Actually, I’m a punctual person and rarely late. I’m not sure if it’s a character trait or a skill that’s learned. I was talking to someone recently about the skill of getting a good night’s sleep. Many of my friends don’t sleep well. I’m blessed. I consistently get eight hours’ uninterrupted sleep a night and I wonder if it’s the one positive result of going to boarding school. But back to the skill of being punctual. Although I’m not late, I often feel a bit frantic like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. It’s all self imposed. Now, in addition to all my retirement projects, I’m taking two free online yoga classes; leading a weekly Bible study on the book of Jeremiah; and making ricotta cheese. I also bought an annual subscription to the High Museum, which means I must go several times to get my money’s worth. It was worth it already, though – I saw the Winnie the Pooh exhibition, on loan from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. It was wonderful. I came home and pulled out all our Winnie the Pooh books. It was amazing to look at the pictures and know that I’d seen the originals that morning, some with the perforations down the side of the paper that had been pulled out of a notebook. On several images, you could see the faint outline of the original draft.
And I bought TWO, yes, TWO new sewing machines.
Let’s start with yoga. I’m terrible. I think I’m more pitiful at yoga than I am at playing the piano, so that means I am actually improving at the latter. My dear teacher, Nancy, comes every two weeks and says she can see improvement although my timing is abysmal and I might have to buy a metronome. She has so far avoided slapping my wrists, but I can see her hands twitch when I play a crochet instead of a quaver or whatever. But it is sort of miraculous that I am playing recognizable tunes and, more important, I am absolutely loving it and practice every single day – scales, arpeggios and even Beethoven – albeit, very very simple arrangements. But the yoga is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and that’s probably why I’ve never taken it up. I regret not having taken more interest in the yoga classes offered at school – goodness, I could be an instructor after all these years. I have never been very flexible, so the poses are very challenging, but I will persevere and the classes are for a month, so we’ll see. Jeremiah is also challenging. Perhaps if he’d done yoga, he wouldn’t have been so miserable all the time. I keep telling the Women’s Bible Study Group that I am leading not teaching, which lets me off the hook a bit. And that will be completed at the end of August, although I have a sneaking suspicion I will get volunteered to lead another study. They all think I know everything about the Old Testament and I keep telling them that I rely totally on my Study Bibles and the Internet. I think it’s my British accent – they think I know what I’m talking about! The ricotta cheese is brilliant – the hardest part is bringing a half-gallon of milk to almost boiling without scalding the bottom. Then add a quarter cup lemon juice. Let sit about five minutes; strain; and that’s it. And then the sewing. I traded in one sick machine for a super duper new one and then I saw an amazing tote bag on display in the store, made on a serger – so I came out with two machines. Sewing machines are like shoes – you can never have enough.
So, retirement is not slowing down at all. I had lofty ideas of updating this blog frequently and often. Then I thought, maybe every week … then once a month. Goodness, at this rate, it’s going to be annual so I might just rely on my Christmas newsletter. When I was researching a name for my blog, every catchy name with the word retirement as part of the blog name was already taken. But the last entry on almost every blog I looked at was at least one or two years old. I couldn’t figure it out – why start a blog and then have it fizzle out? Ha, now I understand totally – who has the time?