How about a life of TOYL in the ‘New Normal’?? What’s your 2020 vision?

If work is all about TOIL then the Time Of Your Life is what we should aspire to afterwards. I wonder how many of us are experiencing what retirement might be like by being in Lock Down, Socially Isolating ourselves or at least Socially Distancing. Many have been sent home for one or more of a multitude of reasons or possibly excuses. Some will have underlying health conditions that make risking the workplace and acquiring Covid-19 life threatening. Others will be able to do much of their office based work at home on a laptop and mobile phone, others such as gardeners and construction workers obviously cannot. 

Has Corona Virus given you the opportunity to reassess your work:life balance – Indeed has it made your work more or less attractive or indeed is the ‘dream’ of not working and staying staying home turned into a rather unpleasant nightmare. For some approaching retirement age, however or whomever defines that, thus may be the spur they need to make or push for the decision to negotiate the exit or dig in for more. If there is one thing certain for those of us that come through this pandemic and live to see what’s on the other side it’s that the ‘new normal’ is going to look very different to what we all experienced living through just a few short months ago. For some their work or businesses may not be sustainable, or rather the customer base may well have got used to and rather like cooking and eating in more often or at least getting meals delivered rather than going to a restaurant. Will pubs, bars and clubs survive? It’s not that long ago they felt their businesses threatened by the smoking bans and who wants to be shoulder to shoulder with strangers coughing and spluttering nearby? Indeed will our governments allow us to be in such close proximity to others and if this is the case will this smaller capacity make the establishment nonviable? At the time of writing I’m hearing murmurings that the 2M / 6ft distancing was just ‘made-up’ and proclaimed to be ‘safe’ but without any hard evidence. I wonder how this message will be turned around when we are encouraged to go back to work on crowded busses and trains let alone aeroplanes – there is some scope there for increasing distancing and maybe I’ll one day get enough legroom to at least be comfortable! However will we want to risk travelling far and wide again – can that business meeting the other side of the world be done on Skype or Zoom and whereas flying vast distances at huge expense for a face to face meeting might have been a means of showing commitment and engagement in the ‘new normal’ this might be perceived as perverse – after all hasn’t a large proportion of office based work been done from our spare bedrooms or the kitchen table with good effect? I wouldn’t want to be invested in expensive city centre office blocks now! There may be some upsides to at least partly address the huge negatives that Corona Virus has dealt us. At the beginning there was a great deal of community spirit with offers of help and support. Many are focusing on what they have rather than what they are missing and gratitude is linked to happiness. Levels of pollution are down with far fewer cars on the road and planes in the skies and we are noticing birdsong that was always there but drowned out by the background drone of 21st century living.

 So, whilst we may have a bit more time should we not think about what we have and are grateful for, what we don’t miss and what we can do without – The ‘New Normal’ may not be so bad after all!!

Expression – Acronym for “Time Of Your Life”.

Noun – A tool that has lost a portion of its innate purpose and has now converted to a toy.

Can be fun to use and creates spontaneous enjoyment (e.g laughter, smiling, playful curiosity, etc.)

Hey I just bought this new TOYL that I can’t wait to try out!

My new thermometer is the coolest TOYL I have ever bought. (If you can get hold of one in these feverish times – If you haven’t got one please tyr to buy one ASAP – A pulse Oximiter MAY also be useful and if you can get one they are relatively inexpensive!)


The One You Loved is used in Acronym Slang Internet Romance.

The word TOYL is used in Acronym, Slang, Internet, Romance, is a general term meaning The One You Loved – Some of us will not make to to the ‘other side’ – we should think about the ones we love and keep connected. For many they won’t ever see their elderly relatives again face to face due to time, distance and lock down safety. Make a call, Skype or Zoom – but seriously say the things you want to say now in case it’s too late.


The TOYL meaning is Ten Outstanding Young Leaders. We were all that once – Young that is!

Below is from an old blog but may be relevant (or outdated) now!!

The ‘New Normal’ may also have a ‘New Retirement’ – or even a ‘New TOYL’ to look forward to, so get thinking, get planning and be safe!

I hope to see you on the other side!

Retirement as it was once known no longer exists for the many, instead we transition from what we did post education to a phase of life with hopefully more leisure, less ‘work’, more pursuit of passions and hopefully less pressure to earn to the level we needed to before or indeed at all.

I and others seem to struggle with the nomenclature for this phase – terms such as the 3rd age or 3rd Act have been used as of course are retirement or semi-retirement. Whatever we call it, it is hopefully the antithesis of the preceding ‘toil’of work so toyl – the Time Of Your Life (to have the Time Of Your Life) might just cover at least some aspects.

The more I look into whatever ‘retirement’ actually is the less I find it fits the old mould. It wasn’t that long ago that we toiled until 65 and left work with our gold watch and a relatively short life expectancy. Now we may be forced into this 3rd (st)age by redundancy or be lucky enough to take early retirement. In fact the more I study friends, colleagues and acquaintances the more diverse I find their solutions based on essentially the same data set. I know several who continue to work into old age albeit at a lesser pace. George for one still retains the passion for General Practice and surprisingly even the medico-politics. Andrew a lawyer is about to retire at 55 and “do nothing” (We’ll see about that!) Others continue their job as it is their passion but part-time and often picking and choosing so that they do less of those aspects they dislike and more of those things they enjoy and get energy from. Age seems to be a less and less important issue. John realised that without planning and more by luck than judgement he found himself in a situation where he had a modest income from property that covered the basics of living. He now does ‘bits and pieces’ – bar work and helping at music festivals, not to make his fortune but to have spending money and to enjoy himself – often racing old bangers! In contrast Robert always seems in need of another million to see himself ‘comfortable’ in old age. I honestly think John is happier and more content with his life albeit his house and assets are almost certainly 1/20th that of Robert’s. He’s also taken the ‘plunge’ 10-15 years earlier and so far as he’s concerned is living HIS dream. I have also met many people of ‘working age’ who have developed ‘portfolio careers’ – sometimes taking on different aspects of their careers on different days – two days ‘job’. A day or two writing or in management and a day or so as a volunteer or following a passion such as music or sport. These typically younger ‘millennials’ are I feel better suited than some of us traditional types as when the time is right they can reduce down or expand their portfolio contents and as their need to earn (hopefully) reduces. This will allow them to spend more time in leisure and following their passions as for many the mortgage will have been paid off and children will have left the nest and be less financially dependent on them as parents.

So what is ‘TOYL’ and why should we be thinking about this whatever our age? Retirement in the old sense is an improbable outcome for most of us and the younger one is the less likely this is. We know that transition is often easier to deal with than a sudden ‘falling off the cliff’, so why not start early.

So why not start TOYLing now? After all at any age surely it’s the Time Of Your Life to have the Time Of Your Life? As William said you’ve likely done double, double TOIL and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble as a career and if you are lucky enough to find that like Charles’ and Mr Micawber’s famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness”. (Rather than “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”) why not go for a life of TOYL rather than TOIL? Happy toiling!




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