It is an interesting time as we, and me in particular, moves towards my dotage (I am a very proud granddad you know) and I follow a path, long planned for the last 15 years, that brought me to 50 and will move me into the next 25 years.
It was the great social and business philosophy (Irish I believe), Charles Handy who described to me his concept of the Age of Unreason.
He was advocator of and taught me well that retirement is unreasonable. We humans are simply not built for retirement. As my psychological and philosophical studies revealed to me afterwards, we are problem solving animals. If we are not engaged in taking care of ourselves and others, we are in the process of becoming helpless and superfluous.
Ruthless, maybe, but it will save my children a fortune in care home costs (although I do promise to still spend my meagre wealth before I go), because as Handy said we should plan a three stage career:
1. The first where we make our money (and build the retirement pots we have been told will keep us in the lap of luxury.
2. The second where we follow our passion (here I am today!)
3. The third where we engage ourselves and earn survival money (just enough is a feast for a true elder).
My first career was in business. It was hard and challenging. I do not doubt it is the game of the young and energetic, with the wise vacating before they become drug addicted, stress-relieving seeking, highly incompetent risk takers.
My second career has become portfolio like as Handy went on to describe, a career in which we use our broad experience and knowledge and have several strings to our bow; for me that is in healing, teaching and coaching. I still do a little business consultancy too.
My third career (in my real dotage) is of course Deck Chair Attendant Bournemouth, but I won’t work from April until October, nor Bank holidays, but I will do double shifts in December and January.
This second career thing is useful. It meant this week when I was instructed to do something, unclear, divisive and unpalatable. I replied:
“When I was a young energetic man, doing mini-triathlons I had Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ blazoned across my chest. Now it says ‘Why’? I guess it is grumpy granddad thing.”
I now have an invite to an adult conversation with my antagonist (or maybe he has with his?) nonetheless, the freedom is enjoyed.
And the why?
“To serve, strive and never to yield.”
‘My particular interest is with businesses (and people) who are ambitious and want to lead out apprentices and develop their management teams (and themselves) to achieve future and ongoing growth’.
Go on, be of service and at eighty years old, stick two fingers up and say “Two more decades to go”.