I love retirement!
I wake up on Monday mornings and I am filled with happiness. Why? because I no longer have to go to a job that was killing me. Sunday evenings are no longer filled with dread because the next day is Monday. My week is full of joyful events. A little part-time job, which I enjoy and does not hurt my health. I have a small business that is just ticking over. There is volunteering, walking on the beach and reading. Spending time with friends and family. Playing my grandchild. Sitting on the verandah just having a cuppa and thinking about life.
I was forced into early retirement at the age of 62 when my body just could not do physical work any more. I didn’t have an option, and it was not part of my financial plan, but as the doctor said, “It’s your choice, staying in that job will kill you”.
I will admit I was scared, too young for the pension, unable to get a disability pension as my illness was largely invisible and did not meet the criteria, I had to go on Newstart Allowance as my superannuation balance was pretty meagre after doing underpaid jobs when there was nothing else available in a town of high unemployment.
Before anybody judges me, I have worked very hard all of my life, often in jobs which nobody else would deign to do. Your body just wears out, and when it does, you have to listen.
The irony is that I have friends who have well-planned financial lives with investments, rental properties, holidays overseas and access to expensive medical treatments, which I cannot have. Some of these friends have said to me that I am happier than they are. I guess it is because I have a strong faith in God and I trust him to help me through every challenge, and he does.
I do believe that being grateful is of great physical and emotional and even mental benefit to us. I am grateful for every blessing in my life. The beach is free to walk upon and we have access to lots of free things such as libraries and senior events.
My life is simple and pretty uncomplicated. I keep structure in my day, and make sure that I see friends and family regularly. I walk as often as I can to keep my body functioning and I eat a simple plant based diet to keep me as healthy as possible. I wear bare feet on the beach and in the garden to keep me grounded.
There is no trip to Europe on the horizon as yet, and as I bid ‘Bon Voyage’ to various friends who do travel, I live vicariously through their travel tales and there are plenty of French movies on Netflix for less than $10 a month.
Retirement. It has been one of the most contented and joyful experiences in my life, and after a life of lots of busyness and hard work, I am happy to sit and watch the birds in the garden or to linger over a book.
It’s my time at last, and I want to remain healthy and well enough to enjoy it to the max.