With the beginning of this financial year (July 2014) I have dropped back from five to four days in my paid job. Friday was my day of choice to spend at home, but if there is something crucial that comes up at work, I have indicated that I am prepared to vary the day off.
My colleagues have assumed that this is the first step towards retirement as I am the oldest by far in my section and indeed one of the oldest women in the company. Work it seems is the domain of the 40-year old. They are right in that I am desperate to ‘retire’ from this soulless and patronising environment. I hadn’t appreciated when I was 35-40 that this was as good as it got. At that age I was at my peak as far as workplace relevance goes and since then the opportunities that have been open to me have decreased, with the general assumption that a younger person will be sharper, more edgy, more hungry, and more deserving. I suspect it is a little different for men of a similar age – they have a longer use-by date but even they report after a while that they start to be sidelined as well.
This is in fact the first step towards the rest of my life, which is going to be more satisfying, more challenging and more rewarding. I am working towards self-employment and so am doing some study, am honing my writing skills and repertoire, am using the time for lots of research and am planning future travels. The diminished income is a bit of a fright but I have done my sums and I know that I can manage. It also makes the week much more tolerable as well and by Thursday I am positively delighted, knowing that the next day will be all mine.
Today -yay it’s Friday – is part work and part pleasure. To start with I am setting up a separate blog for my author identity. I have recently published a novel under the pseudonym of Emily Hussey (more of that in another post) and have been most remiss in not establishing the relevant blog. Looking around my office, there is a bit of filing and sorting that needs to be done as well.
Then will come the haircut in a new salon that I am trialling and late afternoon I will join a group of friends for afternoon tea that will incorporate champers and chocolate and a discussion on my novel. This will be at the home of a 95 year old who is a wonderful woman. She has such a questing mind and is so supportive or my writing and all endeavours really. If you can get her talking about her life, she has had some fascinating experiences as well, and looking at the paintings and items around her home gives some indication of the journey that she has travelled. We all appreciate the pleasures of these rare afternoons, very conscious that with Lorna’s age and declining health, there will not be so many of them.
When I think of my day, why would I be doing anything else? What do you do with your Fridays?