So now comes the ‘art’ of retirement. I’ve got to work out how to grow old disgracefully ( and at times gracefully ) without getting bored or wallowing in my headspace. As some of you will know over recent years I have struggled to navigate my Bipolar condition, and of late have taken on more family responsibilities. After much discussion with my family I’m going to retire on Wednesday 9th October 2019.
Regrets, I’ve had a few but then again too few to mention. I wish I had possibly gone contracting when I was at the height of my Oracle Development powers but having said that, that’s not the person I am, I’m not a risk taker and one thing that I think retirement will bring is the ability to try a few things with the aide of a safety net. At the top of the list of things that are important though are self maintenance, I’ve got to navigate my Mental Health carefully and ensure that I can enjoy retirement, I think that’s where my friends are going to come into it big time. You may not have time for me but I’ll now have more time for you and that probably means I’ll be that irritating retired colleague who is hassling you to meet up for coffee so that I can tell you about any new string to my bow. Be prepared. I’ve got to remember that there is a social aspect to a job, it provides acquaintances and friendships itself, the job will have provided a degree of self worth though I’ve felt that in recent years I wasn’t as good at the job as I had been previously ( that’s not held out in all the kind things people have said about me ) but I need to remember that I have to get my self worth from somewhere. I’m pretty sure that one of the key things will be structure, I’ll need to ensure that I generate enough structure in my days, I think I’m going to task myself with 1000 words of writing a day and 12000 steps a day as well, Millie the dog can help me with part of that.
Retirement does mean that I become a man of leisure, meeting friends for coffee and hopefully not forgetting who they are in between those meetings as my short term memory fades. I’ll probably find that I now wake up more than once a day !!! I’m going to do the best with the aide of my dog Millie to make sure that the days are not full of watching Antique Roadshow repeats. Also I guess I’m going to have to be kind to my children as they will eventually choose any Nursing home I get sent to !!! They say Old Age is when work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work, i'm unsure thats true as I'm going to make sure that I have fun. I also expect to have quite a few opportunities for creativity outside of work, poetry, writing stories, music, improv, travel ………….. probably lots more trips to see my Grandchildren in the USA and Norwich.
Regards my career at Aviva/Norwich Union, I hope I’ve had some sort of impact on the company and on people, I have always tried my best to be helpful and open and honest in the workplace. I think I’ve always been a good team player rather than that high flying individual. I’m hoping that I can take that team player from work and throw that into the Improv group I attend in Norwich and the shows we do, I think I have a possible long term goal of getting an Improv troop going in Great Yarmouth but I’m not at a level where I could make that happen at the moment.
I appreciate that the last few years have been difficult and I did take a reduction in my grade from a D to a C to navigate that better. I think retirement is an extension of that, its pulling the levers that I can to give myself a full and rewarding life, I also want to make sure that I can be the best version of myself for my family and my friends and I think taking ‘work’ out of the equation really is the right outcome at this point in time.
I hopefully get to write that poetry book I keep promising, I get to write the childrens stories up that I told to my Sons and then to my Grandchildren. I guess I’m about to start building one of those cliché but fun bucket lists as well, mines probably going to be a Skip list as the length keeps growing. I did 5 minutes stand up comedy earlier this year that I wrote all myself, which I’m doing again in December which was a bit of a bucket kicking moment.
Here I want to thank all my family, friends, colleagues that have helped me get this far down the road, I’m sure you all know who you are. Thanks to some really supportive managers as well down the years.
My advice in these highly polarised political times is to just be kind to each other. #bemorekind ( that old adage, treat others as you would like to be treated )
Some will have said that I’ve never grown up, especially with my life long love of Doctor Who, but some say that You have to put off being young until you can retire. Here comes the future at 100 mph ...................
kind regards & peace