Today’s winter solstice marks my 17th anniversary of retirement. I have now been retired nearly half as long as my working career.
The universe has changed for industrial food scientists in Canada. I worked in 6 different sites during my career, and 5 of them have now closed. The remaining one was sold to a different company and much of its native infrastructure has been torn down. I have no idea whether my old department at Unilever still exists. Certainly the manner and methods of the work have changed. During COVID, it would be impossible to use the old laboratory model where scientists collaborated in person.
On a personal note, I have suffered a bit from the ravages of time. My vigor and balance have waned; I had a bout of Bell’s palsy last year and recently I developed double vision. That’s slowly improving but I expect it will be several months before I can drive again. I have always been a grumpy old man so nothing’s changed on that score.
I have my senior moments but so far my mind seems OK. I recently went through a complicated computer setup for Maria’s friend with little or no hiccups. I continue to give advice on IT to other seniors in the ‘hood although housecalls are much reduced because of the pandemic.
Not much travel is on our future agenda. It’s close to 3 years since our last cruise. We have some credits with Royal Caribbean but who knows if it’ll be safe enough to use them next year. We are now triple vaxxed so that may give us some confidence, although Omicron scares me. We’ll see.
The shortest day of the year used to be a depressing thing for me – heading into winter. Now with COVID, it seems that winter is neverending. But each anniversary of retirement and each year of living close to the grandkids, and living in this nice little showpiece of a town – well, that is a reason for some optimism.