Posted in retirement, Self Care

The cloak

A year ago I put down the heavy cloak I had been wearing for decades. The weight and the worries did not leave my shoulders instantly But as time went on it got easier. I still miss the best parts of it; the multitasking, the teaching, the challenge of a trauma day, the complex equipment and the team work with my surgeons. My body, on the other hand, doesn’t miss it at all. I hear, occasionally, that they still miss me.

A year ago today I hosted my own retirement party. It was a darn good party as my young friend remembered today. It was such a perfect end to a long career in the Operating Room. It was well attended by a lot of my favourites and there was beer. All wins in my book.

A year ago today I started in uncharted territory and was prepared to embrace the change. Weirdly enough not that much changed. Perhaps it’s partly the fact that I only semi retired as I have my two casual jobs so still go out the door early but now on an irregular basis. Perhaps it’s that my other half is still working so the “schedule” of weekdays and weekends still exist.

A year ago today I found a lot of free time. I’ve spent a lot of that time on my grandchildren and it’s been wonderful. They are only this little once and it’s been delightful to have time for each of them and not feel that I have to cheat out on other items to have time with them. I’m know that has been my highlight.

I’ve had very few lows that’s for sure. Once the stress of a 40+ hour week and the weekly call shifts disappeared I’ve slept better. I still have some crappy nights but overall it’s so much better. Can’t say I am eating any better or have lost any weight and I know that’s all about my choices.

I’ve had some surprises though. The biggest one, or maybe it’s not really, is that I’m less fit. I always planned on walking 5 kms every day once I quit working and I can say that’s not happening. I’ve had a few minor injuries so neither swimming, walking or biking have happened regularly. I’m also less fit because my new jobs are so much less physical than my old position. I moved OR tables, lifted 22 lb pans of instruments multiple times a day, transferred heavy patients and awkward beds and supply carts around. My body, as I said, doesn’t miss all that in one way but it does miss the strength that came from doing it.

I haven’t been the least bit surprised by which friendships survived the split from work and which didn’t. It’s sad though and I guess that’s about all I can say there. I’ve had more time for other friendships and that’s awesome.

I’ve settled into the new casual employment routines quite well and enjoy both jobs. I think it’s a great way to ease myself out of the mainstream. I really value the team work in my regular new job and the teaching of the other one is so rewarding.

Those extra “off hours” are quickly filled up with creativity. There has been lots of fabric time but also the watercolour class and a fair amount of wood working. My nightly enjoyment of the sunset.

I’m still driven by projects, to do list and deadlines. I’ve read very few books and don’t watch much more TV than I ever did. I’ve blogged more and indeed created another blog that is just a daily photo and a tiny smidgeon of text hence the 365 snap title. I’ve spent less time on Facebook. I’m still volunteering and I’m still a sandwich generation “giver”.

That’s a very rambling one year out check up. Not as well written as I would have liked but it’s recorded. As per usual I ran out of time!! Always a lot on my to do list and tonight’s tasks didn’t get done until almost 11pm! Funny how that hasn’t changed.

Bernie

2 thoughts on “The cloak

    1. It has been but I must admit I think I miss the routine. I haven’t filled in areas (fitness, genealogy) like I thought I would. Lots of grandchildren time though!!

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