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03 January, 2007

Or Butterfly

Well, that's it. I've finally done it. I've worked my last day ever. I am now officially retired - or unemployed - or starting a new career - or something.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not having an identity crisis or anything, but I've been wondering how to describe myself from now on. I really don't like the term 'retired'. It sounds like I plan to sit in an armchair, with a pipe and a comfy cardigan, reading the paper between bouts of 'pottering' in the garden. It doesn't imply the intensive regime of writing and creativity that I have planned for myself. It doesn't suggest the excitement of launching out in new directions and working on the many fascinating 'projects' I intend to pursue.

I could call myself a writer, I suppose, or a musician, or even a blogger - but each sort of implies that I'm making some money at it. Which I definitely am not. I could call myself a man of leisure, a dilettante, a gentleman artist, a philosopher (no implication of earnings there!), or someone spending more time with my family (as erstwhile politicians do). All of these would look good on a passport - which isn't the best of reasons to adopt one, of course.

Then again, why label myself at all? Haven't I had enough of that? Perhaps, if anyone ever cares to ask, I shall put on my best 60s hippy voice and say, 'Don't fence me in, man. I totally reject your bourgeois, crypto-fascist attempts to mould me to your narrow-minded world-view.' (Not for nothing did I take that sociology A-level.) At least it would stop people asking - or talking to me at all, probably.

Hmmm. 'Misanthrope'. Now there's a thought.

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