Today the state pension age hit 66 for those people born between 6th October 1954 and 5th April 1960. I am one of those who will have to wait 6 years longer than my own mother did to receive the state pension, but funnily enough I’m happy to put off the evil day when I have to say ‘I’m retired’.

When I was 60 (I’m now nearly 63) I wasn’t ready to retire, and even now I still want to work (and do). However, the eyes are not what they were after being damaged by much radiotherapy treatment in the past. I rather think I will be forced to retire due to eye problems at 66 whether I like it or not.

At the moment I’m fit enough to park my car for free a mile from the hospital and walk there and back 2 or 3 days every week. Being able to work keeps me happy, and eschewing the courtesy bus that the hospital puts on keeps me active. Going to work has been part of my routine for over 25 years since I went back to office work after my boys were old enough. I enjoy the money that typing clinic letters brings, and I really do not want to give it up.

But hey, the body wins out in the end, doesn’t it? Internally I feel the same as I did at 25, but externally I’m succumbing to the passage of time just the same as everybody else does. The path to a happy retirement is just to accept the fact that I’m no longer young any more, and to plan more visits to our caravan on the Isle of Wight.

Sam plans to retire when he’s 70, and he’s still as fit as he ever was. Cancer treatment, successful as it was, does leave a legacy. In my case it’s my terribly dry eyes that I have problems with, and although I douse them in ointment twice a day and use warm compresses, some days this just ain’t enough as I also have early age-related macular degeneration as well. I can see a point some time in the future when I won’t be able to drive, and this will suck big time.

How does one cope with not being able to drive or go to work, or maybe even not being able to use a computer? I will hate to be dependent on Sam, but there is no other way around it. Forty years ago we vowed to look after each other in sickness or in health, but so far poor old Sam’s had the short straw after I was diagnosed with advanced thyroid cancer back in 2005. He tells me not to worry and enjoy every day, and he’s been a tower of strength over the years. He’s only ever had one sick day off from work, and even when he had his Achilles’ tendon op 4 years ago he still worked every day from home.

The sickness and health bit of the marriage vows does take a more prominent place as the years go by, as one partner usually ends up looking after the other one. However, until that happens to us we’re doing our best to stay fit and healthy by walking and cycling as much as we can. We’ll be leaving for the van in about an hour’s time, and so I’ll answer any comments tomorrow (providing the Internet is working okay) as it’s time to switch off, make sandwiches for later and start loading up the car. The IOW is calling me… oh, and just in case you’re wondering… it’s not me on the bike in the featured image!

See you all soon. x