Retirement offers more choices, more opportunities. When you’re working, there are fewer opportunities for choice because most of your life is determined by the demands of your job, of earning a living, bringing up your children, that type of thing. When you retire there’s more time for you to decide what you’re going to do with your life. How to spend your precious time. This can be an asset or a millstone. You decide. What this has meant for me is more plates to spin. True it doesn’t have to be like this, a person could devote all his or her time to say one activity. But this is not my way, I’m the classic dabbler, Jack of all trades etc.
In true plate-spinning, and dropping, fashion, too long spent spinning one plate is to the detriment of all the others. First we had our three weeks away and then there was the grape harvest and all that went with it. Inevitably the other plates suffered and I’ve been rushing round trying to keep them happy. For example, this blog. For some reason I don’t understand, it used to figure on page four of Google, nothing special, but more special than not appearing at all which is what has been the case for the last few months.
I find this complete non-appearance slightly irritating and so, when we finished with the harvest, I spun this plate and asked my IT guy to take a look. He’s done some things to it, all vaguely related to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), designed, as I understand it, which is not much, to increase my readership. I pay him his fee (mates rates) and things change but not, thus far, my Google ranking but he’s convinced me it doesn’t matter and that what I should be looking at is my Google graph upon which my page views are increasing. And this is good.
A plate that is pretty much lying on the ground is the selling of the Derbyshire cottage. I did attempt to spin this plate when we got back from our ‘holiday’. I called up the estate agent to enquire what might be happening – nothing it seems – and suggested that we think about rental or take it off the market and carry out any improvements that might be impeding its sale. They didn’t seem to like either of those but rather fancied reducing the price. Fine by me but that’s not happened yet and of course Christmas is just round the corner when doing anything house selling-wise is going to be pointless. I do have a brilliant idea which, if successful, would put the plate right back up on the cane and rotating wonderfully. It’s so brilliant it will never happen so I’m going to keep quiet about it at least for now. I’m trying but this is a difficult plate to spin.
So on to the next plate down the line – my health. I suppose it’s a cliché to say that health considerations are not always top of the agenda when one is on holiday particularly when one is worried about being swept into the ocean by a named storm. Anyway, whatever I’ll just say that my cunning plan to reduce my insulin dependency has hit a bit of a bump in the road. Put simply, my weight is still going down but my blood sugar levels are going up. Hmm, something wrong here and I don’t understand it which pisses me off because my control freakery is out of control. In the absence of a health professional I trust I’m forced yet again to try and make some sense of this myself.
Sounds simple enough, do what everybody does these days, google weight / blood sugars or, specifically high sugar levels in the morning, and see what the experts have to say. But then here’s another problem. First piece of advice I read says, eat a carbohydrate meal before bedtime and reduce medication in the evening. The second (from the Mayo Clinic) – avoid carbohydrates at bedtime and take your medication before bedtime rather than at dinner time. Can you spot the difficulty or is the sentence too long for you to understand? Yes, I know it’s a question not a sentence but Yoast doesn’t rate grammar. This is going to be a hard plate to keep spinning when one bit of advice is spin harder and the next don’t spin so hard. So a second plate that’s on the point of falling to earth.
You will have read in my last blog that at least the jazz piano plate is spinning nicely at the moment. I went to my third class on Monday night with yet another tutor. He has his own way of tutoring us and again quite hard but again I proved resilient. So I am judging that the decision to change classes / groups was a good one and instrumental in judging this plate to be happily spinning away. No, I’m not smug, just recognising positive achievement when it’s happening. Just writing a well-balanced retirement blog – see what I did there?