Expiry Date, Can we Predict Our Own?

expiry date

On what would have been my mother’s ninety-third birthday, I am pondering whether or not we can predict our own expiry date. Sounds morbid, I know, but this thought has crossed my mind many times since my mom passed away suddenly and much too early at the age of sixty-five.

How Much Does Genetics Count for our Expiry Date?

As mentioned, my mother died at the age of sixty-five. My father was seventy-eight although I believe he would have lived longer if my mother had. He was devastated upon her early demise and never really recovered. His broken heart gave out twelve years later.

So, is my own expiry date closer to sixty-five or seventy-eight, or somewhere in between? I realize there are many other factors involved, but I admit these thoughts have affected many choices I have made recently as I approach the dreaded sixty-five year marker.

Is Sixty the new Forty?

I certainly hope so. I think I am healthier and fitter than my parents were in their sixties. If this holds true, maybe my expiry date will be extended for good health. Although each decade seems to bring its own health issues, mine have been relatively minor, especially since I have the wheat thing figured out.

Early Retirement

One of the decisions made due to a potential early expiry date was to retire early, at the age of fifty-two. Well sort of. I accepted a severance package to leave my position within a hospital laboratory at that age but started a landscaping business the very next day. That was ten years ago already. Time does indeed fly when you’re having fun! This season I have cut back on my gardening services to spend more time with my recently retired husband.

Retirement Plans

With both of us retired, we are hoping to kickstart the cottage renovations we have been considering for several years now. Unfortunately, these renovation plans always seem to find a way to get postponed, with one delay after another. The latest delay was due to the recent storm and the ensuing and extensive cleanup here in Ontario.

Travel, something many of us have missed over the past few years during the pandemic, is also in our retirement plans. We may need more months and years to fit all the plans in.

Enjoying the Fruits of our Labour

Thinking about expiry dates only increases the urgency to accomplish items on our to-do list, including renovations. After all, it is important to enjoy the fruits of our labour!

photo credit

Retirement Practice AKA a Long Vacation

My husband is on vacation for the next month; this will be a practice run for his looming retirement, so wish me luck. And patience.

I say patience because I have been spoiled. Retiring myself nine years ago from alarm clocks, stress, and strict schedules, my daily routine has evolved into one I am completely comfortable and enamoured with. I have gotten used to picking and choosing what I feel like doing for the day. Or week. Or month. Sounds selfish, I know, but it has been nice. And don’t get me wrong, my hubby is the rock to my kite, still the partner of my dreams, thirty-seven years in.

Last Year at this Time

Last year at this time hubby was off for three weeks, using up vacation time for the fiscal year too, but also planning to retire. With the pandemic just in its onset, although we were not able to travel, we were able to “isolate” to prepare for our granddaughter staying here while her baby brother was born.

Obviously, his retirement didn’t materialize either, another victim of the ever-lasting pandemic.

I also took advantage of my husband’s presence to get a thorough spring cleanup in my own gardens, although I did have to keep nagging him to watch out for still-dormant plants, bees, and other beneficial insects.

Renovation dreams for our cottage and home were put on hold too as supplies were limited. It took the whole summer just to replace the base for our dock, with the dock itself still needing replacement. With most stores closed to the public, we were unable to look at the options for a new one, and unfortunately, a dock is not something easily assessed online.

A Year Later

It is hard to believe one year has passed and we are now entering a second of pandemic restrictions. Everyone is pandemic weary and frustrated. Still not able to travel and still no concrete renovation plans. No new babies (grandchildren) are on the way this year; it now appears that the birth of our grandson last April was the highlight of that year.

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a great time to clean all areas of the house, inside and out. On the list are:

  • garage
  • windows
  • eavestroughs
  • removing Christmas lights
  • powerwashing front veranda and back deck

Garden Chores

Of course, there are garden chores to be shared too, with a few branches of our apple trees on the list for removal. This is the time of year to prune many trees and shrubs, and it looks like I have the manpower to do the job.

It is also a great time of year to edge the gardens if you use a natural, trench method, top-up and amend the soil, divide perennials, add mulch, clean out birdhouses, birdbaths, and the pond, rid the lawn of crabgrass, prepare containers for annuals etc, etc.

Renovations

We have had chats with a neighbour on how they renovated their (identical to ours) ensuite bathroom, so that might encourage my resident DIYer to firm up some plans. He knows I have been dreaming of a bean (freestanding) tub to soak my weary gardener bones in. I would still love to head to the cottage for a month while the work is being done, but I will accept a compromise.

Conclusions

I am looking forward to a loyal companion for my long daily walks, although we would both prefer to be walking on a warm, tropical beach. A brisk walk is great exercise and easy on my aging joints and bones. Remember, sitting is the new smoking, so any form of exercise is a good thing.

I would also like to shop for a small garden shed to fit in the back corner of my yard, something else that is hard to envision online.

Wild Birds Unlimited has moved to our neighbourhood, within walking distance, with visitors now permitted in the store. I have purchased products online since their arrival, with curbside pickups in effect due to pandemic restrictions. I know my husband will love this store as much as I do.

My honey-do and shopping lists continue to grow! Fingers crossed we will get something accomplished this year during our retirement practice.