A clumsy jump into retirement

My old workplace

My old workplace

The post below was written for an exercise in my creative writing class.

I can’t do it any longer. It will kill me if I keep going. After all, it is only a job and there must be more to life than going through the motions and playing the games. The pay and conditions are good but they don’t make up for the emptiness of the soul in doing something that no-one cares about.

The games – well they aren’t much fun. They are word games mostly. The government agrees to being a party to a strategy or initiative. Each year some lonely public servant checks what promises were made and provides some affirmative words to demonstrate that, yes, we, the government have really done something about it. It is written down in black and white weasel words, so it must be accountable. If it is not written down, there may be hell to pay.

I worked for the Office for Women’s Policy – in fact I was the last of the team to resign – I don’t think it is called that anymore. The issues considered were important but they got lost in the midst of political battles and point scoring. Either that or they got stuck in the mud of bureaucracy. For six months I worked on a cabinet submission to encourage greater participation of women on government boards. There was no appetite for this. The public cry was that women shouldn’t be supported to get on boards. After all, men don’t get support – they get appointed on merit. What – are you suggesting that every man on a board has more skills, knowledge and experience than the average female applicant? No, that doesn’t hold water.

Working full-time meant I left home at 7.30am each morning and got home at around 5.30pm each evening. I had little energy to enjoy my leisure time. Work consumed me. Some people can switch off after a day at the office but to me it was personal. The quality of my life was questionable.

We got away for weekends down south as often as we could. I couldn’t wait to get hold of the local papers and check out the real estate pages. We looked at houses and drove down the streets of Busselton and wondered what it would be like to live there. We dined out and pretended we were locals – could we make it a reality?

Unbeknown to me, Tom had done some research online about Busselton. I found a brochure in the mail one day about a Lifestyle Village in Broadwater, close to the beach. I didn’t pay much attention to it but suggested that we could have a look at it next time we were in Busselton. On our next visit we met with the sales rep and looked at a few houses on the Saturday. We decided to have a second look on the Sunday and took away a package of information to consider.

In no time at all, we signed the contract for our new home. We had three months to sell our Perth property. We put it on the market and it sold after thirteen days. Crunch time came at work – it wasn’t difficult to leave as I mentioned earlier, I was the last of the team to abandon ship. I was lucky to be able to keep a tenuous link to my job in case the experiment didn’t work out – this was six months leave without pay.

I haven’t looked back. I didn’t decide to retire – I just jumped out of the workforce when the opportunity presented itself. Now, five years later, I am still considering what my next act will be.

What do you do when you are bored?

boredomSo, boredom – what is it? I rarely say that I am bored as there are so many options of what to do. But there are some days that I don’t feel inclined towards any of my options.

Recently I have brought together a small group of people around my age who are no longer working full-time. Last week we talked about what we hoped to do in retirement or semi-retirement and then reflected on what it is REALLY like. Most people expressed at least some of the following concerns:

  • Fear of not keeping up with what is happening in the workplace eg technology
  • Running out of ideas on how to fill the day (after doing the house and garden until it is perfect)
  • Loss of interaction with other people
  • Loss of identity now that we cannot be defined by our jobs
  • Feeling guilty that we should be happier not working
  • How long does the money have to last?
  • Too much time for contemplation
  • Lack of boundaries that we forced on us when we were working

I am aware that there seems to be little support or training to prepare people for retirement. There is always a big emphasis about the financial side but not as much about the social aspects.

There is the good side as well – I haven’t focused on that in this post. I think we would all agree that not having to set the alarm to get up early for work is the number ONE bonus of not working full-time :-)

Self worth or Ego?

I was at a meeting the other day and I went along with the attitude of wanting to get involved. I was taken aback by the chair of the meeting – he couldn’t seem to notice I was there. I have grappled with this and wondered whether I was having an issue with my ego (wanting to be noticed etc) and I felt quite annoyed.

I offered to take on a significant and time-consuming role for the group (setting up and administering a new Facebook Group) but I still felt invisible to our group leader. I found the image below and it was a good reminder to me that my ability doesn’t depend on someone else being able to see it.

