Saturday, June 10, 2006

Missing in action

One whole week since I've posted, where has the time gone? And will it go this fast when I retire?

As I approach the big day (see my little train chugging towards its destination), I am asked by all and sundry what I'll be doing. I have a growing list of things I want to do in addition to gawking from trains and trams, and think I will have to keep track of them in a book, a handmade book of course! In fact, making my own books is high on my list, having done that weekend course in oriental bookbinding in April and now wanting to get stuck into it. Some of my time has been spent constructing books for Mom for Mother's Day, a book of recipes for friends who invited us to dinner and for a friend for her birthday, plus practising the various construction techniques. But I've had to sandwich that around my work days. It will be so much better to have a whole day to cover the kitchen bench with papers and tools and spend as much time as I like on this new hobby of mine.

My first week of retirement is actually rather activity-filled: we'll be coming back from the country on the Monday, for the Tuesday I've registered for a one day workshop on coptic binding (the photo at left is an example I found on the web), Wednesday we'll be going to the ballet, and Thursday I'll be having pizza with the Popes, Phine and her sister Ange that is. My aerobics schedule is already mapped out: 9.15 aerobics classes four mornings a week. Looks like I'll still have to keep some sort of diary going!

Of course, there will be time to be at leisure (am I being too optimistic?), and I will be able to sit and read a book in the middle of the day when I feel like it. Had a good dose of that on Wednesday, my day off: sat in an easy chair bathed in brilliant winter sun coming in the north facing window overlooking the garden. Read and read and read. Had the house to myself. It was quiet. I was in heaven.


Sue said...

I envisioned retirement much the same way! HA! I've never been so busy in my whole life! I do enjoy it and there's never a dull moment. When the grandkids leave and the house is quiet, it takes me a while to adjust....
(Your plans sound just lovely though)

doubleknot said...

Your plans sound so nice.
Good luck with the book binding. I have always been fascinated with book binding though never had the chance to learn it - I have made paper though and that is very interesting.

Val said...

Yes, I thought people might comment on my plans for leisure time. One advantage of having a family late in life though is that grandchildren seem to be far off.

Sharon said...

What bliss!!!!!

Val said...

Oh dear, I just asked about your retirement and bookbinding in an answer to your comment on my blog, and here is a whole post on it!

Early (only slightly) retirement is a becoming possibility for me, now that a review of our library management structure looms. I watch your progress with added interest!

jellyhead said...

"Read and read and read." that sounds like sheer bliss! I'm sure you'll manage to have some relaxation time - you might just have to write it into your busy schedule!

Val said...

Well, I did doze a bit too, which was also blissful. Must take care that I'm not found slumped in the chair late afternoon with my mouth hanging open.

Alice said...

The time will seem to go just as fast as when you were working, if not more so. You'll wonder how you had time to go to work.

Nurture those hobbies, though. With 'unlimited' time, they can sometimes seem to lose their value or importance.

I once heard an elderly man say that he had looked forward to retiring for many years as he had lots of hobbies that he wanted more time to pursue. However, once he retired, he found that he had all day to work on them, instead of just small chunks of time, and now their value had diminished.

It's worth remembering. Perhaps Richard and I should ensure that our garden is never finished - actually, I would hate to have a 'finished' garden.

DellaB said...

Hello Val - great topic! I am another who cannot wait to hear how you progress in your new retirement. Funny, I feel like I am being really forward and nosy in saying that: probably a hangover from the manners I was raised with - but then thats Blogging for you...

I visit you via a link in the ageless project - I am not fully retired as I have continued to work part-time, but it feels like I am retired really, as I no longer feel driven at work, and my experience of this is quite recent... which is the long way round of explaining why I so interested.

I 'retired' because I wanted to play more golf. It is something I have always wanted to do - stop work and play golf. Things didn't work out that way, and now I Blog instead... but thats a long story.

Thanks for the blog, Val..

Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi Val - I will be watching you progress with interest, but you seem remarkably well organised. I would think you are going to emjoy yourself, with good advice from all of your friendly bloggers.

Are you tempted to go further north in the colder months for short breaks ?

Best wishes

Val said...

I think that's a good thing to keep in mind, limiting time spent on hobbies. Too much indulgence and then it isn't special any more.

thanks for stopping by. I'm interested too whenever people talk about retirement, how they cope, etc. Mostly people are just so happy and look terrific. I know what you mean about blogging taking over, it's an easy but enjoyable trap to fall into.

I think I'll just enjoy staying put for the first couple of months of retirement, and enjoy that aspect. We've already planned a trip to California in October, so that's our big trip for this year. But a trip to Far North Queensland would not go astray with the cold start to the winter here!

Peter said...

Hi Val, thought I should pop in and say hi after you commented on peterspictures, first, you probably picked up that I much preferred Port Douglas when its claims to fame were a lovely beach a free coconut and the best pie shop in Australia.
It still has that gorgeous beach, the pie shop is still there and still serve a very creditable pie, so as I figure it two out of three ain't bad.
Now onto MUCH more serious matters; your retirement!!! I admire your planned version of what you intend to do, hope at least some of it works out.
Most of us seem to drift into a day by day existance, broken up by periods of extreme activity, but as long as you enjoy what you do that's the main thing.
Happy retirement!!!

Wendy A said...

Reading...what a great idea. Guess you didn't have any little kids intereupting your quiet time. Lucky you. Kids are home for school break. AHHHHHHHHH. I am so jealous.

Val said...

It's been a while since there have been little kids around. My "boys", who are now young men, are home from work and uni, but they don't interrupt my reading. We pretty much stay out of each other's hair.

Meow said...

Ooooh, your retirement plans sound blissfull ... hope they come to fruition. I imagine you will be pretty busy for the first while, before you wind down properly. Enjoy it all. Take care, Meow

Jude said...

This one came in my e-mail yesterday:

Q. and A. for Retirees:

Question: How many days in a week?

Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?

Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?

Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?

Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don't retirees mind being called Seniors?

Answer: The term comes with a 10% percent discount.

Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?

Answer: Tied shoes.

Question: Why do retirees count pennies?

Answer: They are the only ones who have the time.

Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?

Answer: NUTS!

Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?

Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?

Answer: Normal.

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?

Answers: The Never-ending Coffee Break.

Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?

Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

You are going to fill your days with so much activity that you will one day wonder how you ever had time to go to work.

Val said...

I've heard that from others too, so there must be some element of truth in it.

It'll be interesting to see how long it takes me to wind down. Even going away for a holiday for a couple of weeks, it sometimes takes a few days to wind down.