My retirement was never going to be a normal one, the reason being that I have three young children under six, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic which has well and truly thrown all our plans into disarray.
The earliest I could have retired was February 2020 but, for a variety of reasons, I decided to work for another five months until the start of July 2020. So now I effectively retire at the end of May, as June is taken up with holiday entitlement.
We’re moving to a rented property in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, on or soon after the beginning of July. Although this is in doubt because of government lockdown restrictions affecting property work and removal companies. We also have the problem of a house and garage which need sorting out, with charity shops and the local tip closed.
I have mixed feelings about retirement. It’s a huge change in our circumstances and we’ve all made many friends in Wallsend, not least our children. Also, most of our married life has been spent here.
Although I won’t have any work responsibilities in retirement, I’ll remain a Salvation Army Officer. I’m looking forward to Christian ministry in different circumstances, with possibly new areas to explore, and I already have some idea of what these might be and how they might be developed. One thing I won’t miss is administrative responsibilities.
Overall, I’m looking forward to retirement and the opportunities it’ll bring, I just wish the details weren’t so obscured by clouds of uncertainty.