Self Worth

A week away from home

Some holiday snaps. We traveled 2,030 kilometres over six days by car to Perth, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and home again :-).

Check out the wiki link about Coolgardie.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

I took these images with my microscope, Supereyes, and I was trying to make the Rule of Thirds effect (I didn’t know it at the time). I tried with my point and shoot camera and found it to be quite difficult.

What does fear mean for you?

I used to be frightened of lions and elephants when I was a child. That may have been reasonable if I lived somewhere near the jungle or even a zoo – I didn’t. Some of the children’s stories I grew up with were very scary – Hansel and Gretal, Red Riding Hood – even Cinderella with those ugly step-sisters.

My two brothers really enjoyed scaring the daylights out of me. They would pretend to be prowlers outside my bedroom window – that’s the joy of being the youngest of five children – a real sucker for some fun and teasing.

I needed to overcome fear lots of times throughout my life. If you do it often enough you end up being quite courageous. There is a lot of wisdom in the popular book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. Over time those courage muscles get to grow if you use them often enough.

What sorts of things are you afraid of?

FEAR

Introvert or Extrovert?

I believe I am an introvert.

As time goes by, I realise that being introverted affects many areas of my life. I am not much into group activities and feel much more comfortable in a one on one situation.

Last year I did a writing course online and I really got into it (I had to as there were assignments to do). In doing the course I found a way to tell my stories from the privacy of my own home.

Once I completed the study I went cold on writing – you see I can’t just write a funny story or science fiction or fantasy – for me it has to be real, and in being real, it is often deep and sometimes painful.

But now I realise that I am a bit afraid of telling these stories but I can choose to overcome the fear if I really want to. Do I want to? Not sure … Perhaps I can invent a pen name -) and remain anonymous!

introverts

Old photos and an old song …

I must be feeling nostalgic. I was looking for an old photo today – one of me on my brother’s shoulders – I was terrified at the time. I couldn’t find it but, as happens with photos, I got caught up in looking at photos at my parents’ home when my children were little. It was always such a busy place with people coming and going – the kettle was always on!

My parents had fifteen grandchildren and most of them lived close by. I left home when I was seventeen and wasn’t able to visit as often as I would have liked. My Mum was an amazing grandma (considering she worked full time as a nurse as well) and really loved each and every one of her grandchildren and later, great grandchildren. Here are a few photos that give a bit of a feel to what it was like at “Nan and Pops” place …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

For this week’s Photo Challenge I have two different photos of my garden variety mint plant. One is microscopic (x250) and the other is full size.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

* Abandoned open-cut gold mine at Gwalia in Western Australia

* Painting by John Longstaff – the young mother learns of her husband’s death

* The weir in my home town, Cohuna, where I grew up – I was afraid to swim in the deep water

* Depth of love for my new grandson, Isaac, born in 2008

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express yourself

It is Australia Day (some say Straya) on 26 January so I am expressing aspects of being Australian, including my love of Outback Australia and some of our native species. Sorry I didn’t have any kangaroos handy.

I have also included photos depicting my Irish and Scottish ancestry.

 

What was the last photo you took?

WordPress Daily Post: What was the last picture you took? Tell us the story behind it. (No story behind the photo? Make one up, or choose the last picture you took that had one.)

Well I must say I am really intrigued by this photo. I took it with my Supereyes microscope. It is a magnified image of a tiny flower from a chilli plant. I have never seen anything quite like it before. I had just watered the plant before I picked the flower and you can see the moisture captured in the centre of the flower.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Each of these photos provide me with a sense of serenity. They were taken in different parts of Australia, London and Ireland.

What’s new in the garden?

I have tomatoes, silver beet, two varieties of parsley, potatoes and a watermelon plant growing in my above ground garden bed. I also have some plants in pots that belong to my son, Joel. I am only looking after them short-term. I gave up trying to have a nice water feature and decided to plant some petunias instead :-). There is a range of herbs growing in the stand. I don’t use them as much as I could as I grew up only knowing how to use mint and parsley. I experiment from time to time :-)

Confidence booster

I developed the tool below to help me in times when I doubt myself.

