Peter and I have two weeks off from Wild Rumpus Daycare for Grandkids, because mommy and daddy, being teachers in two different school districts, have spring break at different times.
It's like having sixteen consecutive Saturdays.
Peter is using the time to get ahead of schedule with his work. I, on the other hand, am feeling the freedom of retirement... unstructured days, time on my hands, freedom.
I headed into this "vacation" with a long list of projects: clean out a couple of closets, write some letters, take care of several items of paperwork, set an appointment with the eye doctor, hem some jeans, practice some tap dance steps and drumming routines, get out and walk every day, and about a dozen more.
What I actually did in week one: read blogs, write blogs, watch the Hornby Island Eagle Cam, play Snood on my iPad, try out a new photo editing program called Picnik, and sleep late every morning. Oh, and shovel snow one day, and play with the kids a couple of times when they came to visit.
In fairness, full-time daycare is hard work and I needed the break. And I still have another week to do some of those projects. Besides, there's not much urgency; most could be done just as well this summer.
When I was working, I always had a long list of tasks, and during weekends and vacations I often felt as though I was supposed to spend my time doing them. Mind you, I frequently overrode that sense of obligation. But at the end of a string of self-indulgent days, I would be angry with myself. I'd focus on all the "priorities" that didn't get done, and fail to appreciate the satisfaction and enjoyment of moving at my own pace and doing unplanned things that grabbed my attention.
I do intend to address a few of those tasks in the coming week, the second half of our sixteen Saturdays. But I'm not beating myself up about them. I value the time I spend reading other people's blog offerings and thinking about the ideas, experiences, great quotations, and stunning art that people share here in blogland. I like being able to just relax, reflect, watch an eagle onscreen or a cardinal in the backyard. If I ever feel a twinge of guilt, I will remind myself: I'm retired now, and I've earned it.