I am now five weeks in to retirement and I have settled in to the swing of it, the elation hasn’t faded and I am still grinning all the time. How I spend my day is mostly dictated by the weather but is always very much my choice; I no longer have to spend a sunny day gazing longingly out of an office window. If it is fine I will get out walking around Salford, exploring new hidden corners and wandering around favourite haunts picking up litter. If it is damp and dark I stay home and work on a travel article or the blog or plan our spring trip in our campervan or meet a friend for coffee. I don’t have anything that would resemble a routine and I am loving not having to be anywhere or do anything and the sense of freedom to be flexible and please myself.
I have had time to help and spend time with friends and organisations and that gives me a sense of usefully contributing to the world. When I have so much, giving my time isn’t much of a gift but it is one that I can now give willingly and generously.
Mr BOTRA chose to continue working until March 2017 and so I have had this period of time to adjust to retirement on my own. Having faced his fears about retirement Mr BOTRA has now overcome these and is looking forward to retirement with a positive frame of mind. Everyone in his workplace now knows he is leaving and this has helped him make the adjustment and his focus is shifting from his employment to being an ex-worker and he is looking forward to projects of his own. He is spending his last few weeks at work winding down, tidying up and finishing off tasks. He was in high spirits recently when he delivered his last ever health and safety training session.
Although I really appreciate having this work-free period in the gap between retiring and taking our first long-term trip away in our campervan, I am thankful that I won’t be the lone retiree in the house for too long. I can already see that if this continues for much longer I would have carved out my own way of doing things and got used to my own company, leaving Mr BOTRA to fit in or around this, rather than our adjustment to this next phase of our life being shared. It is perhaps just as well that by taking ourselves away from home for a few months while we travel in the campervan we will have the chance to settle in to a redrafted retirement.