Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Retiree

So, we have arrived back "home" from our road trip to visit friends and family.

I know I had promised a post on the last half of the trip, but that will have to wait for a bit. I found it difficult to post while travelling because we had no wifi on the road, and whenever we arrived somewhere that had wifi, well, of course we were busy visiting and I had no time to look at my devices. In addition, Blogger does not seem to work well with Apple mobile devices; it could not seem to "see" photos on my new iPhone. So writing a post, and especially adding photos, required frustrating work-arounds. Does anyone else have this problem using Blogger with an iPhone or iPad? I would love some technical hints about what works for you.

But that is not my topic for this post.

I put quotation marks around the word home because, after having spent only 12 days here moving in, our new house didn't really feel like home when we returned to it a few days ago. It looked beautiful, and my son who was house-sitting had left it as neat as a pin. There were our furniture, dishes, clothes, and lots of boxes. The pets were delighted to see us. But we still felt as though we were unlocking the door to someone else's place. I guess it is time to settle in and actually start living here.

During the last few days, along with necessary chores, we have begun to explore the neighbourhood where we live. We have met some of the nearby neighbours, who seem very welcoming and friendly. We have gone to the local coffee house for coffee and snacks. We attended the Farmer's Market. We stopped in at a nearby farm that sells organic and locally produced meats and produce. My daughter's family came for dinner one evening.

Yesterday, we went for a short hike. There is trail access only a block from our house. Five to ten minutes of a steep rocky climb brought us to a viewpoint that overlooks a nearby lake and the ocean beyond.

View From the Lookout

Pausing for a Breather

The trail passed through a grassy open area where there were a number of Garry Oaks. Garry Oaks are the only oak tree native to western Canada, and their ecosystem is endangered. I was thrilled to discover that we have a couple of Garry Oaks on our property.

Standing among the Garry Oaks

There were also many Arbutus trees. These trees are the only broad leaf evergreen native to Canada, and they thrive on Vancouver Island. They are beautiful trees.

Standing by an Arbutus Tree

Arbutus Trees

The summit of our climb was the top of a high rocky bluff with magnificent views of the bay and mountains to the south. In this area as well, we found Garry Oaks and many Arbutus trees.

Hiking Across the Top

There has been almost no rain here all summer, and conditions are very dry. We later found out that the trails we were walking on have been temporarily closed to hikers because of the fire danger. We didn't realize it because the access trail we used had nothing posted about a closure. I guess we won't be hiking there again until we get some rain. Fortunately, rain is in the forecast for later this week.

I think I am starting to get into this retirement groove. Although really, it feels more like a lovely holiday in someone else's house in a beautiful oceanside location.

Here is what I did today:
  • I woke up at a reasonable (late) time, and sipped coffee while doing my online French lesson
  • I cooked a big breakfast, which included fresh blackberries we had picked ourselves
  • After breakfast, I read articles on the Internet about how to look after a goldfish pond. Yes, we have a goldfish pond!
  • Rob and I went for our first bike ride here. It is hilly. I am out of shape.
  • I had a shower and got changed, then walked down the street to a yoga studio in someone's home. My first yoga class here!
  • I walked home in the blazing sun and had a short nap.
  • We cleaned algae out of the fishpond, or rather, Rob did while I looked on.
  • We had a light lunch
  • I caught up on reading some blog posts
  • I did some laundry
  • I watered the garden
  • I unpacked my computer and set it up
  • I cooked a nice dinner -- lamb meatballs (with meat from the organic farm), rice, broccoli, and marinated bean and tomato salad
  • I did some more laundry
  • I wrote this blog post.
Our Bike Ride this Morning

The day that I described above is so very different from my typical day during the last 40 years. Right now, I find it blissful, and am so happy to have retired and made this move.

I am sure that soon enough, a little voice in my head will start to demand that I "accomplish something" each day. But for now, I am going to enjoy every lovely unstructured day, and learn how to just be. Of course, I'll spend some time unpacking boxes too. Tomorrow.

18 comments:

  1. So glad you are enjoying your retirement! Your hike sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the pics.

    Here is what I do for blogger and posting pics from Apple device. (It took me a while to figure out!)

