by Gordon Kinghorn
I have no embedded memory of ever fretting about the unavoidable retirement day, my own essentially, the precise date of which was listed in the diary as merely another occurrence which I had to subserviently address at a specific point-in-time, over the course of another working year, and in keeping with all other entries contained within my crammed chronicle of things to do, and ‘things’ to quite possibly, not do!
One’s scheduled, enforced withdrawal from the employment arena was not an optional inducement; it didn’t allow for personal preference, nor for my natural instincts to unflappably kick-in to swiftly ascertain the best set of circumstances available to me on a given day, thus; ‘would I attend, or, would I choose, not to attend?’
My soon-to-be rendezvous with impending retirement could not be masked, obliterated or covered-up with a thick, inky black-line of rejection running through it. I had a blind date with destiny, one that I would irreversibly honour, and ultimately come to venerate with gleeful endorsement- and near-erotic delectation. AKA, having a blast during the years of one’s irreversible dotage!
Now, let me be clear, I did not harbour an inkling as to how I intended to profitably exhaust the remnants of later-life accreditation, the leather-bound almanac which previously controlled my professional and military actuality, had, for several months, heralded the irrevocable release date, alas, it was not accompanied with an inventory of instructions, nor that of an indispensable aide-memoire on how to adequately survive life in a retiree world of which I knew nothing.
Hitherto, I had no issues with age, or that of the ageing process as a whole, physically, financially and socially too, I was, and remain so, a pretty secure and satisfied individual, semi-comfortable in the knowledge that I indeed shall, one unfortunate day, ferry myself towards the shores of Valhalla, but be cheeringly unburdened and wholly bereft of the weighty baggage of near-posthumous remorse, and/or that of un-man-like regret to screw-up the concluding chapter of an otherwise, stable and rewarding prolongation on Mother Earth.
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