Slipping standards

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Grey noad sunhapy with slow checkout girls
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Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
We’ve been travelling full-time for six months and I’m still waiting to relax! I’ve always been a fairly uptight person but I put it down to my stressful job. I thought I would get a lot calmer when I retired and eve­ryone always said becoming a grey nomad would relax me … well, it hasn’t! I still get impa­tient to get past a slow-moving car even though I’m not in a hurry. And I still get intensely irritated in the supermarket queue when the checkout person makes inane conversa­tion instead of working quicker. I’ve got no deadlines, and no pressure … but I’m still wound up as tight as a drum. My wife thinks it’s just a matter of time … but I’m not so sure. Do any other grey nomads have this problem?

Don’t worry, Dominic, You are definitely not alone! We are all built differently and react to situations differently. For some grey nomads, just pulling out of the driveway is enough to turn the “I’m-relaxed’ switch on. For others, it takes a little longer. It is a bit unrealistic to expect a new lifestyle to instantly change ingrained personality traits. And don’t forget, being a grey nomad does bring new stresses of its own. Driving a big rig or not knowing where you are going to be staying that night is not something that everybody can take in their stride. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Domi­nic, and don’t over-analyse it. Try to live each day and each moment as they come. The new, relaxed Dominic may just creep up on you slowly. Enjoy the journey!

Don’t drop your standards, just because you are a grey nomad, Dominic. Incompe­tence is incompetence whether you are working in a stressful job or sitting in a campchair. Maybe you don’t need to slow down, the rest of the world needs to speed up. It’s always going to be irritating to be stuck behind a dawdling driver, and the inane conver­sations at the supermarket are so annoying. And what about those people who slowly put shopping bags in their trolley while you wait, and then start digging around for their credit card. It can’t actually be a surprise that they were going to be asked to pay, can it? How can efficient, organised people possibly relax when they’re surrounded by fools? Sorry, but that’s not going to change!


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