I think of the word confidence and go through each letter at a time.

Sometimes I can’t remember my original choice of words and then I come up with new ones that reinforce positive thoughts in my mind.

CONFIDENCE IS MADE UP OF MANY SMALLER PARTS

C is for capable. You have the basic knowledge and experience to do the task at hand.

O is for often. When you do something often you become more confident in your ability.

N is for now. It helps if you focus on the task at hand, now, and not try to do tomorrow’s work today.

F is for follow. It may mean following a recipe, some guidance, a style manual, or the instructions in a manual.

I is for interest. If you have a genuine interest in what you are doing, you will feel more confident.

D is for determination. If you aspire to do well – chances are good that you will succeed.

E is for elements. If you understand the basic elements of the task, you can then tackle them one by one until the task is completed.

N is for new. Be always be open to learning something new. It is OK to acknowledge you haven’t done something before, however, be willing to learn new things.

C is for cheerful. If you can approach whatever you are doing with a cheerful attitude, your chances of success are greater.

E is for effort. You need to put in some effort and do the work that is required to the best of your ability.

PV1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

Cosy wood heater

Cosy wood heater

This photo was taken in Winter 2013 when we visited Augusta (South Western Australia) for a short holiday. I think it fits the theme really well :-).

Four years old today

I am talking about this blog – allaboutwordswa that I started four years ago today. I did a Google search on “how do I start a blog” and took it from there to here!

I received a Happy Fourth Anniversary from WordPress today. When I first started the blog I tried to write a post everyday and averaged about five times a week but lately I don’t write as often – not sure why.

I started other blogs during that time and my most recent It’s a Small World  is focused on photos taken by my microscope (Supereyes) and I am having lots of fun with it.

I learned a few things from blogging during this time. Some thoughts follow …

  • I have met so many amazing people  from all over the world and developed some online friendships.
  • My blog provides an avenue where I can think out loud – express my opinions or ask for input from others. It also reminds me of our common humanity.
  • The skills I gained in using WordPress were really useful when I was studying online and using online tools earlier this year.
  • My blog is evidence that I can string a few words together – I include it on my resume (sometimes) so that  potential employers can see that I am computer literate and they can get a bit of an idea about who I am from my writing.
  • I have another blog, Naturaliste Enterprises with my resume and work experience included.
  • When I get really interested in a particular topic – this year it has been about Baby Boomers and retirement related issues – there is an opportunity to put all my thoughts in one place – yes – another blog! This one is called Encore Australia. I saw a lot about Encore Careers in the US and it motivated me to set up an Australian website in relation to these issues. I hope to do more work on this in 2015.

Along the way I have gratefully received over 3,000 comments from readers, had nearly 30,000 views and a total of 600+ have subscribed to read my blog. It is encouraging to get followers and to have people read my posts but I don’t allow that to drive my writing and input.

This is my opportunity to say thank you for reading my posts and I love it when you leave a comment that leads to a discussion and the ‘likes’ are much appreciated as well :-).

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I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress :-)

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

What my grandparents told me …

Grandpa and Grandma

Grandpa and Grandma

I was thinking about my grandparents this morning and some of the things they told me when I was little – and I believed them!

Consider the following:

  • Don’t pull faces because, if the wind changes, it will stay like that forever.
  • Grandpa always insisted on walking closest to the curb. He said that a gentleman should be willing to take the splashes from the puddles in the road.
  • Grandma said she couldn’t go to the swimming pool because it would overflow if she jumped in.
  • They both said they couldn’t go to church because the roof would fall it (an old excuse :-))
  • Grandpa always insisted it was very rude to wear a hat in the house, unless of course you were a lady.
  • Grandma treated my gifts of jewellery from the lolly shop as though they really were very valuable.
  • I am sure there are many more gems of wisdom they imparted over the years.

