Saturday, 8 April 2017
Stop the world and let me off
That was me years ago when I worked in a managerial position in a big multi-national firm in London.
It was all about responsibilities, working hard, being focused, waking up early and commuting to London, or sometimes travelling long distances on the highway to various locations, getting home late, and doing it all over again day in day out, working all the hours available and more besides.
And at the same time doing one's best to raise a family, paying all the bills, being a good husband, parent, son, sibling, friend and all else besides.
OK ... by now you must all be thinking, "So what? We all have to do that."
And that's exactly the point of my post today.
We all have to do that. Whether we are a manager, a doctor, accountant, lawyer, carpenter, plumber or whatever else our job may be, we all have to do that.
That's what our modern, sophisticated, advanced, enlightened society has created. A wheel for each one of us in which we enter and run ever so faster and not seeming to get anywhere. Ever increasing responsibilities leading to worries, fears, and cares as we try our best to survive in life and keep our heads above water whilst certainly harming our health a little at a time until ...
Life becomes a struggle just to live.
Is that what God wants of us? To spend our lives struggling against all odds to just about survive?
We can't all say, "Stop the world and let me off."
We can't all give up our jobs and responsibilities and go and live a simpler life out in the country. Even that in itself is hard-work if you have to grow your own food to feed your family.
Modern life dictates a certain income if we are at the very least to bob along our perilous journey without sinking; never mind keeping up with the Joneses who seem to be speeding ahead in a motor boat.
And as we grow older, and assuming we survive the struggles that come our way, and we eventually retire there is no respite ahead. No getting off the wheel or at least slowing it down a little.
No ... the work still has to go on. Being there for one's children when they need you, looking after the grand-children when asked, baby-sitting them or taking them to school or shopping and so on, volunteering for this and that, doing a million and one other jobs around the house which for some reason got procrastinated all those years ago; and any spare minutes one has which vaguely resemble leisure have to be filled in with some hobby or other, or some exercise to keep you fit, or some other nonsense which the doctor or nurse has suggested to keep you healthy.
Well, personally I don't care for all that.
For me retirement should mean just that. Retire from life and do nothing.
If the lawn needs cutting just buy yourself a goat to do it for you. It will grow up again anyway.
If the house needs cleaning just start a hobby of collecting dust instead.
If there are books to be read, because you've always promised yourself to read them anyway when you've got time, just wait until they make them into a film; then watch them with the subtitles on and hey presto ... you've read them. (This doesn't apply to my books, by the way; which are always a good read. I'm re-reading mine in my spare time!).
If the nurse suggests exercise to keep you fit just use the remote control for the TV more often; you'd be surprised how nimble your fingers will get. The other day my doctor suggested that I do something every day that leaves me a little breathless - so I took up smoking. And don't waste time and money joining a gymnasium or keep fit club. I did that for six months to lose weight and did not lose one ounce. No one told me that I had to attend regularly too!
Try your best in retirement to avoid work as much as possible especially as you slow down and then ... the final chapters ... as you grow older and older and eventually you ... ... ... die.
Don't for one moment think that when this happens you will rest in peace. No way ...
Should you be fortunate enough to go to Heaven it all starts all over gain ... for eternity.
There's harp playing lessons to attend at least once a week. Trying on new wings and learning to fly like an angel. Meeting relative, friends and acquaintances all over again and visiting each of them in turn over and again for a nice cup of tea and biscuits. Just think for a moment how many visits these will be; and then there is them visiting you in return, before the whole routine starts once again. And don't forget having to join the choir of angels and learning to sing in harmony with the rest of them. And I'm sure that at one stage or other St Peter will ask you every now and then to help him re-paint the Pearly Gates.
It's enough to make you say, "Stop the world and let me off."