The new chapter… what happens now?

It has been an amazing year, one that is passing by so very quickly. It is even longer between posts than it was the last time I came here to drop down a few thoughts, but I haven’t been idle; since May the summer has been packed, full of leaving our Oxford home and the city itself, then there was J’s retirement, plus two excellent transition holidays consisting of three weeks in Scotland and then three weeks on the waterways of England. (These will be topics for future posts soon.) Now, as the year grows old, the trees are putting on their autumn colours and the days are growing shorter and cooler. We have lit the wood burner and the airy living space in The Glass House is warming nicely. Time for contemplation…

We have truly entered the beginning of the new chapter now; both of us living here in Shropshire and both of us not in paid employment. This is a big shift in time availability for our own thing, where routines are gone and there is no precedent to the expectations of what we do together and when. Not only do we have no customary schedule but we have a less familiar living space to operate within – there are no rules! In some ways that may be good, as there aren’t old habits that get in the way, but equally there are no structures to help shape our days. Yet.

We are only into our first week of what can be termed the “new normal”, so there is time for all this to evolve. I have a tendency to want to rush things when they are uncertain or ambiguous; I guess I am more of a control junky than J, who is much more likely to sit back and wait to see what emerges. I am hoping that a little of his patience will rub off on me.

So far this week most tasks have been things that have been put off because we were not fully moved in before we then went away or, because we were away for nearly 2 months, needs arose due to the passage of time.  Consequently we have gardening and correspondence backlogs, not to mention the dreaded change of address letters. Combine this with our name changes (we have taken both our names into common use, so we both have a name change) then we have enormous potential to confuse some admin staff at the various organisations where we are customers. Hey ho, such is life!

On the proactive side I am pleased that we have reinstated the weekly update and planning meeting that was useful when we needed to co-ordinate work diaries along with our personal calenders. This is a useful way to ensure we have a catch up at least weekly and it helps allay my lack of control fears. As part of this meeting we review the week just gone and that means we get to focus on the positive things that happened and what went well. This is something we consciously want to do and serves to remind us (me) that life is good and we are doing OK. It also helps us to look at anything we need to continue to focus on. I think this will be a great tool to help us navigate the next few weeks while we figure out what happens now.

Let the future start to unfold…