Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Blues

I've not been retired long enough to have forgotten how I felt most Monday mornings when I'd wake up and realise another work week stretched before me. I rarely, if ever, really hated my job but I just didn't like having to work at all.

I think I've always been a dreamer. I know I 'missed' large chunks of school time by gazing out the windows and wishing I was somewhere else. This continued into my working life and many happy, if not productive, hours were spent doing the same thing - but getting paid while I did it !! Sorry ASDA but you still got plenty of productive hours out of me as I was there for 25 years.

I worked in IT all my career but don't ask me why. I'm artistic by nature but right from the time of Sputnik, I was fascinated by manned spaceflight. Ok so Sputnik wasn't manned but it WAS the start of things. I was never fully comfortable in IT as like I said, I'm not technical at all and can't think logically to save my life. I went to a very small boarding school with a VERY limited curriculum and I took subjects like Ancient History, Greek, French and Latin over ones like Physics and Chemistry. I think I decided to study computer science at college solely based on it maybe getting me a job/career later on with NASA. Well it didn't quite work out but I did spend 95% of my working life with a company with 3 of the 4 initials at least !!!

I always wanted to travel and my work, or I should say the salary it provided. was a way to do so in a small way. I was no world traveller but I did visit a few European countries and even Canada before finally making it to America in 1989. Why it took me so long is a mystery even to me. I was all set to go in the summer of 1970 when I left school and had a long period of 'freedom' before starting at college. Sadly that coincided with having no money so America had to wait.

I made up for lost time though and in the space of 8 years from 1989, I managed to visit all 48 continental states leaving the difficult ones of Hawaii and Alaska for my retirement years when I could give them the time they deserved. I took a sabatical for 9 months in 2000 and spent the whole time in America and when I returned to work in January 2001, I soon found I couldn't adjust to being back sitting at a desk - basically I just didn't want to work anymore. Some people return from sabaticals all renewed like Energiser bunnies and eager to start their careers afresh. I'm sure their companies offer the sabattical with that outcome in mind but in my case, not working for 9 months only made me anxious to be retired and not have to work ever again !!

Soon I was eagerly playing with my finances and studying dates and trying to plan for retiring on my 50th birthday (in 2002) when I was made an offer I couldn't refuse; the offer to take a very generous early retirement package at 49 which was only a few months away in the June of 2001. Those few months before I left work were some of the happiest of my life. Knowing I'd soon be leaving, no new work came my way and I was left to pass the days surfing the internet and doing what I did best - looking out the windows and dreaming of being somewhere else. I'd plenty of time to make my travel plans and sure enough, a few days after finally leaving work that last time, I was over here in America starting on the first of many 6 month trips - 6 months being the longest I can be here on a visitors visa. I've never looked back.

Today I experienced Monday blues. No, not the sort I experienced most of my working life but new variations now that I'm retired and spending the winter in Florida. The first was the clear blue cloudless sky that I never get tired of seeing. The other was the blue water in the swimming pool where I try to spend as much time as possible. These are Monday blues I can live with. So much so that I'll like them on Tuesday as well and every other day to be honest.

It's due to rain a bit tomorrow. That's ok too. There are plenty of things to do indoors here and lets face it, I'd rather be here in Florida on a rainy day than be sitting at a desk in Leeds with another 8 hours of work ahead of me.

Maybe the dreamer in me is finally on the other side of the window.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

Manned space flight is still exciting to me - the Moon landings were fantastic!

As for work, I'm currently doing one job full-time and another part-time, neither of which will make me rich - but I do enjoy them both and never get Monday morning blues. I'd love to travel more, though - I am the least well-travelled person I know, which is a bit of a shame.

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