Feeling lower than a snail’s bum…….5
February 8, 2012 by welshcyclist
I should be feeling very grateful at my circumstances, but no! Things are slipping and sliding, no pun intended on the current freezing conditions hereabouts! Depressed is a good word for me at the moment.
So many things are out of kilter. I can’t, sorry won’t, ride my bike, because of my wimpish fear of ice on the road. It makes me angry to see other cyclists riding……don’t any of them come off on ice? I haven’t ridden for over a week now, I feel fat, overweight, in fact now, I believe my body is seizing up, because of lack of exercise. It’s true, I seem to have aches and pains all over.
Part of my fear must be irrational, because looking back, when I first started commuting, I rode in far worse conditions. Was I just plain lucky for those first couple of years? Three bad falls since have made me a right yellow belly? Or a pragmatist? I just don’t know, but probably I’d have to plump for the former.
On top of that, everything else seems to be going tits up.
I got a skipping rope, to try and burn a few calories. First attempt, I strained my right achilles tendon, and have been walking with a pronounced limp since…….Doah!!
Yesterday, I received a letter, from my employer, offering the opportunity to go on a retirement planning course, I’m 61 this month I know, but it jolted me, I don’t feel old. Does anyone today, if they have a modicum of good health? Touching wood as I say that. The truth is, the thought of retiring fills me with dread. So many of my dad’s generation got to call it a day, workwise, only to last a year or two after.
Realistically, I don’t believe I can retire, from a purely financial point of view. So going on such a course would just hammer that home to me. Depress me even further. Yes, not having to go to work is very attractive, BUT?
As someone who retired seven months ago (and took a big financial hit in the process), take my word for it that it’s not the end of the world – or of life. I’m still around, I still feel no older than I did 10 years ago and the big difference is this – no, not the lack of money, but the fact that I now have the time and energy to do a million things I could only dream about doing while I was still working. OK, so you’ll have to change your way of life in a lot of ways, but what, in fact, is the problem with change? Actually I think you’ll find there isn’t one – not a big one anyway. The pain, in reality, is working 40 years, not no longer having to work! That’s actually a pleasure. (Though I admit I’d have run a mile if somebody had wanted me to go on ‘a retirement course’ – thankfully, no-one suggested it.)
As for the not cycling because of ice bit – well, me too (I fell badly a couple of times last year because of ice and don’t fancy doing that again). But the ice will go. Everything changes – whether you want it to or not, actually..
What you say makes loads of sense, but personal circumstances beyond taking a financial hit, make it impossible for now. But I’m glad to hear you’ve made it to a changed way of life that is rewarding and enjoyable. Everything changes, so I’ve got to try to adapt my circumstances so that I can get there sooner rather than later. In many ways it’s my own fault for failing to plan for the future. Naivety in the extreme, just didn’t notice how “old” I’d become, or kept my eyes shut to it all, anyway better get down to it. Thanks for your comments and advice.
I’m with you on the cycling in the ice and snow. I wimped out on Monday and Tuesday this week, but rode Wednesday and today. I’ve stuck to the main roads this week as the side roads are awfull. But I can identify with the falling off bit, as I have got older I like it less, a long time back I once fell of twice before I got out of the street, and still got back on. Now a days the effects of falling off last a lot longer, I don’t think you are as supple as before and you fall much harder. Plus we have the knowlege that comes with age that falling off hurts, and needs to be avoided at all costs. Don’t beat yourself up there will be plenty of day in the year when you can ride and enjoy it. I know what you mean about the effect on your body of not riding, I have withdrawl symptoms when I don’t ride, on holiday or bad weather I start to ache and the joints are stiff after a few days, the body gets used to doing it and misses it. Its also interesting how long it takes to get fit, but how quickly you loose it. As for retiring , everyone has to make their own dicision based on their circumstances. I’m 58 and lots of people in my circle around the same age are taking early retirement, including my wife. Its unsettling as you start to think this is the norm. Its too early for me I’m not ready to stop yet, I like working, but would love the time to do all the free time things more. There is also the financial side, which I can’t afford yet, early retirement for both of is is never going to work for us. I think you go when you are ready, and only you will know.
Hello Robin, thanks for your empathy, it’s good to know others of a certain age are in contemplative mood re: retirement. It’s helped me alot, so thanks again. One of the biggest problems I have, is I’m the oldest in my place of work, out of 20 plus staff, and I know it’s all in fun, but since 60, I get alot of “it’s time you called it a day”, OR “YOU’RE TOO OLD FOR THIS” etc.. Just popping over to your blog now for a look. Cheers.
I’m off the bike until the ice goes too. I’m definitely getting past the age when falling off doesn’t matter. If you can afford it, retirement’s great, nothing to be afraid of particularly for a cyclist who has always got something to do.