Writer’s Note: “Makin’ the Case” returns after an absence while I attended to other matters. Opinions offered here are largely mine and don’t necessarily reflect the thinking of anyone else at Your Hometown Newspaper, although they might. Let me hear from you, firstname.lastname@example.org.
At least once and usually several times each week, a friend will remind me they are retired now and ask me the inevitable, “When do you plan to retire?”
Really, I’m old but am I looking so bad folks think it’s time to hang it up?
Do they figure if they’re old enough to retire then I must be so why am I not retired or planning to do so soon?
Here’s the answer to the question: I don’t plan to retire!
Yes, I may have to for reasons of health but, at least for me, it won’t be just because I can retire — at least not yet.
I realize, too, some people just flat don’t like their jobs and they have one of those count backwards calendars to the day they can tell the boss, as the country song crooned, “Take this job and shove it!”
If that’s how you feel then, by all means, turn off your computer, pack the plunder from your desk along with pictures of the fam and the pets and head on out. As my friend John C. Hamilton, the late and storied Bald Knob realtor, used to say: “I’m for you!”
Sure, I don’t ever seem to get caught up with things I’d like to do around the house and projects that are on the drawing board, but I figure give me a halfway decent six months — a year at most — and I could be completely caught up.
Then what? Sure, I have hobbies and am planning to build a stained glass studio this summer to resume one of them.
Megan and her husband, Drew, returned my 55-gallon aquarium that has gone the rounds of the family since Susan and I got married almost 45 years ago, most recently having been stored in her garage.
I don’t know if it will hold water, but we’ll see. I’m going to set it up in my stained glass studio and resume a hobby I began embracing in the fifth grade with five guppies and a little bowl.
I don’t have to retire to do either of those.
I don’t have the patience for fishing or golf and I gave up hunting years ago so those are out.
Here’s the deal: I read and hear of far too many people my age and a lot younger who’ve retired and regret it. After a lifetime of work, suddenly not ever having to set an alarm again doesn’t appear quite so appealing.
So, they go back to work at whatever they can find to do. Not necessarily because they need the money (and maybe that’s part of it), but because they need something to do. Since I have something to do, I think I’ll just stay here.
I told my boss, Ms. Publisher Ann Dix Maenza, just the other day that I would stay as long as I am making a contribution here at Your Hometown Newspaper.
“But,” I added, “I trust you’ll tell me when it’s time to write my retirement column and hang it up and not just keep me because you feel sorry for me.”
“Trust me,” she said, “I will tell you!” And I’m “trusting” she will.
So, in answer to your question even as my 67th birthday looms: I am not retiring!