Thursday, 17 September 2015

Life is what happens when you're making other plans

It was fascinating to read the plans I'd made for the first few weeks into early retirement - five years ago.True to form each day was carved up into tasks and leisure interests - like a timetable - the years of teaching casting a long shadow. But, more importantly, the activities I packed in - or tried to pack in - from within a few weeks of leaving teaching - were mostly achieved - some were not - and haven't been to this day. By 2010 I'd worked 32 years full time. I suppose it wouldn't have been sensible to just stop everything and simply do nothing. But - five years on - I still haven't been on a cruise - and we're still waiting for the third lot of scaffolding to go up for yet another roof job. More surprisingly - looking back at my planned schedule five years ago - it doesn't look as if I had any intention of doing nothing! Yet perhaps that's what I should have done. Built-in leisure.

Fat chance!

Life is what happens when you're making other plans - so saith the late, great John Lennon. Lists of things to do then seem remarkably familiar to my to-do lists now. I am still filling sacks with papers, unwanted fliers and things we no longer need. It's as if this household needs perpetual sorting! Of course the things that 'happen' ie life - according to John Lennon - such as mum's stroke, Richard's recent prostate cancer scare, a leaky chimney, repairs to the garden, improvements to the kitchen - all create disruption. Moving furniture, boxing up, throwing out, sorting other people's clothes, storing irreplaceable letters from world war two and beyond, cleaning, decorating, gardening - all these events take time, space, readjustment and money.

By Christmas this year the life I want - not 'what happens when making other plans' - but those plans I have in mind include :
The final roof and chimney job EVER to this house to be finished and perfected. No more leaks!
Bathroom roof also to be in pristine condition - so all we have to do is decorate! Simple!
New worksurfaces in the kitchen.
Better use of the breakfast room so that we can use that as the main kitchen - re-siting the cooker - and more worksurfaces.
New storage and new dishwasher in the old kitchen - so it becomes a utility room.

Again - all these plans are about the house. Let's hope my plans to arrange a cruise or boat trips around the Channel Islands get made. Since I've had the Mitchum classic 'Build My Gallows High'
on pause since breakfast-o'clock today - and it's now after midday - what are the chances of achieving that holiday? When other people retire they go round the world.

I seem to fill bin bags. Enough!
Got to re-prioritise. Time for leisure. Time to retire!

2016 is not going to be 'life is what happens when you're making other plans' ... I've got three and half months to get back on track. Who said retirement was boring? What time have I had for boredom??

Right - now to sit back and watch 'Build My Gallows High' before the pause facility blows up!!
New year's resolution? I'm either nine months late or three and half month's early!

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