Just occasionally, I read something that gets my piss boiling.
Strangely enough, this came on this occasion from the most unlikely source – the Waitrose “Love Life” magazine. The article in question, “Feel fabulous at any age” was discussing how we cope with the various milestone ages in our lives and was clearly written by someone with absolutely no idea whatsoever of what retirement is going to be like.
Here’s the passage that got me going :
By 65, you’re at your happiest with life and you want to stay that way. Though socialising can be harder once you’ve retired, it’s important to keep it up. We all want to feel needed, so if family and work don’t need you, find another outlet. Use your skills to help others and, if needed, retrain. By giving back, you’ll gain the purpose and pleasure that are crucial to your continued happiness…
What an absolute crock of shite!
I always remember when I first started going on regular walks with the Ramblers. It was one of the things I always enjoyed doing but, inevitably, work got in the way so I was delighted to be able to go a bit more regularly once I had packed in work. You could always tell when the person you were chatting to had only just retired – because the first thing they always asked you was what you used to do for a living. This was usually followed by a twenty minute lecture on their old job!
Conversely, I have many retired friends who have never discussed their work. In the majority of cases, I have no idea what they used to do to earn a crust. OK, occasionally it would come up, For example, I was talking to a fellow last week about decorating and he gave me a few tips because he used to be a painter and decorator. This was news to me despite the fact that I’ve known him for 5 years.
Any committee members out there reading this? If so, you might relate to this : I’ve lost count of the number of committees I’ve been asked to join since I retired. The minute you join a new club, they pounce on you. The general assumption seems to be that if you’ve just joined, then they need to get you into the job quick while you are still looking for something to fill that void called ‘work’.
And retraining? You have got to be kidding!!! What the hell do I want to retrain for at retirement age? I have a lifetime of experience behind me that I can draw on if I want to. Why would I want to learn to do something else other than as a hobby? I just gave up work. I’m not looking for more work. Especially unpaid work.
I spent my working life being labelled as one thing or another. I spent my home life being a father, a husband, a breadwinner – so give me a break.
The only label I need now is “me” and that gives me sufficient purpose and pleasure, thank you very much. I gave all my life and earned every penny by the sweat of my brow. The last thing I need is an ‘outlet’ because I’m contented, happy and needed by the people that matter to me.
‘Giving back’, my arse! Nobody ever gave me anything, so there’s nothing to return…