How Retirement Has Changed My Life…

Or “What I Have (Not) Done In The Last Year”.

It doesn’t really seem that long since I retired, but it was back in February 2022.

A year ago, I noted that I had spent a lazy few months, but that I’d soon be “getting my act together”. A year later, and I am only just beginning to think about it. I really don’t know where the time has gone, although it has to be said I have enjoyed a lot of streamed TV!

The good news is that I am slowly getting it together. The main living areas of the house are looking good, and pretty tidy. The exceptions to this are my spare bedroom, which is being used for storage, and the conservatory, where the table is piled high with stuff. The conservatory is my next thing to target, whereas the bedroom is waiting for a bigger clear-out – at least I can close the door on it.

I used the conservatory table as a desk during lockdown and my last year of working. I thought I would get away with having my laptop on a small over-chair table I have next to my recliner – this didn’t work, as things tended to get put on top of the closed laptop. So I found myself using my phone and tablet more, rather than the laptop. This restricted the kind of things I was doing online – Facebook was easy, simple web browsing too. Email was fine for current emails, but my mobile client tends to only hold the last month’s emails, which makes searching for old stuff a chore – this certainly gave me another excuse to put some things off. More importantly, all the fun stuff I used to do – proper blogging (as opposed to FB), playing with Alexa skills, keeping my board game forum up to date – all went by the wayside.

In the last week, I have cleared my small gaming table, in the living room, and set it up as the desk I didn’t think I needed any more. I needed it so much. I then realised how much I hated typing on a laptop, so got out the keyboard I used to use. My old monitor had annoyed me for a long time, with patchy spots, so I bought a new one. I now have a useful workstation that already has me working on stuff I haven’t looked at for a year. This is a temporary measure – I intend to move the whole setup out into the conservatory, once I have sorted out the table.

I’ve recently been tidying my front garden – it doesn’t look great, but it is getting better. My back garden is an embarrassment – overgrown. I thought I had a handle on it last year, I had the guys who laid my front lawn tidy it up, and empty my troughs (which a previous gardener had “helpfully” filled with clay). That done, all I had to do was refill them and plant. But then I discovered that one trough was falling apart, and another had the bottom slat falling out, but possibly repairable. I should have addressed that immediately, but instead avoiding thinking about it, or even going out there.

The current plan is to junk the broken trough, but use some of it to repair the slat on the other one. As well as the broken trough, I have a lot of other rubbish to clear – old tables and a pallet that my pellet grill arrived upon, 2 years ago! So I am planning to order a skip; but I need to first be organised and have everything ready to go in it – from the garden, and from my spare bedroom. I want the skip here and gone, rather than hanging about while I sort things out.

There are a few other things to address. Socially, I seem to have withdrawn a bit, for no good reason. I keep saying I will be going to a board game session “next week”, but never get around to it. I need to kick myself up the backside. My guitar is also sadly neglected, as are other hobbies.

Here I am with the opportunity to spend my time doing stuff that interests me, and I’ve been sitting around on my butt. I need to make more use of my retirement, before I get old.

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