MIDWAY : On the job
Most people spend their whole lives looking forward to retirement, and then have no idea what to do when they get there. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead — by ensuring your Monopoly board is in good working order and there aren’t too many letters missing from your Scrabble set. Gap years are also becoming increasingly trendy among the over-60s. Why not accompany one of your grandchildren on their first big trip around the world? It’s important to develop new interests and hobbies. And don’t let anyone say you’re too old to follow your dreams — so go paragliding, base jumping, swimming with sharks... whatever takes your fancy.
But perhaps you’d prefer something a little less strenuous? They say everyone has a novel in them — although that might be the best place for it to stay. Publishers’ slush piles are heaving with wistful first-time novels narrated by recently retired types living on the coast — so be canny about the demands of the market.
The nightmare scenario is that after 40 years of being too busy to spend time with your partner, you suddenly discover you don’t actually like them. You’ve got two options here — one is to grit your teeth and ride out the days like a prison sentence. The other is to get a swift divorce and forge a new life for yourself on the speed-dating circuit. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
After the initial excitement of luxuriously hitting the snooze button while foregoing the morning commute, it’s natural to start missing your old job. If that’s the case, why not recreate your office at home? Sneak back to your former employers in the dead of night and have a sift through the company bins — there are bound to be a few unwanted swivel chairs and rusty filing cabinets. Haul them back to your bedroom and set up a little corner dedicated to “work”.
Decorate your monitor with sticky notes and photos. Persuade friends and relatives to play along by ringing you all day, barking orders at you to perform pointless tasks. Become
obsessed with watching the clock. When it’s time to go home, simply pick up your briefcase, stroll jauntily once around the block before letting yourself back in and shouting - “Honey, I’m home!” It’ll be like you never left.