Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

The Quiet Life.

I woke up earlier to the distant sound of a lawn mower, which stopped soon after. Almost a hour later, and one car drove past the house. Since then, the only noise has been the sound of confused bees flying into the windows.
The soft tapping as they try a few times, before realising it is pointless.

The quiet life indeed.

Remembering the sayings of my youth today.
‘Live fast, and die young’. ‘Better to burn out, than just fade away’.

I genuinely never expected to get old. I worked in stressful jobs, smoked too many cigarettes, and liked a drink too. I lived fast, but didn’t die young. I used to say that I would be lucky to see sixty, and when I got to sixty, thought another five years might see me out. But that didn’t happen. I think about why that didn’t come to pass, and can only put it down to living a quiet life.
I stopped worrying about being able to go to shows and exhibitions, or the ability to eat out anytime I chose to. Stopped worrying about having to keep in touch with everyone, and to meet up on a constant rota of plans and engagements. And I moved away from the stress of life in the big city, the constant noise, and crowded streets.

I got a dog, and started to wander about. Living a quiet life.

I rarely go out in the evenings, and there is no circle of friends for me to socialise with. I sleep longer, think a lot more, take some photos occasionally, and read some books. The closest I get to excitement these days is enjoying a binge-watch of a TV series, or a good film that I have been looking forward to seeing.

When I lived in London, I used to hear people talking about wanting to live a quiet life, somewhere peaceful. I thought they lacked imagination, and would regret that choice. They would hanker after the bright lights and entertainment choices they had left behind, later realising that they had made the wrong decision. I didn’t tell them that of course, believing they had to find out the hard way.

Then I got to the age when I could imagine the same thing. I remembered those conversations with a wry smile, as I found myself having them with younger people keen to deter me from making the same decision. I concluded that you have to wait for the right time. That time when the quiet life beckons, and you are able to embrace it.

And I did.

60 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. I lead a quiet life in Las Vegas, despite the fact that the Strip is the number one tourist destination in the United States.

    Life is even quieter, of course, when I go on a hike. Yesterday, I hiked part of the North Loop Trail in the Mt. Charleston area to a 3,000-year-old bristlecone pine given the name Raintree, and then pushed on through masses of melting snow to a small waterfall at Mummy Spring.
    ….Trailhead elevation: 8,435 ft. (2571 m.)
    ….Highest point on trail: 10,023 ft. (3055 m.)
    ….Round trip: 6.1 miles (9.8 km)

    As for my own longevity, I haven’t a clue. I’ve never smoked, and have only rarely drunk a glass of wine. I’ve had stressful times in life, but never let it get the better of me. I’ve always expected⁠—no, demanded!⁠—to live to a very ripe old age. We shall see…

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  2. I think my hubby enjoys the quiet life, too, but I still hanker after change. Trouble is, I haven’t the energy so I spend hours reading and writing when I could be going out and meeting people. Our self catering holiday seemed a bit of an effort this year so we may stick to coach trips where they look after you and when I do organise something, like our charity gig, it takes me days to relax afterwards. I look at what needs doing round the house and can’t be bothered. Just shopping and cooking and washing seems to be enough activity, although we do belong to a friendship group that meets once a month. I think it is important to belong to something. Hope you like my cheer-up poem. It’s not as good as usual but I did it quickly, just for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie. I too feel as if I can’t be bothered to do much around the house and garden. I end up having to pay someone to do things that seem like a lot of trouble now.
      Not sure I would like coach trips and organised tours. I tend to shy away from groups, clubs and organisations these days. It always seems as if some people want to ‘take charge’. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. Yes, I think it’s an age thing, at least partly. My father always used to say he wouldn’t make it to 40, 50, 60… He died at 76, but he’d been talking for a long time of living in a quiet place away from everything. Funnily enough, he left a place like that to move to the big city when he was young. I’ve recently made the opposite move, for family reasons, but we’ll see… (yesterday night they celebrated St John’s Eve here, with fireworks, bonfires, and plenty of noise, so quiet it hasn’t been!) Thanks, Pete.

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    1. I can imagine it is noisy in Barcelona in the summer. I remember how bustling it is, from my own visits to the city. But it has the beach, and places of calm too. Then there is always the countryside, a short journey outside. I think you have made the right decision for you at the moment, Olga.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. i love our quiet life, Pete. gone were the days of too much social engagements. apart from work, family, church, a little travel and mallard lake pretty sum up our peaceful life.

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  5. I thought I would be travelling more at this stage of my life, instead I travel less. But I no longer have that urge to visit other countries or other cities as I once did. You can explore so many places from the comfort of your own home now through TV programmes or other people’s blogs. It might not be the same as going there in person, but it does avoid all that horrible travelling and the crowds! I’d say that at the moment I am content. There may come a time when I’m not, but for now the peace and relative quiet (noisy boys next door tonight) are enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about the noise next door.
      Like you, my urge to travel has gone, mostly killed off by excessive time at airports, and the hassles of getting to one. Maybe if I could afford First Class, and get collected from home to be taken to the VIP lounge, it might be a different story. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We think alike! For us the nearest proper airport is Bristol, still a 3 hour drive away so probably necessitates an overnight stay in a hotel given how long you need to be at the airport before a flight these days. It is really too much bother.

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  6. Your words, “started to wander about” describes a purposeful journey (walking the dog). πŸ™‚ But then you have lots of socializing onlne–cheaper than visiting the pubs πŸ™‚ It could be worse, you could be thinking of long-term food storage like I seem to of late.. and At my age? Warmest regards, Theo

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    1. You never know when you might need those jars of food, Theo. Might save you ever having to go to the shops and talk to anyone. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      And it is mainly just ‘wandering about’, even though Ollie provides the reason to wander. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to think the same thing about couples out for dinner who weren’t talking much. But we often don’t talk nonstop when we are out, and we are fine. My grandparents knew each other so well after 50 years that I swear they could get by with just nods. I love quiet domestic life.

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  8. I have to laugh at all of the garbage “reality” shows on television because life is the best reality show. I think it is natural to change one’s thinking as we enter new phases in our lives. Thanks for sharing this excellent piece, Pete.

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  9. Pete, I cherish my quiet life. I do not have friends who live close by, so that I do miss. But the heat and the noise and the constant schedules are things I was happy to put aside.

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  10. I enjoyed this post, Pete. Sums up how many feel, but we never express it. Others don’t understand when we want to relax. I spent 16 years after being disabled to slow down. Now that I am chilling (as the kids say), Everyone thinks I’ve given up. Far from it, I am in full gear, relaxing.

    Thanks for such a great post on slowing down.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I basically live the quiet life too since retirement, but sometimes I want to move, do something I haven’t done before, take more risks – to use an expression of my mom’s – I get antsy. I never expected to live this long either – for too many reasons – so I want to see more, do more and live some more before I die.

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  12. I already have the quiet life, Pete. I don’t socialise a lot outside of my extended family and we don’t drink much or smoke. I like to write and bake and Terence likes his computer games. It all boils down to what you want from life and your wants change over time.

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  13. The old saying…”If I knew I would live so long I would have taken better care of myself”…..boy does that ring true….I agree with a quiet life….if is just soothing and pleasurable…..I would have retired a couple of years earlier if I knew how great it was…LOL chuq

    Liked by 1 person

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