There seems to be a scarcity of UK retirement blogs out there (other than those proffering financial advice) and in the absence of my being able to read about other people's experiences, I instead offer you my own "Great Big Retirement Adventure."

My husband (Mister E) and I have moved from the initial concept through the planning stages to implementation and this site is intended to record the whole process. What I am seeking from retirement is now very different to what I thought I was planning and has gradually developed into a quest for fitness and a desire for simplification, with a transition away from both a highly organised lifestyle and the personality traits reflecting a pedantic professional career. Indeed I recently described myself as "a goofy idiot" who enjoys smiling at sunflowers; a far cry from the pre-retirement professional and an indication of just how far I have travelled.

Please visit from time to time and do add your comments. The blog is in reverse chronological order but popular posts and those highlighting our journey are specifically pinpointed below on the right hand side together with a list of topics covered. Alternatively you may prefer to look at the summary or wisdom we have acquired or even our have done list with its retirement atlas and dip in and out of the blog using the links given.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Reflecting on an Anniversary

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!


  1. Congratulations! It sounds like you had a great year. As I read this, I realized I have been retired something over a year--counting the date as the last time I turned grades in. And since I have no major reflections, I will just say ditto to most of what you said. (Unfortunately I have not been doing Pilates and yoga, which I know I really should.)

    1. So you deserve my congratulations too and it's good to know that my experiences are not unique and "I am not alone."