Observations and Ramblings from a Cranky Old Guy
Written by Staff on January 11, 2024
OBSERVATIONS AND RAMBLINGS FROM A CRANKY OLD GUY, by Jeff Spaulding.
January 2024 marks a significant event in my life. It was January 27th of 2023 that I made the decision to retire after a 46-year run in Broadcasting. I had been giving it a lot of thought beforehand, and in truth I was very torn since (as I have mentioned numerous times) I loved what I did. It was never really a job to me, rather, it was a paid hobby. Granted a low paid hobby but I digress, and besides, “they” don’t like it when I use the term payola.
Am I completely out of the field? Absolutely not, and I don’t think I can ever give it up. The business is my addiction, my mistress, my bitch. Today I do some volunteer work for a national non-profit that has been quite rewarding. Additionally, my participation in this organization is kind of a pay back for me, I had a pretty successful career thanks to people, so it’s time for me to pay that forward. I also work on voicing audiobooks, making sure my golden pipes don’t get too rusty. I am open to everything, fiction, non-fiction, romance novels, science fiction, and if the price is right, gay porn. Then of course there is my monthly contribution to this, the 518 version of Pravda, I mean the award-winning invention of that social butterfly Art Fredette (just joking Art, as they say in West Side Story, womb to tomb, sperm to worm). And who knows, maybe the golden voice will return to local airwaves? As a guy on the radio used to say, only The Shadow knows.
That all being said, I want to provide you with what my wife and I have discovered in retirement. Consider this a guide, or a warning, for what to expect when it’s your time to be put out to pasture. A reminder these are our reflections, your results may vary.
Probably the biggest plus and minus is no schedule to really adhere to. You do what you want when you want with who you want. It’s extremely rare that either of us needs to set an alarm clock, we get up when we get up. That’s still something I have a hard time with. I have many “Rain Man” like qualities, and on occasion I can’t function until I lay out what I am going to do for the day.
While you care about how you look, and in some cases smell, you find if you don’t go out, there’s no need to dress up, as it were. Bathing is important, yes, but if it’s just you (or a spouse) you don’t have to impress yourself, or the other person. There’s also a word to be said about being at home and not wearing pants, sort of like I’m doing while writing this piece (sorry for the visual).
You do tend to lose contact with people, as well as your need for social activity. People assume now that you’re retired you don’t want to be bothered, you don’t have the desire to socialize, or the early onset Alzheimer’s has kicked in and you forget who they are. On the plus side, my wife and I in general hate people, and we are at the stage where we tell friends (A) we’re too sick (B) we’re too tired or (C) someone just died.
On the subject of “the last roundup,” it now comes front and center. Any little ailment you have, no matter how small, it’s (A) “Golden years my ass” or “(B) “Is this the one that’s going to take me?” And if you’re fortunate, you have “pre-arranged” your going away party. You don’t want to worry about the kids and grandkids taking your remains to the Town Dump like Arlo Guthrie did in Alice’s Restaurant.
Finally, and I am very blessed for this, if you are left with a significant other, you at minimum must like each other, if not love, because that may be the only person who will still be around to put up with your crap.
This is all just scratching the surface, but after a year of not having to work, retirement has been tremendous. And one last thing, all my life I have been proud to call myself an asshole. I still am, but retirement means I care even less what people think. It’s like having Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket.
Be hearing you.