I work as a coach in organisations which is where I first got interested in the concept formerly known as retirement. I started doing some work with people preparing to finish work after long careers. Some were dreading it and some were really looking forward to it. So I kept in touch, followed them up and found some really insightful stories about how they were facing this period of their life. I started to write up their stories, and then went on to interview friends, neighbours and interesting people I had chance encounters with. I was interested in whether there were common themes for those who were getting real fulfilment from this time, and also whether there were similarities in the approaches to post-work life taken by those who were suffering it.
Then in 2012 my husband Richard decided to finish work after 32 years and became a “metiree”, and I experienced first hand the tensions and joys of having a partner entering this new period of life. I have seen, both as a participant in our family, and as an interested observer of the process of finishing work, how Richard has come to flourish, grow and really enjoy this time. He is a real example of someone enjoying prime time living – and I will blog about him too when he is further along in the process.
When I’m not working, I spend time on my allotment, swimming (preferably outdoors), body surfing, hill walking, getting to grips with the weird gear stick on our VW Camper van or getting further fulfilment by being involved in social politics initiatives. And learning how to blog too.