I know, I can hardly believe it myself, but today marks a full year since my last day at work. Do I regret the decision to retire? Of course not.
Yes to begin with there was a learning curve and given my time again I really would have worked harder at retaining an element of fitness pre-retirement, but I can say in all honesty that I just love being in charge of my life again to the extent that I can choose what I want to do by the week, day or even hour.
Obviously not everything has worked out the way that I had envisaged. For one thing, I had not realised how active I would be in retirement compared to being office bound and indeed just how much time I would spend on my feet whether it be for physical exercise, walking, shopping, on holiday or even household chores and gardening. Looking back I certainly did not expect to factor into my weekly routine so many exercise classes or to have taken up Yoga and Pilates.
Conversely I had been concerned that when at home and with a fridge and pantry at my disposal there would be every opportunity to snack and that I might find myself fighting hard to resist temptation in that respect. In reality, I am generally too busy to even think about eating, other than at set meal times.
I was also concerned lest I might miss the work ethic. Whatever was I thinking? Perhaps that I might end up lying in bed all day, suffer from brain mush or even a lack of daily purpose. Fortunately I have not been overtaken by those conditions and although I have missed the wide range of social interaction that working can offer, retirement presents more than sufficient opportunities for mixing and socialising too.
The last year has been a period of experimentation and adjustment with occasions when I have probably tried to fit in too much in an effort to work out what suits and what doesn't. I have discovered that I can apply myself so as to learn online, exercise and give more time to the voluntary positions that I hold. However, I am now ready to take on the serious challenges of interior design and giving our home a make-over, learning a new language and stepping up the travelling, having to date only flirted with these. Whilst, therefore, initial plans remain intact, the next twelve months may see a shift in priorities and commitments in order to meet those challenges.
In the meantime and especially on this 12 month anniversary, I am just going to keep smiling; I can't help it!