Anticipatory Retirement Blues

What can I say, here I was, walking the air nicely like the cartoon network character I talk about when I came upon this post and plummetted downwards AAAIIIIIIEEEEEEE.  I am totally freaked out – am reminded of ex’s caustic remark when I was home for a long period on maternity leave.  He told me ever so sweetly “Get yourself a job – any job.  Dammit I’ll pay your employer salary to keep you busy”.  All I did was clean his cupboard and give away all his old clothes.  Oh yeah, I also fumigated the entire house, cleaned the kitchen etc etc.  The thing is – I’ve got to keep busy.  I can not sit and do nothing at a stretch.  It makes me bitchy and temperamental.  I also like earning money (who doesnt heh!) and being independent. 

I think that this so-called retirement concept is total bullshit.  A mother never retires and neither does a housewife – and they do more laborious stuff than a normal office worker.  Even actors dont retire, they become Moms and Dads and such like stuff.  So why should we? 

In our culture, age is respected.  Greying hair and daughter in laws/grandchildren give us the aura of wisdom (never mind if we colour our hair and go ahead and blog about boobs and wrestling heh!) I feel that we should be given a chance to work until we are ready to call quits.  Of course I have no retirement plans or funds (I never plan) though I have a vague idea of packing bags and baggage and moving to Punjab or Kasauli or someplace cheaper and more friendly than the NCR.

I have seen how the elderly live in the NCR.  Its a lonely life and its boring.  Get up early, go for a walk, bring milk for the family.  Then go to the temple, spend time there, come back with vegetables from the vendor.  Then sit and read the newspaper, watch television, while away time.  Then its lunch.  After lunch, take a nap, wake up and spend time with grandchildren (if the grandchild is in the mood to spend time with you), then evening walk in the park, come back home.  More television and then sleep.  I guess it would kill me, if retirement did not.  I think life in a smaller town or a village would be better – where life is slow and people are more approachable.

I am not even talking about money – I have this belief that if you are educated, you can look after your own needs.  No one ever could make enough to fulfill the greeds any way – so why get into that.  It is things like the fear of being redundant, being irrelevant and lonely that are scaring me.  For many years, I have been at the helm, both at office and at home and this is a feeling that is new to me.

I would welcome inputs from others reading this blog …… what does one do when your employer thinks that you are old and do not have to work, and your family has grown up and does not need you?  How is one to cope with being sidelined after being on centrestage for such a long time?


13 thoughts on “Anticipatory Retirement Blues

  1. first of all.. u spoke my words wen u said’ I have this belief that if you are educated, you can look after your own needs.’ somehow i have that confidence in me too and have never planned or saved n don think i will ever..

    i dono wat to comment on the old age thingie.. but i sure kno how it feels to be centre of attration n most wanted n become unwanted n all grown up suddenly… felt it as i grew outa being a child, now i feel it as i grow outa being a youngster to a married women… i feel like m gettin into grown up and noone needs me stage already .. i think its a growin up precess eh?

    That it is Swarna – but at my age and the uncertain economy … gets one thinking about stuff like old age and retirement

  2. You cam make yourself useful in ways other than those you’re used to. We spend most of our working lives whining about the lack of time to do the things we want to – give our time to a social cause and do something meaningful like that. Even though you may not be earning money through a voluntary job in an NGO, it could be very rewarding I think in other ways.

    Sigh! I agree its a good idea – but I do like to get paid 😦

  3. Ritu, are you serious when you compare your retirement to those in the NCR that you just gave examples of. They are budhey budhian, you will never grow old. Even if it has to mean a retirement from work, do you think you would actually retire? You have your blog, you have your writing, your fiction. You would never retire, why even broach on the subject? About wanting to get paid, you can always make money from your writing, ke nahi?
    Aaajo Punjab, ohdey wargi ta rees ee nai…

    LOLL lovely response. Thanks my love, I hate the idea of growing old and irrelevant 😀 Yeah would like to settle down in a pind and reduce my cost of living

  4. How about writing for money? I love your fiction, in fact love everything you write. Put ads on your blog too. Do what you love to do and make money too.I also definitely want my own money, even though I am not earning 🙂 Money and independence are precious.
    But that aside I also feel that if either side of our parents/elders are in any need, we will start sending money into their account & paying their mobile bills online.
    So earn money, great. But also do whatever you love to do. ..err this from a very unproductive never-earned -a penny-home maker. All the things I love to do are non money spinning, may be you love only those jobs that pay well…

    Thanks for the compliment. Money, independence and self reliance are v v important to me, funnily enough they are synonymous in my brain. I would love to write for a living – just unsure how to start I guess. Yeah ads on the blog is a great idea

  5. I agree with u on not being able to sit idle… I was home for an year recently due to complications in preg and then delivery etc and i think I drove everyone in the house crazy…. every was so releaved when I finally found a job and was off from home… he he

    And retirement… exactly who is going to allow u to take retirement from ur blog… we want to read ur posts every single day…. the day is incomplete without them

  6. Well you could do something different – like teach kids somewhere( if you like) or something that you wanted to do, but could not- maybe take some lessons, learn a language….pottery, painting, or just write full time- open an internet consultancy….

    Teaching kids is good, I like kids ( LOL their poor parents would be horrified though ) , so is writing and stuff – thanks

  7. You could retire to Mcleodganj in Dharamshala… cheap living. Cheap food, all cuisines and yummy yummy…

    You could settle down there, write, read, have dogs (if you like em), teach kids something… like literature or something…

    You could go on a world cruise (money will not be an issue… remember the plan?).

    And if nothing works… get into politics… That has to work!

    I love dogs and I love Mcleodganj, and yeah! I could do tewas for all the goras who come there – you know fortune telling, since I know Jyotish. I can blog from there too. Good idea :D. Cant do politics sweetie – way too outspoken and honest for that.

  8. Well I dont know u as yet but I guess the amount of posts I have read in this blog, now I know u a lil better 🙂 …
    The first and for most thing u ought to do whether u feel retired or still working is to WRITE A BOOK… n why I feel so? well like everybody knows u r a great writer but what most important is that u are daring… u can write on any GODAMNED subjects… n ppl like u are hard to find… this world needs u to give them something like a book… yes this blog is available to everybody but how many of the population has the instant access to internet and how many of those have the courage to read blog apart from more important things like chatting and orkutting/fbooking…

    Thank you Mafaque …. it was an idea first – but people tell me that book writing is not economically sound a profession, but after retirement, I guess I can do that.
    so a book in hard copy is very necessary to reach to every stage of the society… =)

    so help them alllllll ….. what r u doing… lol
    keep blogging…

  9. Doing nothing? Don’t knock it till you try it Ritu…you might actually enjoy being a lotus eater! 😛

    LOL Ashwina, did that during my maternity leave – drove my family insane

  10. I discovered your blog from Kiran’s blog and am going page-by-page reading all through them. I have only one thing to say.. I.Love.You…
    Apart from your blog, articles being published, books and pets, I think a food blog, your style ofcourse.
    Considering that you would be in a scenic place.. photography would be interesting too 🙂

      • 🙂 I thought you want to shuffle between the hills and plains. In hills, photography and in plains, food blog, may be food photography too. (Ofcourse, with meagre adsense income, but the magazines do look out for good ones)
        I have spent all my growing up years in Chandigarh and have that Punjaban laughter, which people here in down South find really funny. But thats Punjab in me, which I deeply love. 🙂

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