Retirement – wow!

I’m about half-way through my first month of retirement…and wow! Yes, it’s what I thought it would be–and no, it isn’t.

I’m still busy…but it’s a different kind of busy-ness. I have an opportunity to interact with my granddaughter in significant ways–watching her investigate this new world she is part of. She has learned to roll over…she is learning to recognize different objects (including our dog…who is not quite as enamored of her as she is of him!)…figuring out her voice can make so many different sounds! Right now her favorite sound is making raspberries. She has different kinds she makes, depending on whether she is wanting to get your attention, is angry, wants her diaper changed…

I have the time to write a letter–a real letter–every week to my grandson who is currently living several hundred miles away. I hope he enjoys getting snail mail as much as I enjoy writing it. There’s something about getting a letter you can hold in your hands that’s important.

I can watch my great-grandson (who also lives several hundred miles away) grow and change by the pictures his mother posts on Facebook. So while I can’t hold him, I can enjoy his growth and his delight in the world.

Those are all great busy-ness…but there’s a different kind that’s also important.

For many, many years, a part of me was really submerged. There were a lot of reasons…busy-ness, insecurity… It doesn’t really matter why now, because I have the time to allow that part of me to re-emerge. I have always enjoyed creative writing–and now I can find/make time to do it. Some of it’s not very good, but that’s okay. It’s practice. But some of it is good–and I’m feeling more comfortable with the idea of sharing it with others.

There’s a wonderful poem by Jenny Joseph that’s been around for a while:


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

I’m not going to do all of the things she plans on doing…but I am enjoying my version of wearing purple with a red hat!