When I was a young student nurse in the early 70’s I noticed that men retired around 65 and died at approx. 72 – at least that was my observation. Women seemed to retire from employment outside the home and then made housework a full time occupation. I never heard of any ‘Lady lunching’.
Talking to elderly patients gave me the impression that retirement was literally a time period of ‘waiting for God’.
As death following a short period of retirement seemed inevitable many just whiled away the days gardening, assisting at local community events and visiting grandchildren.
As a consequence retirement did not appear attractive to me and over the years I often contemplated why this period of time was not seen as an opportunity to undertake ‘adventures’ not possible whilst working and childrearing.
I appreciate many activities that we, today, look on as normal – such as budget air travel – were not available in the mid 1900’s. Alongside of which we are generally in better health and wealth, yet many still view retirement with a sense of horror.
As my own (postponed constantly) retirement loomed unavoidably closer I too wondered what I would do with my time. How does one go from working long hours, travelling long distances with a high level of responsibility – to a blank canvas?
What is out there – in the real world?
My son approached the subject directly one day ‘The girls and I worry that you will be bored, what are you going to do?’
So I started looking and planning and as I became more informed I thought it may be useful to share what I found – and hopefully encourage others to share what they found. And so here we go……