In eight days time I shall become a retired person. A<gasp> pensioner.
Well, sort of. I’ll be in receipt of an occupational pension. (At least, I assume I will be. So far I’ve heard very little from the pension fund. Maybe they don’t adopt me until August 7th) But as far as the government is concerned I have another five years and eleven months to go. They moved those goalposts while I wasn’t looking. I will get free prescriptions though unless they change the rules in the next week and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did.
But yes. Retired. A pensioner. Friends of mine who’ve gone before say it’s a bit like being a kid on the summer holidays again, only with my own money. I can do anything I like. Anything. (You knew that within the law is to be taken as read, didn’t you?)
But this poses, if not exactly a problem, a bit of a conundrum. When you can do anything you like, how do you choose? What shall I do? I was never much good at amusing myself on summer holidays as it happens.
I’ve had some ideas. This is one of them: whitter away on a blog. I don’t see that taking up all that much time, especially as I have no intention of making any kind of regular commitment to it. I’m not going to be like Tim Fenton (Zelo Street–over there on the right) putting up three well researched posts a day regular as clockwork. It will be as the fancy takes me.
Someone has already noted that I will probably get out on my bike a bit more–there may be note at some point about how I came a bit late to cycling and now love it–and that was always my intention. I I’d like to do more mass participation rides as long as I can find some that knackered old gits can complete in their own time.
Learn, at long bloody last, to play a musical instrument? Actually take lessons rather than just aimlessly noodle on one? Possibly. Although I suspect that it was lack of any perceptible musical talent rather than lack of time is what’s inhibited me in the past. Perhaps, like Dan Weir in Iain Banks’s Espedair Street, I should take up the bass guitar because my fingers are too clumsy for anything else.
Get properly stuck back in to my family history research? I’ve been looking at that on and off for the best part of twenty five years but I’ve discovered nothing much new for the last five. I think there are courses I could take and there’s a possibly of field trips–particularly to Worcester, where my father’s family came from– to look at actual paper records.
Travelling a bit would be good if the pension will stretch, but I’d always want to go with Karen, the other ‘arf, and she’s still working for a living.
Maybe something I hadn’t thought of will suddenly come along and, in my late mother’s words, “hit me over the head.”
I think for the first couple of months, though, what I’ll be mostly doing is not going to work.