If any of you know the lyrics to Neil Diamond’s song “Farewell, So Long, Good-bye” you probably are in in your golden years or approaching them. I have reached the ripe old age of 66 and with much consternation, the question of retirement arises.
When you are young, you fantasize of all the things you will do in your retirement years. But, when that day comes, you may experience an epiphany. Your body is not able to endure the long drive to those far and distant places you wanted to travel to. Mountain climbing and hiking the Appalachian Trail is out of the question. Sleeping out in the cold damp nights makes your arthritis flare up and by now you have had some body part replaced which limits your flexibility. So all those activities you planned to do after retirement when you were young, take on a new perspective when you are old. Conventional wisdom would say to retire and do what you can while you still can.
On the flip side, there is the decision of actually leaving your job. Being retired you have no job. That’s an unnerving feeling of helplessness. Even though you have set aside a sizeable nest egg, you are vulnerable to the winds of economic change. Most of all, it’s leaving your co-workers that you have made bonds with over the years. Now that you have the time to play, they don’t. It takes me to mind when I was single and my buddies were married. Family commitments prevented them from engaging in the things we did together when we were all single.
Yes everyone promises to keep in touch but that eventually wanes. So after retirement a new social circle of friends has to be developed. The thought of joining all those old guys for morning coffee at the McDonald’s or Thursday night bingo has absolutely no appeal to me.
So why would anyone want to retire? That is the question facing me. I love my job, the company I work for, and the people I work with. But, the fact is that time is running out to do the things that I have long desired. I am not getting any younger and I need to do them while I am still capable.
So it is with much consternation, that I am announcing my retirement. I will miss being with you all.
At the end of the March I will be officially retired. I am packing up the camper and the dog to start my travels across the country. Along with this comes the end of an era of the #DearJoe Twitter feed. @EXAIR_JP will be retired much like myself, so make sure you follow the rest of the EXAIR team, (@EXAIR, @EXAIR_DW, @EXAIR_RB, @EXAIR_BF, @EXAIR_KE, @EXAIR_LE, @EXAIR_NR, @ProfPenurious) to stay up to date on EXAIR offerings as well as a small amount of humor. Let’s face it, none of them are as funny as I am, but they do give me most of my material.