This Christmas and New Year's break has been a little bit longer than usual for me as my workplace (like quite a few others) decided not to reopen until 6 January.
Quite simply, the past 12 days have been magical and have reaffirmed my belief that I'm ready for retirement.
While technically I don't hit retirement age for another three decades or so (the goal posts keep changing), I've sometimes wondered if I would be completely bored out of my brains once I stopped work.
Would I be one of those people who have a mental and physical breakdown, and rue the day I ever left work?
Thankfully this did not occur during the past 12 days.
You see I've treated the past week or so like a "retirement dry run", filling my days with how I envisage I would spend my fun-filled permanent retirement.
1. "Playing" with the neighbours
Well, sort of. You see there's this guy downstairs who stands outside smoking and drinking at night, who then just flicks the cigarette butts and bottle tops onto the communal lawn. I've been collecting these each morning and throwing them down onto his patio. It's a fun game that's played out each day. Sadly, this morning there wasn't anything on the lawn. I guess it's game over and I win. I might have to move back to hosing kids off the front lawn when school resumes.
2. Painting things that weren't in desperate need of painting
During the past week or so I've repainted the interior of my unit. You say "white", I say "Lexicon Quarter". Don't know if I will ever be able to call myself a handyman, but in retirement I'm sure I would find lots of other things that really don't need fixing that I would probably try to fix anyway.
|Not me painting|
3. Working out ways to put more Ikea into my home
Did you know there's a wardrobe planning tool on the Ikea website? It's similar to the kitchen planning tool. Get onto it.
|Would I kayak in retirement? Does Ikea make them?|
4. Cutting down and poisoning things
Every evening I like to wander into the garden and cut down or poison things. I like to call it pruning but others think it's a little more heavy handed. I'm sure those barren stems and trunks will sprout again.
|Not what my garden looks like|
5. Investigating the wonderful world of 3M products
You know those removable ones that you use to hang pictures on the wall? After ripping everything off the walls to paint them, I then needed to put everything back up again. The folks at 3M have really lifted their game.
|Probably a bit of this too in retirement|
6. Befriending Bunnings' staff
I've become quite the daily visitor to my local Bunnings store, not just for the aforementioned painting and 3M supplies, but other random stuff too. The check-out lady and I are now on a "knowing smile" basis. Yesterday she said: "Aren't you the guy who was in here the other day with the colourful sneakers?". I was. To clarify, the sneakers were blue but I can understand how anyone entering Bunnings with footwear on is bound to attract attention.
7. Planning holidays I may never take
I like to not only plan holidays I'm going to take in the next few months, but also ones I may never end up taking at all. I like to call them spare itineraries. Should a holiday "fall over" for one reason or another, there's an understudy ready to step in.
|Always looking for a cool spot to rest|
Not the John Laws' "blacks, gays and working women are killing Australia" kind of radio, but I've had BBC Radio 2 streaming online while I've been painting. I know all the regular hosts now like treasured pen pals and enjoy listening to the UK weather forecasts (raining and cold) and traffic updates (the M4 is busy today).
People talk about being flood ready or fire ready, but are you retirement ready? I am.