and some pretty pink/white lining.  The Raffle is going to raise money for Breast Cancer so I thought the pink was appropriate.)

And today....
This morning I'm collecting Mum from church in an hour or so then we're driving over to the Cotswolds to collect some specialist car parts for Mark.  It's about 2 hours driving through a lovely part of the world, so Mum's coming along for a natter and lunch.  We will probably get back around mid-afternoon.  After that I've got harp practice to do (and I'd like to start cutting out an apron).  At 5.15 I'm leaving the house again and walking down to my sisters for a catch up chat.  She lives two miles away so that walk covers my daily exercise regime.  Once I get home again it will be time to make dinner, catch up with Mark, maybe make up the apron, then bath and bed!
SO MUCH NICER than school politics and marking!
(This week a number of former colleagues have contacted me for the first time.  It seems that things are seriously 'sour' and everyone seems to be trying to second guess the intentions of the SMT.  Ugly rumours about restructuring, cost cutting etc are rife... I hate to see my friends under so much pressure - but it also makes me feel even more content with the path I've chosen.)
I hope that you are having a good week.


  1. After living in Worcester for over 20 years I have only recently discovered the delightful river walks. Shameful. It certainly has been beautiful down by the riverside recently. I

    I never regretted leaving teaching 20 years ago (after only 4 years). I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I have.

  2. The only time table routine I have is the animal feeds after that the day s my own and very much dictated by the weather and of course what I fancy doing, I still write lists but after they are written I dont really look at them, I like having the freedom to do what I fancy :-)

  3. I too was always routine based and found it very hard in the beginning. I felt a little 'drifty', but then I changed my mindset to think of my days as having a rhythm rather than a routine or timetable. I've been much better since.
    It sounds like you got out at just the right time. I haven't regretted a thing since I left in July 2015!

  4. I love having time to myself. Everyone kept asking me if I wouldn't be bored staying at home but I don't have time to be bored, there's so many things I enjoy doing that I don't know how I ever had time to work now. Your walk through Worcester looks lovely.

  5. We must be on the same wavelength at the moment. I have 11 days off work and today is the first day I've done something other than what's on my'to do' list and I'm feeling a little guilty. I know retirement is going to feel quite alien but my body clock might get back to some kind of normality once i finish with the shifts.

  6. I did not have a career, other than taking care of husband and children. I did work, after the divorce, to get money to live on, but only for about 12 years, so it was quite easy for me to slip back into being home mode. I still have my "to do" lists, but they aren't as stringent as they were. Now my tasks can be done today...or tomorrow...or maybe next week. :-)

  7. I was born and grew up in Worcestershire, living there until I was 18. I loved Worcester, and still remember it fondly. Nowadays I have to content myself with a water colour of the cathedral.
    Having time to do what you want, when you want, is a definite perk of retirement. I still get a little thrill when I'm having fun, and others are having to work!!

  8. I'm glad you've managed to enjoy the new timetable and I can definitely imagine how hard it is feel lacking in terms of routine!
    The bag is lovely and what a nice thing to be able to do.
    Those views of Worcester look beautiful- that water is so serene and mirror-like!
    P.S. I wonder if you appreciated my geeky DSCH brooch!!x

  9. I must admit to still being a bit unorganised now that hubby has retired and like you, when I was made redundant (many years ago), I floundered a bit as I'd worked full time for 18 years whilst raising 3 children and a husband who worked as a long distance truck or bus driver, so it was a steep learning curve as it is now too, but we muddle along in the end. At least you have family close by and I'm sure that is a great help. Have a good weekend and take care.

  10. I am glad it's going well, Jan. Just look at you: holidaying in SEPTEMBER and driving over to the Cotswolds on a THURSDAY..IN TERMTIME! x

  11. I'm still with minimal internet so getting caught up. I remember the weird feelung when my daily routine changed. While still working, the stress change was hard to imagine. I'm glad your having fun as well while building new routines.

  12. Getting back into a regular routine has been so hard for me, and I long for the days when I could drop everything and just go for a day of freedom!!