Retirement - The life beyond

by Gordon Kinghorn

During my formative years, I enjoyed the company of one uncle Tommy; he introduced me to golf and my ensuing passion for the game led to a solid bond developing between us.

A gifted man he indeed was, both in business and most certainly on the fairways of whatever golf course he chose to play. On the day of his retirement, he urged me to join him for a “drink”, this in order to toast his newfound liberty, one that would provide him with many more years of unbridled joy playing the game he so loved.

At sixty-two years of age, he viewed his opportunity to withdraw to private life as the ideal means to lower both his handicap and increasing blood pressure, the latter being an unforeseen legacy from years of target-setting and goal-getting activity which, if unchecked, could have led to his somewhat premature demise.

Sadly for me, the request to imbibe with this still-vigorous relative was a serious error of judgment, one drink led to six and the rest as they frequently say is history…yet another lesson from this avuncular source – my hangover – one of only two in my entire lifetime, it lasted for nearly a week!

During his working life, Tommy was a very active individual, being here, there and everywhere in order to secure this deal or that – I pondered on many occasion if retirement would be best suited to my effervescent and thriving uncle – would he enjoy a superannuate lifestyle – maybe golf would not suffice and before time he may yearn once-again to be ensconced within the cut-and-thrust world of commerce.

By the age of seventeen however, our contact was severed as I escaped to Australia in search of a better life. I returned to my Edinburgh home for a short stay some three years later and visited Tommy. After our initial spell of intricate small talk, I quizzed my one time-mentor on precisely how he had adapted to antiquity and retirement as a whole.

Before responding to my query, Tommy, the same who looked incredibly healthy and content with his lot, suggested that we take a drink – the inquisitive nature of my questioning had developed in him an incredible thirst - oh dear – this invitation led to the second and final hangover of my entire lifetime – never again!

As he eased himself back into his favourite armchair and caressed with great fondness, a sizeable glass of Dewar’s whiskey, he delivered his ubiquitous mini-sermon regarding the delights of consuming the “Water-of-Life", thus; “This son, is the finest wee gift that that our wee nation ever bestowed on humanity”.

On taking his first slurp and allowing the effects of the alcohol to take effect, he looked me straight in the eye and said; “Retirement is a bit like sexual intercourse son, there are days when it is very good and there are other days when its not so good – but even during the bad or indifferent days…well, its still pretty damn good!"

RIP Tommy – I embrace your sentiments and shall enjoy my retirement accordingly.

© 2012 - GGK

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