‘What I’ve learned in the five years since I retired’

Nov 27, 2019
Jenny might have more time to indulge in a bit of crochet, but she says she can't spend all day working on a project. Source: Getty Images

Up until six years ago I worked in many different jobs. I was a hairdresser, then a ‘checkout chick’, a cook, a supervisor in a restaurant, a mother to five, a foster carer to dozens, a respite worker, a court councillor and a farmeress.

I grew pumpkins and melons on my property for the last 10 years of my working life. I also had a foster child or three during that same time. I bred Clydesdale horses and participated in a local harness club and vintage car club.

When I turned 65 I decided to retire from all of the above, except for the mother position. One is always a mother, no matter how old one is.

I sold all my horses, gave up fostering children and ceased all my voluntary activities.

I looked forward to retirement. I thought I would have so much time on my hands. Time to relax, time to smell the roses. But, I have learnt that this is not so.

It seems to me, that I am busier than ever. How could a retired person be busier than a mother raising five children as well as working two jobs, I asked myself. There seems to be no time to smell the roses at all.

I have learned that there are not enough hours in a day to do all the things I wish to do. Is it because I am older and slowing down? I am not sure.

I seem to be moving at the same pace I always moved at. Pretty laid back and slow. No, I don’t think that is the reason for my lack of time.

I have learned that time flies by at a rate of knots, faster than a speeding bullet. I never imagined that this would be the case.

I have learned that if I go to town more than once a week, I achieve absolutely nothing on the home front. It completely ruins my momentum, albeit a slow momentum, it is still progress.

I have learned that crocheting for my granddaughter, whilst very rewarding, takes up 24 hours a day. I cannot stop until I finish the project.

I have learned that writing — I’ve been blogging with Starts at 60 for a number of years now — is also very rewarding and helps get rid of gremlins from previous hard times.

Most importantly, I have learned that there are so many wonderful places to go, people to see and things to do whilst retired. I will never be bored.

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