Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #86: Life is good.

What’s top of my mind: Getting back into the groove of retirement.

2021 was the year that I didn’t work a single day. I loved it. Then, as you know, I was drawn back into the teaching world, where the concerns of the school and the students are paramount and you spend lots of energy each day.

I quit work and then immediately went on a very busy 5-week holiday. Since I’ve been back, I’ve found that I need to take naps nearly every day, just as I did in 2021 when I first retired.

Now I know that the naps will decrease as my body learns to relax properly again. I’m re-learning how to take it easy and to realise that I don’t have to fit all my tasks into the one day.

I have TIME. It’s pretty cool.

Where I’m going: The Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

Tomorrow I head off on a minibus tour of the gardens. I’ve lived in Melbourne all my life and I’ve barely set foot in them. Time to see where things are!

This is the third excursion from the voucher I was given 3 Christmases ago. I probably shouldn’t take a nap during this one.

Where I’ve been: My Latest Little Adventure.

I’ve scheduled the blog post for Friday.

What I’m reading: The Tilt by Chris Hammer.

Last week I said that I was reading the Scrublands trilogy by Chris Hammer, and yes. Loved them.

The Tilt is even better. It’s the second book featuring two detectives but I only found that out after I finished this one, so it’s definitely a good stand-alone read. It’s set in a small country town surrounded by forest – which has beautiful descriptions, by the way – and the novel is split into three timelines. Hammer handles this deftly, with the clues and connections all falling into place as the novel progresses.

I was intending to have a very productive day yesterday, but I couldn’t put this book down. If you’re looking for a good book to give as a gift this Christmas, I highly recommend this one.

And Then I Woke Up by Malcolm Devlin. This was one of the smaller novels I borrowed to get up to speed again with my Goodreads Challenge. I found it interesting – it’s like a zombie tale but it explores differing views of reality. I found myself thinking of the Cookers and Trumpers…

This is also Australian. 🙂

What I’m watching: The Crown.

Love this show.

What I’m listening to: Trevor Noah.

This is a bit of a cheat because I haven’t listened to any episodes yet, but this morning I found out that Trevor Noah has started a podcast on Spotify, where he interviews interesting people from all walks of life, with differing views.

It sounds like he’s trying to stop the situation that ‘And Then I Woke Up‘ is exploring.

Anyway, it’s called ‘What Now?’ I’ll bet it’ll be interesting.

What I’m eating: nothing special.

Just the usual, though I did lash out and buy a roast pumpkin and falafel wrap for lunch on my Little Adventure.

I don’t mind a falafel.

What I’m planning: a birthday present for my girl.

I have a great idea for them, but it’ll work even better if people club in with me. I’ll be putting a message out for the boys to contact me. Hopefully they haven’t already bought their present. The birthday is 4 days after Christmas.

I love this time of year, with people plotting and planning for gifts to give.

Who needs a thumbs-up: the Little Woofs.

Just so constant and… well… just there. I’m never alone and I love it. They’re my constant companions. I took this shot on a late afternoon as I was on the couch on the front verandah, reading a book with a glass of wine.

What has made me smile: my parsley seedlings.

We use a lot of parsley in summer. The plants we grow here are from seeds that I was given on a community garden walk years ago, when I still lived at the old house. Her grandmother had brought the seeds from Italy in the 1930’s and the family had been sowing the seeds from the seedlings ever since.

I love the continuity of this. I collect seed from these plants every year to keep the tradition going.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Maureen Carreau

    I’m glad you’re getting back to your relaxed retirement state. It is definitely a transition that I’m still working on 3.5 years in. My daughter gave me the best advice when she said, “Mom, you don’t have to be productive every single day”.
    Your Little Adventures inspired me to take my own – lately to historic mansions in the area.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Really? That’s great! I’ll be doing a similar thing next year to use my National Trust membership.
      And yes… I don’t have to be productive every day. But then again, with my reading challenges, I count every day that I finish reading a book ‘productive’!

  2. RuthW in MD

    Parsley seeds from Italy!! Fascinating! How wise of you to preserve seeds every year to keep the strain going. I would probably plant the seeds and use the parsley and forget to gather the seeds later…
    I enjoy your blog/s! Thank you! The Dad jokes are great, too.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Haha! Now I’m no longer teaching I need somewhere to share the Dad jokes from. 🙂

  3. bethh

    oooh thanks for the podcast recommendation. I have a terrible time finding any that hold my attention so I’ll give that one a go. To return the favor – have you listened to Wiser than Me by Julia Louis-Dreyfus? She interviews famous older women and it’s pretty wonderful.

    • FrogdancerJones

      No, I haven’t heard of that one. Sounds good.

  4. Lucinda

    How amazing to have seeds keeping the parsley strain going! And how frugal!

    • FrogdancerJones

      It’s a win for both my frugal and my history loving sides.

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