Grandpa (1884 – 1969) married Grandma (1889 – 1983) in 1911 in Kerang, Victoria and went on to have eight children – one of whom was my father. We lived next door to them for many years and I spent a lot of time with them and have fond memories.

I can’t help but wonder what they would make of our world today.

Consumers matter

It has been an interesting year in dealing with purchases and repairs.

1. Washer/dryer was four years old and stopped working properly. Fortunately I had an extended warranty and was given a full refund and then purchased a new washer and dryer.

2. Vacuum cleaner stopped working – out of warranty. I rang the interstate company for advice and they were able to tell me how to reset its computer settings (on a vacuum cleaner?) and it worked. Happy customer.

3. Ordered a bed in October. The company failed to deliver on time. They kept getting my order confused. Last week they rang to say it arrived but later rang to say it was the wrong size. New one coming tomorrow. Paid the balance today only to discover the store had totally misunderstood what I wanted.

We could go back to base and start again – no, that had no appeal. I could ask for my money back, but that didn’t appeal either. I could have argued the point – surely I am the most qualified to know what I ordered (the manager had no concept of the customer always being right!)

I agreed to take the alternative bed and it should be delivered on Wednesday. I wonder how I could have dealt with this better. Any suggestions?

Cheers

Lorraine

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

Here is my interpretation of converge for this week’s photo challenge :-)

It really is a small world

When I was little, my Uncle Roy bought me a microscope for my birthday. I still remember my fascination at looking down the scope and being amazed to see a leaf transformed into something magical.

I had thought about buying myself a microscope to rediscover the small details we can’t see with the naked eye. My son, Joel, heard about this and bought me a microscope for my recent birthday – and I have had great fun with it. It is electronic and connects to my computer, in much the same way as they are used in medical procedures.

Below are some samples of what I have seen so far. These are images of fabrics in my home. They look very different from what we normally see.

Weekly photo challenge: Angular

I have always loved cut glass and I especially like this piece that belonged to my mother-in-law. I served fruit salad in it yesterday and today as I was cleaning it I became very aware of all the angles – thus a contender for this week’s photo challenge!

Optimism … easier said than done?

This time last week I wrote about a couple of people I spoke with during the day. Both were facing major issues – one was dealing with sickness in the family and the other had serious business problems.

Today I caught up with the business person again and ventured to ask her if she had any success in fixing a major piece of machinery. Last week she said it could not be fixed and she would miss out on the busy holiday season. Today she was much brighter as she told me the problem was resolved. She said she had a couple of really tough days worrying about going broke.

I was really pleased to hear the good news. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when things don’t go the way we expect.

optimism

Consciousness

I have written few posts recently about a book about being in the flow. I have finished reading it now but I have noticed my dreams are being more lucid – meaning that I know that I am dreaming and can actually direct what happens in my dreams.

It is a wonderful experience that has happened to me a few times in the past. It is not something I can manufacture. I suspect that the process of trying to understand more about how my mind works has something to do with tapping into this amazing gift.

consciousnessI also believe that when we are ready to learn new things, the opportunities are there for us.

Keep it Simple – a sampler by Don Wright

Earlier this week we had a good time catching up with our friends Don and Deirdre. Don is putting a CD together and I am pleased to be able to offer a taster of what is to come. Don writes his own original lyrics and music. It has a great message for today for us all as well.

I hope you enjoy it :-)

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Music and lyrics are copyright and owned by Don Wright ©

Weekly photo challenge: Achievement

demographics 001 (Copy)I made the above picture (with cloth, glue and cardboard + butterflies) as a way of expressing the importance  of that time in our lives beyond 45 years of age.

The bottom purple rectangle represents our youth up to around 21 years old where we are in a phase of learning about ourselves and the world around us.

The cream rectangle with three gold butterflies represents the years from around 21 to around 45 years. These are usually very productive years for most people – hence the gold butterflies.

The blue rectangle represents that span of our lives from around 45 years to around 80. This is a time when we have a lot of life experience, knowledge and skills – hence the abundance of butterflies.

The top purple rectangle represents those lucky enough to live a long life beyond 80 years.

