“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”
So, I’ve downsized my life, my house, thrown away all the clutter of the past, paid off the mortgage, reorganised my finances so I can live within my means, I’ve even made a new will. The apartment is clean, the car is serviced.
Yet still I find myself getting up at some ungodly hour to work 18hours per week at a job I no longer have any passion for and if I’m honest, I increasingly have less energy for its considerable physical, emotional and intellectual demands.
Lots of people would envy my position, my freedom to walk away if I wish. I am no longer a wage slave and after over 50 years of working (if you count the paper rounds and Saturday jobs) what is stopping me…….
I don’t know!!!!
Maybe its the fear of the unknown.
Maybe its the thought of endless days stretching in front of me with no commitment, no purpose.
I suppose my generation of UK baby boomers are the first to have this dilemma, as prior to the 2010 Age Discrimination Act, most places of employment had set retirement ages.
Now its illegal to retire an employee at a set age,so we are put in a situation where we have to decide for our selves……another thing I can blame on the government. Lol!!
We go to work, mainly because we have to feed ourselves and our families, to keep a roof over our heads. If we are lucky we find an occupation that fulfills us. Work can not only provide money, but status, an outlet for our creative, caring, or organisational skills. It also can give us a purpose, a reason for being. And also, no matter how much we tell ourselves its not important, I think a job, no matter how humble, gives us some self esteem.
On the other hand, I keep thinking, life is now too short to continue to do something that no longer brings me joy, yet the money I earn funds my travel so indirectly does bring joy.
But after the year when I nearly lost Micheal, is an ability to travel really important? I want to spend as much time as I can making as many good memories with him, as I can.
My family history shows me I come from a long line of hard working women, who overcame adversity to provide for their children. As a child I was never given the model that woman’s role was in the home and regarded my friends mothers who did not work a strange. Maybe hard working is in my DNA. Indeed my brother who is over 70 worked until recently, then was reluctantly retired by his son.
So maybe I need to make a list. … Usually I hate this idea of projecting into the future, a five year plan. ” where do you want to be in 5 years time?
This mind set is ok for career ambitious whizz kids or business, but for people like me it gets in the way of enjoying the moment. In true AA style, I try to live, one day at a time, because the future is so uncertain. But maybe a list of things I would like to do, might help my transition.
But just at this moment in time I’m finding it hard to think of anything I particularly want to do. Lol!
Which reminds me of the serenity prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
courage to change the things I can
..and the wisdom to know the difference!
I’m also reminded of the Sanskrit poem
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth;
The glory of action;
The splendor of achievement;
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
SO, INSTEAD OF RUMINATING ABOUT IT, MAYBE I SHOULD GO AND DO SOMETHING USEFUL INSTEAD!.
Hi Denise so happy to read another of your thoughtful blog posts. I can only relate my experience:
DH and I retired on the same day last December and it has been really wonderful for us. Kenny is on-call so works whenever he wants… Probably 18 hours per month instead of per week. He values the continued contact with patients and colleagues (he is a substance abuse counselor) and the $ comes in handy. I worked for 45 years and was devoted to my employers. It was satisfying for us both. But as much as I still care about the companies I worked for, I consider this my first real chance at self motivation, direction, making decisions based solely on what is right for me and Kenny in the moment. Writing this from our apt on ile at Louis where we are spending four weeks, drowning in beauty. Good luck with your dilemma.
Thanks for your perspective Lauren. It really helps to hear other peoples experience.
Your apartment on isle St Louis sounds idillic. We spent a month in Paris in 2000, but after 3 weeks I missed my family too much. Its difficult to get travel insurance for Michael now, so I’m glad we did when we could.
However I like your description of ” first real chance of self motivation”. Gives me food for thought. love Denise.
Saying that I don’t think I want to know – and certainly cannot plan – where I want to be in 5 years’ time! It’s frightening for you young, and the young-er, to think about that these days too. My parents retired these past few years and don’t seem to have looked back though. Hope you make the choice right for you.
Hi FM. As always I think I’m over analysing stuff. When I try to think of what I REALLY want to do its difficult to come up with something. Actually I’m quite content, which is really a nice place to be. I should be grateful I’ve got the choice! Love Denise
Provided that your pension is enough to still allows you to travel then I think that you should retire. Quit this job that no longer fulfills you and enjoy your time with Michael and your family, travel, and also get involved in some light volunteering activity because you’ll need it. What does Michael say about this ?
Hi Anne, Michael came up with a view the other day, that I AM retired and I’ve just got a “little” job.
Now I’ve turned it round like that, its amazing how it’s become so much easier to do my job. I view it as “voluntary” now. My job is pretty worthwhile so i might as well get paid a very good hourly rate as do voluntary work for nothing.
I also am expanding my non paid charitable activities.
I think I will know when the time is right.
Just found you again Denise! I fell out of love with my job and retired at 64 – and it took me two years to come to terms with it. But I now love it – it feels so good to be able to do anything I feel like each day – freedom! xxx
Six months on and I still work two days a week at a job I frankly hate. All I’m now working for is the money. Which is not rewarding at all. Once Christmas is over and give bought the presents I will consider giving notice.
I’ve fillledcmy life with other things and really don’t have time to work! Lol!……and maybe I’ll start blogging more regularly.
Nice to hear from you.😁