The Nitty Gritty
The Happening of Our Daily Lives
The Nitty Gritty
The Happening of Our Daily Lives
Life is always changing. Sometimes it's only subtle shifting as we transition into and through different stages of our life. Whatever the magnitude though, change happens.
This is where we currently find ourselves.
For starters, we thought our adult son was settled on the west coast of Canada.
Ya... Not so fast!
It turns out a shift was in place and he's now heading back, to not only our province, but our city! His industry is competitive with not an over abundance of jobs, so he has to be willing to move where the jobs are. Turns out there was a great opportunity for him here. Bonus! It will be the first time in almost nine years our whole family has lived in the same province and city.
Our daughter is getting married in a few months and will obviously be moving out. She had a rough go of it too -- schooling, starting her career etc. and has been wanting to go on a vacation forever. Turns out our son had some time between his jobs so the two of them have headed to Australia!
I'm so jealous! his has always been on my bucket list! Maybe next year!
Not all is lost though -- hubby and I are heading out too -- any guesses where? We are so excited! Some place warm, tropical which has also has been on my bucket list forever. More to come on this... stay tuned :)
We are still trying to work out our permanent living arrangements. Kids moving back home short-term until the job situation is more clear and until some place else can be found, kids getting married and moving out, kids working out their career choices, travelling and decisions on where we all want to live. To complicate it, the price of housing in the area we want to move to is outrageous. We found some gorgeous homes, reasonably priced, in a different part of our province but far away from our immediate and extended families. Sigh. Right now it's all jumbled up but hoping things fall into place shortly.
So it appears, many changes are on the horizon for us!
As I look around the web for various retirement blogs, I see a wide variety of retirement pictures. Yup...retirement looks very different to everyone. Some spend it full of leisure activities -- travelling, book clubs, lunch with friends, shopping, yard-sale-ing, volunteering etc., while others are more about being at home. Still more spend a lot of time helping their adult children, usually in the form of providing daycare for their children.
Yes, it looks different to each one.
I guess I find this surprising as I've always envisioned retirement, especially *my* retirement to be full of doing fun things only. I didn't realize there would be any transition into it. Done work one day, full social life the next. Didn't really seem that difficult. As usual though, things are quite often different than they appear.
Many retirement blogs I've came across, probably most of them, focus on the financial aspect of retirement only. That's probably because, well let's face it, finances are very important. We're conditioned throughout our whole life to be so focused on the finances -- is there enough money to pay the mortgage, the endless bills, buy food and clothes for the kids, car repairs, put money away for college and money away for our retirement ......on and on it goes. Then there is the job, getting there, keeping the boss happy, getting home, responsibilities at home. On and on that list goes too.
It's difficult, I think, to change our focus, but I know it can be done. I look to my own father. He was a hard-working man all of his life and the definition of hard-working as it pertains to him goes above and beyond what most people would think of when they hear "hard-working."
He had to drop out of school at the ripe old age of 13 to help on his family farm. His dad was ill and unable to maintain it, so my father took over running it. No fancy tractors and the like back then either. Horses and walking behind them for all field and garden work. Homes were heated by wood only, wood that was also cut by hand (no chainsaw) and drawn by horse out of the woods to the house.
He was a farmer for most of his life. Once into his mid twenties, he also got a job in a local factory to pay for some much needed upgrades to the farm. Not luxuries, but things like putting hydro into the house. What was to be a short term gig, turned into thirty years so on top of all the farming, he held down a 40 hour work week in a factory located 40 minutes away from our home for 30 years.
We had our own vegetable gardens which spanned half an acre or so. For 'relaxation', he built a cottage on a very rough piece of property that required a lot of work. He'd spend his 'holiday' from his factory job working at the cottage and was quite often glad to get back to his factory job because it was less work than the work on the cottage and cottage lot.
His day went something like this: Up at 3 am and out to do barn chores. Once they were completed, in for breakfast and off to his factory job. At the end of that day, there was the drive home, supper and then back out doing more farm chores. Animals to feed, clean out and care for, haying to do, the list was endless. Back in and in bed by 10 pm, only to do it all over again the next day. Day after day, week after week.
Weekends were spent on more farm chores and yard chores. The lawn itself took over three hours (on a riding lawn mower) to cut. Vegetable gardens to till, fertilize (with manure), plant, weed and harvest. Sunday afternoons were spent resting. On and on it went. Seriously, I don't know how the man did it all (and he was never sick a day in his life)
I really thought he'd have great difficulty with retirement, doing anything most people would call fun and leisure. He seemed to like to work -- it was who he was, it's what he did for fun.
However, he surprised us all. Now at age 90, there is a very different version of him. Now it IS all about fun with absolutely no work involved. He goes out at midnight or so, to the local coffee shop for coffee, just because he can. He's been retired longer than he worked in his factory job and he enjoys life to the fullest. He plays cards and goes out several times per week to various card games. He's travelled a lot, nothing exotic but to the places he wanted to go. He play solitaire on the computer. He goes out for meals. His life after retirement looks nothing like it did before retirement and he enjoys it.
This is what we're hoping for. It's proving to be a little more difficult than what I'd thought it would be. Those old habits of thinking only about work, die hard! Who knew it would be so difficult?
We are making progress though. Letting go of the somewhat depressing feelings of not having a job, is getting easier. Sleeping in is getting easier lol. We've got a couple of week long trips planned (one of which is visiting our son who lives in a different part of the country).
Not sure we're at the 'going-out-for-coffee-at-midnight-just-because-we-can" stage just yet, but....we're working on it!
Mr. & Mrs.
We've always been a very traditional family. One where Mr. went out to work and I, stayed home. Raising children, homeschooling and operating a small business from home filled my days.
Now however, the kids are mostly gone, Mr. no longer regularly goes out to work and is thus home to ummm.... "help" me.
I guess Mr. never gave much thought to the fact I've been preparing meals for a long time. I've had many successes but also failures from which I learned a lot. Needless to say, I could now prepare most of the meals we eat, in my sleep.
Enter dinner preparation the other night. As Mr. milled around the house, he was quite concerned about his dinner cooking on the stove. I wish I could have captured him on camera as it was quite amusing. I think he thought I was going to burn it or let it boil over or something...but whatever it was, he was *quite* concerned!
I was rather enjoying it, so didn't put a stop to his worry. It was just toooo funny!! ha ha ha.
I'm glad to report dinner was not burned, did not boil over or was not ruined in any other form. Mr., as usual, got his dinner and all was well.
This illustrates however, this transition is going to take some time. I remember too well, the initial days of being home all day and also found them to be very long.
Onward and upward though. We have many, many more mis-adventures to experience but will have many of these minor adjustments along the way.