Hello and Good Morning. I wish I could get my brain to work in unison with my typing fingers. Words come into my head and in my haste to get them out I hit the wrong keys, and then have to go back and correct my mistakes. Does that happen to you? Common errors are I hit two keys together, I get letters the wrong way round, the last letter from the end of the word is often missing, and I hit the wrong letter completely, not even the one next to it, but one lower down on the keyboard. Perhaps I should leave all my mistakes in then you would know what I mean. Trouble is my brain is working too fast, I must slow down. I'll press on.
Which leads me on nicely to the next topic. An article in the newspaper this morning made me want to shout at the screen. It's all very sad, apparently some women of retirement age are finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that they are no longer required to go to work, a paid job that is. They have all this time on their hands now and feel bereft, because they are no longer required. I see that they are mostly women who have had a responsible and meaningful career. They have enjoyed their work to the extent that it didn't seem like a job at all, it was more like going in everyday to meet up with their friends and family. Some people are like that, they need to belong, to fit in, and value the support from colleagues.
The headline I feel is a bit over the top, as they usually are, make an article appear more dramatic and everyone will be drawn to read it. Like I did this one, ha ha.
The most TRAUMATIC life change of all. What exactly is traumatic I wondered. Finishing work and becoming retired, oh.
One lady said she was overwhelmed by loneliness, I think that is a common feeling. Another said, it's hard to think of what to do next. I feel adrift in a strange world, is how one lady described retirement. One lady said I feel guilty and worthless for not working. Another said, I'm acutely aware of time running out. I feel very sad for these ladies, and hope that they can move on and find their niche somewhere else.
So what was it like for me when I retired? Well as you may have read here, I slowed down first. I reduced my hours at work and found other things to do with my time. Then when work came to a halt completely I found more ways to spend my time. For the last few months I was unemployed, I lost my job at 59, and had to sign on for Job Seekers Allowance. That was a laugh, I had no prospects of finding a job at that age, and the paltry sum that the government paid me was not enough to live on. Thank goodness I had an insurance policy which paid my mortgage. I remember when I hit that magical age of 60. I went to the Job Centre a couple of days before to sign on. The young girl behind the desk studied my records and said I would have to attend a review and would make me an appointment. She told me the date, it was in a weeks time. I said, you can do what you like, I will not be attending. She looked at me in a quizzical way and said, why not? I replied, look at my date of birth, I am 60 on Thursday. Oh yes, she said. I'm sat there with a big grin on my face. When I got up I went to a couple more desks where I recognized the people I had spoken to on previous signings on. I said, I'm going now, and I won't be back, goodbye. I ran out of that place as happy as a lark.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my job, I loved truck driving, I thought I would do it till the day I die. But life is not always the same day after day, year after year, things change. Like chapters of a book, one closes and another opens.
So what would I say to these women? I can't tell people how to live their lives, I cant tell them to stop moaning and get on with it, they have to find solutions for themselves. I live alone but I am not lonely. Every new day is something to look forward to. Every new day is a gift, living is much more preferable to the alternative.
I am no longer required to go to work. Thank goodness for that, I've done enough, let the younger ones have the jobs. I was talking to a friend yesterday as I dog walked Bailey the poodle. He was pottering in his garage converted to a workshop. He retired early because he has a good pension pot. He said to me, I have the best job ever, retirement. I agreed with him.
I feel guilty and worthless for not working, said one lady. Well I don't. You all know what I do because I write about it here. I have always considered that my contribution to the workplace has been worthwhile, the country would grind to a halt if there weren't any lorry drivers. Hopefully I will continue to lead a worthwhile life, in other ways which suits this later part of my life. I aint about to start feeling sorry for myself. If you spend a lot of time being part of a team you don't get to look inwards and find the real you. Looking to others for leadership and support is all very well some of the time, but when the chips are down you have to look within yourself. When I was at work, driving a 38 tonner, I couldn't shout help if I got myself in a tight spot. I bloody well had to get myself out of it. There was just me, out there, no one down the corridor in another office to help me. A good lesson learned which has served me well.
What was the next point that someone made, oh yes, feeling adrift in a strange world. Yes, retirement will be strange if you have spent a long time in a routine, then suddenly stop. The secret is to find other things to do before you get the old heave-ho bog off letter. Take up old interests, start new interests, write down a dream list of what you are going to do once you have the time to do it. You might want to lie in bed late when the reality hits you that you no longer have to go to work, but once that period is over, get your arse out of bed and rejoice in this new found freedom. Don't worry, retirement will feel like the norm eventually, and you will wonder why you didn't stop earlier.
What was the other quote, feeling like time was running out. Perfectly true, time is running out, for all of us, nothing lasts forever. I don't want to die, no one can predict the time when we are called to leave this earth, but I try and be optimistic and hope that I have a good innings. Have you ever met a pessimistic person? After an hour or so in their company it is thoroughly draining. No use telling them to pull themselves together, it won't make any difference. People can only change if they want to. Do the best for yourself, look after yourself, optimists live longer, with a bit of luck.
Ok, let's wind this up, I need food. Each and every one of us is alive now, right at this moment, at this very minute. Our life yesterday is history, it's over, and done with. Nice to have memories, but we can't turn back the clock, we have to move on. How we do that is entirely up to ourselves. Your way will be different to mine, everyone is unique in their own way. When you get to the end of today, and you go to bed, just pause for a few seconds and ask yourself a question, did you do it your way? The answer should always be YES YES YES.
Thanks for popping in. Catch you soon.
PS My punctuation is rubbish and I'll check later for any typo's.
59 minutes ago