Now that I’m starting out on my 61st year,  it seems like a good time to reflect on the 60th, and what’s ahead.

As far as 60 was concerned, a (younger) graphic designer friend summed it all up when she said “I’m circling the drain.” Last year was pretty difficult – it wasn’t the first year in a while where money going out exceeded what came in but it was the worst. I’m not alone – more than a few friends of my generation have had hard years. I’m not talking about minor dips, either – that drain is getting crowded.

I’ve been a freelancer for the past 25 years; a trainer of folks in the corporate world, web designer, and photographer mostly. I’m used to the ups and downs of this itinerant, nomadic work style. There’s a point, though, where the writing on the wall becomes clearer, and I don’t need to put my reading glasses on to figure it out. Time to readjust my expectations, hustle, and to be prepared for the fact that it’s unlikely I’ll ever see the kind of business or revenue I saw in the past. I’m probably more likely to win a lottery.

A recent article in the star – From middle-class to minimum wage. With no way back – paints a pretty grim picture – one I think we’re going to see more and more. Schuppert was 10 years younger than me when this happened to him, and it’s happened to younger friends of mine in the same type of middle-management role. It’s not just us old(er) guys.

In many of ways, I’m nowhere near Schuppert’s dilemma. I own my house, and when you live in downtown Toronto, this is a Good Thing. I seem to have a broader range of skills than he has, as well as some ongoing work. Covering the bills, though, has been a challenge lately.

I’ve had to make a few changes, including taking a part time job over the holidays to try to top up the financial tank. The work is nowhere near what I’ve done in the past (nor is the pay), nor does it use any of the academic qualifications or skills I’ve gained over the years, at least not directly. It’s paying work, and I’m lucky to have it. And to be honest, it’s a nice change to be working outside the second bedroom office for a while, though I’m not so sure that Bob the Dog is impressed.

It’s time to make some major changes, and I’d prefer for one of those to not be a fridge box under the Gardiner as my new home. More to come…