Just a word about the referendum result – bollocks. I voted for Labour at the last election, they lost, I voted to ‘remain’ in this referendum – we lost. I’m going to have to change to tactical voting, vote for the side I want to lose, can’t be any worse than what’s happened recently. I wake up this morning to that same feeling I had when Princess Di had her funeral – this is not my country. I don’t like what I see but where would we go instead? I mean who’d have us, Mrs Summerhouse has assets, she’s sociable, but who’d want a going-on 68 year old, grumpy male with diabetes? Although I do have quite a nice guitar collection. Does that count for anything? We could apply for our Irish passports, would that work? Why would they want us?
I guess we will get over it but, right now, it feels disappointing – to say the least. What’s remarkable to me is that it is my age group that was most determined to leave the EU (it must just be me as a retired person who doesn’t like change), boy, if I were a young person who voted by a significant majority to ‘remain’ in the EU, I’d be pissed off. I’d be thinking yes, you lot can f— off and die and we’re left with the consequences. And what will be the consequences? Well, reading the papers this morning, no easy task in itself to decide, nobody, none of the so-called experts, seem to know, but all I can say is, you got what you wanted now we will see. As it says in the Hebrew bible, and that’s not a book I quote very often – “they that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.”(Hosea 8-7) Except of course we will probably all reap the whirlwind, not just those who sowed it.
Rather than spend the whole of this blog moaning on about the referendum result I thought I would try and look at the result in the context of my apparent reluctance to contemplate change. If my age group had, as a group, voted to remain then I could make the case that the older we get the more entrenched in our views we tend to get. But it seems like my lot are gagging for change, at whatever price. Perhaps they think that nothing will really change and by voting leave they are protecting what they have. What we have, we hold. Well, at the risk of repetition, we shall see what we shall see.
Strange thing is, for most of my life, as I’ve written elsewhere, I’ve been driven by the need, is that the word, to change my / our lives. Change has been a constant in my life, different jobs, retraining, well, to an extent, enough to fit in with the theory that I’m a change magnet. I’ve moved and worked in other countries when I had a career and these days as a retired old fart I have this compulsive need to keep moving from house to house. So even now in retirement I couldn’t be accused of pulling up the drawbridge, in the current popular idiom, and hunkering down with my roses although I did try and repair the pergola and hurt my already hurt back in doing so. But this aside what would be more natural for a person with my propensity for change to vote along with the majority of my peers, to change the status quo that has been with us since 1973.
So that’s puzzling but then what is the psychology of change as it applies to the retired person? No surprise I reckon that you can argue it in diametrically different directions. You could say, as I’ve hinted at already, that, as we get older, we like our lives to be a little more predictable, probably we have a need to know where we stand financially, socially, emotionally. Unpredicted or uncontrolled change / challenge becomes less welcome. We might think ah, now I’m retired my life will be easier, we’re less threatened by the mainstream of our earlier lives – no more worrying about jockeying for position in the rat race whatever form that might have taken for us. Yep, that all sounds right. But…
There’s another view and this might be represented by the popularly known, bucket list. Otherwise known as blimey, I haven’t got much time left I’d better do all those things I vaguely thought I might / should do before I shuffle off this mortal coil. So we sell the house, buy a campervan; we move to France or wherever will have us and buy a gite; we sail around the world or hike with our huskies to the North Pole, or just make regular bungy jumps / sky dives / toboggan runs down the Cresta run. Or, in my own, more modest case, I try to become a jazz guitarist / writer / property developer / vineyard owner. As Dylan Thomas put it more lyrically, we rage against the dying of the light and do not go gently into that dark night. I think that’s about right. More prosaically, we do as much stuff as possible before we die without actually bringing about our death by being too adventurous.
So then back to the referendum, where does this event stand in the scheme of things? As I write this and contemplate the really important things in the life of the retired person like, what’s for tea? England have just beaten Australia at rugby, a whitewash (3 – 0) in Australia. In doesn’t get much better than that. So good to know that when all around seems gloomy sometimes (and we won at cricket last night) sport provides the perfect antidote. Given that, in the recent past, we’ve struggled rugby and cricket-wise (and will probably do so in the Euros (that’s football in case you didn’t know) quite soon, see below), even better. So that’s change and unquestionably for the better. Let’s just hope that the rest of those changes in my hopefully longish retirement, work out as well. Who says sport and politics and retirement don’t mix?
Tuesday morning, cancel what I said about the healing balm of sport. Should have known. Iceland, Oh my Gawd.