Sunday, 12 May 2013

Magic Mondays!

Now that I have retired there is something quite magical about that most denigrated day of the week - Monday!

I am no longer at the mercy of the shrill shriek of the alarm. No longer is breakfast a rushed affair of toast and vegemite and a cup of instant coffee. I do not need - before I close the front door - to run through the mental checklist of handbag, makeup case, phone, glasses, lunch, computer, planning journal plus the myriad of papers and other items I had bought home to work on over the weekend. I no longer need to navigate the morning peak hour traffic. I do not have dozens of email to check, and I do not need to attend one single meeting!

These have been replaced with the still guilty pleasure of sleeping in a little. Upon rising I enjoy a leisurely cooked breakfast and a real coffee. My current favourite breakfast is perfectly poached eggs served with wilted spinach flavoured with spring onion and dill, on a slice of toasted homemade bread. This John and I eat outside in the garden enjoying every perfect morning that comes along - and there have been a lot lately! To start the week on a heady mix of sweat and feel good endorphins we head off for a workout at the gym. The rest of the day is then ours to do with what we wish!

It hit me like a flash the other day -  there are 52 Mondays to enjoy each year! How about that as a challenge!

Is it any wonder that these days I just love the magic of Mondays!!! 

PS:  See the recipe on my other blog Apricot Tart

Monday, 6 May 2013

Letting Go!

I received notification - via a form letter - from DECD last week advising me that my retirement had been approved. Today I saw that my position as Principal has been advertised. This means that someone will be appointed within the next few weeks to take up my job – the one I poured my heart and soul into for 13 years - from the beginning of next year.

Seeing all this in black and white – well, it was certainly a moment for reflection!

The outcome - not for a heartbeat do I doubt that I have made a wrong decision. The time was right for me. Yes, I miss the fabulous people I had the privilege to work with and lead, together with our amazing students and their families. They were the reason I went to work every day armed with the determination to do the very best that I could - it was such a great privilege to serve our school community for so many years.

I know I am not irreplaceable – I learnt a long time ago that if you put a hand in bucket and take it out it does not leave a hole! All that’s left is a little ripple!

I have the opportunity now to redirect my drive, passion, energy and enthusiasm into the things I have never had the time to do – spend time with my wonderful family including three gorgeous grandsons, to be creative, learn new things, cook up a storm on a regular basis, create a haven for the fairies in our garden, travel and explore unknown places, explore my creative side through photography, read until I fall asleep and reach out to the world through my blogs.

Yes, it’s my time now! 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

About Retirement - My Most Frequently Asked Question

When catching up with family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances I have been amazed that the first question most frequently asked of me has been not ‘How are you?’ but ‘What’s it (retirement) like?’

My reply - ‘Delicious!’ It feels and tastes AMAZING, sweet, delectable…. delicious! Of all the wonderful words in the English language this one seems to best sum up what it's been like for me - and I can’t recommend it (retirement) enough!

The luxury of not being dictated to by the clock is, I believe, one of life’s greatest indulgences. I can read, pin on Pinterest (you can follow me! I am Marian Paleologos and found on Pinterest at or watch movies - until late, really late if I choose! I can wake up naturally each morning – usually somewhere between 8.30 and 9.00am, rather than reach for the dreaded 6.00am alarm.

John and I have enjoyed long lazy healthy home-cooked lunches under the brolly in the garden – which beats hands down bolted lunches – often of a dubious nature - on the run at work. I’ve been able to dust off the cookbook collection and try some new recipes. I really do love cooking!

If we want to hit the road - we can! If we want to drive in any direction for any amount of time – we can! This has generated another challenge for us – vehicles. We are currently reviewing our needs – I’ll keep you posted!

While we have time on our hands and can choose to use it as we wish an unexpected challenge has been keeping track of days! Having lived a life determined by the patterns of the school year I was surprised to find that I felt ‘all at sea’ without its structure. Tell me it’s Week 2 Term 2 and I know exactly where I am in the year. I’m struggling with knowing just the date and month – that doesn’t tell me anything – at least not yet!

I’m sure we’ll develop our own rhythms and routines as time goes by – until then the year planner I purchased from Officeworks is doing the trick!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The First 100 Days

What a roller coaster ride the first 100 days of my new life have been!

The first heady weeks were a whirl of excitement, travel, drinking Moet on the deck of our Coffin Bay beach house and ticking one item off my bucket list – driving to Tamworth in northern New South Wales to attend the amazing Tamworth Country Music Festival. Held in January just as school goes back I had promised my husband John – an avid country music fan – that we would go the first year  I retired! It was certainly worth waiting for, surpassing all our expectations!

I felt elation, optimism and relief as I soaked up and enjoyed my first days of freedom – and also just a little bit guilty to be enjoying myself so much. I was running on adrenaline – there was so much to do!

I was completely unprepared therefore to wake up one morning to new feelings – of overwhelming tiredness and lethargy. My energy levels had plummeted to zero, my spark had completely gone. I was depressed. I had trouble sleeping. It was evident that I needed rest – both physical and mental.

Good books, the beach, sun and an understanding husband and family have got me through this. My batteries are recharging – and I’ve got plans! You can’t keep a good woman down for long!

The challenge of living well in retirement has begun!