Wife and mum to 5 and grandmother of 2. 51 years old and working part time as a Teaching Assistant in a local secondary school.
No stress, no financial worries, just living and enjoying life to the full.
Occasionally I find it difficult to fill my spare time, which starts at 3pm in the week and is all day, everyday on weekends and school holidays.
I walk the dog, watch TV, read and enjoy doing some crafts. Unfortunately I find mixing things up a bit difficult. I'm usually focusing on just one activity and do it to excess, until I get bored. For example I've read 9 books this month and not had a full weekend at home. I do my share of the house work and cooking, but as Peter's retired he tends to do a lot during the day and he loves cooking with a passion.
The kids, now all adults have their own lives, homes and families. Their transition into adult hood occurred whilst we lived abroad, with them leaving home at 18/19 after school, whilst they will ask for advice about changing jobs, buying a home, raising their own children, we are now onlookers, rather than taking an active role.
That's OK with us, we raised our children to be independent, we encouraged them to spread their wings, to travel, explore and live abroad.
It has me thinking about what my purpose is in life now? Not in a negative way, but in a way that has meaning. I remember my father complaining that no one listened to his advice anymore, whilst he knew how to do things, such as buying a house and DIY, his advice was often not relevant in the world I grew up into or the world his grandchildren were now living in. The same applies for us. We had free university, although I opted to attend in later life and have a student debt. We got work by approaching employers directly, presenting them with our CV on paper. We could work our way up the ladder, rather than outsiders being employed over us. Our salaries afforded us a mortgage without fear of not being able to pay the bills and afford a few extras, we've benefited now in later life from no mortgage, final salary pensions and investments that are actually worth far more than we've put in. Our experience of doing things like this is not relevant to our children, although we can assist financially, we can operate both online and offline, something our children would probably struggle with.
We've travelled extensively, live abroad, been tenants and landlords, bought and sold properties. Hired cars, booked flights, applied for visas and dealt with all of it without guidance and support.
But now we live back in England, own a cat and a dog, drive a sensible car, with a dream of owning a camper van. We have several trips booked to visit our children, as far as Australia, I enjoy my job and I'm good at it, as are the other TA's I work with. I can be easily replaced if I chose to leave. The adult children don't need us, which is good, but we're still part of their lives (apart from the youngest, but that's a different story, not to be told online)
So I'm here to observe, relax and enjoy and I'm sure I'll put my two penn'th worth in from time to time.
What's your role in life now? Are you an observer?