Not so long ago, during my working life in Scotland, my days were full beyond belief ; 24 hours just wasn’t enough and I longed for more hours in the day and more days in every week. Most of the time it wasn’t simply due to pressure of work but because I wanted to give everything I had to work and then have the same amount of time and energy available for play! I had so many ideas to make our business better than anyone else's business and somehow had to find time to make it all happen.
I wanted to try to grasp the essence of time in my hands and stop it moving on too quickly. But if you try to catch a bubble mid flight, you’ll know it’s well nigh impossible. My friends all said I'd never, ever manage to retire because I'd always a another new idea, another new business to start. I managed to juggle so many balls in the air at one time that sometimes I wondered how on earth all those retired people filled their days. Oh I know they all said they wondered how they used to find time to work but I couldn’t really believe them. Life was full, fun, exciting but stressful.
But now …… well I guess there’s a different story to tell about how I fill my time just pottering. And pottering has now assumed all the importance of my previous stress filled days, juggling time, managing other people’s problems, chasing dreams. In truth, aren’t we all just pottering? Filling our time with lists of things we need to do and in the world of work with things that increase our sense of self worth and importance?
So this is what you find you do when you let go of “stuff”, when you retire. You take your time. You enjoy the minutes taken to listen to the dawn chorus before you get out of bed, to the sound of the cicadas singing their night time song, you savour an unscheduled cuppa with a friend, you sit and read a book without feeling guilty, or spend time just thinking and being still. Now, my days are filled simply enjoying life, enjoying time spent with the people I meet.
There are fewer lists but our social diary is full; we have time to learn to speak, write and read Spanish which in turn is enhancing the quality of our new life here in Mexico; we have time to play golf, to call family and friends and chat on Skype. We have time!
Retirement is a gift, an opportunity to stop trying to do everything now, a chance to take life at your own speed. It’s just grand!