Busy Doing Nothing?

Although it’s Monday morning and the start of a busy working week, I’m not going anywhere. I’ve been made redundant.

The birth rate on the Island has been steadily declining so there are fewer pupils enrolling in our schools. As a result the College, where I worked part~time, has had to make swingeing cutbacks and my post got the chop. It no longer exists, that’s it, there’s no going back!

I don’t particularly rate my chances of finding another suitable part-time job at my age, in the current economic climate ~ particularly as I’m still recovering from a work~related injury. I would never have voluntarily resigned from this one ~ I had hoped to continue for a few more years. One of our colleagues didn’t retire until her 80th birthday and, though I might not have lasted that long, you never know!

And now we never will. That decision has been made for me and although I won’t receive a state pension for a while, I’m now retired. But I’m not bitter. Seriously. This is the best thing that could have happened, right now.

In her later years, when I asked my mother what she’d been up to, she’d often start singing:
‘I’m busy doing nothing,
Working the whole day through,
Trying to find lots of things not to do.
I’m busy going nowhere, isn’t it such a crime?
I’d like to be unhapp~y but I never do have the time!’
(I thought it was just a nonsense rhyme until I googled it. It’s featured in the 1949 film, ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’, with Bing Crosby, her favourite actor.)

Back then I didn’t appreciate the irony behind her super~cheerful renditions. I even wondered if she was embellishing the truth, to prevent me from worrying about her being on her own and lonely. But I’m beginning to realise that she was too busy to be miserable ~ doing whatever she pleased, when she felt like it: solving the crossword in the Telegraph, pottering about her home and garden, visiting and entertaining friends and having whimsical conversations with Billy the budgie. (He once shouted that it was raining and she hurried outside to bring her washing in from the line, only to realise he was fibbing. But when she scolded him he hung his head, told her that he loved her and pleaded for a ‘great big kiss’, so all was forgiven!)

That she was happy with this stage of life ~ the happiest I can ever remember her being ~ has been quite a stunning revelation. And it’s inspiring!

So am I going to be ‘busy doing nothing’? I don’t think so. I’ve had 13 weeks to get my head around the luxury of never having to clock on again. And there are plenty of worthy pastimes I could sign up for. Volunteer work, clubs, classes, re~writing that ratings~busting novel, which obsessed me until 17,000 words zapped into the void, when my computer crashed. As you can see, I’m not short of ideas ~ I could occupy myself so thoroughly, that I’d wonder how I ever had time go to work!

I’ve spent a lifetime in support roles ~ personally and professionally ~ so I won’t be signing up for noble causes, at this stage ~ maybe later, who knows?

I have to start supporting my own needs and wishes: re~igniting my dreams and passions, which have taken a bit of a battering lately. It seems selfish when you’re in the habit of putting others first but if I don’t do it now, I know I’ll always regret it.

So, here’s to a contented retirement! For the moment I’m just going with the flow ~ I wonder where that might lead me?

I’ll let you know.
🙂

Author: Jacqueline King

Happily retired and living each day as it comes. I have enough, I am content. It doesn't get better than that! 😍

6 thoughts on “Busy Doing Nothing?”

  1. I think your writing will take over those voids of quiet with no clock to wind up
    and set an alarm to go somewhere….
    I wish you great success in your retirement even if it wasn’t your choice….
    for it is a cross-road that will take you to the best that is yet to be
    Take Care….You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    1. Thank you for dropping by and for your kind and thoughtful comments, maryrose, I do appreciate it! You are so right, this is a crossroads and I’m looking forward to the next stage on my amazing journey. I am planning to write more ~ the words are coming to me all the time now, like they used to, and now I have the time to write them down! 🙂 I’m also catching up on my reading ~ so will pay you a visit soon! 🙂

  2. Enforced retirement or not you’re going to have a whale of a time Jacqueline. I swear sometimes I wonder how I ever had time for work. I’ve got a routine, but the nice thing is, it can be changed which it couldn’t if I were still working. Like you I don’t get my SRP yet but it’s not proved a problem.
    Rewrite your novel, save it to cloud so you can access it from anywhere and it can’t be lost in a crash. Visit friends, take holidays, just enjoy yourself.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    1. Thank you, David ~ the freedom to change my mind at short notice and be spontaneous is a huge benefit, which is I fully intend to exploit! I’m sure I’ll fall naturally into a routine which allows me to do all those things that I’ve been putting off, due to lack of time. It’s pretty scary in a way, having to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ ~ but reading your blog and books inspires me with confidence to give it a go myself! (((Huge Hugs)))

  3. Wow, what a marvelous stroke of serendipity for you! I am both excited and happy that you have this opportunity. I also look forward to reading more of your blogs since you have some ‘extra’ free time, and I agree that you should finish that novel! 😉

  4. I relate to everything you have said in this blog. I too am busy doing nothing. I putter around, garden, dust furniture, rock and look at the clouds, read, work crossword puzzles, write, cook, do laundry, plan meals, play with my cats, walk, and much more. It all sounds like so much to do and I seem to stay busy but the beautiful thing about retirement is I can stop and do anything I please whenever I please. I get out of the bed when I am ready, take naps when I feel like it, and have no clock to watch and no one to gauge my productivity. What a gift. Enjoy your retirement.

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