What I was trying to portray was that the 45-80 years + is a very dynamic phase full of great potential. Notice how this phase is actually bigger than the other three rectangles. I am suggesting a new way of looking at this time in our lives – not of reaching retirement, putting the feet up and waiting for the eventual decline.

This is just my perspective and I would be interested in other people’s ideas and feedback :-)

Our inability to control everything

serenitySome days I worry about what might go wrong and then I remember that I cannot control everything around me. Even when I plan everything perfectly there is usually something that can throw me off course. When I remind myself of the limits on what I can control, I am able to let go, be more relaxed, and go with the flow.

Today I spoke with two people with situations way beyond their control. The first person is a man I met for the first time. He told me about his adult daughter suffering a serious illness and her need to move permanently to the other side of the country to receive specialist medical treatment. The outlook is not good. I commented that sometimes life doesn’t turn out like we expect it to.

About an hour later I was talking to a business owner and asked if she was ready for the busy tourist season nearly upon us. She told me how a critical part of equipment has broken down and is unable to be fixed in time to reap the rewards of the tourist season. It will have a major impact on the viability of her business. She was close to tears as she shared this with me. Once again I commented about life not turning out as we expect it to.

I was moved by these two people and the honest sharing of their personal experiences. It also reminded me to be grateful and not to stress when life doesn’t follow my own personal script.

The flow state

I am reading (still) Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly and published by Harper Perennial – first published in 1990. It is one of those books where I keep going “Aha!” as I discover the writer has put my jumbled thoughts into eloquent words that seem quite profound. It is not often I find a book that answers so many questions for me.

I could not do it credit by trying to explain his findings but I would really encourage you to read it. One of the things that appeals to me is that it not pop psychology but seems to have some real research behind it.

To quote a New York Times Book Review, “Flow is important … The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful challenge.”

Visual for being in the flowI spoke to a friend on the phone yesterday (we haven’t caught up in many months) and I recommended this book to her. She was amazed at the coincidence as she was just about to put in an online order for the very same book – how is that for synchronicity?

Ways of learning …

My preferred learning style is to get my hands dirty and experiment. Ask me to do most things and I will dive straight in and have a try. Learning how to use my WordPress blog is a typical example. Recently I am helping a friend with her website and thought it would be useful to have some sort of manual to put some structure into the process.

There are HEAPS of manuals, videos, websites etc on how to use WordPress – all of which are probably excellent tools. I found one particular manual called Easy WP Guide, WordPress Manual by Anthony Hortin from Maddisondesigns.

It can be downloaded as a PDF so I did that and printed out a copy (140 pages – 70 back to back) and bound it. I then sat down to read it from cover to cover. I am pleased to note that I figured out most things myself through trial and error but there was one thing I learned that will be invaluable in the future:

I found an extra line of the tool bar – and that means I can write in different colours – and I didn’t know this before!

I can’t believe I have been using WordPress for over three years and didn’t know this. I still have more to read and to learn. Maybe there is value in reading the manual after all :-)

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be …

Turning sixty was reasonably painless after all! We had some of the family stay on Friday and Saturday night and then met the other family members (who could make the distance) join us for lunch on Sunday at Flutes Restaurant.

Flutes is my favourite restaurant in the South West/Margaret River region. The food is really good and the views are tranquil and beautiful. The company was great too.

Today I am in recovery mode from too much good living! But then someone gave me a big box of chocolates today. It looks like I might have to postpone the return to healthy eating for a while longer.

So I guess turning sixty isn’t such a big deal and I can enjoy each day as it comes. Soon I will start planning for Christmas :-)

P.S. I have it on good authority that I can now do as I want, having reached this age – so I didn’t ask Andrew and Joel’s permission to include them in my blog :-). I won’t make a habit of it though! Tom didn’t mind.

Sixty 008 (Copy)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

For this week’s photo challenge I am using an actual cover I used for a short story. A free copy of it is available on through a link on my site. The story was written as part of my studies in a Professional Writing course I completed recently.

