A Day in the Life …

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Do you wonder where the day goes?  Do you feel guilty if you don’t use every minute of it purposefully?  I used to.  Not any more.

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In the lighter months I wake early 5.30 – 5.45 – it is annoying; the morning chorus of birds is to blame although I guess it is a beautiful way to wake up – better than an alarm clock!  This is the best time – half awake, half asleep – lying in the dawn-light letting your mind wander – thinking of what you dreamt about or what you are going to wear today, what you will cook for dinner – the possibilities are endless.  But I don’t rush to get up – I take it slow and throw the covers back at  about 7.00.

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  There is no need for me to rush, no need to be busy, busy, busy – I can say this because I don’t have a job to get  out to on time, no bus to catch, no children to get ready for school – just 24 hours to pass in any way I wish – and it is surprising what can be achieved in those 24 hours – no matter how slow you go.

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  This is one of the joys of being retired – although some may find it hard to fill their days meaningfully – I enjoy the fact that I have time to take a nap after lunch if I want to (which I invariably do).  I find it gives me renewed energy to face whatever the afternoon may bring – more than likely this means putting in two or three  hours work in the garden.

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I may take a break outside with a cup of tea and a book for a while – if it is warm – or watch a film if it is cold or raining.  These are my guilty pleasures.  After a lifetime of working long and hard – I don’t begrudge myself anything that I regard as a bonus – a reward – for my diligence.

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I allow myself one morning a week to go mooching round the second-hand book shops – a particular pleasure, and invariably come home with three or four books that I doubt I will ever find time to read – and add them to the ever-growing pile by my bedside.

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So you see – I have no trouble filling my days – slowly rising; eating breakfast; bathing; getting dressed; a little housework; shopping; reading; drinking lots of cups of tea; gardening; cooking; walking; taking lots of photographs; taking a nap after a leisurely lunch; maybe writing a blog post; catching up with the blogs that I follow – watching a little tv in the evening – and so to bed – to repeat the whole process the next day – ain’t life grand!

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‘Til next time, remember

- the key to a life of pleasure, freedom and guilt-free lounging around rests in your hands ~ Tom Hodgkinson

Elaine

Comments

  1. A timely post Elaine. My husband retired today!

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    1. My husband is on the verge too - he was supposed to finish at the end of April but seems to be carrying on till he drops.

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  2. I wish I could find that key.. There are still far too many demands on time and I'm always in a rush. This is what comes of taking on too much.

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    1. I am a bit of a procrastinator myself - why do today what you can put off till tomorrow seems to be the rule I live by!

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  3. My goodness!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE this! First off I think your photographs from the garden this week are so pretty!! Such a rich collection of blooms! And Yes!!!!! There is so much you can accomplish in 24 hours!!! I really lost myself in your post as I imagine one day living just like this! No schedule just rhythms! And to be honest with you in the summer I am unlike most moms that sign their kids up for camps....I would rather ease into the day with the beans knowing that for the first time all year we have nowhere to be and no rushing. We can go explore the woods or take a walk....but there is no busy! You inspired me here today friend!! Happy Thursday to you! Nicole xo

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    1. Thank you Nicole - so glad I inspired you with this post - taking life a little easier as you get older is definitely one of the benefits - here's hoping you have a wonderful summer of adventure and exploration with your beans this year.

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  4. I love being free to please myself what I do with my time. As long as I achieve a few tasks per day then I am happy to go out, read, sit in the conservatory with my coffee, or write a blog and read some blogs.
    The photo of your apple blossom looks almost like a painting, it is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary . It sounds like we are reading from the same page.

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  5. Elaine - a great post, which although I'm not quite retired, on my lazy not having to go anywhere days I can relate to.

    Your photo's are lovely.

    Take time to enjoy every day your way ... and it's great that you share your thoughts and photo's with your 'blogging' friends too.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan. After I left work it did take time to get used to a new 'routine' but it's amazing how quickly you get used to not working to the clock.

