The main problem with retirement is the actual word itself.
It sounds so final, ominous —- like the last stop on the train. So I’ve decided to delete the word retirement and simply call it a “career change.” If anyone asks, I’m not retiring, I’m “transitioning.” ( just to another occupation . . . not another sex. )
Now I realize that starting out in a new career, I can’t expect the same level of compensation or benefits. The great news is that the government has graciously offered to subsidize my senior-life crisis with a modest check each month to help offset the costs associated with the career change.
The problem with retirement
My main problem now is to figure out just what I want to transition to, that is, what shall my new occupation be? The choices are overwhelming, but I’ll have to narrow them down to a select few. Perhaps, I should stick with those in which I have some interest.
Couch warmer is my current position and, if I do say so myself, I’m pretty good at it. I should be after all these years. I actually wore out the last couch just by sitting. Yeah . . . I’m that good at it. But, I’ve been doing it for so long its really getting kind of boring.
I could become a professional blogger. I’ve been playing with this idea, but when I really look at the good bloggers, they all have a facet that my writing doesn’t have . . . something interesting to say! At this point I’ve been playing with my websites for three years and I’ve made about $600 bucks. $200 bucks a year isn’t going to be much of a help. In fact, it just pays for the hosting and website costs. I guess I can write this idea off the list.
Money to retire
It’s not that I really need money to retire. We’ll make it OK. but more would be nice. (maybe a new truck?) I’ve even checked out just continuing to do what I’m currently doing and make a little extra money to retire, just doing it part time. I’m a building inspector right now in North Carolina, but I’ve already got a license for New York. That might work out, but its not really much of a change.
I though about being a Chippendale dancer. I figured with my big waistline there would be lots of room for singles. But it turns out they have an age restriction. I know its not fair.
It’s kind of ironic really. I remember when I was seventeen. One day, my girlfriend asked me what I wanted to be. I really didn’t have a good answer. So, I mumbled something about going to junior college or maybe becoming an electrician. In an effort to dodge the question, I cleverly (or so I thought) turned the tables. I asked her, “what are YOU going to do after we graduate?” She paused for a moment and then proceeded to say something like, “well, I’m leaving on June 6th, after graduation and going to Philadelphia to get settled into “Art School. Then on the 8th I’m going out to Montauk to take a summer job at a restaurant to save for college. Then on September 1st. I begin a four year program with my major in Art and my minor in Education. Eventually I hope to pursue a career in commercial art and design. I”ll be interning at the Art school in New York each summer until I graduate …. in June of 1971 !”
In that moment I realized it was over. She had gone and ruined our relationship by growing up. She actually knew what she wanted to be. I didn’t have a clue! In fact, looking back now, I never did. And here I am now, fifty years later, wondering what I’m going to be when I grow old. Some things never change.
What I do know is that I’m not going to call it “retirement.”
My main preoccupation in the near future will be fixing up an old house and making my wife a nice place to live in her hometown of Medina, NY. That should take about a year. Then who knows? downhill skiing?
Truth is, I’ll probably never figure it out. But who cares?
I mean, I never really grew up . . . so, maybe I’ll never grow old?