Monday, March 28, 2011

Sixteen Saturdays

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.

14 comments:

injaynesworld said...

You've absolutely earned this time to spend as you like and I'm glad to see you doing just that. How fortunate that your grand-kids parents work at two different schools.

Put the "have-to's" on the back burner and just indulge yourself.

DJan said...

I have two blogs I follow, one is yours, Nancy, and the other is Maggie's Secret Garden, whose name is actually Karen, and that's why I confused you the other day! I hope to hear more about the eagle cam from you, but I think I'll wait to hear whether there's a baby in there before I decide whether to start watching or not...

Kat said...

Amen! Please enjoy your week left and try not to work so hard! I cannot (still) believe you take care of your grands everyday. What a wonderful mom/grandma! That's hard work. I know, I am wore out after a day or two of it.
But I have to do marathon days with the grands because I don't see them but a few times a year.

blueviolet said...

Yes, this is your Spring break too so if you feel like doing nothing, you're completely entitled!

grammy said...

I so understand. I had all last week off and the rest of this week. I thought I would get out scrapbook stuff...has not happened yet. There's always tomorrow (o:

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Yes, you truly have earned it. Enjoy it -- without guilt! Taking care of the little ones can be exhausting so take the time to recharge. And play with Picnik (isn't it great? I love that program!).

Cheers!

Retired English Teacher said...

I totally understand what you are saying. I think the hardest part of retirement is believing that it is ok to do what you want when you want to do it. I've struggled with that ever since I retired.

Jeanie said...

You deserve to do what you want with your free time. I think the hard part of no longer going to a job everyday is getting over feeling like you have to accomplish something every minute of the day.
Enjoy!

Honest Abe Lincoln said...

Vacations are fun to plan.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Absolutely you've earned it and sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to be doing. Whatever you want!

Linda Medrano said...

It's funny because when I was working, things got done right on schedule. Now that I'm not, "what schedule"? Relax, you deserve some down time. And two weeks is not that long!

gayle said...

When on Spring break and summer vacation I always have a list of things I feel like I have to do and always feel so bad when I don't get them done. Wish I wasn't this way!

Enjoy your time!

400 Wakeups said...

Although I am a business owner...I am a leisurely business owner and also take moments to play with the kitties, check in my with bloggy buddies, and re-arrange the glasses in the cabinet. I am often reminded that it will not always be like this. Neal will come home. We will have a baby. It will all fall to chaos and I will love every second of it. But for now, I'm learning a little French, growing some basil in the backyard, designing jewelry, and loving my visits with you all. Here's to us and the Saturdays that come on Wednesdays!

Deb Shucka said...

Not enough can be said about the renewing power of unstructured time. Don't feel guilty. The projects will get done - or they won't. Being happy matters more.

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