A year away


It is true when they say that time speeds up as you get older. The days, months and even years are whizzing by now.

Today it is a year since I left Durham County Council. It is twelve months since I left the safety of a paid job and opened a different chapter of my life, one where I would hopefully be able to wean myself off from a full on dependency to work. Paid work at least.

I can’t believe it has gone so quickly. So much has happened in the last year and the speed of transition, from one world to the next, has been amazing.

The thought of retirement had always been an elephant in the room for me. Like death and taxes, it was one of those inevitable things that happens in people’s lives. It used to be a period when you could no longer work yet here in the modern world it has become a time when you can afford not to work and enjoy a more leisurely pace of life. That is if you are well off.

The prospect of going from five days a week at work (and more) to no days at work was a daunting task. I didn’t want to go off a cliff edge, from feast to famine. Ideally I would have liked an orderly retreat, a chance to get used to not being in the daily grind. That is exactly how I have ended up.

A year ago I was nervous about the prospects that lay ahead of me but today I realise how lucky I am. The ability to choose when, where and if you work, whether to charge or to give your services for free, is one of the greatest luxuries you can have.

A year away, the fear of being retired has disappeared. Rather than fret, I’m just going to see what happens over the next few years.

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