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Gail’s ‘not retiring from life’ retirement story

“Get a life...NOW! Then, like me, you won't really notice that you've apparently retired” says Gail.

When I announced that I was retiring, a few people expressed surprise, even shock. "But what are you going to DO? I can't imagine retiring" and "But you're much too active to retire!" and (a classic) from our receptionist, "But Gail, how much gardening can you do?!"

I smiled benignly, and always responded to the 'you're too active' lobby, with "I'm not retiring from LIFE, I'm retiring from this particular paid job. I'll still be as active as I have always been in all the other aspects of my life, and can now take on new challenges that have had to sit on the back burner"

And to the ones who say they can't imagine what I or anyone else would do in retirement, (other than gardening), I agree that if you don't already have a life, in other words if your existence is just work and domestic responsibilities and sleeping, then yes, taking away work would leave a considerable black hole. So get a life...NOW! And not only will you be a relaxed, happier and more balanced person today, but can look forward to a rich and active tomorrow.

I was in a band before I retired, attended festivals, walked my dog, and socialised. Other activities got an occasional airing, but irregularly.

Now we sleep in (YAAY!), which is good because these days I'm in 5 bands, help organise 2 music festivals, write, am in the middle of renovations, attend more festivals and for longer (ie: I get to go up on a Thursday and come home on Monday), volunteer, do some sessional work (a couple of hrs a week max), see more films, travel more and for longer (have done a month in Cuba, a month in India, a month in the UK, and 2 cruises), am trying to get back to doing art (and may take up glass slumping), read more, catch up with friends more, and the dog still gets a look in!

So get a life...NOW! Then, like me, you won't really notice that you've apparently retired!

Gail Horsley

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