Life is not so bad

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit down in the dumps.

Yes, even I suffer occasionally from a visit by the Black Dog.  As Herself says, the only people who don’t suffer from a drop of the blues are those with no imagination.  She might have something there.

So I was sitting here in my armchair feeling somewhat morose, with a mug of tea by my side and the Autumn sun beating in the window and I started to reminisce.  What would I have been doing say twenty years ago?

The day would have started with the screech of the seven o’clock alarm blending with the dawn chorus of car alarms echoing around the housing estate.  That estate had so many false alarms from cars and home security that even the fucking birds imitated them to perfection.  Every now and then the house would shudder as a bus roared past on the main road.  It was a noisy estate.

Then there was the long dreary haul through the traffic.  Traffic seemed to consist entirely of two types – the cautious ones who would wait to see if the traffic lights were going to turn any greener before progressing, and those who would desperately jump lanes in the vain hope of gaining a yard or two.  The routine was so regular that I frequently found myself sitting behind a Fiesta driven by a bloke wearing a cloth cap.  Day after day I would find myself sitting behind the same car driven by the same bloke waiting for the traffic to shift another few feet.  Hell on Earth.

Then there was the office.

Invariably there would be a meeting first thing.  This was chaired by Little Cunt TJ – the local manager – who would waffle for half an hour about absolutely nothing, talking about targets, productivity and progression.  The only redeeming feature was that he was a master at Office Speak.  The whole meeting would be interspersed with cliches, running things up the flagpole, popping things into the toaster and taking the helicopter view.  To alleviate the boredom we would all play Bullshit Bingo to great effect, before heading off to the canteen for a strong mug of coffee.

The work itself wasn’t too bad.  I was usually out and about around the campus so I didn’t have to suffer the torture of Little Cunt TJ standing behind me making inane comments.  They were beginning to introduce non-smoking areas into the place and many of the offices were out of bounds for the pipe, but that didn’t bother me – plenty of open air between office blocks where I could linger in transit to enjoy a puff in peace.

Then there would be the repeat haul home with the same traffic jams stuck at the same traffic lights with the same idiots causing the same problems.  By the time I got home I was fucked and fit for nothing, and usually in a foul mood.

So here I am.  Up at ten this morning [yes – a bit early but what the hell] and sitting in the peace and quiet of my armchair.  I have nothing in particular on today.  I might wander down to the village or I might not.  I might have a doze, or I might not.  The only sound is someone hammering wood in the distance.  I’m watching the birds flitting around in the tree branches.  It is remarkably peaceful.

And there is no Little Cunt TJ.

Life is good.

I am feeling quite cheerful now.

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Life is not so bad — 16 Comments

    • You don’t have to convince me!  Life has never been better.  In fact, if I had known it was this good I would have retired when I was in my teens.

  1. I remember my terror at facing retirement after over thirty years running my own business. How would I cope with moving from endless late nights, constant pressure to meet (often artificial) deadlines, literally working seven days a week and travelling over 70,000 miles a year?

    Now seven years further on, I have moved to the seaside, have the best house in more than 47 years of marriage, no material worries, and finally achieved peace of mind. The only problem is finding time to relax as there is so much to do, from hobbies to gardening, decorating, finding new pubs/restaurants, walking along the shore, enjoying local hospitality. Now I need a respite from retirement. Could I go to work for a couple of days a week?

    • I was terrified at the prospect of not having a secure job [which in the end turned out to be not so secure].  It was supposed to be a job for life, but afterwards I realised it was nearly a life sentence.  I look back now and wonder just how I managed to stick all the drudgery.  Like yourself, there are times when I need a holiday from retirement just so I can relax a bit more!

  2. Thanks Grandad. I am listening to Katherine Jenkins’ “Dreaming of the Days”. It helps to keep everything in perspective. Good luck to all pensioners – enjoy your hard-earned time.

  3. G’Day Grandad,

    Your post bought a smile to my face, I am now on the countdown to retirement (58). Although the place I work at is pretty good the drive in to the office ( one hour each way on a good day) in peak hour traffic and generally big city living is slowly but surely wearing me down! At least I live on the edge of the city so I hear the different parrots & birds more than traffic but I live for the day that I can escape to the bush, 100 acres or so with a simple house would do me fine.


    • Welcome Sgt!  The commuting was one of my greatest hatreds at the time, but in retrospect what I enjoy most is the freedom.  If I want to pack my bags and go off on a holiday at a moments notice, I can.  No more crawling to an idiot boss and begging for a bit of time off.  No more having to get a note from the doctor if I’m suffering from a hangover feeling a bit seedy.  I have complete and total control over my life without having to ask permission for anything.

  4. I worked for 18 years in state government in a job that was literally killing me from boredom and having to deal with the walking dead. If I had stuck it out only 2 more years, when I reached retirement age my pension would have been considerably more but I quit. I didn’t quit on last minute. I decided to open a professional pet sitting service, did a ton of research, set the business up and 6 months later quit the state job cold turkey. That was over 17 years ago and my business still ranks number one in internet searches for my area. I’m 62 now and love what I do as much as I did when I started. The wonderful feeling of appreciation from my clients and the amazing love and joy I get from the pets I care for fills me to tears still sometimes when I think about it. Like now. I will never retire from this job. I’ve scaled back and have been able to be very choosy about who gets to enjoy my service. You’re right Grandad, life is not so bad. 

    • It’s hard to beat the satisfaction of running your own business.  In my old place, if I fucked up I was hauled over the coals but if I did a good job, the boss took the credit.  Running your own though may be very hard work but the satisfaction is enormous.  It also has the enormous advantage that it is possible to scale back, so you end up doing only the work you want to do.

      I don’t suppose you’d fancy giving our Penny a walk?  I’m a bit busy at the moment.

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