Eleven years ago today, I was called into my boss’s office and told that I was being laid off.
The locally-owned company where I had worked for a good many years had been taken over by a larger American group earlier that year, and they wanted to put their own people into senior management positions. I wasn’t the first or even fourth senior manager to be sent packing, and I had expected this meeting all through the summer. I was almost sixty years old and bored with working for someone else. When the hammer fell, I was greatly relieved and happily accepted the generous severance pay they offered.
Luckily, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the first part of my enforced retirement. I was keen to write a history of Commercial Drive and over the next fifteen months, that’s what I did. Along with this I helped establish the Grandview Heritage Group which kept me busy and interested. At the same time, I wanted to become a lot more involved in local politics, knowing that a Community Plan was about to be thrust upon us. Any regular reader of this blog will know that I was and remain deeply involved in those matters to this day.
The Community Plan experience led to my third book Battleground: Grandview which should be available in the next few weeks.
So, I have been busy these last eleven years. But the genuine sense of freedom has been the really exhilarating feeling. I wake up when I want, dress in whatever I want, spend time with the Everloving, cook, take long luxurious naps, read, write, and relax. We certainly don’t have the money we had when I was working, but we get by OK, and I’ll swap the money for such freedom any day.
It has been a grand eleven years, and I quietly thank my old firm for laying me off when they did.