Its been about 2 and a bit months since I gave up full time work & joined the ranks of the retired & I am now able to give a (brief & somewhat limited) reflection on my life since leaving.
Aside from my holiday experiences in Spain & France-for which I did receive some financial compensation from Monarch Airlines life has far from settled down.
My retirement has somehow revealed fissures within my family and in truth caused me to become aware of just how influential my late father was in holding the family together & keeping it relatively sane. Dad was a strict ex army man.Free with his discipline & with his hands towards me but less so my brother. That said he provided for us all & continued to work up to 8months prior to his death. Though I can say that I never really found him an object of idyllic paternal love nor was I ever devoted to him in a son/father way.
To my mother he was (though she would deny it!) a source of strength. He dealt with everything & since his death she has gone to pot. She admits freely that she is "bone idle" Seldom cleaning, tending the garden or indeed completing a painted wall that me & Kate begun & left for her to finish 8 years ago!
Since dads death my brother & have have become estranged, his first marriage broke down & he now has no contact with me & little with our mother. Sad.
Now I have taken on (quite inadvertently the role of distant carer of mom (my brother lives with a stones throw of her). Mom for her part has become dependant upon me,this is causing me graet stress, physical discomfort & strain upon my family. She my mother, is continuing to live how she was from the time of my fathers death. i.e. can't cope,lazy, dependant, passive & passivly aggressive.
I have today though withdrawn a little with contact with my mother, whereas I phoned her 4 times daily & talked through her medication routine, I now have adopted a 'behavioural modification' approach in my management & care of her.
Watch this space.... ;-)
On a more cheerful note. I am overall enjoying retirement, though you could be forgiven for not thinking so! I have thrown myself into my cooking & baking, baking fresh bread daily. I have (like a real old grunter!) discovered the delights of the garden. I have a daily routine also. However I do miss people & I do feel a little lonely at times especially when my wife is at work.
I have started work in one of the GP's surgeries I used to attend. I go in monthly at the moment for 4 hours, see 4 patients & earn £60.It suits at the moment. I cycle & am enjoying the weather. All that remains to be done now is to withdraw a bit more from my mom & spend more time on me, doing some of the things I haven't done yet. EG going for a bike ride, going to the market, coffee in a bookshop in the city centre.
August is approaching & with it my eldest daughters wedding in Dingle Ireland. I have brought myself a new suit whilst me & Kate were spending a lovely day in Ludlow. I am looking forward to the wedding. We plan to spend time in Dingle then drive up to Belfast & visit Kate's mom with some wedding cake afterwards. That will be nice.
But I must make an effort to make contact with people,from my past, my present & make contact with those I have not met yet.