Your Most Reliable and Dependable Source

Retirement is a prospect I view with dread


Age has stealthily eaten away at  my vitality and foisted physical transformations on my once supple body. And as if that was not enough pummeling, retirement, a prospect that sends chills up my spine, looms ominously. What to do?

I have grappled with the concept of retirement ever since I turned 50 years nearly seven summers ago. Thirty plus years of working in Ghana, Libya and now in the United States, have taken their toll.  I deservingly should look forward to retirement with globs of relish and excitement. Right? Wrong.

As a working stiff, there comes a time in your miserable life when you are no longer a valuable asset to your employer. Various factors would have contributed to render you dispensable; advancing age, declining motor skills and the inevitable presence of the obnoxious younger worker.

With these odds frighteningly stacked against you, the only option on the table is retirement. Either you grudgingly accept your fate and retire with dignity or be  shown the door by your smirking employer.

Retirement is a reality that confronts millions of older workers in the world. While some look with excitement towards retirement, others view it with a mixture of dread and uncertainty. To the second group, retirement is teasingly a prelude to death. I am a member of this group. There is nothing scarier than the prospect of hanging up my working gloves and walking off into the sunset to a blissful, or is it, dreadful retirement?

I am profoundly conflicted about retirement. lt is not something I look forward to, and honestly, there are times when I break out in sweat each time I try to contemplate a scenario where  I will  wake up each morning without a work schedule. The thought of hanging up my working glow gnaws at me endlessly. Truth be told, I have battled bouts of depression just thinking of retirement.

I try to push the thought away as far as possible. Work, of course, has been a source of great joy, pride and strength. I have worked as a security guard, high school teacher, college professor, a newspaper reporter and a truck driver.

Each of these jobs was pleasurable and afforded me the opportunity to interact with a variety of individuals from different racial backgrounds. Indeed, these jobs gave me immense latitude and wherewithal to do so many things.  But more importantly, they accorded me an identity and self-worth that are simply irreplaceable.

Be that as it may, if I had my way, I would work till thy kingdom come, till death comes knocking. Believe me, there is nothing more exhilarating than rising up each morning, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, making a hot cup of coffee, kissing your wife/girlfriend and kids goodbye and strolling out of the house to head to work.

And at the end of the work-day, when you come back home, exhausted and physically drained, the feeling of satisfaction that you have accomplished something productive and that you have contributed in your own small way to society’s growth and prosperity is overwhelming.

But retire I must; there are no ifs or buts about it. Can I prepare adequately for the inevitable? Yes, but I am a bit doubtful. Retirement is a thoroughly miserable experience. Some of your close and dear friends, like you, would have grown old, senile and stupid.  Others would have passed on. Of course, you will make new acquaintances, but they won’t measure up to your long dead pals.

Retirement is our last hurrah on planet earth. Most, if not all of us retirees, sadly, will be spend those days lumbering around gingerly with the aid of walking sticks,  wearing thick reading glasses hanging precariously on our noses and our toothless gums flapping uncontrollably while battling a multitude of health problems, some of which will ultimately do us in — send us to our final resting places. 

Oh retirement, what a way to spend my last days on earth.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.