Boomer Job Exit 2021: Retirement Tips

The ancient Romans had a saying about old men*, ‘throw the sixty-year olds from the bridge’. Voters had to cross the Tiber river to the polling places to vote yea or nay on declaring war on the Sabines, or perhaps the Samnites again.

The idea being that the old Roman Boomer voters had no skin in the game, being too old to be called up to fight in the war they are declaring and would not be around to answer for the result of the war.

Also the youths were more likely to win the ‘no’ war votes if the oldsters were drowning or swimming for their lives. Now that is old style voter suppression. Similar in principle to having Trumpite M-16 armed Q-anon ‘militia’ racists menacing (‘patrolling’) your voting place.

I was able to retire from civil service ten years ago age fifty-nine because I had a union. And I urge most Boomers and older peeps still doing nine-to-five (or whatever these days) to give it up too and give youth a chance- if you are able to. Sure, they’ll make errors and do things differently. But they will have energy, drive, ambition, curiosity and the naivety that you used to have in your youth.

I know at my last unit at Department of Consumer Affairs, where I was the only tech specialist for Records Management, Print Shop and Mail room, the young woman who replaced me, Cherrie, was much my superior in training, initiative and enthusiasm.

The State was lucky to get her (and cheap too). I could hardly face learning yet another shitty program interface after so many. And after twenty-three years of cubicle life, sitting and punching keyboards in a tiny space with no window, no natural light and no hope, it was get the fuck out or die for me.

Cubicles kill spiritually but also physically: I developed incipient overweight, arthritis, drinking every day, high blood pressure, job stress and conflicts over which I had no control. I walked before or after work and on breaks but that only goes so far. Sitting and repetitive stress is the new smoking and will kill you, my peeps.

Being cut loose from your major function, which provides money for the family to live on and a set routine and order to your life is a shock. And since booze and cannabis mostly did help me cope with the death of two million keystrokes**, I did lots of it for the first few years.

I had time to think what I really wanted to do with the rest of my precious years and seconds. Of course I decided not much and life kept changing and I must adapt.

Some ‘stateworker’ retirees can’t stand retirement and get right back into harness as ‘retired annuitants’ on a part-time basis, sometimes right back to their same old cube in the farm. They missed the structure, the hierarchy, the money, their minuscule authority. They got bored at home, fought with the spouse, drank and smoked and watched teevee.

Sad to see peeps buying RVs and making big retirement travel plans, only to see them back with the State after three months and two trips. They love their chains. Or else their state job was lots more interesting than any of mine were. As Sartre noted, freedom is a heavy burden for some.

Some peeps can’t hack retirement and will probably live longer and better by droning on and dying on the job. Good for them but bad for California, to have us semi-dotards hanging on like overripe bananas.

You won’t need much money if you managed to pay off the mortgage. Donate your office clothes. Buy shorts and cargo pants and flannel pajama pants. Service the car you don’t sell and drive to Grand Canyon and then Death Valley, Humboldt County, Big Sur and Desolation Wilderness. Climb Lassen Peak. Hike if you are able.

Go back there any time you like, neighbors will care for the cat and water the grass for you. That will expand your perspective, help you forget your previous life of wage slavery and trench-fight office politics. Worked for me. I seldom think about such horrors anymore. I’ll travel again if the trump covid virus doesn’t kill or cripple me.

Take up interests and activities and studies and therapy, physical and psychological. Lift weights to fight sarcopenia, muscle loss from aging, the only thing that fights it.

Whatever diet you favor be sure to base it on fresh or fresh frozen unprocessed vegetables, fruit, nuts, meat, fish, dairy, whole grain if you eat that. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, yoghurt, kim chee are great for the gut, important for eldsters.

Drink water, coffee, tea. Wine and beer with restraint and in consideration of alcohol’s health effects. I like kombucha, also fermented (and with sugar and alcohol-but not much), and coconut water.

Avoid processed food, all cereal grain oils, canola (RAPE SEED!) included and soy bean oil especially. Avoid or limit sugar (as if). Use butter, lard, olive oil, bacon fat, coconut oil, ghee. Shun transfats and margarine.

Always go for food quality, organic when available and affordable. Salt is essential and since processed and restaurant food always has too much, people have been told to cut salt drastically. But if you eat as above, you will need to salt your food. Use many spices.

Ride a bike and walk every day if possible. When this terrible trump pandemic has run its course, frequently see friends and family, or call or text if you can’t visit. Isolation is a killer, old or young.

Take up a musical instrument or learn to sing in your young old age. Electric bass is my ax, torturing family and friend for three years now. Because as Homer Simpson says ‘the bass is a great solo instrument’. I play the blues, naturally.

Find a purpose or several. Man’s Search for Meaning showed us that without purpose you are a dead peep walking and your life will be short.

So free yourself, my venerable cubicle-bound peeps. Give the kids a chance and yourself as well. Or else we deserve to be swimmin’ with the fishes in the Tiber.

*It would be ‘voters’ today, as women now vote and fight.

**I’m a geek with a computer, I extrapolated, interpolated and estimated that number.

Image via the Web.

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