The recent arrival of my pension documents through the post were a bit of a shock. Retirement, is becoming real. It was, in my thirties, a far off myth, a bit like Avalon or Narnia. In middle age it became the subject of daydreams, where we would wander off, hand in hand, into some fuzzy place where we would do things we had been putting off. Later, it became a place of dread, as my delinquency in failing to make proper pension arrangements came home to roost. Finally, the time has arrived.

We now have to start putting plans into action, and make some decisions. At one time I would have had no problem with this – I would simply have set a date and done it. Theoretically it’s easier than when i was younger, as there will be no employment to work round when retirement comes.

In practice, there’s a lot of physical and mental clutter to work round. It’s time to declutter on an epic scale, and face the fear about what I will do when i have no job to add form to my life. I also have to face the fact that a lot of my plans aren’t going to happen. I won’t be walking miles across salt marsh looking for Bitterns, and I won’t be writing any best-sellers in a late-blooming writing career, because I’ll be watching Countdown. I may be old, but I’m not senile, and can see the writing on the wall (which is what Countdown is all about). . No matter what I may wish, the habit is set (as discussed in my last post) and despite all my good intention I am likely to go to the grave with the song still in me.

Unfortunately for the construction of this post, Thoreau actually said that most men lead lives of quiet desperation. The good bit, the bit about going to the grave with the song still in them, is a misquote. Isn’t that always the case?

Quotes are never as good as you remember them being, which is a quality they share with much of my life.


13 thoughts on “Changes

  1. derrickjknight

    When I was 15 I was a young ‘un; ten years later I was middle aged; when another decade was embarked upon I was an old ‘un. Life went by fast for a club cricketer in the annual generation games.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, it’s a harsh environment for exposing the process of ageing. Having said that, I do know a man in his 70s who played a couple of games a year as hooker just to prove he wasn’t ready for retirement. He also had the team badge tattooed on his bottom when he went on tour at 75. Ageing, as they say, is inevitable, but growing up is optional. šŸ™‚

  2. jodierichelle

    I don’t know how things are over there, and I don’t know how things are over here, yet, either. (So this is very unsubstantiated commentary.) But I think we can earn a certain amount and still be collecting. I’d think that working a few days a weeks would be lovely if you don’t want to jump in right away.

  3. Laurie Graves

    An exciting time! But please don’t rule things out. Who knows what you might do? Clif has a little sideline business of layout and book design for indie writers. He never expected that and says it’s all my fault. šŸ˜‰ Layout for my books has led to other work.


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