The Rhythm of Days

Wednesday, May 1, 2024, 10:30 a.m.

Retirement is a process, at least here at Mist Cottage it is. This is not surprising, after six decades of living to the rhythm of the world of paid labour. The intensity of starting this process is beginning to wane. Slowly but surely a new rhythm of days is emerging. When I awaken in the morning, when I retire for the night, and everything in between, is a new experiences, exciting and unfamiliar.

I am thinking about this as I enjoy my breakfast. I’ve just finished my cup of coffee, a small dish of homemade applesauce, and a cheese jalapeño muffin. Attila is out in the driveway, changing tires on Blue, our vehicle, removing the snow tires, putting on the summer tires.

In the mornings I am awakening one or two hours before Attila, a quiet time for me. This time alone in the morning feels quite different than the time alone in the morning after Attila left for work. It occurs later in the morning. It is short, sweet, and unique in my day, and when Attila arises there is a different and welcome energy in the house. This is quite unlike having an alone time that spans nine hours. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning, my days have changed.

I haven’t had this much relatively carefree company during my days since I was a child, living on the farm, with all my brothers and sisters.

I found myself making a list this morning, of all the things I wanted to remember to do today. I have always liked making lists, and find they serve several purposes. The best is that it feels good to cross things off a list. Most tasks receive no other recognition, and that small act of crossing them off the list is a small tribute to my own agency, very satisfying. Another important function of lists is that they free up my thoughts, once a task is committed to a list I do not need to remember it. Lists also allow unfulfilled tasks to be carried forward to the next day’s list, indefinitely. Lists are also wonderful because items can be added as they come to mind, or crop up in the course of a day.

Today’s list:
– bake strawberry rhubarb squares
– make a big batch of stone soup – 3 ½ litres
– make salad dressing – 1 litre
– reprogram thermostat
– call the bank
– record yesterday’s grocery bill in the ledger, reconcile receipts
– mend my work pants

Of course there are lots of things that don’t go on a list, such as refill my daily water bottles. I have two recycled one-litre glass juice bottles, which I fill with filtered tap water every morning, to drink during the day. Some mornings this only involves filling the bottles from the Berkey, other days it involves draining and refilling the Berkey. This task is a routine task, and there are many such tasks in a day, particularly since we garden, preserve, and cook from scratch, and reduce, reuse, and recycle.

During the day I prefer to work on tasks in spurts, with short breaks to relax from time to time. There are periods when I need to keep going for hours at a time, such as when I am canning, a time sensitive activity. The rhythm of days evolves with the season.

Wednesday, May 1, 8:50 p.m.

I am finally sitting down! The list is complete. Why have I pushed myself to accomplish all this. Time sensitive projects is why. I am busy tomorrow with other things, I need the soup, and the salad dressing, for tomorrow’s meals. I need to wear the work pants. There are not many days as busy as this one, except during canning season.



Updated on Wed, May 1 at 8:47 PM
Partly cloudy
Wind 11 SE km/h
Humidity 78 %
Visibility 22 km
Sunrise 5:58 AM
Wind gust 16 km/h
Pressure 101.1 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:11 PM


“You don’t have to specialize – do everything that you love and then, at some time, the future will come together for you in some form.”
Francis Ford Coppola
1939 –

Doing what you love can be a rough road, it has been for me, but I’ve no complaints about how it finally came together!

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That’s interesting, you use a ledger, Maggie? Once we got used to online banking and had very limited outgoing payments, we stopped tracking our transactions. Almost everything comes out instantaneously, so we always know where we stand. We only have to watch carefully if we’re waiting for a check to come in, which only happens about once or twice a year.

I’m debating getting a rhubarb plant. I’m guessing it wouldn’t do well in a pot, so I’llhave to figure out the best place to plant it.