Just thinking about a new phase in my life...
Just thinking about a new phase in my life…

No, you didn’t misread the title, and no it isn’t a spelling mistake! I find myself ‘celebrating’ my 60th year today, and with a ‘pension event’ happening linked to some of my earlier working life, it has given me pause for thought.

Over the last 12 years  I’ve been self-employed. As the years have wound round and some employed friends have entered that state of ‘early retirement’, I’ve been ranting against the usual view of ‘retirement’, or perhaps that should read MY expectations of what that word brings. I have the slippers, a new TV, comfortable chairs, sound and nicely located house and good sized garden. I’m reasonably healthy, have an income to get by, a loving wife (herself ending full time employment in a few months) and a cat that is talkative to the point of being annoying (almost like having small children around once more).

I’m also, as you might have noticed, into gardening, so I have something to keep me busy during the day (along with household chores, the odd trip out etc.) It could be easy to just let life happen to me and for the days to be pleasant, much the same (but with a bit of variety due to weather etc.) and little to bother me (though I do find I’m getting more frequent attacks of intolerance against various aspects of ‘the world today’, but am thankfully not yet a Daily Mail reader).

Over the past year as 60 approached, I’ve started to form an idea of what I want this new phase of my life to be. And I suppose that’s the most significant part of this reflection- I’m thinking of a new phase of my life, one which is active (health permitting), inspiring, interesting and involves continuing to contribute to life outside my own four walls (both of house and garden).

In short refiring rather than retiring.

Today I begin a part of this new phase, helping the first of three groups of students at a local High School to grow food.

I hope this post hasn’t been too self indulgent. 

Old School Gardener

P.S. I’ll tell you more of my new school gardening experiences in the coming months.