Monday, 28 May 2012

Modern life and times

Many people express surprise that, ten years down the line into retirement, I still use an alarm clock.  Just about every retired person I know threw out the alarm as a way of passing from one life-form to another - a sort of coming-of-age ritual or rite of autumn.  They probably think, but are too polite to tell me, what a saddo I am.  OK, maybe I am  -  in their eyes. But it has nothing to do with them anyway.

I have for years expressed amazement myself when people have told me that as they got older they found they needed less sleep; if anything, my experience has been the opposite.  That is why I have found the last four or five mornings giving me cause for anxiety.  I have been awake before the alarm has rung (only it doesn't ring, it buzzes).  And not just before the alarm buzzed, either, but as much as two hours ahead of the wake-up call.  With no chance of going back to sleep,  have given in and showered, grabbed the laptop and been reading my favourite blogs almsot as early as the sparrows have been farting.

When I was working I developed a routine that had me up early to leave home at 6.00am.  You will realise that having the alarm wake me at 7.00 in retirement seemed at first a luxury.  Anyway, I would be at my desk in London by 8.05 after a two-hour journey.  I would leave again at 4.15 and be home about 6.15 to 6.30.  Doing that meant that I missed the worst of the rush hour both ends of the day and got a seat on the train and I also had an evening to enjoy.  I was horrified when my son told me that on two morning last week he was on the 5.45am train to London for 7.15 meetings!  It also transpired that on one of those mrnings he had sent an email to his solicitor shortly after boarding the train.  The solicitor had replied within 30 minutes.  He also answers emails at weekends.

On a similar point, my daughter's partner works as a trouble-shooter for a large European brewery and s frequently away from home.  But there was one day last week when things pretty much reached the nadir.  He had to catch five different flights in one day!

I am so pleased I am no longer involved in this hectic round of earning a living.  I would so love to tell all those bosses who insist on ridiculous hours of work to reach ever-growing targets, calm down.  Turn off the merry-go-round for just a few minutes.  There is more to life.  Learn to listen to the birds and watch the sun set.  Life doen't have to be an ever-turning treadmill.

And in that vein, here is a picture I took yesterday evening on 39 Acres while walking the dog after the temperature had dropped a bit.

1 comment:

Buck said...

A few things...

(a) I threw out the alarm when I retired. I have an alarm function on my phone if I really need one, and sometimes I DO.

(b) I sleep when I'm sleepy... it doesn't matter if it's morning, noon, or night. Some nights I stay up until the sunrise.

(c) I obviously need more structure in my life. NOT!

(d) I was always an early guy, usually in the office at 0600 hrs (in civilian life) and NEVER later than 0700, in both military and civilian life.

(e) That's enough, innit? ;-)