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  6. It sounds as though you have the balance of busy and not just exactly and most perfectly right for you. How wonderful! I hope you keep enjoying. xx

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    1. Thanks Amy. Not everyday is all lollipops and roses - but I do try to enjoy the simple things that make life worth living for me.

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  7. We are lucky indeed. Your days sound much like mine but I feel guilty. Don't know how to rid myself of that. Love the photos. Would have loved to see that stack of books.

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    1. I have added a photo of the book stack just for you Donna.

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  8. I am right there with you. Elaine! Lovely to read about your choices as you appreciate the past and enjoy the present :) Apt quotes, and your pictures are so vibrant. Your Spring posy pickings are cheerful. I do believe your black bird looks a little 'stumped'...it is probably still in the child rearing stage and is contemplating its next move. ;) Perfect blog post!

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    1. Thank you Glo - that's very kind of you to say so. There is so much to record at this time of year in the great outdoors, so much going on with flowers and wildlife that it is hard not to include everything I have taken photographs of and having time to take notice is a joy.

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  9. Lovely photos and I look forwards to being able to have days like you describe. Sadly at the moment I have so little time due to work that even on a 'day off' I race around trying to get masses of things done. I do try to take some take out each month though to do something just for me.

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    1. Thanks Su. I know it is hard to get the work/life balance right I used to have the same problem - luckily I now have all the time in the world - a nice situation to be in.

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  10. And your photgraphy just gets better and better! Beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Freda - very nice of you to say so.

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  11. Lovely photos, we all sadly rush around to much, I have this Idea if I get everything done I will have time... trouble is I'm never done..
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks Amanda. I do try to make time for what I enjoy - not always easy though.

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  12. I'm with you Elaine ……. it sounds just like my day. I have no trouble, being a woman of leisure !!!!! It's wonderful !! XXXX

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    1. It seems we're birds of a feather Jackie.

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  13. As usual; beautiful photos. Retirement isn't all what it's supposed to be; I've never worked harder, and love it.

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    1. Thanks Cro. Pity those retired folk who just sit in front of the tv all day how boring their lives must be.

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  14. Good Morning Elaine,

    What a wonderful way to spend your time.......it suits you and you are content. Can we ask more ?

    Your images, as always, are beautiful......I love the new header.

    I am, as you know, an early riser......up with the larks :)
    I am my fathers child, in as much, I find it extremely difficult to be inside the house.....I am an outdoor girl and can work out there all day, with only a lunch break. In the evening I sit and read.
    My husband when he is not at work, will take an afternoon nap and it revitalises him. He said to me once 'try it'
    I did, and it was great......BUT got to bed and could not sleep. Never tried it again.
    How I envy those that can do this, and still sleep at night :)

    Enjoy your day.....I just know that you will, whatever you decide to do :)

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    1. Hi Cheryl
      I don't know where I got my love of the outdoors from - certainly not my parents that's for sure. My father always had a 10 minute nap after lunch - 'just closing my eyes for ten minutes' he would say so I have obviously picked up the habit from him - I even did it when I was at work. I would sit in my car with my lunch - listen to the Archers then 'close my eyes for ten minutes' - revitalised and ready to go.

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    2. Totally envious now Elaine...............my husband does the same at work, calls it a power nap .

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  15. As I rush, rush, rush, I do envy you and the time to just be. I often think about how I would spend retirement, and yours is exactly how I would do it. Slowly doing things, purposely and enjoyably. I don't want to wish my time away, but I will thoroughly enjoy myself when I get there. Take care and love each and every day your way xx

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    1. The longer I am retired the more 'laid back' I become and can hardly remember what it was like to live to a rigid timetable - not sure I could cope with it now.

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  16. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I'm retired and drift through life now, mostly contented if not happy, and rarely have trouble filling my days. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. Yes, I agree, there is always something to occupy me - and I can honestly say I am n ever bored.

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  17. What beautiful photos my friend. Your days sound lovely also. I am still where you once were- working and always in a hurry. Am looking forward to retirement and some days just like yours. Hope you enjoy a good book. Looks like a great pile to pick through. Have a super weekend.

