Thoughts over coffee

“When was the last time you had a blood-pressure check?”, the optometrist asked me after he looked into my eyes with the torch.

“Why, is there something to worry about?”, I asked him. I then told him I had an operation a few months ago, had my blood pressure taken, and was told there was nothing to worry about “for a man of my age”.

“A lot of people naturally have higher blood pressure, but it’s something I noticed which might be worth checking”, the optometrist told me.

A day later, I’m still thinking about what he said. It was possibly the best visit to the optometrist I’ve ever had. Most visits have involved a quick case of “identify the blurry letters”, and then being sent out to select new frames. But the guy yesterday morning was really thorough.

He even added a few tips along the way about using multifocals. “If you’re using a screen, you might find reading glasses are better than multifocals”, he told me. Today, I tried it, and he was right due to the focal range. It was clearer!

And yes, I have selected some new frames!! :) I recently got a pay-rise so I’ve gone a little “upmarket” this time. I’ve gone blue, not black this time, too.

The visit to the optometrist was a timely reminder that I’m getting older.

Another reminder is getting in my pyjamas earlier and earlier every night. Crochet rug by Pat

I’m also currently taking part in a series of meetings at work about superannuation and retirement. I think I’m okay, financially speaking, though still open to the idea of “marrying up”. All reasonable offers will be considered. :)

Though many family members have had retirement “forced” upon them (due to illness), I’m not feeling that way right now. I turn 57 at the end of the year, and my plan has been, and continues to be, to retire from full-time work at 60. I’m in a defined benefit superannuation scheme, and that’s when my benefit “matures”. If I was made redundant in the next couple of years I could access the superannuation pension, but right now 60 seems like a good age.

I don’t have children, and it’s highly unlikely I ever will, and so the desire to leave a massive inheritance behind isn’t a motivation. It’s all about having a good next part of my life.

Earlier today on Twitter, a colleague commented “So have you heard about “quiet quitting”? it’s where you don’t outright quit your job, but you quit the idea you should go over and above what your job actually is.. “ My reply was “When you reach that stage, it might be time to make room for someone else”

I’m already stepping back from a few things at work and mentoring a few people for the sake of their own careers, and to make sure I don’t leave the ABC and take all of my years of knowledge with me.

I’m pretty clear in my mind that, for me, retirement from full-time work involves volunteer work around some of the things that really interest me, including historical research, and likely helping develop the next generation of people with an interest in radio. And likely helping with family and friends. I don’t think I want to be a “paid consultant”, I just want to make a contribution.

The last few years have reminded me I don’t have so much of an ego that I feel like I’m irreplaceable. There’s an amazing generation of people coming through. Though there will be some people who will miss me when I retire, I think it’s also likely I’ll soon be forgotten for my work. “Oh year, whatever happened to him? Isn’t he living on some hippie commune at Nimbin?” they might likely say.

And besides, you never know what tomorrow might bring.

Coffee and cake (gluten-free brownies) on Crown Street, Surry Hills

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  1. Andrew

    You are right. You will be missed as a person but your work won’t be no matter how well you think you did your job.
    Defined benefit super is what I had. You will be quite comfortable. I feel bad for those on performance based funds, as is the norm now. You’ll have enough to keep you going until you get an old age pension at 67. I don’t know about marrying up?
    Yep, multi focals away from home but two stage reading glasses at home, the upper stage for pc screen and the lower for book reading.
    Upon retirement I had ideas of doing voluntary work. Manana. Then I accused my lazy self of not getting my act together and doing something volunteer wise. And then I thought, I don’t effing well care. I am happy doing nothing and pleasing myself about what I do in my retirement years. My life is full.

    1. James O'Brien

      Thanks Andrew for your commonsense/practical advice. But please give some tips to “marrying-up”. Surely you have some single friends who want to move to Lismore? :):)

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