Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not a moment too soon

Everybody here in Texas that knows us very well accuses me of “the countdown.” I say, retirement? Retirement? Don’t talk about retirement. Retirement!” With tongue in cheek, I use the same tone as the commercial with Jim Mora, the ex-New Orleans Saints coach. Instead, he says, “Playoffs? Playoffs? Don’t talk about the playoffs. Playoffs!” That’s because Cynthia isn’t far from retirement, and, frankly, I’m thrilled. In 19 weeks, or 266 days, Cynthia is planning to retire. Or, even further, 456 hours, or 27,360 minutes. Now, if that’s not counting ‘em down, I don’t what else you would call it. She works for the federal government, and at age 56 (minimum) she can retire and still keep benefits.

She said she would like to work 25 years, but that would mean until next October. I said, “Why? Twenty-five is just a number. Nobody but you will remember the number.” After some consideration, she agreed. So, June 5 is her last day, because that’s end of a pay period. My retirement came so quickly, I hardly noticed it and haven’t looked back since. Shortly after we got married, Cynthia had to have some surgery done on a thumb, which was followed by a lengthy rehabilitation. So, I quit my job as sports info. director at LeTourneau University to help with her rehab. I didn’t quit writing, however, a weekly bowling column for the newspaper. I continued to write it for about a year. I saw one of the bowlers recently and he asked me if I was retired now or just half-way. He knew I was no longer writing the bowling news, but wasn’t sure if I was doing anything else. I told him, Yep, I had retired … officially. I didn’t tell him that all I do now is write a blog every once in a while. Writing this blog is a way of keeping my writing skills sharpened, and I use the word “skills” loosely. No, I don’t miss my job as sports info director, definitely, because of the time it required anyway (every Saturday and lots of nights, especially during basketball season) and I don’t miss writing the bowling news (rounding up all the bowling scores at three bowling centers and a weekly interview with whomever had a good bowling night). Mercy!

Enough was enough. I left the newspaper business, thinking that PR work might be a little slower, but was I ever wrong? It still required ample travel time and working nights and weekends. Keeping up with statistics and reporting them to the proper national, regional and conference organizations and on a timely basis. With me, the number of years I did it wasn’t important. When June rolls around, if I haven’t mentioned it once or twice before, Cynthia and I plan to do a little traveling with our RV. We can enjoy the countryside and being together.


At January 27, 2009 at 1:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, John. I hope you and Cynthia enjoy your retirement and RVing as I know you will.

At January 27, 2009 at 6:04 PM , Blogger Bill Hinds said...

Congrats John!

You and Cynthia enjoy life while you are both in good health. Take your vitimans and take good care of your health.

I had colon cancer, went through kemo & radiation. Surgery was five years ago this Oct., my surgeon tells me I am cancer free.

I tell you this only to emhasize the importance of having a colonoscosopy. Extreemly important!!

At January 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

John & Cynthia, you are fortunate to have a good retirement plan. Since I moved around so much and Gwen used her retirement plan to pay for our son's college, I'm afraid the retirement money that we have may not last long enough. I'll probably have to supplement my Social Security with some part-time work. But, it's like you said with the blogging, you need something to keep your skills sharp and I think it will be continuing to work part-time for me. I'll find some kind of fun job for old people like working at a library or something like that. - Jim Patterson


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