Observations and Ramblings from a Cranky Old Guy- By: Jeff Spaulding

Written by on January 14, 2022

Happy New Year!

Fingers crossed this year will be better than last. Funny, we said that last year, how did that work out? Let’s just hope.

I start off this column with a question for those who are old farts like me. Not looking for an answer, but maybe it’s crossed your mind as well as mine.

When do you call it a day?

When do you throw in the towel?

When do you say I don’t wanna do this anymore?

In my case, I’m talking about potentially but eventually ending my career and retiring. I’m sure there are so many of you who have an easy answer, the instant I financially can.

I’m sure there are many of you who have a job, something to make a little scratch, something to set aside for that big day. I will use my dear darling wife as an example.

She works for the State of New York, and at the end of this coming May, she’s able to earn her gold watch. Well maybe more like cubic zirconium, times are hard in the Empire State. Thinking about retirement is essentially what keeps her going at her job. She has more than earned it, she’s a hard worker who goes above and beyond on the job, and she hates people…just like me.

When she does retire, things are naturally going to be tighter than normal, but we’re prepared. We’re fortunate that she has a pension from the State or we’d have to learn different ways to prepare meals that feature Friskies.

That’s what separates the two of us, being in broadcasting, especially with so many stops and starts over the decades, all I have is my good looks, and that won’t even pay for a senior coffee at McDonald’s.

We also think for the moment she will wait before taking Social Security, letting that grow a bit more. It’s scary but doable. We have a little nest egg, and the grandkids are growing up, so our financial obligations there will be easing. I can’t wait for her to start singing “Take This Job & Shove It” on that last day.

That’s her, then there’s me. This month I turn 66, come Spring I will qualify for Social Security if I choose. The problem is, even at this age, I am still a workaholic AND still love what I do and have been doing since 1977.

I have a long-range goal, one of a few bucket list items.

My plan is, if I can, health wise, and if “they” still want me, I will continue with this career until I am 71. That would round it off to 50 years of doing what I do. I’m not expecting a reward. I don’t expect a bonus.

I know most people will not give a crap one way or another. But I will.

As of today, I can say I am still excited to wake up and head “to the office.” I can say I am still learning my trade. I can say I get better every day and want to improve on that. Besides, if I retire, it’s a fact I will drive my wife bat shit crazy.

I have to be doing something every day, mostly.

With all that said, I’m not totally a fool.

Reality creeps in slowly, and gets more real every day.

After my heart attack and bypass, I knew I had to change my ways or there would be someone else writing this right now. So as much as I try to eat right, exercise more, blah blah blah, there’s more years behind me than in front of me.

Am I so stubborn I will keep working until I hit my goal, then drop dead the very next day? At one time in my life, I would have said absolutely. More and more, however, I can see a time when I start singing Johnny Paycheck. I can see a time when I don’t need an alarm clock, when I don’t have to drive back and forth to work in crappy weather, when I don’t have to be nice to people.

But not today. On second thought, I don’t have to be nice to people now, just tolerate them. If they could read my mind, I’d be in prison for life.

Be hearing you.

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