Saturday, 7 November 2009
I emailed a friend the other day, and mentioned that November 5th had been my retirement anniversary, adding that it was about time I found something useful to do (no, not paid work, sillies!) as I had been dossing about for two years.
And in reply came this indignant ticking-off:
Two years??? it doesn't seem that long, and yet it seems forever that you have not had to drag yourself into the civic. Don't be too hard on yourself, you have not spent the time dossing around. You have been recovering from a serious illness. And thinking about your future, making major improvements in the house, helping your friends and ex relatives, entertaining visitors, nursing sick cats (and one dog) taking in four legged waifs, battling with the allotment... I could go on but I hope the point is made.
I was touched and a bit comforted. And I added the cakes, the reduced ironing mountain and the rather improved tidiness to her list. Then I read Kitty B's post in Village Fate, the one in which she described the hundred and one things she was involved in doing, and felt that perhaps dossing was indeed the better term to describe my daily life.
Her customer's theory that busy young people became busy old people doesn't seem to hold true in my case; I was hectically, ridiculously busy for many years, and now seem to have completely lost the taste for it. I am a chronically unbusy middle-aged woman now, easily given to staring into the middle distance, thinking about nothing very much, taking a casual approach to the proper time to get dressed each day, and a blank calendar is a cause to rejoice. A day with one appointment is a reasonably full day; two appointments are a busy day, and three (o horror!) make for an early night and a day off the next day to recover.
Note: by appointments I mean really important and challenging things like walking the dog round to Posh Pups for her expensive haircut, waiting for the Virgin Media engineer (yay! one came today, sorted the modem, and as a former tiler, complimented me on my bathroom tiles), and knocking up some scones and tea for a visitor. I have lost all tact and diplomacy in turning down invitations; I can now say in a tone that brooks no argument: "No thank you. That would mean going out!" And it feels utterly liberating.
But I wonder what I'll be like when I'm an unbusy old woman. I just can't imagine....
Posted by rachel at 10:29