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    1. Thanks Debbie - I remember life being full of hustle and bustle - now life is so much easier and pleasant taking my time doing things I enjoy doing. Hope you have an enjoyable week my friend.

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  18. Enjoyable post Elaine with lovely pictures assume they are taken with your Nikon D3200

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    1. Thanks David. Some were - the others were taken with my little Samsung point and click.

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  19. Oh Elaine you are my partner in crime :) My days are very similar to yours apart from the fact that I'm a coffee drinker. Every day is a weekend day. Himself will be joining me at the end of the month. Isn't it a brilliant state of affairs?

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    1. Weekends which I used to look forward too when I was at work are just another weekday now. My husband is still working while he is able - it will be strange to have him at home permanently when I have been at home on my own for so long - lots of adjustments will have to be made methinks.

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  20. I'm so glad to read your post and to realise I'm not alone in living my retirement days almost exactly the same as you. There's just me and my elderly dog to take care of, so I ignore the clock and live each day as it comes. I love to sit in my garden with a good book, interrupted only by the need for another cup of tea or a snack; my dog dozes in the shaded parts of the garden. We usually have a wander up on the Moor, treading carefully through the new lambs and foals, when the day cools down a little. I love retirement and the chance to be free to do as I please. Brilliant photos, Elaine.

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    1. Thank you Rambler. Your summer days sound very relaxed and very much like mine I agree except I don't have a Moor to wander (or an old dog - unless you count the husband) haha!

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  21. Well, if you spend your days capturing beauties like these, I'll try not to be envious. Those clems have such elegant lines. Thank you for sharing these with us.

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    1. Plenty of photo opportunities at the moment - except it has been raining all day today! Also it has been quite windy recently so getting a good shot of flowers was a challenge.

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  22. a lovely post, Elaine. I try to live my days like you too after taking early retirement from teaching (although I have recently embarked on physically demanding horticultural training three days a week), but try still to seek out the simple pleasures in life.

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    1. Thanks Ann. I'm not sure I would have room in my daily schedule to include a training course haha! Hope you are enjoying it.

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  23. Oh yes! Life sure is grand!!! What a delicious post! I'm relaxing just reading it! I'm glad you used that lovely blossom/shadow pic for your header. our posy is lovely as is the vase it's in, I do love love and your forget-me-nots are just charming, they are such pretty little flowers. I love how you spend your days and after a lifetime of working I'd say you've more than earned it....no more guilty pleasure....just pleasures! That is a marvelous pile of books, it has my fingers itching, I would love to dive in and read the blurb on the backs.xxx

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    1. Thanks Dina. Hope you are enjoying your break and that it isn't raining like it is here. Thanks once again for a lovely comment.

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  24. Sorry about typos....tying on a tiny tablet and the screen keeps getting bigger and smaller.....xxx

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    1. ok I'll excuse you just this once haha!

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  25. I do often wonder were the day goes. I am not working at the moment, but my days are very busy. Sometimes I wish I spent more time doing enjoyable things, but guilt propels me to do my share while the men are at work. I spend many hours doing things like home baking to save money. Often I wish I had those hours for more creative pursuits. I look forward to the time when we are both retired. Life as you describe it does indeed sound grand.

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    1. Well, I could consider home baking to be creative as is all those wonderful photographs you take and what about how creative you are in your garden - but I agree it is nice to be able to do all these things at a slow and relaxed pace as well as finding time to put your feet up.

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  26. I enjoyed this post very much Elaine, it should be an example for me. I'm retired too, but my days are fully booked with things I 'must do', no actually I 'want to do'. I really should slow down, but it's not easy. Love the way you spend your day, I always feel guilty when I'm reading a book by day, that should not be so.

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    1. Thank you dear Janneke. Well for a start you have your parents to look after, and walking Snarf and that huge garden to keep in order - I'm not surprised that your days are fully booked.

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  27. It certainly sounds absolutely grand - days without a watch, without compulsion. I am writing my resignation letter as I speak.

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    1. Time does seem to become irrelevant these days.

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