Observations and Ramblings of a Cranky Old Guy
Written by Jeff Spaulding on July 30, 2020
Welcome back to the topic of the month, from a man facing reality, and yet I feel while you may not identify with the topic now, you will, sooner or later.
And frankly, it sucks.
This issue, we focus on two parts of my name, cranky and old.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been involved, professionally, which means the fools actually paid me, in the world of broadcasting, since 1977.
That’s a pretty long time.
Doesn’t mean I have gotten good at it, it’s just that they haven’t caught me yet.
Like many other careers: musician, bartender, pimp, I consider what I do to be much more like a paid hobby (notice I did not say WELL paid) than a job/career.
I love what I do, and have gotten well versed on many different aspects of the career, and at any time I am ready to always learn.
Fortunate that I have been doing what I do, with the exception of a few “unfortunate” situations, and I controlled my own destiny during said career.
Format changes, new owners, crap ratings, lawsuits, saying dirty words on the air, I got through them all.
This time however, my back is potentially getting pushed to the wall.
The possibility of retirement.
I turn 65 in January.
Can it be so long ago, as a young 21-year-old snot nosed punk that I was ready to conquer the world?
That was yesterday, many yesterdays.
I ain’t ready to hang it up yet.
Turning 65, or rather prepping to turn 65, is a massive pain to endure.
Once the government knows you’re hitting that mark, your mailbox gets filled with more junk than weekly grocery store coupons and bargains.
Everyone who wants to sell you Medicare Supplemental insurance is waiting outside your door.
Your boss tries to be subtle and keeps asking how you’re doing and if you’re feeling ok.
Your kids are starting a pool to find out when they’ll get your stuff, what they will get, and how much more will they get in their share than their siblings.
Without warning, your body starts hurting in little ways you never noticed before.
You take notice to commercials about stool softeners.
(Okay maybe that’s just me but the body really starts to change/deteriorate once you hit your sixties.)
Now, if you are younger than I am, each decade brings new questions/statements depending on your age.
In your twenties, the world is your oyster.
In your thirties, you start to conform to society, cuz you think you can’t function without doing so.
In your forties, you hope you did the right thing in life up till then.
In your fifties, you still think you have time to “make it.”
In your sixties, you’re stuck between “I’m immortal” to “I can learn to like government cheese” to “I am SO screwed, maybe it’s time to try the homeless lifestyle.’
Again, I ain’t ready to hang it up yet, but day by day I find individual life options are starting to lessen.
(Point of reference, I once LIVED on government cheese, and with a little spicy mustard, it ain’t all that bad.)
So, you look at what is ahead of you and think “Well. It’s all over sailor, if I accomplished what I set out to do decades ago, you can now start planning to spend your days in small claims court watching trials, or mall walking (as long as you bring your mask), and going to sleep with Pat and Vanna.
You ask then “How will YOUR life end up oh Cranky Old one?
Two words, Thuck Fat!
(Only way I can get them to print that)
My wife thinks I am crazy, my employer is a little scared, my friends are putting Vegas odds against me, but I am NEVER without a plan.
(Call it a bucket list to the final degree.)
In two years, at 66, if I can last, I plan to still be at my current radio station when they hit 100 years of broadcasting.
(No names please, but there is to my knowledge just one AM station in the Capital Region who has been around that long.
That was/is the cherry on the top, to “end” a career at a joint with THAT much cred.
My next goal is financial, again, if I can last, if I stay working till 70, I get a bonus from Social Security.
Final, FINAL goal, if I can last, stay in the business, even part time, till age 71.
This is personal, at 71, I will have been in the business 50 years.
Ain’t getting nothing for it, it’s just a round number.
After that finally, retirement.
Wish me luck.
Be hearing you.