Monday, February 04, 2013

"Why?" or "So lucky"

Pic from FB

When I meet someone for the first time, it's always the same reactions I get when I say that I have just retired.  It's either "Why?" or "So lucky".  

I know that I have not yet reached the age of 55, which is the age that society accepts as the right age for retirement (in Malaysia, at least).  This makes people curious.

For those who asked, "Why?", it seems strange that I would give up working when I could still earn money.

For those that said, "so lucky", it is probably a wishful projection of what they want.

In either instance, I don't know how best to respond.  Usually I smile and nod because I don't know the reasons behind their reaction.  

If I had not been working for the last 30 years, would people still consider it strange that I have retired (early).

What if I had never ever worked before?

What if I was always a housewife or homemaker?  

Would they still have that incredulous look on their faces?

Somehow I get the feeling that if one had been working and one gives it up, something is wrong.  But if one hadn't been working at all then it's all right.

There's some serious stereotyping going on here, methinks.

Why is there this unwritten rule that we have to work until the very last employable date of our life or until we drop dead?

Why is it that if you've never worked at all, no one thinks twice about you being a homemaker?  But the moment you say that you chose to retire early, they either don't get it or they think you're lucky.

We all have different paths to take.

Where should I have gone?  I've not thought about it.

I am just where I am supposed to be.  


  1. Eventually the truth dawns on us.... a vast majority of people aren't conscious at all... they're just clone programs generated by a complex metaprogram devised by the self-perpetuating gene in a futile attempt to transcend space & time!

    1. The truth shall set us free, so to speak! :)

  2. I agree with Antares here: most people seem to be on 'auto' when you tell them something. They just blurt out 'Why ah?' without thinking about what the answer might be, and that maybe we'd like to keep it private because it's so personal. Like when you say you weren't at work because you on MC - "Why ah"? At the back of my mind, I always want to say: syphilis, gonorrhea - but maybe they won't know what those big words mean!

    When they ask, do you feel it is touched with venom? That's what I get. So, I now answer: "I've married well!" So, if they're irritated that I don't need to work anymore, they can be doubly irritated that Chuan can keep me in the style I am accustomed to ;) Hee Heee Heeee!

    And being a homemaker: I have seen people dismiss out-of-hand the moment they heard I didn't work (when I was younger, and was a free-lancing editor). I'd just become invisible :(

    1. I don't know if people I meet for the first time will have venom in their thoughts. I think it's more of a deep-seated curiousity or envy. I don't know. I may be looking into something that isn't even there.

      I think I like being 'invisible' now. There's more peace and quiet.

      By the way, you did marry well! Your choice turned out to be a good one! :)