The Reluctant Retiree has too much time on her hands

I have it on good authority that I should rename my blog ‘The Reluctant Retiree’.  After all, that does represent where I am in life right now, and what led me to start blogging.  Besides which, some say it is a woman’s perogative to change her mind – and I relish the excuse to see if I can still spell that without assistance.

I failed.  There is a pesky little ‘r’ that belongs at the beginning of the word, as in pre-rogative.

So that sent me off to my trusty Macquarie Dictionary to find out – why is this so?  Digressing off topic is one of the things you can do in retirement.  Suddenly there are no deadlines or people waiting for your meaningful input.  You can let your mind meander in various directions, with only the latent worry that if you let it drift too far, the day may come when it forgets to find its way back home again.

On this trip, my mind starting thinking about Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821.  He may be credited with reforming the infant colony into something more than a penal settlement – Wikipedia describes him as an “enlightened despot” – but he did have an annoying habit of naming things after himself.  When he got tired of calling things Macquarie, he moved on to Lachlan, and when he ran out of that, he resorted to his wife Elizabeth.  At least, that is how it seems to me – historians may point out that places were named in his honour, and not on account of his demanding it.

Anyway, the point is, that we even have a dictionary named in his honour; and its claim to fame is that it is the standard reference on Australian English.

Not that prerogative is an Australian word, which is what led to me thinking about Lachlan Macquarie in the first place.  It turns out that it is derived from the Latin: prae – before, and rogare – to ask- – – – as in ‘I get asked first’ or ‘I have the right to vote first’.

So you see what happens in retirement?  Obviously I have far too much time on my hands since it has taken me six paragraphs to establish that I have the right to change my blog name if I so wish.

So The Reluctant Retiree it is!

Garrulous Gwendoline, Wollongong, May 22nd 2013

4 thoughts on “The Reluctant Retiree has too much time on her hands

  1. Reblogged this on The Reluctant Retiree and commented:

    John of suggested I might reveal how my blog came to be called The Reluctant Retiree. Okay, John, you asked for it.
    Looking for a job is hard work. All that tailoring one’s resume to suit the job advertisement – and answering selection criteria? Yuck! You have to prove yourself over and over, and after all that, consider yourself lucky if your application is acknowledged. Getting an actual interview? Rare.
    A couple of years after the Global Financial Crisis and I still didn’t have more than a few days clerical work a month. A friend was applying to the University of Wollongong to do a Masters in Strategic Human Resources. I had practical experience, and there seemed to be some job demand in my area, but without a degree I had no chance of landing an interview in that field. So, having left school at sixteen, and with no undergraduate degree, I decided to ‘go for it’. What did I have to lose? In the end, something about his residency status knocked my friend out, but I was accepted on the basis of equity i.e. a fifty-five year old woman has as much right to tertiary education as a school leaver. The study year had already begun and the end of the annual financial cycle was looming when I applied. Unis get a bit of government money to assist certain students, and it’s spend it or lose it. They didn’t tell me that is why I was also granted a student loan, but I’m pretty sure my hunch is right. But the textbooks were expensive. As well as starting in the second semester, I lost another two weeks sourcing them on the second-hand market.
    The Uni disregarded my night-school Diploma in Export Management, Marketing Certificate, and workplace Management, Leadership, Supply Chain & Quality Control training. They wanted me to undertake a Graduate Certificate in Commerce, and if my grades were good enough, “articulate” into the Masters. ‘Shoot me now,’ I said when they sent me the subjects. Accountancy, Marketing, Economics and Management again. So … I get the required marks and then … they tell me only one subject counts towards the Human Resources Masters! ‘I’ll play your silly game,’ I thought. In the end I came out with a Masters in Commerce specialising in Electronic Commerce. Along the way I scooped in Supply Chain Management.
    That last included a report on ‘Sustainability in the Automotive Industry’. That was interesting. I came to the conclusion that the only difference between an Audi TT Roadster and a VW Cabriole was minor body shape changes and the price tag. And the marketing slogan. Other than that, same same. I had originally intended to look at the little Japanese Suzuki Swift as well, but that would have put me over word count. The reason? All the engines are (or were) made in post-communist Hungary. What an interesting social experiment to take Japanese work-to-death ethic and impose it on a just-fill-the-quota socialist manufacturer. But of course, that analysis belonged back in the Strategic Human Resources degree which I was not studying because … well, I already explained that.
    The whole thing took longer than planned and I can’t say I came out knowing a huge amount more than before, but at least I now had a current qualification that demonstrated I knew the theory behind my years of practical work.
    And I did get a job, but it meant I had to live in Sydney Monday to Friday, and that job ended in nasty circumstances four months later. Least said, soonest mended.
    The experience had its upside. I’d been writing for years in my spare time, and now I buried myself in it. I Belong to No One was published two years later, in June 2015. Meantime, I’d started blogging, and clearly I’d been venting to someone about my failed work experience when I wrote the following post in May 2013. Here it is:


  2. Fabulous intro blog for The Reluctant Retiree Gwen. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures.
    ‘The Good Authority’


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