I can’t believe I’ve been retired for five years now. How does the time go by so fast?
I started writing this post about three weeks ago but I didn’t like how it turned out. It wasn’t interesting, even to me!! Just a year by year list of what happened. Meh. So, I’m rewriting and focusing more on my routines and hobbies. I hope you like it better.
What I haven’t done
A lot of people expect retirees to travel a lot. Tim was still working during most of those five years and he had limited vacation time. We haven’t traveled much. And then the pandemic wiped out the one trip we love each year. As things are starting to return to normal, we’re seriously thinking about what we’d like to do. We already have one trip booked to visit Tim’s mother and sister in Arizona for Thanksgiving. I also have a couple of girls’ trips planned for June and August.
My first two years were pretty low key due to my vertigo struggles. I caught up on my reading and have done a pretty decent job of whittling down my stash of books. But there are always more to buy!!
My daytime reading has decreased quite a bit, but I hope to do more this summer, once I can spend time on the deck. I love to read outside. Most of my reading is now at night, especially on those nights I can’t sleep. I wish I could figure out why some nights are like that, but I’ve kind of learned to accept it. Is it part of getting old?
It took me a while, but I finally jumped into the sewing I’d been dying to do for years. I made pillows, table runners, placemats, gifts for friends, project bags for my cross stitching. I went to a class about t-shirt quilting but I’ve yet to make one. This year I starting making doll clothes for our granddaughter. She’s finally at an age where she has an American Girl doll. I love my sewing but I tend to take long breaks from it. Once I close up my sewing cabinet, it takes a lot for me to spread everything out again. But I think I’m getting close to that point. We’ll see.
I also picked up cross stitching again. I never really stopped doing it, but I found it soothing to spend my evenings stitching early in my retirement. It was something I could do to relax and forget about the things I wasn’t able to do. I’ve taken part in a few challenges, which have been fun and motivational, increasing my output a lot. I’ve also gone back to my pattern inventory and pulled out some pretty old ones, including some kits. Like with books, however, there’s always something new to tempt me, so I haven’t stopped buying new patterns. Today’s designers are creating some great stuff!!
My knitting has been very hit and miss. I’ve done almost none over the past year. I did a lot more when my mom was in the hospital and getting chemotherapy. It’s something that’s easy to take along and pick up. The nurses always wanted to see what I was working on. My big year was 2019, when I made 13 pairs of slippers. I got to the point where I could whip out a pair in a couple of days!!
I plan to write about this in more detail at some point, but even before retirement, I enjoyed making greeting cards. I picked it up about the middle of these five years but the time I spend now has really grown. I love this outlet for creativity and hope everyone who gets one of my cards is happy to get one. I have to think they’re only getting better as I gain experience and learn about new products and techniques. That’s the thing about hobbies. It’s fun to really dig in and hone your skills.
Checky my Project Gallery page to see pictures of the things I do.
My daily routine has changed over the years. I currently start my day on my iPad, checking mail, Facebook, Instagram, my blog and other bloggers, updating my FitBit, and playing games. Those games have changed over the years. It’s easy for me to spend a couple of hours each morning these days, and I keep thinking I need to change that, but I enjoy that time. I try not to spend any money playing these games, but I have to admit I do from time to time. Now, I need to get outside and walk.
I used to end my afternoon the same way, but I don’t do that as much anymore. I’m spending more of that time in my studio. I watch very little TV during the day; in fact, most days I never turn it on. Tim being home during the day hasn’t changed anything drastically but it does mean there’s another person who can influence my daily schedule. But he’s been spending his time downstairs working on Lego stadiums and jigsaw puzzles.
I became best friends with Mickey and Brutus when we spent all our days together while Tim was working. We definitely had our set routines. I was heartbroken when we lost each of them. We always talked about the day we’d have no cats as a good thing, so we could spend winters in Florida and travel more, but it’s been tough. I still miss them every day.
I’ve walked our neighborhood and can tell you the distance of several paths you can take. It’s allowed me to see how much our neighborhood has changed these past five years. In the spring I enjoy the new green and pretty blooms and in the fall, I get to see all the trees change color. Summers can be muggy so I usually try to get out early in the day. And in the winter, I resort to the treadmill. Now that I’ve been walking outside, today’s rain forced me inside and I can tell you, walking outside is so much better!!
I started my blog three years ago. I’m still not sure how the idea of blogging came into my head, but one day, I just knew it was something I wanted to do. Writing was, and still is, a good way for me to express my feelings and focus on something other than my vertigo. I was posting about three times a week and loved it. It was a big part of my routine. As life has changed, I’m lucky to post three times a month these days. But I have no intention of giving it up.
My parents became a focus three years ago when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. That summer and fall included doctor appointments, chemo treatments, major surgery, and more chemo for her. My sister was still working so I went to almost all of these.
I was very thankful I was retired, making it so much easier for me to do this. But it doesn’t mean it was easy. My mom was doing better, but after her fall a year ago, we had to become much more involved in their care. I won’t lie, it’s been tough for me. Even now, though there are no more hospital stays or middle of the night calls, my dad requires more attention. I try not to think of it as a burden, but some days I just want to escape it all.
It’s been a very fast five years as I’ve gone from 60 – 65. All in all, while my retirement hasn’t been exactly what I’d expected, it’s been good. Now that Tim’s retired and we’re vaccinated, we’re able to spend more time visiting the grandkids. We’ve gone to Brady’s baseball games during the week the last five weeks. We spend 5+ hours on the road for about three hours with them. But that’s the beauty of retirement. And when I can knit.
I think one of my favorite things about being retired is the lack of a schedule. Or at least it’s one I can control. I love having the flexibilty every day of doing what I want. The only real pressure I have is what I put on myself. I think I’ve gotten better at letting the unimportant things go.
I know I’ve said this before, but someone asked me how my transition to retirement was after I quit working. My reply – what transition? It’s been absolutely the best time of my life. And there’s more to come.