Who am I? A brief overview would look like this:
- Born in the late 1950’s
- Raised in the 1960’s
- Adolescence and nascent adulthood in the 1970’s
- Created my own family in the 1980’s
- Battled partner’s mental illness in the 1990’s
- Re-educated and marooned from the workforce in the 2000’s
- Chasing the ever shifting goal of retirement in the 2010’s
As a woman of my time, I was among the last of those educated to become a stay-at-home wife and mother, and later provide a small secondary family income. Maternity leave from my permanent public service job in 1981, was approved only once I promised to resign if my child was born alive and well.
As a woman of my time, I became a sole parent and primary income earner for my family when violence threatened my life and the lives of my children.
As a woman of my time, I have no superannuation, no life savings, and have watched my retirement age increase seven years in the last ten years. Too old to be employable at 40, because most men my age could retire at 55, not likely to catch up to retirement until 70 or 75 years of age, I will have spent 55 years of my working life too female to be taken seriously, and 35 years too old to be worth investing in.
Fortunately, I have a sense of humour.