So time to put some of my thoughts down on paper (well as close to paper that we now get, other than the selection of post-its lying around). What’s it been like, leaving a well-paid job to join the ranks of the retired folk but with no income? Rather up-lifting actually. After either selling or giving away the last of the bits that we accumulated from years of “we need one of those”, or “that’s nice”, Monty Python always comes into my head: “You come from nothing; you’re going back to nothing, what have you lost – nothing!”
We moved onto our home with no plans other than to go out of the marina, turn left and head south. I had imagined that my days would be filled with thoughts of sailing, looking at the dolphins and whales and other marine type things but it has been far from that. With no time pressure or we need to do that “because…”, we have filled our time with “what shall we do today?” or “the forecast is not as good as it was, let’s stay a while”. One of the promises we made each other was if we like somewhere then what’s the rush to move on. This has put the brakes on how far we have travelled this year but thus far we have not regretted that decision. It’s amazing how the day can be gone before you have realised that you have not changed the world or the engine oil but that’s life and it’s OK to spend all day at the beach gathering food for that night’s tea (for me anyway).
Boat life does allow a lot of time for reflection – one of the most notable is that after 30 years of work not one of my ex-work colleagues has contacted me, a little strange or a reflection of life in the working world where the only focus is what they are doing or maybe they just didn’t like me (c’est la vie), it reminds me of the saying “put your hand into a bucket of water then remove it, the hole that remains is how much you are needed”. To be honest I haven’t contacted them either!
Thanks to the Brexit vote we now have an exchange rate that is almost £1 to the Euro, but on the flip side my shares have rocketed, so for eight months of doing nothing we are only a few K down on what we started with, so that’s another thing not to worry about.
Strange things have come into the head like what if the monkey world had Viagra? Would there be any need for the alpha male syndrome as they only try to oust them out when they have reached their useful life’s end, is that retirement?
I do make the comment that I am not retired but just doing something else until I do. This struck home this week when a well spoken English lady married to a French man said we “live an alternative life style”. Hearing someone else say it was the first time that it struck home – yes, it is alternative.
I cannot speak the language of our home land (remember our home is with us at all times), don’t overly like the food, struggle to get a good curry but we have met and interacted with people and places that you read about in books, the good the bad and the ugly.
So after 8 months with the woman I married 30 years ago, being together for at least 12 hours a day in a 55 ft aluminium box we have not killed each other but have, in fact, learnt (for me anyway) that you have to take every day as a new day; plans are there to be made and broken; every day that you wake up is a bonus and doing nothing particular doesn’t matter.