Friday, 27 April 2018

Retirement beckons

On Monday I'm retiring after 53 years of paid work, broken only by two lengthy periods of unemploy-ment after being made redundant. I've done all sorts of jobs, including local newspaper reporter, sub-editor, bookseller, typist, admin worker and press office assistant.

I've got no qualifications of any significance, so I've just charmed and bamboozled my way into one job after another. I did once obtain a journalism proficiency certificate, but as it was based on typing and shorthand skills and was well before the age of computing and word processing, it's now valueless.

I've had all the usual reactions, such as asking me what I'll do once I'm retired, asking if I feel sad to be leaving my job, expressing envy that they can't retire themselves, and even asking me if I'll be moving back to England (no way - I love living in Belfast).

Then there's the comment that my retirement will be "well-earned", which can be interpreted in several different ways. It could mean that I've put in many years of hard physical labour (which I haven't), or that the length of my working life is impressive (not really), or that I've been very successful in my chosen occupation (mainly bookselling, where the only visible success was finding the book a customer was looking for).

Probably the best definition of "well-earned" is having survived many years of emotional ups and downs caused by crappy working conditions, rude bosses, aggravating work colleagues, awkward customers, quirky computers, miserable wages, lengthy commutes, and so many utterly tedious tasks.

I shall relish the fact that I don't have to put up with any of these ordeals any longer and can do exactly what I want. It's someone else's turn to maintain their sanity despite whatever is thrown at them.

Unlimited leisure will take some getting used to. Or maybe not. I might just take to it like a duck to water.

20 comments:

John Gray said...

Congratulations ! Bloody hell.....I retired after 37 years paid employment

Jenny Woolf said...

Congratulations! I imagine you'll soon be wondering how you managed to spare so much time to go to work!

Joanne Noragon said...

Do keep us posted on how you're taking to it!

Bijoux said...

53 years isn't impressive??? I think it is! Congrats!

helen devries said...

I agree with Jenny Woolf...you will soon be wondering how you found the time to go to work...

CheerfulMonk said...

Congratulations! As you know, I love being free to pursue my own interests.

nick said...

Thanks for your comments, one and all. I shall indeed let you know how my retirement is progressing. Jenny has retired already and as you say, Jenny Woolf, she wonders how she ever found the time to go to work.

Ms Scarlet said...

Congratulations!! You can now become a daily blogger!
Sx

Rummuser said...

Welcome to the club. It will take a while to get used to the idea but, you will wonder soon as to why you did not do this earlier!

nick said...

Scarlet: Ooh, daily blogging sounds like hard work. I think I'll stick to my existing intervals!

Ramana: Well, I've enjoyed my present job and had no desire to quit until I reached seventy and thought I could do with more time to myself.

tammy j said...

freedom! so happy for you Nick!
for you and Jenny both. now you can love every minute and listen to your own body instead of a time clock! your health is key. and that seems to be just fine. all systems go! here's to lovely retirements. xo

nick said...

Tammy: Thanks! Yes, Jenny and I are looking forward to all those nice sunny days when we can just take off somewhere without thinking "damn, I'm working today".

kylie said...

How is it that you went to an exclusive school and never got any further qualifications?

I hope retirement is all you expect!

nick said...

Kylie: Well, in those days only a small minority went to university and my school didn't focus on university entrance, only on getting a couple of A levels (and I only got one!). I did start a degree course a few years later but dropped out because I felt I was getting nothing out of it.

Wisewebwoman said...

Well I'm semi-retired but only taking contracts that I know I'd enjoy and I like the pin money.

Otherwise I'm doing just what I want and when I want and smelling the roses and walking by the shore when I can.

Savour every minute Nick. But I don't need to tell you that.

XO
WWW

nick said...

www: I've been semi-retired for a while. I've been working part-time since 2003. Now I'm totally free to smell the roses, walk by the shore and generally appreciate the world around me without worrying about whether I'm keeping the boss happy!

Secret Agent Woman said...

Huh. I assumed you were already retired. I am thinking I have another 10-12 years ahead of me.

nick said...

Agent: You probably thought that because I'm well over the standard retiring age, and I never talked about my work very much.

Danielle L Zecher said...

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy retirement. I think 53 years sounds like a long time.

nick said...

Danielle: Thanks. I'm certainly long past the traditional retirement age of 65!