imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

IN MY EYES: Tired of work? Retire!

I feel like retiring now, fellas.

But I still have kids who are going to college and that makes me think twice. I am not yet of retiring age, may-
be a decade more before I bow out of government service.

I envy many people who own their time.

I envy those who have time to listen to music, those who have time to plant a string bean seed, or tomato seedlings and watch them grow, bear flowers and fruits.

How I envy the Roman Emperor Diocletian who abandoned his throne and went farming cabbages, and when his cabbages covered the entirety of his farm, he exclaimed to his king partner: “If you only see how green my farm now with my healthy cabbages, you will forget all about thrones and empires!”

Oh, how I miss those days when I was young and had time to do these things.

I miss those days when I had time to fish in the river using the “batbateng” or catch all the crabs hiding under the fist-big stones, then afterwards, dive into the lucid water for a refreshing finish before going home.

I envy many people nowadays, fellas.

I envy my friends who have retired and are now enjoying their pensions and have all the time to jog at the rubber Quirino Stadium lanes. They have all the time to stay fit and socialize with all the people they have been missing due to their hectic schedule when they were still in the government service.

I envy my media friends who have retired from their government works.

They are now as free as a bird without those early morning wake ups and pressures and now have all the time to apply their passion in the media world.

Ah, if only retirement comes at age 40 or 50 or 55, it would have been a healthier world.

A public school teacher has been praying earnestly that the government will come out with a law that retirement for government workers starts at age 55. She is now 53.

“I am tired of teaching, she said, but at 53, I cannot still retire because the retirement with pension or lump sum starts at age 60,” she said.

“Well, you are still young and strong, why wish for early retirement?” I asked.

“Aha, a teachers’ life nowadays has become busier. We have a lot of paperworks. It’s all work and almost no time to play with our kids and grandkids. Then here come these CPDs for PRC ID renewal. Na naman!!!” she said gritting her teeth in disgust, visibly irked.

“Well, that’s for your professional development,” I replied.

“Ah basta, I like to retire early. The government won’t let us rest, for even on Saturdays and Sundays, we have seminars, trainings, workshops and official businesses.  I’m tired of these works,” she said.

“Why not resign if you are no longer happy?” I said.

She said she will apply for her early retirement at age 55 if her kids are amenable. She said she might not be able to support herself financially if she gets only an initial of 18-month salary.

“I only earn P20,000 a month and that’s roughly P360,000 for 5 years of waiting before I’ll start receiving my pension at age 60. So, I have to consult my children first,” she said.

“Well said my friend. Stay healthy and enjoy life,” I said.

Is retiring from work good for the health?

“Of course, yes, absolutely yes!” says Dr. Peter Eibich, a health economist at the University of Oxford.

Benefits of stopping work include more exercise, less stress and better sleep.

Retiring from work is good for your health, chiefly due to the benefits of more exercise, less stress, and greater sleep enjoyed by people who stop working, according to a major study.

In retirement, people are more likely to rate their health as ‘satisfactory’ and their mental health improves.

More sleep, with people getting an extra 40 minutes a day in their retirement, along with pensioners being 10 per cent more likely to take regular exercise, are key factors in this. And retired people visit their doctor less often, even after allowing for age-related   medical problems and those retired early due to ill-health.

“Taking these factors into account, I find that the number of doctor visits is reduced by 25%.  Relief from work-related stress and strain, increased sleep duration as well as more frequent physical exercise seem to be key mechanisms through which retirement affects health. Retirement also increases time invested in repairs and gardening, and household chores. These activities require a physical effort and can therefore be expected to enhance health by providing physical activity over and above the increase in sports and exercise,” adds Dr. Eibich.

I take this as a good advice, fellas.

We will all retire someday and enjoy the rest of our life.

So, all we have to do are to choose from these two things: enjoy our work or envy others of their freedom.

I choose both.