Liminal Bridge by Alan Houghton

50 years of getting up like a lark, and many times before them, have come to a sudden end. No more 25,000 miles a year of wrestling with white van man on the motorways of Great Britain. The unceasing torrent of work and tasks to be sorted has not so much dried up as been obliterated.

My replacements have been introduced and trained up. My brain has been stripped of its years of experience and expertise. The farewell tour of customers went better than expected, despite post-covid restrictions, hybrid working and work from home enthusiasts.

No less than three leaving do’s survived, a mountain of cards to be read and trolley loads of presents to help me pass my time in the future. I have now got my own beer and wine lakes. The company car has been purchased and the company laptop taken off me, like a soldier losing his stripes. It is time to hand over to the next generation and that is how I find myself in this liminal space, between a world where everything has been planned by others and a future where my time is finally my own and I will get my life back.

What will life be like on the other side? Hopefully somewhere between “You’ll not know what to do with yourself” and “You’ll wonder how you found time to work”. It will take time to adjust but I am enjoying the freedom already. It’s almost like being let out of jail. Long awaited trips are being planned. My passport will get well worn. Friendships renewed and reunions underway. House and garden maintenance are back on the agenda after years of neglect. Hobbies will be pursued anew. My stamp collection will get a boost, my knowledge for the quiz team should improve and my ambitions to write will be revived.

Crossing this liminal bridge between a life where everything has always been mapped out for me to a future where everything is up to me to sort out, is as daunting as it is exciting. But as they say “It has got to be done”, so let’s crack on with it.