My Retirement Plan

LibraryNow and then when working from home, Gareth and I like to meet up at lunchtime to have a cup of tea and listen to the radio. We quite like newsy programmes on Radio 2 or 5 Live because they can get some real nutters calling in and it’s fun to shout at them.

A while back they were talking about pension funds and retirement and how everything’s fucked so our generation will have to keep working ’til we’re 95. Then someone called in to say they really don’t care because they just wouldn’t know what to do with themselves all day if they weren’t working.

This got both of us spluttering outraged crumbs of HobNob. Wouldn’t know what to do with themselves all day? I could think of eleven thousand things to do if I wasn’t working. Me too. Pffft. Can you belieeeeeve that lack of imagination?

When I am at work I love to fantasise about my retirement. It’s a slightly more realistic indulgence on the dream scale than When I Win The Lottery. Sure, I will be old with weird ginger-grey hair and eating nowt but Tesco Value Baked Beans but there’ll be so much to be getting on with:

  • Reading all the books in the library. I’d start with all those classics I shoved aside in my youth for trash. I’d finally finish Anna Karenina. I’d read all the Shakespeares. Or whatever they have in the large print section.
  • Joining the ladies social club in the village, where they have guest speakers talking about plants or sewing or local history.
  • Volunteering at a school and helping the kiddies with their reading. Do they still let old ladies do that in schools?
  • Spending a whole week typing random nouns into Google and clicking I Feel Lucky.
  • Systematically working my way through my shamefully large workout DVD collection, if we still have DVD players then. I would make a workout timetable and become really buff for my age and make all the social club ladies hate me for my sprightliness.
  • Riding buses all day long. If bus travel is still free for over-60s by then. Just ride around and around peering out at the world, until I’d ticked off every route on this island.
  • Starting a blog with made-up stories about the torrid affairs of my youth and see if I could gather a cult following.
  • Starting a rose garden and become really obsessive about it, prowling around looking for aphids and imperfections.

Etc etc etc. What are you going to do?

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18 thoughts on “My Retirement Plan

  1. I’d go op-shopping at least once a week, you need to be committed to find the hidden gems!
    I’d make dinner from scratch every day.
    I’d have a well-clean kitchen.
    Washing would be folded as soon as it came off the line.
    I wouldn’t iron.
    I’d always have morning tea at 10am just like my Grandma.
    I’d probably buy the Sullivans on dvd to watch it all again.
    I’d definitely have a vegetable patch and would become all obsessed with it.
    I’d finally get around to scanning all my photos – if we still had scanners then.

      1. I bought the first series for Grandma and Grandpa and because he’s so deaf they have to watch it with the sound turned way up and everyone could hear the theme music. Anyway, word got around the retirement village and it’s currently being passed around like a cheap bottle of hooch.

  2. I’m going to put all my photos into albums and learn how to make quilts, I’m going to bake every day and sit in my allotment with a slice of cake admiring all of the things I’m growing. Can’t I just retire now?

  3. I’ve had my retirement plan worked out for years! It was one of the things that brought me and my husband together – we have the same plans πŸ™‚ We both want to retire to a small-holding, keep animals and grow things. I’ll make cakes and jam whilst he mucks out the sheep πŸ˜€

  4. The more I think about this question the more I wonder why I’m not doing (or trying to do) more of the things I want to do already. And worry that I’ll never be able to do many of them. How did a lovely and light-hearted post suddenly plunge me into something akin to a lifestyle (mid-life? is it too early for that one?) crisis? Anyway, cakes and gardening and books and tea all sound rather lovely. I’ll aim for those to begin with.

  5. I already have ‘volunteering at the zoo’ down on my to-do list. I’m hoping that I’ll still enjoy a lie-in since there’s none of that to be had when you’re working. And I think I’ll take up gardening, not that I don’t do the odd spot but my backyard is too much of a jungle. My grandfather grew the best vegies in his garden. Maybe I’ll even learn to enjoy a cuppa (coffee is more my thing).

  6. I would like to learn a bunch of languages and travel the world. Get down all the silly ideas I have and turn them into novels. Bake cupcakes from scratch. And do more painting, drawing, and pottery.

  7. Honestly, I’ve never given it a thought. It is so far away and I have so much fun stuff I want to do in the meantime. So I guess I’ll have to have a think…

    I suppose I would travel…slowly…not rushing about trying to cram as much in as possible like we usually do.

    I would spend time with my grandkids (god I hope I get some) and enjoy handing them back to their mum for all the shite stuff.

    I would go back to uni and do random courses that took my fancy, without caring where they would take me or what grade I got at the end.

    I would go hang out at the bowls club and be ready to yell “yes, f#ck-nuts?” to any kids who yelled out “hey grandma!” for kicks. Kids really don’t expect the elderly to swear. They also don’t expect mothers to swear – I had fun with that one with a couple of little teenage shits one day.

  8. I also would read everything I could get my hands on. My to-read list is so long, I could probably wall paper my whole house. I would continue running and sign up for every local 5k race that I so i could finally get some trophies for best time in my age group (much easier when u are only competing against 2 people). I would go take all of the interesting university classes that I am always eyeing but never have time to sit in. I would learn to bake goodies for the grand kids and throw myself into becoming an accomplished quilter. I would take long sauntering walks with my husband and meet my sister for lunch everyday.

  9. What is wrong with those folks who say they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves? Lunatics.

    Here’s a few of the things I plan to get up to:

    Long rambling walks through the local bushland
    Visits to all of the National Trust properties in Melbourne, most of which I’ve never been to.
    Museum or gallery exhibitions – there’s always something on, and I never seem to have time to see most of them.
    Join the local historical society and bore the pants off everyone with tales of local history.
    Drives to nearby country towns for lunch/arvo tea or a bit of rummaging through antique shops.
    Stage shows – I’d see all the plays, musicals, ballets, operas and concerts my city has to offer.
    Travel. Lots of travel. I plan to do everything from a weekend in Ballarat to three months in Europe.
    Work my way through all the gardens in the “open gardens” scheme.
    Take up crochet again and churn out hundreds of those awful rugs made from squares….
    Go out drinking with my mates on week nights, because we won’t have to get up for work the next day.

    ….And that’s just for starters. πŸ™‚

  10. I definitely wouldn’t be stuck for things to do. Time with the family, cooking baking, blogging, walking, drawing, painting, art galleries, museums, beaches, woods, hills, gardening, meeting friends, cake club, baking club……….. Not enough hours in the day really!

  11. I remember when I graduated from the 6th grade–the end of elementary school. I remember the feeling I had on that last day. I was sitting on some sand in between the monkey bars. There had been a class party with pizza or something, and it was a hot June morning, and they were letting us go right after that lunch. I had imagined leaving school would make me feel elated, but right then I had this strange sense of having been tricked somehow. There were no more challenges or tests–that was all done. But I had this thought that my education was not about passing muster, or learning enough. It was just that my time as a little kid was over– and I was getting bumped up. This feeling has sort of always followed me to the supposedly monumental or ta-dah! events of my life. I live with false the belief that I am slaving away for an ultimate goal or purpose, and then I–oops– discover every dang time that–yes, clichΓ© of the day–just being there and getting to be a part of it was the purpose. I guess I know myself well enough now to know that, when I some day leave my work, I will likely putter around with art and gardening and writing–creating stuff. And, to feel a sense of meaning, I will have to be connected to other humans. And I will feel lucky to be old. My answer could have been a lot shorter, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. πŸ™‚

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