Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pre-retirement musings

Now that I’ve gone public (told top management at my company) that I plan to retire next spring, I’m not exactly waffling . . . but . . .

Oh, the obvious parts of retirement sound great! No more alarm clock buzzing at 4:45 each morning; able to plan my own weekdays for projects or relaxation; able to travel for a day, a week, a month, or a season without worrying about burning vacation; time a-plenty to write fiction or poetry, get out the old guitar and/or banjo and get some calluses on my fingertips again; spend time with Carol doing whatever is important to her, including housework, meal preparation and clean-up, yard work, and more. Regular exercise to keep the body trim. Keeping on top of current events to keep the mind active. Reading. Golf.

Yep, all of that and more, with few constraints from the expectations of others. Sounds really nice.

So where’s the “but?”

Well . . . If I’m going to be honest with myself I have to acknowledge that much of my feelings of self-worth – and thus of self-satisfaction – derive from things I accomplish on the job. I take pride in dealing with employee problems and resolving them. I find it very rewarding to screen, interview, select and hire the “perfect” new employee and watch him/her blossom, grow and get promoted.

When I’m retired no one is going to ask my opinion. And if I offer one, unsolicited, I’ll either be patronized or ignored. I mean, once you retire, you’re no longer “in the game.” Who cares what the retired guy thinks? He’s no longer got a vested interest.

Can I deal with that?

I sure hope so. But that little niggling doubt makes me second-guess my public declaration, just a little. Hmmm.

Guess I’ll find out in about six months.