I have a term for my form of retirement. It’s bullshit retirement where I’m poor, I’m underpaid, I have no holidays, no grandchildren to tend or husband (Yes, I’ve always wanted one, but it just hasn’t happened) and despite being retired, my week is pretty full.
In a perfect week, this is what my diary looks like:
Monday- Shrink, Medicare (the other bank) Osteo, admin, emails, blogging, brain training, bed.
Tuesday – Remedial, GP, admin, emails, blogging, sleep.
Wednesday – Chiropractor, acupuncture, blogging, admin, emails, some self-advocacy, sleep.
Thursday – Cleaning at home, data entry, admin, emails, sleep. At this point you might be thinking ‘What’s with all the sleep?’ You need sleep every night. I seem to these days and I get to bed so late and it’s noisy and I get woken up over and over again. I’m just impressed I’ve banished the afternoon kip during the week.
Friday – a carer for shopping where we get all the hunter/gathering done, any extra shopping I need, any serious cooking as a one-off for the week. Admin, brain training and emails.
Saturday and Sunday – I try to go off-grid on the weekend. No emails, no social media, no mobile phone. Note, I used the word ‘try’ I can’t let it slide completely or else Monday, I would have too much to catch up on.
Over the whole week with phone calls to keep all the balls in the air (euphemism for juggling) emails/calls to keep my home in working order.
Start everyday with a personal carer for one – one and half hours, so I can leave the house fresh and presentable to be seen in public. End most days taking washing off the racks on my balcony and then often having to hang the washing on other racks inside to complete drying, unpack/repack dishwasher process the mail and bills that come in, pay the bills or schedule when I can afford to pay them, order products to keep my independence needs next. This is why I try (there’s that word again) to go off-grid on the weekends.
Weekends are for sleeping, eating, watching TV, sleeping some more, then on a Saturday night forcing myself to do absolutely nothing by putting on a film where all of my attention is taken up by single tasking. Do you get ‘Single tasking’ is a dirty word to me?
All the balls don’t stay in the air by single tasking and if some of these things seem a bit of a luxury and that I’m super lucky. They are not. All of these things need to happen like clockwork, so I maintain at least the level of independence I have now and preferably no less.
Oh, there are also the once a month committee meetings or the ‘other’ bi-monthly committee meetings I participate in to give life meaning. It’s getting monotonous, there aren’t many exciting things to look forward to.
Oh, did we notice an absence of three regular meals a day? Yeah, I prepare in advance back-up breakfasts I can pack and have on the go, on trams, trains or have lunch at 5pm, when I get home. It’s not a great plan, but it’s what it is.
I would have been happy to work until 70 because it would have meant I would have been able to and I would have a decent comfortable standard of living and life.
Hence, my term a ‘Bullshit form of retirement’.