I'm sat here at four am in the morning wondering what the future will bring. Having been laid off from my job after twelve years recently, and having just turned sixty, the future appears daunting. Part of me feels that I'm being selfish worrying about the future when so many people are worse off than me. Is it the financial security that work brings that makes life satisfactory and fulfilling knowing that you can cover your mortgage and other essential bills? Or is it the feeling of knowing that you are wanted for your skills and expertise you bring to a specific role? Having turned sixty the opportunities to return to work seem less as while it is illegal for employers to discriminate one reads many stories of the older worker being overlooked for younger people. It is rather ridiculous really, the fact that older people have a wealth of experience to offer yet are viewed as 'over the hill' If an individual is in employment when they reach sixty they are not immediately binned as no longer being useful to the employer.
Beside me on my desk is a financial spreadsheet that I worked on over the weekend to see what outgoings my wife and I have and a comparison of income. It makes depressing reading. When times are good, one is earning a very decent salary, and living to that level it is a long way to fall to a very much reduced income. Of course, without a further source of income you have to make cuts and extraneous luxuries must go; cable television, gym memberships and the like. The most worrying aspect is keeping a roof over one's head particularly when a mortgage still has nearly four years to run.
Like many thousands of people in the same situation the 'working day' consists of contacting recruitment agencies, trawling the internet and media for a job that one's skills and experience relate. Submitting applications can raise a positive feeling until the rejections start to arrive or, more likely, nothing further is heard about the fate of the CV or application form.
Being unemployed is an emotional roller-coaster. Keeping on the tracks is a physical and emotional challenge, the downhill portion is often uncontrollable while the uphill section is a slow struggle and at times seems to dominate the ride.
Onwards and upwards, the kettle beckons to provide the Englishman's panacea; the cup of hot tea.