at the age of 34 is not something that many people are fortunate enough
to do. OK, so I was retired on medical grounds but whether you retire
because you've made your personal fortune, inherited or won your personal
fortune or are physically unable to carry out your employment duties
you are left in a similar position. You have to think about exactly
what you are going to do with the rest of your life.
have to say that my working life was slightly unfulfilled. In the main
I was not mentally challenged at all. I had little job satisfaction
and spent the majority of my time (in all 4 posts) being bored. This
is not to say there weren't good days because there were. I had busy
days, enjoyable days and occasionally I even looked forward to going
into work! I made many good friends along the way and I gained satisfaction
from having somewhere to go and somewhere to come back from every day
for 15 years.
stimulating and enjoyable in the main it was not. Looking back now I
think the reason I felt so unfulfilled was that I was a very small cog
in a very big wheel. I worked in the MoD for 15 years in 5 different
locations for 4 different units yet 99.9% of what the Mod did remains
completely unknown to me.
had always had medical retirement in the back of my mind since I was
diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia in 1993 (this was about one third
of the way through my 'career') The thought had never come to the front
of my mind until I had an appointment at Woking Community Hospital with
a disability consultant called Dr McCluskie. He asked me how I was getting
on at work so I told him 'I'm bored and unfulfilled, I wish I was at
home where I have everything the way I want it and where I have internet
access' I said. He replied 'You sound an ideal candidate for medical
retirement'. That was all I had to do really, I spoke to my boss at
work and my work colleagues and one year later I was retired.
I had to do it through all the official channels but Dr McCluskie said
all the right things and wrote all the right letters to the right people.
I receive 2 pensions, one from the MoD (1987-1997) and one from Sodexho
(1997 & onwards). When retiring on medical grounds my pension rules
and regulations with Sodexho stated that I was entitled to a pension
based on my years of employment up to normal retirement age (65). I
did well preserving my MoD pension in 1997 when my employment was switched
by the MoD. Sodexho's pension rules and regs are better than civil service
rules and regs.
what do I do with my life now? Well, as soon as I stopped working (Feb
2003 - I had to do a period of 6 months on sick leave to qualify for
a pension) I made a conscious decision to keep both my mind and body
active as they had always been up to then. I thought it a good idea
to start visiting a gym once a week to keep the 'body' side of this
self-discipline statement.. Following referrals from my GP and then
the physiotherapy department of Frimley Park Hospital It was recommended
that I visit a gym called 'Tone to the bone' in Frimley Green. My Personal
fitness instructor (Andy) took these pictures in January 2004. They
show me using three of the machines he has in the gym. I need help getting
on the machines but once there I gain full benefit from them as you
can see: .
that's how I keep my body active (well, that's all I'm revealing on
here!) So what about keeping my mind active? Well, for many, many years
I have known that my future lies in IT and in Web Design in particular.
It has always been an interest to me and above all - I enjoy it! Since
having the time to concentrate on this I have learnt how to create and
publish my own sites as well as edit sites already there. I decided
to become self employed in December 2004. Click
here for more details.