RetiredI've never really "been" anything which has a title, like a teacher, or a policewoman, or a secretary, and never really wanted to be, I have spent most of my adult life, well 39 plus years of it, as a full time mum. thats not to say I haven't worked, as any full time mum will tell you, I have been nurse, childminder, head stroker, food fixer, drinks fixer, clothes maker and mender, food and supplies purchasing officer, pram pusher, nappy changer, hand holder, taxi driver, classroom assistant, swimming lesson clothes changer and dryer, readee (I think I just invented a new word, it means being read to), school outings tag-alonger and head counter, uniform washer and ironer, sports day helper, christmas fair helper, summer fair helper, argument mediator, peacemaker, bruise and cuts tender, bike pusher, birthday party organiser, cake baker, pet cleaner, house cleaner, toy sorter (lego, my favourite), and in latter years driving instructor, banker, cookery teacher, and oh I could go on and on and on, you all know how much a mum does.
I've also had some really good fun along the way, especially on the school outings, joining in with ice skating, abseiling, rock climbing, archery, orienteering, and I've been to the natural history museum, the british museum and the science museum, as well as the roman remains at fishbourne and the observatory at hurstmonceaux. and family outings when we have been to the victory and the mary rose at portsmouth, hms belfast in london, madame tussauds and the planetarium, chessington world of adventures, thorpe park and alton towers, the eiffel tower, montparnasse tower and cite de science in paris, seaside holidays in bournemouth and cornwall, one magical trip to the usa where we went to niagara falls, and many, many more. so bringing up kids has been my greatest achievement and living and learning through their experiences has taught me a great deal and made me the person I am today.
but now they are grown up and I am retired. it happened quite suddenly, one minute my first son was born, and a few weeks later, so it seemed, the fourth one is off to university and I am in an empty (well, almost, husband and cat are here as well) house. all I ever wanted to do when I was a grown up was to get married and have children and now I have done it, fairly successfully, I think, and its time to move on. its time to do something for me.
It took me quite a while to get used to the idea that no-one had any calls on my time, all the time I was "mumming" I used to dream about a future when I had all this time to myself but it always seemed to be just out of reach, just a few more meals to fix, a few more teenage mountains to climb, a few more tantrums to be overcome and a few more tears to be shed. and I do really miss having little dependents around, but what I love is the freedom and knowing they have all turned out ok, they are reasonable members of the human race, what more could I ask for.
so picture me now, a little granny figure sitting in my rocking chair on the front porch with my cat and my knitting on my lap. I wish!!! well in fact I dont wish, I am as busy now as I ever have been, I am a self employed phoenix trader selling cards at craft fairs and home parties, I make my own bread, I house sit for our local b&b establishment when the owners have evenings out, I drive back to surrey during half-terms and holidays to catch up on the older two sons and their partners and the grandchildren, rog, my hubby, and I walk all over the place, we are having great fun discovering the wonderful wiltshire countryside we moved to a year ago, we go to the gym once or twice a week, we are also renovating our house and outbuilding (big enough for a studio for me and an office for him), turning our small patch of unkempt grass into a decent lawn and useful vegetable patch, and later this year I am embarking on an open university course on digital photography. and I just about have time to sit down in the evenings in front of the tv to do some knitting or crochet, which is my "me" time.
So retired I may be, but idle? no thanks.