My Life After Work
Well that’s it, this is the last part of a series of posts reflecting on the end of my traditional working life as I finally retire from work today. This post explores my first tentative steps towards laying out what my life’s going to be like now that I’ve retired and in many ways it’s going to follow the direction that I’ve set for myself over the last couple of years, but with a few important tweaks that are enabled by a different perspective, more time, energy, freedom and stability.
One of the most important changes that I’m going to make is to spend more time moving and less sitting, in fact I want to spend some time moving in every waking hour of the day as well as two or three hours of continuous movement. I believe we are born to move and specifically to walk, but I’m going to be cycling and swimming too. Of course when I’m in a flare I will need to moderate this aspiration, but my intent is clear. To start me off I’m going to do the 100 Greatest Walks in Britain that might take a while!
I’m also going to spend a lot less time thinking and much more time doing. Of my 40 working years, 30 of them were doing years, only in the last 10 did I start to transition to a pure thinking role and while I enjoyed it, I’m a doer at heart and a builder more specifically. I’m going to really enjoy doing more and spending more time working with my hands and less time with my finger-tips. I’m going to really relish the sense of progress that comes from having more time to spend gardening and doing DIY. My initial focus this year is growing my own fruit and veg.
I’ve also spent a lot of my life distracted, my mind has always been full of whirling ideas, deep in discussion, writing, listening to podcasts or watching TV. It’s rare that I get to deeply concentrate, to be fully mindful of my minute to minute experience, I’d like that to change. I’m not meaning that I will be spending hours a day in meditation (perhaps 20 minutes) rather I will be really focusing on, for example, the natural world as I’m hiking through it. I’m also going to learn much more about the geology, fauna & flora of the UK and I’ve already got the books ready!
I’m also conscious that my life had gradually shifted from one focused on interacting with people and nature, to one where I spent ever more time in front of screens, often with a headset stuck in my ear. I’m going to make an effort to gradually unwind from that screen dominated life. That’s going to mean spending a lot less time indoors, and much more time outside. Focusing on experiences and less on things and on learning about the natural world rather than technology. I’m going to spend more time reading paper books too, sourced from my own large library, or the even larger one at the end of the street.
I will also be going back to my first love and doing some programming again and I will continue to research and write about my life and my life-long passion to help people live more productive, effective, rewarding and happy lives, but I will be focusing more on expressing my creativity than on the accumulation of knowledge.
There will still be periods of challenge though, working through nasty flares in particular and for that I’ve lined up a few years viewing of superb long running TV series, starting with shows like Star Trek Next Generation, Babylon 5, Deep Space 9 and Battlestar Galactica, but I will also be watching all of the classic documentaries about the natural world.
In summary a simpler life, more in tune with my evolutionary heritage.
For all of my friends who read this, expect a call soon inviting you out for a good chat, over breakfast, lunch or a good hike – maybe all three
I will be traveling a lot more and living a much more opportunistic life, less dictated by routine, so it’s fitting that I decorate this post with a picture of my beloved Filey beach and one of my most treasured early morning experiences as I watched a seal pup scamper back into the safety of the surf a couple of years ago.