I'm coming up to my second anniversary of being retired, so I figured this would be a good time to review the list of things I wanted to accomplish, now that I have time to enjoy breathing.
The two things that topped my list were learning to like to cook (notice I didn't say that I would learn to cook), and learning to garden. Both of these seemed like very simple pleasures. What could be more satisfying than getting physically involved in something other than my computer keyboard, right?
As it turns out, making those two simple ideas a reality has been an uphill battle. I originally thought a lack of time and energy stopped me from exploring cooking and gardening earlier in my life. I was wrong. It was a lack of motivation.
I now have as close to a dream kitchen as I could ever imagine--plenty or room, a huge island, lots of storage, and loads of sunshine. It's a wonderful room to spend time in. I have turned the oven on once. I have yet to turn on a burner. The microwave, the rice cooker, the slow cooker (occasionally), and dehydrator are my friends. I'm dubious about canning, but may give it a try--with adult supervision. On a scale of 100, I give myself 50 for learning to like to cook.
On to gardening. Last fall, one of our friends, a horticulturist, plotted out a new flower bed for us. My husband and a contractor dug up the area (including removing lots of gravel), pulled up the weeds, and fertilized it. I ordered and planted flower bulbs.
If it weren't for my husband dragging me away from the computer, it would never have occurred to me to see if those bulbs ever bloomed. Either I planted them right-side up, or the bulbs were smarter than me, because we now have flowers. I thought China might be enjoying flowers they've never seen before, but I was wrong. However, China might have a relatively new pair of gardening gloves. I no idea where they walked off to.
If I was living on my own, and was entirely responsible for maintaining my world, I could happily live with green-painted concrete and wire trees hung with last year's Christmas decorations. On a scale of 100, I give myself 60 for learning to garden.
But the good news is that I've accomplished a few things that weren't on that bucket list, which I can now toss in the trash. I've published some short stories, and I completed a draft novella. I guess I'm sticking with my computer keyboard after all. And I'm crocheting my way through all the yarn in my bin, a bin that doesn't ever seem to get empty (oops).