It’s coming up to 5 years since that awful time when I lost my way
I was made redundant from my rewarding, but challenging job, as the manager of Education programs in a Men’s Minimum Security Correctional Centre, back in December 2016 – the official finish date was 23/12/2016 and I had just turned 56 years old. How was that for a great combined Christmas and birthday present? I hate combined birthday and Christmas presents by the way!
My official job title was Senior Correctional Education Officer (SCEO). I was important, valued, strong, feisty, brave, determined, decisive, bold, confident and a force to be reckoned with at times.
I was also scared sometimes; I managed a wonderful team of teachers in an unusual environment; I felt included but also an outsider; I worked in a ‘boy’s club’ of misogyny where gaslighting was the norm (lets not go there), and yet it was a rewarding and important part of my working life. I am, to this day, immensely proud of what we did as a team.
Although I have spouted the old adage, It’s your job that was made redundant not you, multiple times over the years, and offered it as advice to others, it’s still the same awful feeling of not being ‘enough’.
You have been thrown out on the scrap heap, you aren’t wanted anymore, you are past your use-by date, they can manage more effectively and cheaply without you (it usually comes down to costs as to why redundancies happen) and life goes on without you in that workplace. You may be missed for a few minutes but move on, nothing more to see here!Me – on being made redundant
Bitter and twisted!!??
As I said it’s coming up to 5 years ago, next month, and apart from a few posts written where I mention my redundancy and subsequent retirement, I haven’t dwelt on it too much in my blog – to me it’s same old same old, so why keep mentioning it when I can share more of what I am doing these days, like having fun and enjoying my happily retired status??
Leading up to the time it was happening I wrote a lot about it, how I felt, how we fought to stay valid and valued, how we took industrial action, how I was interviewed on TV and in print about the impact of losing our important jobs in an area that needed us more than ever, and how I ended up making myself sick with the worry and angst.
Some posts I’ve written about redundancy
On being made redundant was written in November 2016, explaining the situation and how I was resolving to ‘move on’.
I wrote a very popular post shortly after finishing my job, Surprisingly there is a Life after Retirement which covered all the newfound freedom I now had – the honeymoon phase!
I wrote a guest post for my friend Donna’s Retirement Reflections in December 2017, reflecting on my first year of retirement.
In April 2020 I wrote a guest post for my friend Leanne’s Cresting the Hill which included my redundancy.
But this is the first time in a while I’ve actually addressed the subject on its own.
What do you do now that you’re RETIRED?
This question has been posed to me a bit lately, and some might take offence at such a personal question being asked, but to be honest I really don’t mind.
In fact it has given me pause to reflect on ‘what do I do these days’?
As I was out cycling the other day I was mulling over this thought – riding my bike more often is one answer!
And don’t I look happy about it??
So what do I do these days?
- I ride my ebike a lot on our rail trail and wherever we travel to, we take our bikes with us.
- I read – a lot! I am in 2 bookclubs, one a local group of lovely ladies which meets monthly and one a small online group. I love discussing books and learning from others. I’m more confident reviewing books and as a result I’m now a co-host with my online bookclub buddies, with our a regular ‘What’s on Your Bookshelf’ challenge, which goes live on the third Friday of each month.
- I volunteer with Rotary. Our latest project are the 2 trioBikes we’ve purchased for the community where we take elderly, frail, disabled, basically anyone unable to ride a bike, for a ride in the trike along the local rail trail. I’m classed as a support rider, ensuring the passengers are comfortable and well-looked after. I also take photos for them to remember their time out in the fresh air, seeing new sights and reminiscing about their time catching the train or riding a bike. This week I’ve done over 60kms as a support rider and I love it!
- I blog – maybe not as much as before but I still enjoy writing, sharing thoughts, photos and participating in challenges and linkups. I love the connections!
- I walk most days and try to stay fit with an online exercise class with friends twice a week.
- I socialise with friends, I visit my mother who has moved to a nearby town.
- I help out when I can with baby-sitting two of my grandchildren but as they live a 3 hour drive away, and lockdowns have impacted on us, it’s not very often. The other grandchildren are much further afield but we’re always in touch, thanks to technology.
- I still only do the essential housework and shop when necessary – life’s too short!
- I laugh, I smile and I have time to think. I’m happy with where I’m at now.
- I actually get out into the garden these days and help weed and plant, instead of watching on!
- I’m never ever bored!
- I’m part of a wonderful group of women who meet online most weeks for a chat and a catch-up, it’s so lovely to have friends!
- I sit in my sunroom and reflect on how lucky I am to be in this position!
In summary – I read, I blog, I ride my bike, I chat to people – and I enjoy my life!
Let’s look at some of the numbers and events from over the past 5 years (from 2016) – remember I am married to the Mathematician so numbers are important!
- 3 deaths – sadly my father, my father-in-law and my mother-in-law
- 4 births – my gorgeous grandchildren arrived in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
- 1 wedding – a destination wedding in Fiji for my youngest daughter and new son-in-law
- 4 major birthdays – I turned 60 last year, my youngest daughter turned 30 the same year as my mother turned 80, and my husband turned 60 in 2017.
- 1 major wedding anniversary – we celebrated 40 years of being married in January 2020 – and yes I was a child bride 🙂
- 1 major move – my mother relocated from one end of the state to living nearer to us, now she’s only a 45minute drive away rather than a 13 hour drive! A huge thing to do at her age!
- Amazing trips all over the world visiting family and friends – New Zealand x2, England, Scotland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, France.
- Travelled to some fabulous places within Australia – including South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, ACT
- Bushfires during the summer of 2019/2020 when we were with our daughter in England
- The opening of our long awaited Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail in 2020 (it only took 18 years) – we have been very much involved over the past few years and continue today.
- Then we had the arrival of Covid in early 2020 and subsequent lockdowns throughout the next 18 month or so
Life is good
So as I approach the 5 year anniversary of being made redundant, it’s been interesting to reflect on what has happened, the good and the bad! I’ve not missed my workplace, apart from my colleagues, and I don’t miss having deadlines.
As I’m generally an optimist, it’s mainly been good and that makes me smile 🙂
The past 5 years have zoomed by so I’m joining Denyse for her weekly linkup #lifethisweek with the prompt of zoom.
Thanks for joining me, staying with me and encouraging me along the way! You’re all wonderful friends 🙂
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