I thought today I’d try something a little different with this blog – I know, I really live on the edge, don’t I! I’ve seen quite a few references to a Daily Prompt in the six months since I started this. So I looked it up and, funnily enough, it does exactly what it says on the tin. I’ve followed the site and now receive a daily email to tell me what the prompt is. As this is my first day, I thought I’d give it a go and see how it turns out. Today’s prompt is ‘The Satisfaction of a List’ and the encouragement we are given says:
“Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, three secrets to happiness – go silly or go deep, just go listy.”
Possibly a silly place to start – lists can be boring, can’t they? Or dangerous: when your partner encourages you to give her a list of women you’d like to make love to, mention only celebrities – saying ‘your sister’ isn’t a good idea. It’s alright though, I’m going to stick to something I know about – so that’s pizza, disco and happiness out then. Or maybe just two of them.
As anyone who knows me or has read any of my outpourings will know, I retire in September Not that I’m counting, but it’s in 154 days’ time – see the month countdown in the sidebar! Being a good, organised sort of person – also known as a typical Virgo – I’ve started to think ahead to this and to what may happen to me afterwards. And I’ve made myself a couple of lists: one is of the things I intend to get, such as a car, and the other is of things I intend to do. Looking at this second list I think it tells you a bit about me, so I’m sharing it for your amusement, delectation or insomnia cure. The list goes:
- Book a holiday – USA, Canada, Barcelona, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, etc.
- Learn something – cookery, creative writing, photography.
- Clear out the flat.
- Join the Art Fund.
- Travel in the UK in my new car – only to the nicer places, though, like the Lake District, Scottish Highlands, West Country, Cotswolds, Peak District. But not Stevenage.
- Take up ‘gardening’ – on my 3m x 1m patio!
- Put my desk together.
- Volunteer for something, help others.
- Keep in touch with friends at work.
Something of a mixed bag, really. Everyone travels when they retire, don’t they? I haven’t had a holiday away from home for ages, so I’d like to make up for that. But I’m no good at spending holidays just lazing on beaches, especially as I look like a cross between a beached whale and Mr Blobby 😦 In between spells of globe-trotting I’d like to be doing something useful and enjoyable with my time, hence the ‘gardening,’ learning and volunteering activities. Having spent a couple of years pondering the idea of moving back to Kent, where I was born, I’ve decided to stay here in Epping: it’s closer to my daughters and is so convenient for me to go to London for enjoyment, instead of work – galleries, museums and exhibitions here I come! And then there are the chores! I had very little when I moved into my flat five years ago, after the divorce, but seem to have acquired an amazing amount of crap since then. So I really do need to do some drastic tidying up – and as I plan to write and be organised and creative, maybe it’s a good idea to put together the flat-pack desk I bought in my first year here! And lastly, but by no means leastly, I’ve always been awful at keeping in touch with people, so maybe this time I make a proper effort with the good friends I’ve made in the past twenty years.
Apart from self-indulgence and my alleged attention-seeking tendencies, why am I telling you this? Simply: because I can! Cast your mind back to the reason I started this blog, i.e. my recovery from depression. A year ago I was still three months away from going back to work and I doubt that I could have concentrated long enough to write even a short piece like this. And I certainly couldn’t have put together the thought processes of planning ahead. So, as always, I’m sharing bits of me in the hope that they can help you: if you are a fellow sufferer or have another long-term illness, the message is ‘Hang in there!’ It got better for me, and I hope it can for you.
As ever, thank you for reading.
A final thought. If you’re wondering where the title of this piece comes from, it’s a Roseanne Cash song – a duet with her Dad on her album Rules Of Travel. It’s a beautiful, reflective song, which fits so well with my thoughts for September. Have a listen: