From Organised Crime to Peaceful Retirement

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Anna Letitia Cook

Energising International Executives for more successful, productive, fulfilling leadership
International Executive and Holistic Success Coach | Author | Podcast Presenter | 30+ years working internationally

The other day (exactly 10 days ago to be precise) while thoroughly enjoying some particularly wonderful holidays in the SUN and HEAT (never stops raining where I live – ugh!) my OH and I were unexpectedly invited to spend a day with a certain family…

Being in France, the food was lavish, the wine was flowing and the meal as a long, lingering, drawn out affair on the terrace by the pool – all in all pretty heavenly so far!

We were all chatting, as one does, about life, family, jobs, careers, and as we are all in the M bracket (middle aged, mature, menopause) about approaching retirement.

Our host has a rather interesting “career”.  His whole life, apart from when he is with his wife and children, is taken up with drug deals, hold ups, killings, gang wars.  In other words he is right in the middle of organised crime and has been for a very looooooooooong time!  His “patch” or ‘manor” as we would say in England, also happens to be in and around one of the largest cities in France and probably the most violent. 

Lets give this chappie a nickname “Dodger” (best not to use real names here I think!).  Dodger is planning to retire in the next few months, in fact, he can’t wait, he is counting the days… One can understand why he wants to.  Whatever views any of us have on the rights and wrongs of drug dealing, hold ups, killings and gang wars, lets just concentrate on the type of life he has led up until now:

  • Incredible stress
  • high speed action
  • lightening decisions
  • huge responsibility
  • frequent danger
  • constant challenge
  • essential quick wittedness
  • long and irregular hours
  • always looking over his shoulder
  • never knowing what is coming next

Dodger is in his mid fifties, has heart problems, stress problems and is overweight!  Fixed in his mind is his retirement, how much he is looking forward to it, and spending time with his (youngish) children.  He has no concrete plans on what he is going to do, just a hazy idea of peace, family, lazing around…

One of his great friends, Mr P – who is strictly legit, has worked in the private sector all his life, nice quiet calm job, albeit with a fair amount of responsibility, – retired a couple of months ago.  Mr P is climbing the walls, going stir crazy, sinking slowly into depression and speaking pitifully of having nothing to do but talk to the furniture all day…

Both wives work full time, so the men will remain “home alone”

Drawing a quick conclusion…. If Mr P is already struggling with loneliness, boredom and the beginnings of depression after just a couple of months and his job having been fairly quiet and stable; just how is the Dodger going to cope after a life full of danger, adrenalin pumping speed, extremes and responsibility laden decision making?

Find some tips and ideas to help Mr P and Dodger move towards a healthier, happier and more fulfilling retirement in part 2 of this article.


P.S.  In case you are worried – Dodger, in fact, is not a gangster, he is a totally overworked Cop! Head of a rather elite specialist crime-fighting team…

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