By Mark Teale
(Realise Your Dream)
On Sunday morning I went to my local café and had breakfast. I am a little old fashioned when it comes to my breakfast – scrambled eggs, a slice of sourdough and bacon, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But the highlight of the morning was my large flat white coffee with one sugar, which I was able to drink from a china cup and not a recyclable paper cup.
I know it sounds a little strange, but I enjoy being able to sit in my local small café and watch people going about their morning as I have a cup of coffee from a real china cup. It’s something I’ve missed over the last three months.
It was a morning that will stay with me for a while. I had not realised how much I missed this very simple part of my life.
This one small act got me thinking, what other small parts of my life had I taken for granted?
If you are a regular reader you would know that my mum is a resident of a nursing home and for the last three months our ability to visit mum has been restricted, for a very good reason, as COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the elderly in our community.
On Saturday I made my usual 11.30am appointment for my weekly visit. This time, for the first time in three months I was able to take my dog Scout. The joy on mum’s face was obvious – not because I was there, but because Scout was visiting. Just this simple visit by Scout changed my mum’s demeanour. I had forgotten how much joy Scout’s visits brings not only to mum, but to the other residents of the home. When we had to leave, she was most upset – not because she’d miss me but because Scout was not staying with her.
One of the things I have taken up over the past few months is to spend some time focusing on my handyman skills.
After getting quote from a tradesman to clean and stain the decks around my house, I decided that, as I am not going anywhere, I should give it a go. Two weeks later I had applied two coats of stain to my front and back decks, a grand total of 50 square metres. I felt very proud of my achievement and, even more satisfying, so was my partner Donna.
I was on a roll. I bought a small chainsaw from Bunnings. I had the time, so I could use it to remove a portion of the Black Bamboo and the Giant Bird of Paradise plants from the yard without paying someone to do it. Unfortunately, I do not have a Ute, or a friend with a Ute, and had to pay $300 for someone to come and take away what I cut down away.
I enjoyed the work I had forgotten how fulfilling a little manual labor can be.
Our working and family lives can be unbelievable complicated, and it is often some of the simple things which bring us the most enjoyment. These are the things we don’t notice until we no longer have them or are able to do them.
As life goes back to a new kind of normal, I will try to remember that the complication and the stress of a working life can be left behind when I retire. Retirement will give me time to do those things I want to do; without having to meet a deadline or timeframe.
I have a good friend who is retired, and he takes great pleasure in regularly asking me what day it is. Not because he cannot remember, but because he does not care, and he does not have to worry about it.
I look forward to that day, and of course the day all the borders are open, and I can finally get my campervan on the road.
What simple things in your life do you take for granted or miss?
PK believes people have the right to accurate, affordable and unbiased information that addresses all aspects of their preferred retirement lifestyle, thereby giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions that will empower them to live out their lives with dignity, certainty and security.
Tealey’s ambition is to change how people think about their retirement, he wants people to dream, plan and realise retirement is not defined by a magical age prescribed by the legislation.