A colleague recently asked me when would I stop working. Three years came to mind immediately. Why? I’m not sure. But, it’s a good span of years. Not too distant, and not too immediate. On reflection, I’m not sure what retirement would mean to me. I’m enjoying life the way it is and the way it was meant to be, for me.
Looking back on my work history, I realised I have worked with keyboards for a long time and learnt to touch type on a manual typewriter. A S D F. You know the drill. Changing inky ribbons was a chore on clumsy days. Moving overseas I was introduced to the electric typewriter. Only the senior secretary was allowed to have one. Observing her type on it was a thrill! Working for a science professor meant changing fonts by lifting the ball head for italicized letters or Greek symbols, a tedious task by any account. Then came the word processer, the size of a room, followed soon after by the little boxy Mac. I wrote this seated in a small plane typing on my laptop. Just like technology, I’ve come a long way.
Did I ever have ambition? If doing something different to what I was doing is ambition, then yes, I did have ambition. Did I aim to be materially successful? I can’t recall thinking along those lines. I just wanted to be happy doing what I was doing. Working 9-5 in an office never satisfied me and gnawed at my insides like hunger.
Seated high above the clouds I found myself looking outside the window. The landscape is a familiar one. Once past the bumps along the Perth Hills, the land has dark splashes of forest that give way to a patchwork of gold and green farmland. The closer we get to Esperance, pink spots in the green fields appear, where algae transforms drinking holes periodically. This is my route to work every month. It beats the gridlock of city traffic any day!
In Esperance I drive by the golf course and keep an eye out for the Cape Barren Geese. If they are around, they flock here. In over 30 trips to Esperance I’ve only seen them twice. Once in formation overhead and once on the ground. They are iconic around these parts but seeing them is never guaranteed. They are considered to be some of the rarest geese on earth. So I’ve posted some photographs to share as I find the geese endearing. The geese are large, almost prehistoric looking. They have a tab stuck to the top of their beak. I’m sure it is functional in some way, but it looks like an afterthought! Large on the ground, they are graceful in flight, a feathered airliner. They are expert navigators.
My work has opened up new worlds to me. Never would I have dreamed this was possible for the young woman who worked for others. I am now my own boss. Like the geese, I have navigated my way through life, at least, thus far, successfully. I work for pleasure, the rewards and gains, are incidental.
Until next time,
a dawn bird
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