Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life after Work

As I took early retirement, my whole life is now 'life after work' and, like many retired people, I sometimes wonder how I ever had the time to go out to work! Maybe it's simply a hang-over from working days, but I still tend to do my writing in the evenings. I'm a night-owl, and my brain works better later at night.
One of my main day-time activities involves a group I have been running for about eleven years for Over-50's. This is linked to our local Girl Guide organsation and many of the 60+ members, like myself, used to run Brownie or Guide units. But several of them have also brought their friends or spouses into the group. Every four months I produce a programme of activities, usually one activity each week. These include visits to local places of interest - yesterday, for example, we had a tour of an old fishing trawler which has been restored, and next week we will be visiting a stately home about thirty miles away. We also go to local lunchtime concerts or someone leads a walk in a local beauty spot or we visit a new exhibition in one of the many museums or art galleries in Manchester.
Our 'pub lunches' are always popular, and once a month we have a Social Evening at our local Girl Guide HQ, for which I plan a programme of quizzes and other activities. It may sound like hard work, but I enjoy it. For one thing, we've visited so many different and interesting places which we would probably never have done on our own, and secondly, maybe even more importantly, it's enabled us to keep in contact with the wide range of friends we all made when we were involved in Guiding.

My own personal activities - well, I confess I spend too much time on the addictive Facebook game called Farmville! I don't read as much as I used to do, but I do enjoy watching movies. My DVD collection is in danger of taking over the house (including, of course, my complete set of 'The West Wing'). I've also done a lot of family history research and traced all 32 of my great-great- grandparents (and in some cases, some ancestors before them). But I seem to have hit a lot of brick walls where I can't go back any further.
I love to travel, and during the last ten years, have done a lot of battlefield tours in France, Belgium and Germany, as well as an American Civil War tour. I love Ireland, and usually manage to get over there two or three times a year.
Taking early retirement was the best thing I ever did! My post-retirement life is full and interesting!


  1. It sounds like retirement has freed you to do things you enjoy, Paula. And now that you will be published, you have a second career!

  2. I don't actually think of it as a second career, Ana, just as something I enjoy doing (and which is as much a part of me as breathing). I wrote fan-fiction for three years with no 'reward' except for the best reward (to me) of people's enjoyment and appreciation of what I was writing. It was only through meeting Linda Lael Miller in 2008 that I decided to try my hand at novels again. When someone once called me a professional writer, I said 'No, an amateur who just hit lucky.'

  3. Glad to hear you keep busy.

    I like the idea of starting a group. I'll have to think about that when I settle for "retirement."

  4. Hi,

    Ha ha, love it - "How I ever had the time to go to work!"

    Fessing up here: I never had time to go to work not after age 21. I got married then and hubby being a special forces officer (SAS) said time together was too precious and he wanted me home - so if and when (unpredictable) he walked through the door he knew I'd be there not tied to a work schedule. It was not so tough to please. ;)

    Some might say "how fortunate" that when I married for a second time hubby number 2 wanted the same deal. Hence idle muse (posh for housewife) on my blog profile! Some of my friends called me a jammy cow to have clinched 2nd man willing to keep me in the style to which I was accumstomed, but to be fair to him he did allow for my own equestrian business.

    As for groups I chose a reading group to belong to - it entails fun coffee mornings and the odd pub lunches.

    Why would anyone "work" unless its absolutely essential?

  5. You have to enjoy every single moment - and you certainly do that, Paula, and you enjoy it too. Hope the trawler was interesting.

  6. Francine, as a youngster, I don't remember a time where I didn't work two jobs.

    When I got married, hubby wanted me to stay home and I was lucky enough where my job allowed me to work from home, until they sold the business.

    Now that my son is getting older, I MISS working. I look for a job daily. I miss looking forward to the weekends. Now, my highlight of the day is waiting for the mailman.

    Friends and family say, "You're crazy. You have it made. Why would you want to go to work."

    Well, I have that type of mind where it needs to keep busy, and honestly, I can only write for so long until I get frustrated.

    Maybe with a contract the "umph" to write all day would inspire me. For now, I'll be looking for a job once the boy goes back to school.