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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday, 15 May, 2010: Time enough to smell the aloes?

When will I have time enough to discover whether the autumn-flowering aloes have any scent at all?

Maybe when I retire. My thoughts turn periodically to this matter. Certainly I do not want to wish my life away. I have always been of the opinion that work is salutary for body and soul and have thrown myself into my job with enthused dedication for the past thirty years. Yet these days the notion of freedom from deadlines and quotas is increasingly seductive.

I fear that I have entered into the phase entitled Imagination, which the experts say is experienced 6-15 years before retirement. The next phase, if all goes to plan, will be ushered in with my sixtieth birthday next year. Thephase of Anticipation, of crucial importance to a fulfilled retirement. So, if the research is to be believed, I am not yet Anticipating, just Dreaming. Of afternoon walks in the park to enjoy the autumn aloes and gaze at lizards asleep in the sun. Of mornings cutting and piecing my untouched stash of quilting fabrics. Of packing cupboards straight and spraying the roses weekly and not sporadically. Of ignoring emails and trying out cookie recipes instead.

But again the experts caution that this blissful state of Doing What One pleases only lasts for the first year of retirement – the Honeymoon Phase. Followed by Disenchantment and Reorientation. Daunting prospects. Maybe I must just quit complaining and stay at my desk as long as I can.
Your thoughts?


Gaelyn said...

As much as I love my job, I also enjoy my 6 months of semi-retirement. Keeps life interesting. There's just so much to do and see. I'd have to live to 200. It is important to stop and smell the aloe along the way.

pammiejo said...

We are the same age, Eleanor. I've been retired for 4 years now. I'm not following the exact timeline you describe - I'm still in "contentment". However, I do feel a reorientation phase happening. Interesting post you've done! I enjoy retirement and the "freedom".

Vicki Lane said...

I've just completed a long-overdue novel and am looking forward to some dolce far niente time. What that actually means, however, is catching up with those other bits of my life that have been on hold for the past year -- the quilting projects, the garden, the undone home improvement projects.

But sooner or later, I'll probably plunge back into the fray. If it had been an actual 9 to 5 job, I feel sure I'd be content in retirement as there is so much I have to do.

Best of luck in your anticipation!

Barbara Martin said...

When one retires they should have a plan to do something else than what they worked at for part of the week, and to do whatever else takes their fancy for the remainder.

I am currently on an early retirement taken out of necessity due to health. However, now that I have rested and pondered what I should do the next five years before my government pensions kick in. I am continuing with my writing of historical articles and book novels, and visiting my walking haunts a couple of times a year.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear. Thank God you can even think about this. I can't imagine we would be in that position at 60, or who knows when. It's beyond my comprehension, because we had some rough times and really have nothing, and we are only a few years away from "that age." Trusting in God is not the main thing; it's the only thing. You have a beautiful life and you are very blessed! --USA!

Anonymous said...

...but I know you have had really hard times, too, and have worked very hard! I am just amazed by anyone who can do this, but obviously the majority of people are wiser than I.