Stronger #blogjune

30Jun21

A long time between posts but I have been following some of the #blogjune posts as I still have a feed set up for them, and it’s been great to see Con, Kathryn, Snail, Andrew and Graeme, but in checking my feeds there are heaps like me who no longer blog. I genuinely liked blogging (it was always the personal for me) and like the idea of doing more (and gasp…how can I have 69 draft posts…I am not even looking). WordPress looks different too, but that’s OK. I do like being on a laptop to type and not on the phone or tablet, so that probably puts me off a little as my phone/tablet are never far away in comparison to the lappy. I have really enjoyed the #blogjune posts – I get more, different aspects, thoughts, dreams, drawings…connection.

so what’s up?

Well I stopped working in late January this year, retired, yes I think but open to casual or part time work…and open to who knows what type of work. Having said that I haven’t been looking.

Hindsight is a great thing isn’t it? 2020 was hard for everyone and hard in ways I was not aware of at the time. I was busy in a way I thought I was OK with, but it was wearing me down and I made the decision to stop work in the latter part of 2020. I’m 59, it’s the big 60 this year and I really didn’t have a retirement plan. But I facilitated and coordinated some major projects in 2020 including 12 VET reaccreditations (two panels, all online, 12 reports), some major policy rewrites and reviews, and the first big year of the Professional Pathways project.

On weekends I was making sure my parents (91 and 88 years old and living 2 hours away) were safe. My sister and I alternated seeing them on weekends and doing a big food shop etc. But then mum got quite sick mid year and it became really apparent that we needed them closer, to nurture, support and keep an eye on them. They moved in December into a retirement place in the same suburb as my sister and I and they are now happily living independently in their own 1 bedroom apartment. So I see mum and dad most days but not every day, often for a coffee and to do the SMH quick crossword, we go to galleries and the NLA, have lunch out, go on drives. I am spending this rich time with my parents, time I have never had before. This is the first time since I left home after Yr 12 that I have lived in the same state or territory as my parents, so there is a bit of ‘getting to know you’. I get this precious time with them, whatever that will bring.

So retirement ? How’s that going for you. Firstly can I say that some people had real problems with it…but not I. I don’t know if it’s a nervous response or a feeling of mortality but there were a few people who nervously giggled – the R word…how funny…not me…years away…

It was a good decision for me. I didn’t want to start being resentful about work. I wanted to leave having done my best work.

I don’t even know if this is it in terms of paid work, but I did say when leaving that I wanted at least 6 months off, and it’s coming up for 6 months now. I have recently done some short-term-working-from-home-library-related-paid-work and I enjoyed it. I’m still keeping an eye on my library peeps, library posts, feeds and Twitter. I can see my connections/focus changing and I am OK with that also.

But I am spending the best time gardening, reading, sorting, getting my non-work brain back. I can spend an hour in an op shop and not feel rushed. Leisurely coffees, lunches, dinners. I have started volunteering again with Street Theatre and will be volunteering at the Canberra Writers Festival in August. There is always stuff to do, or not do (many projects still to do).

I follow the sun around the house during the day, I have my reading nooks depending on the sun and the time of day.

There is no typical day, but every day has some exercise. I am just loving my yoga practice (2 classes a week, I am a social animal and rarely do yoga on my own at home, although I am set up to do so) and go to the gym 4-6 days a week for a combination of either weights, body balance or cardio classes. I have joined the 9.30am class, which is a real mix of older and younger people. I am nodding terms with many, but have yet to be invited to coffee after with the oldies (and not sure if I am ready for that and have no time right now anyway…).

And then there is walking up my beloved mountains – Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura – and I walk on them at least twice a week.

And I’m stronger. I have muscle and tone in my upper body that I’ve not had for yonks.

I like where I’m at at the moment.

Stronger.



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