Thursday, January 20, 2011

looking forward to retirement 3

I started by outlining my anxieties, so what about the things I’m looking forward to (in no particular order):
Ireland, Scandinavia, Italy and lots of places in the UK - but perhaps also seeing cities such as: Amsterdam and Istanbul? Maybe even a trip to a desert? Certainly returning to Venice, yet again.
Really unsure of anything like this – but a few weeks/months with the Iona Community could be a vague possibility perhaps? Would I be too old? What on earth could I provide in terms of any skills? I know there are bound to be lots of voluntary things I could get involved locally – but, at this stage, I really think I want to bide my time and not jump into the first opportunity that comes along (I seem to have spent these last few years desperately trying to opt out of committees and the like!).
Listening to music (of all sorts) has provided me with much pleasure over the past few years – especially since getting my i-Pod. I’d like to think I would become a more regular concert-goer (and perhaps explore some free concerts too eg. St George’s?). I love live-performance - especially theatre – and it would be good to ensure regular attendance by becoming the equivalent of “Friends of the Playhouse” as we did in Oxford some years ago (which gave 2 for 1 tickets on opening nights). Cinema at the Watershed has provided huge enjoyment over the past three years or so and I feel sure this will continue to be the case.
I really do quite fancy watching County Cricket again – I may even become a member of Gloucestershire CC (if it’s not too expensive)?! I’m sure I’ll continue to play the odd game of golf.
I know I will continue to take pleasure in getting up early and taking full advantage of what I’ve always felt was “the best of the day”. Clearly, this is far easier to do on beautiful, bright sunny mornings rather than those dark, wet ones – but I’m determined to remind myself that I AM able to enjoy this time (rather than having to go into work or whatever). The simple discipline of daily walking or bike-riding will also hopefully keep me fit.
Utilising my bus pass rather more would also seem to be sensible (not just for Bristol locations)!
WALKING (if my hip will stand it!):
I certainly want to undertake some walking “projects” – part of the Dorset Coastal Walk, for example; exploring canalside walks around Bath/Bradford on Avon; actually finishing the Thames Path (we’ve only got a few miles left to go, but last did any of it about 8 years ago!); exploring local walks around Bristol.
I absolutely love being a grandfather. Being with Mikey, Iris, Dan, Rosa+Jemima has given me SO much pleasure and I very much look forward to continuing this involvement with them (and any others that might follow) in the years to come... and also having the opportunity to see much more of Mikey, Dan+Jemima (and Alice+Dave!).
I can’t remember precisely when Moira gave me a camera for my birthday (1997?), but I now regard it as a pivotal moment in my life (that sounds rather pathetic doesn’t it!). Taking photographs has become a really important for me – I have my camera with me most of the time. I think I “see” a good photograph and but, technically, I’m pretty useless (hopeless at taking pictures in poor light etc and can only sigh in admiration when I see Dylan’s stunning “people pictures”, for example). So maybe retirement will give me time to “learn” about taking proper stuff!
When I retired from my architectural practice and moved to Bristol, this was something I was “definitely” going to do more of. In reality, I haven’t done anything like as much as I’d hoped. So this is something else that I’m determined to do more of. I’d like to work on canvas; I’d like to do some printing (but I absolutely hate the prospect of going to “classes”).
I hesitated in actually typing this word! I’m certainly not a natural gardener but it would good to be able to spend some time helping with some digging/soil-turning at R+S’s allotment or H+F’s big garden perhaps – as well as enjoying our own garden.
Essentially, I think I’m a “project person” so I think this is likely to be reflected in a number of my retirement pastimes, for instance: family history? photographic book?
Note: I also realise that there will inevitably be DIY/maintenance tasks (but no doubt, these will be “necessary” rather “pleasurable”!).
I want to find more time for reflection and to explore aspects of my own spiritual life (sounds pretty onerous doesn’t it!); I certainly intend to study/re-study some books (eg. Ian Adams’s excellent “Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living”).
Finding more time to visit/catch up with friends.
PS: Obviously, Moira will also be retired and we’ll obviously be undertaking a fair number of the above together (and, no doubt, I’ll be sharing some on her list too!).


Ian Adams said...

I love this post Steve! I got very excited for you reading it. I guess it's really important to hold the delight and possibility of what your retirement may bring alongside your apprehension about it [as shown in your other posts]. Keep on!
love n peace

just Gai said...

Whew! With a list the length of that one to get through you should have taken early retirement 10 years ago!

bigdaddystevieB said...

Thank you Ian - wise words.
Gareth: I cvould have gone on (I have another, on-going "detailed" list scribbled in a notebook!!
The lovely Gail has just reminded me of these words from the brilliant John O'Donohue:

For Retirement
This is where your life has arrived,
After all the years of effort and toil;
Look back with graciousness and thanks
On all your great and quiet achievements.

You stand on the shore of new invitation
To open your life to what is left undone;
Let your heart enjoy a different rhythm
When drawn to the wonder of other horizons.

Have the courage for a new approach to time;
Allow it to slow until you find freedom
To draw alongside the mystery you hold
And befriend your own beauty of soul.

Now is the time to enjoy you heart’s desire,
To live the dreams you’ve waited for,
To awaken the depths beyond your work
And enter into your infinite source.

Isn't that just brilliant!!