Retirement - A New World Order
by Gordon G Kinghorn
As I maneuver and weave my around round the pages of this magnificent website, I am constantly struck with people’s power of recall and the detail in which they make their superb contributions to Retirement-on-Line.
In this disagreeable age of economic ambiguity, international unrest and suicidal pop stars, I find it cheering that there exists a haven of sense and sensibility – an electronic Utopia that enables one to share with like-minded others – cherished recollections of days gone by and valued opinion on the subject of being superannuated - or simply opting to call it a day under one’s own volition.
Retirement for me was quintessentially a very difficult decision to make, questions pertaining to personal funds, full-time domesticity, perceived activity and overall fulfillment haunted me relentlessly – nevertheless, it was time - and I eventually leapt into a sea of ambiguity and fogginess – astonishingly, it has proved to be the best move ever!
The pleasures and benefits associated with my retirement are indeed splendid, as much as I would like to return to the heady days of the Sixties; the reality is that I am never going to – that decade is as dead as Hendrix, Ed Sullivan and JFK - and never to return, (sadly).
Equally, should there exist an alternative where I could exchange my current existence in order to become a twenty-something modern day…well, that too would be as unrealistic as the second-coming of Elvis – it’s not my era and I have no wish to be ensconced in the cut-and-thrust of it all.
“Life-in-the-Fast Lane” remains a great track recorded by the Eagles – as an appropriate lifestyle however – no way!
Confirmation that my recent withdrawal from the workplace was a sound move, came only recently thanks to a brief and all too infrequent get-together with my near estranged eldest professional daughter.
She confided in me that the demands being placed upon her were, in essence, undermining her social and professional calendar, adding further that before too long - and if things didn’t change, plans for motherhood would once again be put on-hold - and that she may soon consider purchasing tampons that come with bleepers!!!
I would dearly love to change my daughter’s lot and I said as much to her – at which point she scolded me for even thinking such a thing, “Life is great and your generation just cannot adapt” (I didn’t seriously believe we had to in truth).
As I journey towards antiquity, it strikes me that I’m now caught between my children and my now long-deceased parents – sitting on a perch somewhere between nineteen thirties idealism and 21st Century cynicism. Somewhere deep-down, there does still exist a teenager inside me – still believing that all we need is love, love, and love.
Equally, somewhere deep down, I question how I ever became grey – how on earth did I become a grown-up? I was of the generation that was going to live forever - but I turned sixty like everyone else.
Every new generation makes a distinctive contribution to the shaping of THEIR society – and every OLDER generation finds something abhorrent about the “routine” of the young of the day - I was increasingly becoming an all-too audible member of the latter group - time therefore to exit stage right...and so I did!
At twenty-nine years of age, my daughter is at the old age of youth; at sixty-one, I’m in the youth of my old age – I am a survivor, not a victim – I have now long dispensed with the notion that I have been discarded, or; as the Romans so eloquently put it; Damnatio ad bestias, (“Thrown to the Lions”)
I view my retirement as a deserved release from the iniquities and illiberal shortcomings of the rodent-race – For me, I have now entered a new world order and I know my place within –it’s sublime too!
Long may it continue!
© Gordon G Kinghorn 2012