Monday, 18 March 2013

Ups and Downs

This week has had its up and downs, so I’m feeling a bit unsettled at the moment. Actually, if I’m honest, I’m feeling a little lost, or disconnected. Let me try to explain.

part of my routine -
a necessary part of my day
We are trying to move to Bathurst, away from the rush, and anonymity, and anger, and crush, and isolation of the city. We have been trying to do this for some time, but have had a few obstacles in our way. Each time we make a little progress, something else happens to slow things down. And this past week was another of those where things didn’t happen when we thought they would. So that was a Down.
Because a planned day-trip up to Bathurst had to be delayed, we both needed to get out and DO something. So Les quickly found a lovely long bushwalk in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park that we could do. He is a wonderful person, because this bushwalk has an easy side-track that goes to a kiosk that sells cappuccino! So that was an Up.
see all the lovely grass trees!
The weather for the day we walked was fine – in fact it was quite warm. We did the hard part of the walk first – up hill from Bobbin Head to the Sphinx Monument. Then we could do the easy part at the end – along the creek back down to the marina at Bobbin Head, and the coffee shop.

It is hard to believe that such walks exist within the Sydney Metropolitan Area, because when you are doing them, you feel just so far from the city. My favourite plants (xanthorrhoea, or grass trees) were everywhere, some even with spikes.
lonely and late flannel flower
And I even spied a lonely flannel flower, which is my favourite flower – it is VERY late in the season. So this walk was definitely an Up.
Then my best friend had to cancel out of coffee this week, as she wasn’t well. And she is heading off to visit her Mum for a couple of weeks, which means that I won’t see her for some time. That was a Down.

But I still caught up for coffee with another friend. That was an Up.
And my regular Saturday morning exercise group was cancelled because the trainers had to go to Queensland for a funeral. That was a Down.

a goanna we surprised along the track

So my week was all about plans and routines going out the window. None of these were earth-shattering, and you would think being retired would mean that small things like these would be nothing to worry about – I mean, I’m retired, so just chill! But I think I may have mentioned (once or twice?) that I like plans and routines. Somehow they make me feel comfortable, and connected to the world. I try to go with the flow when the plans and routines don’t happen, but sometimes that is just beyond me.
One of the things about retirement is that to a large extent, I can do what I want, when I want. In theory, this could mean not having any plans at all, and just being spontaneous! But I’ve learnt that I don’t feel happy like that. I’m happier with structure. So rather than trying to force myself into being something I’m not, I’m learning to work with my little quirks. Now all I have to do is learn how to not get all bent out of shape when the plans and routines go missing in action.

And remember that one size definitely does NOT fit all when it comes to retirement. MY retirement needs to suit ME. And if the plans and routines don’t work out, I’ll feel lost, but I’ll still be here, and next week will be better (I hope).

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