Friday, October 06, 2006

A Year of Retirement

146 A Year of Retirement

The first rule in this space is “don’t write in the first person singular.” That’s been broken only once previously and will be for the second time now.

I retired on October 11, 2005, and it’s now about one year later.

Retirement is a killer, so ‘tis said.

But I’m not yet dead.

Slower of wit, perhaps. Slower of gait because of a bum knee, which also is observing its first anniversary, sure.

But none of the personally defining characteristics have changed so’s you’d notice. I still get cranky over very little – and do so very quickly.

But what the hell.

Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time available. That’s for sure. Things that used to be done from a corner of the desk now occupy its center. Things that I never before thought of doing have become major skills. Things that used to be major skills have been shoveled to the desk corner.

I’m playing a lot less guitar these days, watching a lot more television. I’m better read than at any previous time since my youth and I know how to (1) change the filter on a gas furnace, (2) remove a “permanently” installed air conditioner, (3) wire a wireless home network, (4) polish and touch up furniture, (6) make a plant grow even when it says it doesn’t want to (anyone remember “talk to your plants?”)

My grocery shopping skills, always excellent, have become finely honed.

I have learned that New York City really IS another planet to those out here in the country. And I have learned that real country people think of Moote Pointe as “the city.”

I have learned that Newsday and the New York Times and even the New York Post are far better newspapers than regular readers realize, that New York radio and television really are better than regular listeners and viewers realize.

I have re-learned how spaced out academia can be, how brutal are its politics, how underworked so many in that trade can be.

I have learned not to miss the ocean or the subway and to appreciate the beauty of the mountains. They aren’t the Rockies, but they’re just fine, thank you.

Every day is pretty much like every other day, and sometimes I have to check the calendar to know what day it IS. A disease of the retired.

But there are a lot of advantages. I can choose the particular imbeciles for whom I do piece work. I can sit in the sunroom and watch some of the most beautiful leaves I’ve ever seen. I can (and sometimes even DO) sleep until 9 in the morning.

There are a LOT of advantages. There are a lot of people who probably would do the world a favor by climbing aboard this bandwagon.

The President and Vice President come quickly to mind. The Speaker of the House and his Public Morals Management team. Bernie Kerik. The guy running CBS Radio, and his boss. It’s a long list. But guys, you can jump with your golden parachutes and stop doing harm by merely signing a couple of pieces of paper. You’d do us all a favor.

Apologies for all the capital “I’s” in this item.

Or as they say in the typical Consent Agreement “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I’ll never do it again.”

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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