Memoir of a Rural-Sisyphus Redux, Retirement Reflections

Bill Engleson


Memoir of a Rural Sisyphus-Redux


Memoir of a Rural Sisyphus-Redux

Bill Engleson

For a few years, I kept a diary of my inauguration into the Denman Community. This column, recently renamed Memoir of a Rural Sisyphus-Redux, will

extract several of my observations from a dozen or so years ago and share them. Hopefully, they will have some modern times currency.

Retirement Reflections

March 2, 2005

I have my share of idle time, time that I hope will become well-wasted, to play off the slogan of the Comedy Network. In my retired state, and particularly in winter, I hibernate from the weather and from gatherings of people. I sometimes wish I was more garrulous, a more social fellow but the truth of the matter is that I enjoy my own company, my thoughts, my way of existing. Still, I sometimes yearn for the sweet structure that was afforded me by life as a public servant social worker. Like many people, it was the folks I worked with that occupied a lot of my time, that gave me pleasure to be in their realm. I was paid to interact with people, to labour along side them, to enter their lives and perhaps help them sort out their dilemmas.

But there is no way back that I would find acceptable. And to help me visualize the point, one of my favourite TV shows wrapped up last night. NYPD Blue concluded its thirteen-year run. One character had retired on the previous week’s episode. This final week, he strolls into the precinct and poignantly observes that, ‘when you’re gone, you’re gone.’

In most ways, I feel fortunate to be a fair distance away from where I once worked.

I know that isn’t the case for everyone on this Island.

For me though, I don’t want to be some sad pathetic aged gaffer hanging around their old office, swapping stories with a younger generation, getting in the way like some sleepy ancient pooch you keep stumbling over.


No, I’d rather be some pathetic old gaffer, some sleepy ancient pooch my wife stumbles over.

You think you’ve got this retirement gig figured out and then you look at it closely.

It takes some doing, let me tell you.

I have a ways to go to getting it right.

I’m not there yet.