This month I will be 65, once that was retirement age, but now with increased age expectancy and pressure on the pension systems we are expected to work longer. When I was young it was widely expected that advances in technology would mean a reduction in ‘work’ and a huge increase in our leisure time. In fact as early as 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes put forward that idea. He thought that no one would have to work more than about 15 hours a week and we would all be wondering what to do with all our new leisure time!
Domestic labour-saving appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines etc were expected to free up housewives’ time. In reality standards of cleanliness increased so that women had to fill their time with doing more. Remember when we thought computers would bring paperless offices? And have you noticed how fast as you clear your email inbox (or maybe you don’t), it fills up again?
Increased efficiency just means that more tasks appear to be dealt with.
The Future is not guaranteed
This can mean that we save up special things to do ‘when we retire’, even though that sometimes seems to be a moving target. When my partner and I bought our first house together in the 1980s, the couple we bought it from were moving to the seaside for their retirement. We later found out that the wife had died within six months of moving.
The future is not guaranteed. In my mid forties I lost my sister and 3 other friends to cancer and heart disease.
As many of you know Radio 4 is my constant companion, and the other day I heard a woman talk about what she wanted to do with the last third of her life. If you think that you are likely to live until 90, you could divide your life into three phases: 0-30, 30-60 and 60-90. These are often referred to as the three phases of womanhood: the maiden, the mother and the wise woman.
You could divide these stages differently to reflect your life, but do you ever think about what you are putting off until some later stage. Perhaps you have filled your later stage with a huge bucket list that you are very unlikely to fulfil.
What do you want to do Right Now?
It’s important to take time out of your daily busyness to think about what is really important to you and how you can bring that into your life right now. Now is the only time we have.
I am here to support you in looking at who you truly are and what you really want from life, right now. This month I have some special events to mark my birthday, contact me or join my mailing list to find out more or join my free Facebook group, Serenity Circle.