You may have already noticed, but I avoid as much as possible to talk about my upcoming retirement. That’s a hurdle too far for me. Childish maybe, but that’s saying something. My retirement, that’s only in two years.
When it started playing I really started looking for the right words. My retirement, that’s what I was working towards. That was really going to take a while. Two years, in it you can have a few children, change jobs three times, heal from a broken arm and a heart attack, sail around the world (and back), build your own house. September 2023, the month in which I would officially retire, was still a long way off.
While you know that in popular speech someone who stops working at the age of 65 also simply retires. But I can or could hardly bear it. I considered pre-pension for a few seconds. Sounds even more difficult if possible. early retirement? Like I’m talking about my father or a difficult neighbor. ‘Oh, that one has been walking by the door for years. Is on early retirement.’
That euphemization of old age: the third half, the golden years. Calling gray hair ‘silver’
What’s going on beneath the surface is, of course, just pride. And vanity. That I’m still full in life, but now I’m going to take a step back. Suddenly I understood the effort that people make to give the years after their retirement a nicer name. That euphemization of old age: the third half, the golden years. Calling gray hair ‘silver’. This development started decades ago.
In the 70’s you were still an old boy after your 60’s. On TV that translated into types such as ‘grandpa’ Leen Jongewaard in Yes sister, no sister; Kitty Courbois as rigid peasant woman Thera Beijen in The washing water. But gradually the old people in TV series and movies became more vital, happier and more vocal. Because we also grow old healthier than our parents. Johnny Kraaykamp Sr. was a cheerful old man in many series. André van Duin is a television hero, but already 74. He has the patina of the wise comedian, but you would not call him ‘grandpa’. No one thinks that’s weird right now. The devil is old. That’s why I avoid the word ‘pension’ so scrupulously. I haven’t been written off yet. I just stop working.
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