The question that I’m getting more than any other these days is “so … what are you planning to do now that you’re retired.” Given that I’m still in the first week of retirement I find that I mostly laugh when I’m asked that because it assumes that I’m way farther ahead in planning than I really am. That said, I guess I need to have an answer. If you don’t mind, I’ll try to work that out through here, one week at a time.
WEEK 1 (that would be now!)
I’m going to continue to spend a little bit of time each day getting my house in order; I started this over the summer when I had time off but didn’t get as far as I’d hoped. You know how when you move and you start packing up you suddenly notice what a mess your house is? I’m guessing that this isn’t just my own experience which would I guess mean that I have to come to terms with being less organized than I’d like. Understand that this is a hard reality for me to face, given that I’m a bit of a neat freak. I have a drawer that’s neatly subdivided into sections for socks (it’s cold here in the winter and so I wear knee socks quite a lot … and I like to collect things. Yes, I admit that there’s a chocolate bar tucked into the bottom left corner slot; good to have a little chocolate comfort on hand at all times I think. I also have my collection of brooches hanging on a closet door (in an organizer made for CDs I think), my necklackes hanging from a pegboard (an idea my sister Fran gave me many years ago, and my earings hanging from a frame (mounted with a hinge so it can swing away from the wall and give me access to the backs of earings). The cloth that I stretched over the frame is a small linen tablecloth that I embroidered when I was about 10 years old. All of these organizers are in place to make life simpler; I like being able to find things easily and I really hate it when you lose things in a pile of other things. Given that I’m sitting here now surrounded by boxes that I’ve brought home from my office and can’t see much of the surface of my desk since it’s piled high with paperwork that needs attention this is going to be a challenge. I’m working away at it bit by bit with hopes that by the end of 2008 I’ll have the house in order.
Getting exercise – taking care of myself – is also high on my priority list. The first thing that I did after I removed all of the information on my calendar that was related to my “old working life” was to put in the times for the classes I like to do most at the Y, and I’m going to try my best to get there at least 5 times each week. Yesterday was my first post-retirement visit to the Y. When I walked into the women’s lounge I was greeted by applause from a small group of women I’ve been doing aquafit classes with over the past six months or so. They didn’t ask me what my plans were; they asked if I’d been able to stop grinning yet (and I guess that I haven’t).
Taking care of family is the only other thing on my agenda for this week. Going to enjoy spending time cooking without rushing. That’s a real luxury I think. I’ve just spent some time searching the net for recipes that use leftover turkey (remember, Canadian Thanksgiving was a few weeks ago) and Spicy Turkey Paella it will be, assuming I can find some kosher spicy smoked sausage in Toronto.
Going to get ready for my trip to California next week. We’re flying down on November 4th so that we’re there for an Obama victory party. I wish that I could have gone down this week and worked on the campaign but since I teach every Monday night I’m limited in when I can get away (until the beginning of December when my course ends). Yes, I know that this isn’t “my” election, being that I’m a Canadian. The impact of what happens (check out this piece on YouTube) is just about as significant to Canadians (and really for citizens all over the world) as it is to Americans though; we’re just stuck as bystanders unable to vote though. I’ve got my Obama t-shirt and my sister’s getting me a couple of Obama caps. One of my neighbours even has an Obama sign on her front lawn … right next to the sign she had up for the recent Canadian election. If history is going to be made I want to be a part of it!
The only other thing that I’m going to do this week is review the writer’s guidelines for Professionally Speaking since I’ve got an article (Goodbye to Teaching) ready to submit to them.
What do you think? Enough for my first week?