I’m lucky enough to live in a country that has universal superannuation. Those of us over 65 also get a gold card, which allows us free travel between certain times of the day.
It was introduced in 2007 when politician Winston Peters, then (and now) leader of NZ First Party lobbied for its introduction as part of an agreement with then Labour Government.
It was a clever political move for someone who, while generally ‘left’, moves about a bit on his policies. He is remembered now for this card often referred to as “Winston’s Gold Card”. The disturbing thing is that while I once laughed at most of his views, I now find myself from time to time agreeing with him on some points. No I can’t remember all of them but enough to be alarmed at myself. He wants us to focus on the Pacific region, increase the minimum wage, decrease the number of people in prisons. All fantastic policies.
He is not, however, my party of choice so I’ll leave it at that. But I bet the party reaps the rewards of people who, like me, appreciate this gesture by the NZ government.
And as I draw closer to that magical age I find myself considering the Next Bit.
While I still feel optimistic about life and the next bit, I increasingly feel exhausted at the end of the week and disheartened by the lack of progress and impact some of my ideas have had.
I hear myself being grumpier than usual at work and constantly frustrated. It’s seeing someone espouse an idea that I had last year, or two years ago. It’s the sense of drowning in an organisation that is ever changing. It becomes exhausting and increasingly difficult to accept modifications to work.
I find myself too, in a workplace that is increasingly male and after many positive years I perceive myself to be at the end of (generally unwitting) sexism.
And while the gold card may allow me a modicum of freedom, it’s the superannuation, for all its paltry size in relation to my salary, that will allow me to find some new way to be.
I have been extremely lucky in my work life. Now it’s almost time to give my work colleagues some peace and allow them to have new and different ideas.