But we are middle aged, we run green
Keep our teeth nice and clean
See our friends, see the sights
You may have seen the sublime Last Week Tonight with extravagantly talented John Oliver on Monday night, the programme had a segment on public shaming in which he interviewed the now 45 year old Monica Lewinksy. The interview was enlightening in lots of ways but I was struck by how Miss Lewinsky discussed how she just found it difficult to find paid employment in the aftermath of the late nineties scandal, she said she just wanted to be useful! That struck a chord. Well that is exactly how I feel, I just want to be useful. I will retire from paid employment as from 1st April 2019 (comedy gold) at the age of 46 years and 9 months. With the average age of death in the UK being 80.96 years and therefore at the current rate I have around 34 years of usefulness to take of, without being employed. That’s is nearly twelve and half thousands days. This seems daunting to say the least, however it is reassuring to know that the work shy Aussies retire at youthful 54.4 years. So from henceforth I will be known as Bruce. Incidentally the average age of retirement of UK citizens is 63.9 years old, how have we fallen behind our once held penal colony in the lifestyle stakes?
So how the hell will I fill the gaping chasm ahead of me. Well first of all I had to get my head straight, just like there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. There are several stages of the psychological early retirement process:
Stage 1 – relief (aka this won’t really happen).
Stage 2- denial (aka bloody hell this is really happening).
Stage 3- fear (aka how will we pay the mortgage).
Stage 4- bargaining (aka how much can you get for a liver or a lung?)
Stage 5- self doubt (aka do I have a value without a job?).
Stage 6 – pretending to accept the current situation stage in a nonchalant, positively insouciant manner and telling everyone you are great.
Stage 6a – acceptance (aka this is not as bad as I thought).
Finally Stage 7, nirvana a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth,(aka can I go on the Lions tour?)
The pretending to accept phase, is akin to the Braxton Hicks element of pregnancy. In 1872, John Braxton Hicks investigated the later stages of pregnancy and noted that many women felt contractions without being near birth. These contractions were usually painless but caused women confusion as to whether or not they were going into actual labour, what is now referred to as false labour. In 2018 and the early part of 2019 I investigated the early retirement process and noted that it appeared to be usually painless, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe this and therefore verbalised thoughts that I didn’t fully have confidence in, with the purpose of duping my loved ones and me into thinking I was ‘alright’.
Now I am beginning to embrace the possibilities, I haven’t felt this good in over ten years. The sinemet is working well, very well. I haven’t fallen in months, I can walk freely which is exhilarating. Although commenting excitedly about walking does feel like a mummy brag at a Costa, “ooh he’s walking and he’s only 47 years old’. Never mind I will take the wins wherever I can get em’. Early retirement has definitely been a win. If I can only sort out this brexit nonsense. Now how do I get to Nirvana, which according to google is 13,413.8 km from my current position!
I am not sure that blogs can have a prologues, however I just like to point out that I covered transcendental states, Braxton Hicks and Monica Lewinsky in one post. It must be a record of some sort: Call Roy Castle and Norris McWherter.