Beyond the Crossing

The story has some elements from real life and my time in the North West (Fitzroy Crossing) but it is mostly a piece of fiction. The photo was taken in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

My Three Sons – a gallery over the years

The photos below are from 1985 and 2011. I scanned them and saved them on my computer. I thought it would be great to see them in a gallery and WordPress came to mind.  They may not be of much interest outside the family so I hope other readers will allow me to indulge in these photos of my three sons. Thanks to my lads for their permission to post them :-)

Weekly photo challenge: Dreamy

It is not hard to see that to me DREAMY is about water and about trees :-)

Being ‘in the flow’

I recently discovered an interesting book titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It was first published in 1990 by Harper and Row.

Here is a description of the book I copied from Amazon.com (where I purchased the book).

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

I am finding it easy to read and a refreshing change from much of the (wonderful) literature about mindfulness. Sometimes words like mindfulness become so over used that they lose their sense of meaning. The writer talks about giving our attention to whatever is before us.

Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, I feel comfortable in recommending it to readers interested in experiencing more flow in their day-to-day lives.003 (Copy)

It sounds like I was paid to review this book, but I promise I haven’t! It was just a link in an article I was reading online and before I knew what I was doing, I ordered a kindle edition as well as a hard copy :-)

Health …

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I am thinking about ‘health’ for the past week. Not that I am sick or have any big revelations about it, but I am considering how we deal with whatever our health status is.

Some people make a big deal out of minor ailments and yet some others are silent and brave about serious concerns.

I believe that as we get older, the health system responds to us differently. This is when the doctor responds to your concerns with, “it is normal for that to happen at your age.” They don’t seem quite as enthusiastic about fixing us up as we get older.

Another aspect about health – do we talk about it? When is it appropriate and when is it not?

Should we be proactive and do our own research (via Dr Google) or trust in the knowledge and experience of our health care professionals – or a bit of both?

Then there is the scientific approach to health or the alternative therapies. I lean very much toward the medical model – maybe because Medicare will subsidize me if I see a doctor but I pay the full cost if I see someone who practices natural therapies.

What part does our mind play in our health? I am sure it plays a significant role but can we think ourselves better? I know we can think ourselves sick!

So there you have it – a week’s reflection on health, summed up in less than 300 words :-)

Acceptance

Isn’t it wonderful to be in the company of people who accept you just as you are?

acceptance

Hobbies and Interests

18 February 2014 006 (Copy)In 2010 I ceased working full-time and moved to the South West to enjoy the wonderful experience of not having to set the alarm and get up and go to work. Funnily enough, I still wake up early most days even though I don’t set the alarm.

I have been grappling with what best to do with my time now. I have tried a range of things, including self-employment, volunteer work, gardening, blogging and recently I joined a creative writing group.

Through most of my life I have gone along with what others are doing. I think being the youngest of five children means I am used to fitting it with the majority.

It is only now that I realise that I haven’t taken much time to pursue leisure activities that are truly my OWN interests.

Put simply, I don’t know what I want! I am working on it though and have taken some steps in that direction.

My reason for this blog today is to remind people (younger people) to make time to have some interests outside of work so that when it comes to retiring, you can look forward to spending more time doing what you love. Cultivate your interests during your working life so that it provides another avenue for finding satisfaction and fulfillment at that later stage.

Well, that’s my take on it :-). What do others think?

Seeking a simple life …

When  it comes to what is important in life, I think the less complicated we make it, the better.

Family, friends and good neighbours contribute to many of the simple joys we experience.

Sunshine and access to nature are important too.

No games of pretense to confuse our relationships with those around us – be who you really are!

Maximise your strengths and curb your weaknesses where you can.

We all have something positive to offer in every situation – it may be just to listen …

simplicity

Spring time

Celebrating Spring! Here are few shots of my jasmine plant and some photos of flowers given to me recently by some friends visiting from Perth. I nearly always take photos of flowers so that I can enjoy them for much longer! The water feature looks a bit grotty but last time I cleaned it I found two big frogs and lots of tadpoles. I decided they have permission to stay!