Monthly Archives: May 2012

The dining room

So I visited my Dad yesterday, he’s in a aged care home about 15km across town. It’s a nice place, high quality care, good staff etc. I usually visit once a week, sometime I drive other times I ride my bike. When I ride I do tend to feel a bit out of place wandering the corridors in my lycra.

Dad is getting on a bit, he recently turned 90. Up until a year ago he was living on his own at his home, but one fall to many and some other significant health issues lead him into aged care.

I love visiting Dad but it’s hard. He just seems so frail now, even compared to a year ago. I joined him for dinner in the dining room. Probably about 5 tables of residents, 20 or so in all. It’s a strange experience, most just sit in silence, eating and knocking back a plethora of medications.

Dads move to aged care coincided with the period I found myself with a choice of continuing to work, or not. Experiences like the dining room help me make my decision to spend my time as I choose and add to my determination to stay fit and active. Before visiting Dad yesterday I played golf with my son, and before that, drove my daughter to Uni (college). Retirement allows me to spend and value time with family.

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So what do you do?

On the weekend we attended a friends housewarming. In speaking to a couple we had just been introduced to we got the standard, “so what do you do?”
My wife led with Phd student whilst I bravely tried , ” nothing, I’m retired” as I was interested to get a reaction, and perhaps as I had a glass of red in my hand. This was followed by a bit of a pause and a slightly perplexed look as the guest tried to work out if I was serious.
I then moved on to outline that I was indeed retired and spent my time riding my bike and being a house husband ( although my wife prefers the term house bitch).
It’s about 9 months now that I left my job after 27 years of service. It’s only now I feel comfortable explaining my choice not to continue to work and to have a bit of fun with it when meeting new people.

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