I have recently undergone what is sometimes called a “life transformation”. I took voluntary redundancy and early retirement from my work as a Primary Mathematics Consultant with Southend-On-Sea Borough Council.
Retirement can be a very daunting experience as many of you may know. It marks the point at which you have a defined role within society and also the thing that takes up a large proportion of your week.
Not only did I retire though, my wife and I decided to put our house on the market and to relocate to Lincolnshire where her two sisters had blazed a trail by both moving in the last two years.
I was therefore in the throes of trying to sell a house, get rid of accumulated rubbish and old clothes that haven’t been worn in years as well as getting accustomed to not getting ready for work, ironing my shirts and checking my diary for forthcoming courses or meetings.
We found a lovely new two-bedroomed flat in Market Deeping, which is a lovely town on the border of Cambridgeshire and right next to the outskirts of the City of Peterborough. We are hoping to move in May.
I had decided, when I first thought of the prospect of retirement that I needed to do two things. I would make sure that I kept this blog running.It has been a constant source of enjoyment to me to learn new things and also to try and explain my thoughts and ideas to others .
The other thing was to join the University of the Third Age otherwise known as U3A. I first got to know about this organisation from my wife who went along to a few meetings a couple of years ago with some friends. As I was working at the time I did not really qualify for membership but did take the trouble to look up the U3A website.
I was really excited by an organisation that, as one member says in a video about the organisation, “has no curriculum, is about learners teaching and teachers learning and is free of Government connections or control”. The 30 year history of the organisation is well explained on the website. An important point was to allow freedom to explore, learn and participate without any tests, exams or restrictions. This it has done brilliantly and it now has thousands of members throughout the country as well as being a part of the international U3A movement.
I shall be contacting the Deepings U3A , which I have found, from their website, has a number of groups. My wife and are are both interested in going to the Jazz Appreciation group and I hope to continue my learning of Spanish. I am also hoping that I can start a group of my own. Maybe one on blogging…..I do have a bit of experience at that!
The U3A have made a number of videos about their organisation. One of my favourites is called “From Ukeles to Genealogy“. I think it explains just why so many people get so much out of the organisation.