As John Bird seemed to imply, some people seem to slide gradually into retirement. And that it is how it has crept up on me. I have had a four-phase trajectory of work. The ephemeral nature of consultancy means a clean-cut decision is less obvious than when in full-time employment.
I have always thought that life is what you want to do and that work is a means of achieving that end. Not everyone has those choices. It is fortunate or, possibly the result of hard work, where your work is what you want to do and not merely a burden. The recent expression ‘work-life balance’ suggests they may be in tension rather than accord. It is a joy for work to be fulfilling.
Now the time is right. Margaret, my wife and life-partner, has worked for all our time together and is now enjoying a well-deserved retirement. We are enjoying it together.
My remunerated work is ceasing ‘Not with a bang, but a whimper’.
Last year I came across this via twitter and it is food for thought…
“Don’t hang around to be setting sun. The sensible person’s maxim: abandon things before they abandon you. Know how to turn an ending into a triumph. Sometimes the sun itself, while still shining brilliantly, goes behind a cloud so nobody can see it setting, leaving people in suspense as to whether it has or not.”
The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence by Battasar Gracian (This is over 350 years old).
I feel inclined to continue writing, and using social media for my views. This website and blog seems a good enough vehicle as any. It will increasingly reflect the pastimes of active retirement: golf, bowls, walking, photography, music and the parish council / local community. Also a little more of, using the term I have adopted, life-curation.
As matter of interest the text above continues, sharply…
“To avoid being slighted, avoid being seen in decline. Don’t wait until everyone turns their back on you, burying you alive to regret but dead to esteem. Someone sharp retires a racehorse at the right time, not waiting until everyone laughs when it falls in mid-race. Let beauty astutely shatters her mirror when the time is right, not impatiently and too late when she sees her own illusions shattered in it.”
For more on this theme read my blogpost A job, a sport and a hobby.