OUT ON A LIMB: A myriad paths are laid out before me once again

You know what I’m hearing a lot lately?

“So, you retired yet?”

Or, “How much longer until retirement?”

Then there’s the always-lovely, “You must be retired by now, eh?”

I’m often getting these questions when I run into people I haven’t seen or talked to you in a while.

I get it. I’m looking old. My hair’s gone white. My skin isn’t as smooth as it used to be. There’s a stiffness in the bones.

But I’m not retired.

I’m close. I just turned 60 (which still blows my mind). So, I’m looking at five more years until I would traditionally retire. But traditions have taken a beating these days and it’s very possible, in fact, it’s close to likely I won’t be retiring in five years. There’s a number of paths laid out before me and I feel like my life is reflecting an earlier period, that of my early-to-mid-20s when I was approaching university graduation (with a Bachelor of Arts, that ubiquitous degree in generality) and facing the fact that I won’t be able to put off real life for much longer. I had a great time at university. I wanted it to end but I sorta didn’t, you know what I mean? But it was a time when the future was an open book and many possible paths lay before me.

Time to get on with my life but I had to parlay a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Political Science into a paycheque.

It wasn’t possible. Truth is, I didn’t even try to. Except, I like to think I continued it by signing up for a journalism program at a community college. It was a great move. Got me a job. Got me a career.

Now, I guess, that career is approaching the end. That sounds awfully ominous, doesn’t it? But I guess it is.

And that’s what everybody thinks of when they see me. LOL.

However, it’s not likely to be the end of my working life. Once again, a number of paths lay open before me.

Retirement’s a different thing these days, compared to my father’s generation. We’re now looking at living longer and certainly being fit enough to be active past 65 years of age. In fact, many people are working well past 65 and not just for financial reasons. Many people are working in their retirement years on volunteer projects or some kind of self-employment. Others are finding that they’re still in demand because there’s no replacement workers coming up behind them, resulting in people being able to work part time or job share in positions they used to hold.

I have plans in development that may or may not involve me continuing to do what I’m doing or I may branch out into something that makes use of my creative skills (writing, photography, videography) on a freelance basis.

It’s funny, but I don’t know of many journalists that retire. Obviously, they do but it’s usually a profession that you leave for a cushy government communications job. So, grey-haired reporters are not the image what comes to mind when you think of somebody on the news beat. Crusty old editors are a thing and I think I’ve got that down pretty well. And there are colleagues of mine who have been on the job for a while, shall we say, in our Black Press Media newspapers up and down the Island.

I am often self conscious when I show up at an event with my camera and notepad these days. I feel I should be stashed away in an office doing something office-y. But that’s the beauty of this job. Sure, I’m frequently tied to the desk but I am still required to get out in the field. Which is great. Shooting photos or being at places where things are happening never gets old. Even if I do. (Ha! Sometimes sentences just write themselves)

And it was at an event I was covering recently when, once again, when the subject of my retirement came up.

But you know, I’m always still looking at ways of getting better. Better writer, better photographer, better manager. Always trying to progress.

Alistair Taylor is editor of the Campbell River Mirror.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Campbell River Storm fall to down-Island rival Victoria Cougars

Cougars win 6-2 and continue to lead the VIJHL as playoffs approach

Five fun things to do on Family Day in Campbell River

Outside or inside, we’ve got you covered with ideas for both

Campbell River City Council to look at more protection measures for great blue herons

Initial recommendation report came back with a few options, which will now be fleshed out

Campbell River Midget Tyees claim semi-final victory in overtime over Peninsula Eagles

The Campbell River Midget Tyees won their semi-final playoff game at Rod… Continue reading

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read