Sunday, April 07, 2013
OK, it's a bit of a shock.
But sixty-two is the new forty-two, right? Or maybe thirty-two? I'm at least as healthy as I was 30 years ago. And although I definitely don't look thirty-two, I pretty often feel thirty-two.
My dad at sixty-two was retired at least 6 years from a job he'd come to hate. After retirement and prior to his death in 1997, he spent about 30 years doing nothing: watching TV, reading murder mysteries, playing a little golf. My mother (10 years younger, a former school teacher who became a traditional housewife upon marriage ) didn't much enjoy the change to her own routines and volunteer commitments created by dad's retirement. They didn't, frankly, make retirement look appealing. And she died too in 1997, just hours before my dad.
When I was returning to the workplace after time out with a sick little guy (who is now almost 26!) , mandatory retirement at 65 was still legal in Canada. I wanted to retrain for a job where I couldn't be compelled to retire, so I switched from college teaching to law. Which meant that I'd be self-employed.
And it was a good call. If I had kept on teaching (a job where there was a whole lot of grousing and politics and union "entitlement") I'd be retired. But: there is no way I'd like to be out of the workplace. Regardless of legal changes, I'm still seeing people getting pushed out of the workplace at 65 and much younger . . . . But not me. I'm just hitting my stride, really!!
Most of my former college colleagues are retired. And when I run into them . . .yup, they're handling retirement pretty much the way my own father did.
I like working. It can be a tough and stressful job, sure: and I'm not saying I like every minute of every day. But on balance: it's a way of making a difference and keeping the brain ticking over ferociously and keeping me engaged in life.
I'd like to keep working as long as I can.
I like learning new stuff, and my job makes that absolutely necessary. (Also love learning new stuff outside the job. Just acquired an iPhone, for example, and am having fun texting and adding apps, such as the Audobon wildflower site. Really enjoyed that Amy Cuddy TED talk on body language and cortisol levels mentioned in yesterday's blog: the link is there if you'd like to check it out too.)
I'm not remotely ready for interminable vacations on a beach watching the sun set through a glass of wine.
I'm not ready for elastic-waisted pants either. It's fun to dress up for work! For my 62nd birthday I've treated myself to a new soft spring green leather jacket, just about the colour of my new background: so pretty!! It's good to have a (superficial, vain) reason to keep in shape (in addition to all those "better" and more serious reasons, of course!!)
OK, I have many friends ("real" and "virtual", supposing there was a difference) who are doing a way better job of retirement than that. Running. Strengh training. Caring for grandbabies. Volunteering. Consulting. And I'm not being judgmental at all at all. Whatever works.
Here's to sixty-two!! For me, sixty-two my way. At the very least, it beats the alternative which was looming so close in 2009 . . . . yes it does. And I never forget it!