Is retirement about flexibility?

Our Webasto (boiler) turned out to be quite badly knackered so is off to be repaired. Not a huge deal because the engine also heats the water and heating. But it means that we could not travel further south this week because we would be too far away from our engineer. So making a virtue out of a catastrophe, we have spent the week travelling to Lechlade, a pretty Cotswold village, near the source of the Thames.

Lechlade from the river on Tuesday evening

Of course, if I had still been working, this would have been a far bigger issue. Vacation and work plans would have had to change. But in retirement this is a good thing. We have seen one of the most beautiful parts of the country – isolated and very pretty. The flexibility we have has created an opportunity. I have loved it.

This is a particularly strange thing for me to say because when I was working I was notorious for being organised. My diary was planned to the minute. Even non-meetings, such as doing my email, or walking amongst my team, was marked in the diary for a particular time slot. It was a very effective way for me to be productive.

And I confess that this part of me has not completely gone away. I still make “to do” lists all the time – what we need to buy, what I need to fix, what we will do after the summer. But I have also learnt to value and enjoy the flexibility we now have. Our trip south to Reading can wait. We can get our hair cut, go out for lunch with friends we have not seen in years, I can paint the boat roof.

It is fair to say so far that I am loving life on this year’s boat adventure. Every day I learn something new. Every day I have fun. Every day we get to flex our plans.