Posted by: jkirkby8712 | September 22, 2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011 – thoughts on work and future apprehensions.

I got off to another quick start this morning, though was a little annoyed that despite, there were still major traffic holdups towards the city end of the freeway. Can I survive a few more weeks of this? Anyway, it was good to get into the office and have some quiet time there before anyone else arrived. I would spend a large part of the day trying to tidy up a few files etc, so that things were in reasonably up to date condition for my successor. The way things are going, I will be gone before he or she arrives,  because of the need we had to readvertise following a poor response to the first attempt. Oh well, I’m sure the place will keep going in my absence, although the ‘boss’ is starting to panic as little!!!

Meanwhile this afternoon, we had what will probably be my last ‘staff meeting’ – beginning to say that about a few events lately – I must admit that I am starting to ‘slow down’ as the weeks pass, and the day of departure gets closer. While I am hoping to pick up the occasional spot of part time work eventually, it is also a feeling of apprehension that sits over me, with the realisation that I will soon be out of the work force, after 46 years or so. There is actually a growing trend in Australia for people to work well beyond the official retiring age of 65, but because of the various external interests I have, and the fact, that to be honest, I’m basically tired of the full time commitment, and the traffic [commented upon on numerous occasions], I won’t be one of them!

I’ve recently being looking at this question of retirement, and some of the theories that writers, and various professionals have attached to that aspect of life. One article, titled ‘Health Consequences of Early Retirement’, written in 2009 by Clemens Tesch-Römer, makes a couple of contrasting points at the  beginning, where it is stated that  –   ‘For many people – especially those who have had long working careers – this passage from the “second phase of life” (labor force participation) to the “third life phase” (retirement) can be a crucial event. The move to retirement can impact leisure activities and social networks, and challenge self-images and ambitions, in addition to necessitating adjustment to changed material circumstances. The passage to retirement and its health implications is a subject abounding with assumptions, conjectures and myths. Three questions may hint at prototypical theoretical approaches of the passage into retirement: Is retirement a loss? Is it a gain? Or is retirement just irrelevant to health (an “epiphenomenon”)? Involuntarily exiting from the labor force, on the other hand, has lasting negative repercussions on subjective health’  Putting the health aspect aside, I was interested in their basic theories about the first two factors which were described as follows.


. § Passage into Retirement as a Loss: One of the earliest gerontological theories perceived retirement as a critical loss. Since the career role is a pivotal element of identity, at least for those in employment, the loss of this role entails not only the loss of employment but also the status and sense of purpose that comes with a career. Should the passage into retirement not be superseded by alternative fields of activity, the gerontological activity theory postulates similar consequences. 
§ Passage into Retirement as a Gain: Where the late phase in life is soundly cushioned by material provision, the positive aspects of the transition to retirement are often emphasized. Retirement heralds the start of a “late freedom.” The burden of employment is cast aside, time and hierarchical constraints disappear – and the retiree has the opportunity of structuring the time ahead according to his or her own wishes. 

Certainly, during those periods of unemployment I suffered over the past 20 years due to a couple of retrenchments, I did not feel any particular pride at ‘not working’, in fact in many ways, it was at times humiliating to be seen around the streets when I would normally be working [this completely ignores the reality, that many people these days worked shift hours, and could quite likely be out and about at times others are working. But I always felt uncomfortable, sometimes almost guilt.  So how, I wonder, am I going to feel, to be more or less permanently ‘not working’? At the same time however, I can look at it equally from the other direction –  a new found freedom to do all of those things that full time employment has restricted over the years, but without the guilt of feeling that I really should be ‘at the office’ or wherever. I have paid my taxes for 46 years, and have earned to right to ‘retire’ and do what I want to do!  I read somewhere that if ‘the focus of employment is money, then money is also a focus of the absence of employment. Undoubtedly, economic resources, whether plentiful or not, influence the quality of life in the condition of retirement’. Some of  us a prepared, financially for retirement, others not quite to the same extent.  Unfortunately, because of past circumstances and decisions, I’m probably more likely to fall into the latter category – which means I’m probably safe from having to fight off a bevy of women looking for a rich old man to marry and live off his life earnings.

Anyway, enough of that for now; no doubt I will most likely return to that subject at a later date.  By coincidence, I have a day off tomorrow, but not really for the kind of reason I would willingly choose  –  my absence is to allow me to visit a dentist!! First time in 6 years, and not really looking forward to that little activity.

Last night, I sent off a copy to friend Bev, of the newspaper article that came out following our visit to Charlton at the beginning of the month  –  short little reply came back today –  “That get together for your ancestor was certainly successful, by the article. Thank you for sending it.  I expect that you now have a few more people you can call family”.  Very true, and in fact overnight, I got in touch with a couple of them. Today, I also sent off to the Castlemaine Historical Society, copies of some certificates relating to my original ancestors – the people in Castlemaine had suggested that they may be able to find some clues from the certificates, that I had missed.  No harm in letting them try, I decided.

Well, my football team are finished for the year, following last week’s loss, but club news continues on. .  Three players have finalised negotiations with the Carlton Football Club that will ensure they remain with the Blues for the foreseeable future.  Midfielders David Ellard and Dennis Armfield have re-signed for two years alongside athletic ruckman, Shaun Hampson who has re-signed for three years. He missed most of this season, recovering from an injury.     Meantime, since last weekend,  already a number of players have undergone various operations to ensure their readiness for the 2011-’12 pre-season period. Amongst them is Marc Murphy, who following consultation with the club’s football and medical departments, checked in for arthroscopic surgery on his knee on Tuesday. While Murphy didn’t miss any football during the year he did have some soreness and there was some slight swelling so the decision was made by the medical team to have the surgery to ensure he is right for pre-season.  Murphy, the 24 year-old midfielder who racked up an average 29 disposals over 24 matches in what was his most consistent season to date, was one of four players – together with Michael Jamison, Matthew Kreuzer and Simon White – who underwent a similar procedure and are expected to resume on schedule.  Jamison, Kreuzer and White were this season confined to 14, 12 and six senior appearances respectively, again, principally due to injuries. Jamison is the only one of the three to play in Carlton’s two finals appearances.

In the other football code, the Rugby World Cup update, shows that today’s match in the competition saw the championship holders [from 2007] have a huge win against their neighbours  –  South Africa  87 defeated Namibia  0 – rather convincing!!!  Australia plays it’s next game tomorrow, against the USA.


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