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Perth Matters: Reflections on retirement

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Certain times of life inevitably involve a degree of reflection and I have reached one such milestone. Retiral. So longingly viewed on the distant horizon the reality is now with me, and the prospect is in some ways daunting.

Opportunities will of course present themselves but the structure and strictures of life that a job imposed (so often detested I admit) are no longer there to shape my day to day life.

Now freedom is mine I feel a little like the old lag who is on the brink of release from his life sentence, excitement tempered by fear of the unknown.

Such a monumental change has also had me looking back over nearly four decades of working life and the most striking thing has been the speed of technological change.

When I first entered the world of journalism the newsroom probably didn’t look much different than it had in 1950 or 1920 for that matter.

Wreathed in smoke, reporters deciphered shorthand notes in pencil before battering away on typewriters. The finished articles found their way to a print room where Caxton would have felt at home.

Fast forward over the decades and the computer, the internet and social media dominate news gathering, propelling the process to dizzying speeds and rewriting the entire business of news  dissemination.

It is hard to remember that email, digital photography and mobile phones were the stuff of science fiction until a few years ago.

That speed of change appears to be accelerating ever faster, leaving predicting future technological advances impossible.

Although a certain nostalgic tinge colours my recollections of a simpler time it was a wise man who said the past wasn’t better, simply different.

As I embark on the biggest change in my life for decades I hope I can remain open to new ideas while empowered by retirement to reject new “advancements” if I so wish.

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