I’m still in my 40s but eagerly await retirement

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male public employee in my 40s and I’m impatiently waiting for the day of my mandatory retirement.

Next spring will mark the 25th year since I started working. I’m blessed with a stable job and a good family, so I feel very grateful.

However, at my workplace, I’m sick and tired of working with arrogant people and those who are hard for me to get along with. Each time I’m transferred to a different section, I’m determined to turn over a new leaf and work hard. But I’m starting to feel more and more daunted. Particularly, the older I become, the less tenaciously I can do something. These days, I feel as if I go to work just for my family’s sake.

I have many hobbies. After retirement, I really want to enjoy doing things I haven’t been able to do before.

Recently, at a morning meeting at my workplace, a person who is to retire next spring said, “I have a good time planning my life after retirement.” Hearing this, I became unbearably envious.

Each time I see colleagues work well even though their position is not very high, I think they are great and say to myself I should follow their example. I also think I’m a helpless guy who worries too much about such matters despite my good fortune.

Please advise and scold me.

G, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Mr. G:

One of my acquaintances waited for a life after retirement, just like you do. He had many hobbies, too. After retiring from work, he enjoyed doing many things.

I thought he was very happy every day in his retirement. However, one day he looked gloomy and told me that it was not enjoyable at all. He also said he felt far more fulfilled when he worked and could enjoy his hobbies only on his days off. He said using a limited given time to relax provides him with true relaxation.

He may be right. You may expect too much of your post-retirement life by believing it will be a dream life. If you do whatever you want to do as much as you want without worrying about social contacts, it may be fun for a while, but eventually you will probably lose enthusiasm and motivation.

You now suffer from contact with persons who you feel are hard to get along with and persons whose words or behavior are offensive, and you have some time to enjoy doing what you like. The situation could offer true relaxation for you. If you merely indulge in hobbies and suffer nothing troublesome in your life, it may lack a bit of spice. You might well miss your current life.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Dec. 9, 2015, issue)Speech

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