Where Are We Now?
It is late November 2020 as I write and a couple of weeks short of 2 years since I retired. My days are spent however I choose – mostly outdoors – gardening, growing food and long contemplative walks with my beloved dog. On bad weather days it’s reading, learning, podcasts – taking the time to enjoy cultural pursuits which would have seemed such a luxury when working full time.
Of course Covid has put paid to most of the social activities I enjoyed in my first year, but they will return.
Despite living in the same house for 21 years, I have only become part of the small and friendly community that exists in our quiet cul-de-sac in the last 2. And what a difference that made when each Thursday we took to the edges of our front gardens to clap for the carers. All around me were no longer strangers, where I had been afraid to be drawn into conversation for fear of losing a precious 10 minutes of time needed elsewhere – but friends, smiling and waving and sharing in something.
My hopes and dreams for the boys and I for the future are simple ones – that we stay happy and healthy and enjoy lives well lived in whatever form that takes for each of us. For me, if every day played out like today, like yesterday, like the last 2 years – I will be blissfully happy.
The boys are both well. My eldest (whose heart surgery was a catalyst for the timing of my resignation) is fully recovered and thriving. He was always the driving force behind our holiday habit, filled with wanderlust and never happier than when away somewhere warm. A supremely talented composer, he has managed to obtain a very hard won place at Sydney University to study Music Composition for film and television. He will be moving to the other side of the world in February for a four year degree. I didn’t realise it was possible to be the proudest parent on the planet and yet that the very same thing could break my heart. But I will cherish visiting him in Australia and watching his career unfold as he follows his passion – I am genuinely in awe of his talent and of what a wonderful human being he is.
My youngest has turned into a fine young man. Crippling anxiety overtook him in his teenage years and there were some dark, dark days. Despite mammoth efforts on both our parts, he has not been able to continue at school. I fought against this for a long time, doing everything I could to get him back on track and to try to get him an education. But much to his relief and his mental health – I have mellowed 😊. I have come to terms with the fact that the school system does not suit everyone and that he will make his own way in his own good time. Fiercely intelligent, kind and empathetic as he is, I have no doubt that he will lead a fine life, whether he comes back to formal education or not. His emotional intelligence far exceeds his 16 years and in his own way he will change the world.
So that’s us 😊
There’s little more to say other than thank you for reading, for engaging and for sharing the last few years with me. Wherever you are, whatever trials of life you may face, I wish you all the very very best.