Saturday, June 11, 2011

Freedom 55 no more?

My Mom sent me a link to an article indicating that our generation would not be retiring at age 65. As a matter of fact, we may not be retiring at 75, either. How does 84 sound to you?


If you're like me, you count the days until retirement...because retirement means you can sleep in until your cat (or dog) stands on top of you with its paws on your chest, staring at you until you wake up to feed it. Of course, as soon as it's fed, it leaps onto your bed for a snooze that lasts most of the day. (The plus side of this is that it gives you an excuse to not make your bed.)

Retirement means you can stay up late watching late, late the 11:00 o'clock news. And retirement means you never again have to attend one of those meetings where they use words like "EBITDA," "forced ranking" or "right-sizing."

Ever since I took my first full-time job 37 years ago, I have dreamed of the day I won't have to squeeze myself into The Pantyhose of Death, try to keep my naturally curly hair from naturally curling in the humidity, or slather my face with makeup that has never adequately covered my freckles, zits or wrinkles. Or, to be more accurate, freckles, zits AND wrinkles.

For 37 years I have dreamed of the time that I'll have time to read, write, and find out what color my hair really is.

Yes, there's a lot I've planned to do after they hand me a gold watch (or a Medicare card) and tell me, "Thanks so much for pretending to like working here while we pretended to like employing you. You owe us $842 for all the photocopies, pens, writing pads and sticky notes you've swiped over the years, and we're really sorry about losing your 401K back there in 2001...and again in 2008."

(Thank goodness I'm now at a place so small that my annual bonus is not a gazillion stock options at $42 when the stock is selling at $28.)

Anyway, my Mom tells me that my early retirement simply isn't going to happen.The article suggested that as a result of our trillions of dollars of debt, mortgage crisis, outsourcing of jobs to China and continuing increase in life expectancy, the "experienced" like me should seriously start thinking about planning their second career. Huh? Even recent grads are having a heck of a time finding work. But I'm to embark on something new?!

Being pragmatic people who want to be fiscally responsible, my mother and my step-father are currently reconsidering their own retirements...and thinking that perhaps they, too, should get themselves jobs.

My Mom says she's decided to be a doctor. Doctors make oodles of money.

My step-father's joining the NHL. He's always wanted to play hockey.

I'm a few years younger, they say, so they think my next career should be something that's physically demanding. Like maybe a Navy Seal or a fireman.

But if that doesn't work for me, I think I'll settle on rock star or ballerina.

Then, after I make my millions of dollars playing to sell out crowds around the world, I'm going to retire to the south of France in a small (but tasteful) chateau where I'll teach myself physics and chemistry and invent a new source of energy that tastes like marshmallows and completely covers freckles and wrinkles.

PS to the Foo Fighters
I will not be available to join you on tour until after the Knitting Guild conference in Minneapolis in July.


Jan Darling said...

Deb, I just LOVE reading what you write! It's an absolutely wonderful break from whatever I'm doing. Retirement career?? Hint! Hint!


Deborah Knight said...

Thanks, Jan. That's very nice of you to post. The real reason I want to retire soon is so I can write about my family. Of course, I'll have to change names so no one will recognize them. My Mom, Dawn Varney will be Shawn Tarney. My step-dad, Ralph Varney will be Alph Tarney. My Dad, Al Bickerton, will be Alph Dickerton. And my younger brother, Al Bickerton, will be "That Wretched Little Twerp Who Made My Childhood a Living Hell."