Society tells you that when you’re old you have to retire. You have to defy that.
When I was 49 I had nightmares about being 50. My dreams were so confused that, leading up my 5th decade, I used to wake up screaming that I didn’t want to be 60. I dreamt on more than one occasion that, once my feet were on the 50th rung of my life’s ladder, each of the next 1o rungs just fell away as I started to climb. I always say that Freud would have a field day with my dreams.
40% of us struggle to decide when the best time is to retire. Generally these decisions are influenced by an individual’s health and wealth. I thought I would review my options at 65, until my employer forced my hand by making me redundant at 60.
Being made redundant fills you with a whole gamut of emotions, principally shock, anger and depression. Once a useful member of society, you now find yourself on the scrapheap of what is left of your life. Society dictated that it was time for me to go, but where? The stark reality is that I cannot afford not to work, yet I am not old enough to start drawing my Pension or pick up my Bus Pass (65 in Jersey, CI) and finding another job is proving a challenge for this aging inbetweener.
Being interviewed by people born at the end of the Eighties and the early Nineties sums it all up.
Q Sorry? You when did you say you went to college? Oh … right, the same year as my Grandma. What sort of job is it that are you looking for exactly?”
A One that I am going to be sitting down doing, but I could do it standing on my head.
Q Can you cope with stress?
A Of course, I can cope with bloody stress, I have survived 60 years of it haven’t I? I am down-stressing, that is why I am applying for this job.
I do feel that when I am interviewed by any prospective employer that a box is automatically ticked on my interview sheet … at high risk of dropping off perch between the hours of 9 and 5.
My dreams now see me enthusiastically trotting down to the job centre and arriving to find two doors at the entrance. One marked Young, Fit and Able and the other Time to Retire. Why would any employer want to invest in someone who can offer them experience and nouse? Trying to get a job in your Sixties is a dismal business.