Almost all the things that formed part of my cherished retirement routine have been cancelled because of coronavirus. No early morning walk to the gym, no 5k on the treadmill nor any of the all-important social interaction with other like-minded semi-retirees round the pool or in the sauna.
No activities that used to form part of most of my evenings – committee meetings, tennis, meals out or trips to the pub. No weekends away in the campervan nor longer holidays – my Easter week in Spain has been cancelled.
As I’m taking the government’s advice very seriously there’ll be no getting together with the kids for a coffee, lunch or our usual Sunday dinner gathering. No sport to follow on the TV either.
The biggest loss for me is my morning gym trip. Getting out in the fresh air, talking to people and keeping fit have made a huge difference to me.
At least I can easily address the fitness side of it. Every morning my new routine will comprise either a run or a bike ride which will hopefully make me feel good and stop me putting on weight. I’ll also restart working on my six-pack using the few weights we have at home.
After my morning’s exercise I’m going to do my work for a couple of hours then gradually tick-off a list of D-I-Y jobs. There’s more eBaying to do, need to sort my finances, do some freelance writing and a few organisational things you usually never get round to.
Then thankfully I have my garden and what a blessing it is that the weather’s set fair for the next few days. I spent hours working on it on Sunday and will do the same every day this week. That’s the great thing about a garden your work is never done!
On evenings I’m going to make more of an effort to ring my 86 years-old dad who’s in full lockdown and will see no one now for the next few months. I’ll also ring the kids more often and do a bit more on social media. There’s box-sets – might give Better Call Saul another go – and books to read.
It won’t be too bad I know and I’m so lucky to have my health, a garden, to not live alone nor to have any serious money worries. I’m not suffering from the dreaded virus nor like many such as those in the NHS will I be working to keep the country. I also know, of course, this won’t last forever so I’m staying positive.
The hardest thing, I suspect, as time goes by will be the lack of social interaction. At the gym we never swapped contact details or connected on social media. In any case as men so much of what we do revolves around sport or drinking which is banned right now.
First world issues, I know, but I bet it will be quite a challenge for all of us getting through these next few months whether we catch the virus or not.