    Select pic and email it to yourself.
    From the email image, click on the image and select "Save to Downloads Folder".
    Got to Finder, select "Downloads". Your Pic should be there.
    Go to your blogger post, select "add image", select "choose file", and again select "downloads". From there select your pic.

    It's such a hassle, and there probably is an easier way. I'll be looking to see if others have a suggestion.

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    1. Hi Carole. Thanks for your tip. That is, in fact, exactly the work-around I use. Except I have complicated it with an extra step. I write the post on my iPad because I find it hard to write using the tiny keyboard on the phone. So I have to email the photos from my phone, then open them and save them on the iPad. However, Blogger no longer can "see" them on the phone or iPad for some reason when I use the Blogger function of inserting images (although I used to be able to retrieve them this way). On my iPad, I have a Blogger mobile app for iPad. So I open it to get the photos. That app is no longer available or supported. It crashes all the time and I lose my drafts. So it is very frustrating and time consuming. It is so much easier to wait until I get home, then write the posts on the computer.

      Jude

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    2. However, I haven't tried saving them to the downloads folder. I will try that.

      Jude

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  2. What a great trail to have on your doorstep! Fabulous views.

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    1. Yes, Anabel, we are completely thrilled to have this lovely hike right outside our door! And just down the road on the other side is another trail system around the lake that I mentioned. We haven't explored it yet because there is a sign posted there about the trails being closed due to fire hazard. But we are looking forward to walking there once the rainy weather comes.

      Jude

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  3. Your sample day sounds idyllic, as does your home and the property surrounding it. So glad you're enjoying/revelling in the freedom of these early days of retirement, Jude.

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    1. Yes, I am going to fully enjoy this honeymoon period! I know it probably won't last forever.

      Jude

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  4. Gotta love retirement! Your day sounds ideal and you may decide to spend many of your retirement days just like that... or not... it's your choice. I imagine that your new home will start to feel more-and-more like it really is yours pretty soon. Your new area looks gorgeous and you've already taken advantage of many of the things it has to offer.

    By the way, it's been about three-and-a-half years for me and I'm still in the honeymoon stage of retirement. Enjoy!

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    1. Janis, I am thrilled to hear that three and a half years in, it still feels like the honeymoon period for you. Rob, my husband, who has been retired for eleven years still absolutely loves retirement and has no regrets. I was always such a workaholic that I expect that the drive to achieve will rear its ugly head again. But maybe not. I will be delighted if the honeymoon lasts and lasts!

      Jude

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  5. Welcome Home, Jude- I look forward to catching up soon! And, from that list, you accomplished a great deal! The hike at Notch Hill is one of my favorites.

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    1. Ahhh, you recognized it, Donna! I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures in person, once you are back and settled.

      Jude

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  7. You may find it will take a year or two for a new place to truly feel like home. It took me at least two here, but the feeling is wonderful when it comes!

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    1. Laura, thanks for commenting. We just love our new home and neighbourhood. Everyday, it becomes a little more familiar, especially as we meet people, shop in the local stores, and explore the roads, trails, and beaches. It will interesting to see how long it takes to truly feel like "home."

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  8. It is so nice that you can just walk out the door and go for such a beautiful hike in nature. The views from the top of the hill are wonderful! Too bad about the dry circumstances, but based on all the forest fires in the US the threat is very real.

    Your day still sounds busy to me, but with mostly fun things! Enjoy retirement. And your new home.

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    1. Liesbet, I just kind of shake myself every time I realize what a beautiful place we have landed in. For me, access to nature is incredibly important, and the landscape here is spectacular.

      For me, the word "busy" has a negative connotation. It takes me back to my work years, when I was working full tilt from 8:30 am usually to 7:30 or 8:00 pm without a break in a high stress environment. I never want to be that kind of busy again. So to me, my life now feels very laid back and low key.

      Jude

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  9. Your day in the life of a retiree sounds lovely. Here's to many more!

    ~Christie

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    1. Christie, yes, my typical days now are lovely. I can hardly believe it. I find myself musing, "What??? I can actually do what I want all day long???" It's a bit like being a preschooler again.

      Jude

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