Imagine what it would be like, after twenty or more years of being at somebodies’ beck and call, to one day be sitting down having a reflective cuppa and realise that there’s nobody waiting for you to get home by a set time, nobody expecting you to turn up at work the next day or submit a manuscript by a set deadline, or even anybody waiting for you to have tea on the table by six o’clock?
I tell you, it’s a weird feeling, and one that takes time to get used to - after 30 odd years of work and 25 of parenting, knowing you can be spontaneous in most situations without any major repercussions.
I have no doubts that for some people, when this happens, there are more negatives than positives. But for Steve and I, it is, in many ways, just like life used to be for us many, many years ago - very strange.
When we started out on this new lifestyle a group of my friends said, ‘How does life feel without the responsibility of having a house and belongings to think about?’ At the time I couldn’t quite see what they were talking about, but I have to say that I do now. There are many things this lifestyle makes easier, and I would be heart-broken if the people I cared for all those years didn’t still need me occasionally or phone regularly to keep me updated. Plus, I’m in no doubt, that if I was house-sitting on my own - without Steve by my side - my view would be entirely different.
Also, maybe, what we’re adjusting to now is exactly what every retiring couple has to adjust to… we’re just doing it early (had to put that bit in). Who knows…
But for those who asked me earlier, being independent again is a big part of the enjoyment of this lifestyle, and an even bigger reason for me being more relaxed. Yes, we have to feed and care for animals, look after a home, and regularly pack up the car, but that’s also half the fun of it, and it never takes long.
Now we just need to come up with more spontaneous things to try out. Today we found an amazing cafe and got a couple of take-away coffees, yesterday we went for an exploration of the new neighbourhood… Not very exciting I know, but it is a start. Who knows, I might even decide to write instead of cooking a meal…