Saturday, February 24, 2018


Yesterday was my last day working for the yankee government; I am now officially retired.

I confess to a feeling of loss, as I will miss my colleagues - particularly my staff, all of whom are smarter than I. Hardworking and honest, they are fine people whom I came to consider as friends. I do indeed wish them well.

"Thanks, boss!"

The ramifications - the actual fact - of retirement have not entirely sunk in. I think, subconsciously, I am letting the reality seep in slowly in order to control a mounting feeling of ecstasy that might otherwise induce me to turning cartwheels - a dangerous proposition for a fellow of my advanced years and mediocre physical condition. First and foremost is a feeling of release, of freedom, such as I have not experienced in decades, a long time ago when I was a young man for whom life seemed to be a collection of endless possibilities, just spread out for the choosing. That collection of possibilities shrinks considerably when you take on the responsibilities of raising a family, and the working years become an occasionally grinding and inescapable routine.

And now that stretch is done. To borrow from Wodehouse, who used the metaphor from time to time to describe a character who had been spared some odious fate, a courier has galloped up to the gallows on a foaming steed, a parchment in his hand. The long hoped-for pardon. I am as free as any human being can hope to be, and I thank God for it.


Deborah said...

Congratulations, Paco! Hope they gave you a great send off, and maybe a great momento. Your staff will undoubtedly miss you. How many boxes did you have to pack hime? Revel in sleeping in (unless you choose to), not having to get up, ready, and to the train station. We raise a glass to you! Enjoy freedom! Thanks for your service and whatever it was!

Steve Skubinna said...

Congrats! Now move to NC or wherever it was you mentioned earlier!

And if you don't have some hobbies, find some because having nothing but free time all day is a lot worse than it seems when you daydream about it from the job.

rinardman said...

Congratulations, Paco. I hope you at least got a participation trophy.

And I've found having nothing but free time to be very liberating. But, I've always been a very laid back kind of person, so I can be happy doing a lot...or very little. Which may explain why I didn't retire as a millionaire.

But I did retire happy.

Paco said...

R-man: Happy is good. I might try to revive my writing career, and I definitely plan to do some traveling out west. And I imagine we'll be seeing more of our grandchildren. Plenty to do, too, in getting the new house in order (and selling the old one).

Skeeter said...

Congratulations, Paco.
I hesitate to give such a wise man as you advice, but as I am now in my 31st year of a very happy retirement, I thought I might be in a position to offer new retirees some help.
You have started what can be by far the most stress-free and enjoyable half of your adult life.
You will probably be surprised to find that you now have more money available to spend but less spare time. I am fully occupied everyday and I still wonder how I ever found the time to earn a living.
Writing is a great idea to keep the brain stimulated, but its important to be even more physically active than before. A three-mile walk nearly every day is about minimum to keep old bones healthy and it's now thought that walking can help stave off dementia as well.
Welcome to the good times.

Paco said...

Thanks for the good advice, Skeeter. I definitely need to give more attention to exercise. I look forward to walks on the beach. And the interesting thing is, because the beach is on Oak Island - a barrier island that runs east and west along that part of North Carolina's coast that veers sharply SW - we get to see the sun rise and set over the ocean. Assuming, of course, that we get up early enough to see the sun rise.

I think I might do something extremely productive, like grow a mustache and a little triangular tuft of hair on my lower lip (similar to Val Kilmer in his portrayal of Doc Holliday in Tombstone). Also, I've been hoarding ammo over the last few years, and I can now spend part of my retirement time shooting it all up on one of the local firing ranges.

RebeccaH said...

Congratulations, Mr. Paco sir. I trust Paco Enterprises will continue forward as always.

I endorse Mr. Skeeter's suggestions. Some form of exercise is a must, and walking every day is good if you are afflicted with arthritis as I am. Also, he's right that you won't have as much free time as you thought, because it's our nature to look for things to do. There will probably be a transition period for a little while when you feel like you've lost your place and purpose in the world, but you can overcome that with your writing and settling in your new digs. Trust me, it'll go away, and you might find you'll encounter grand new purposes. Anyway, congrats again and enjoy being free of the tyranny of the clock and calendar.

Paco said...

Well put, Rebecca. If nothing else, I am (pretty much) "free of the tyranny of the clock and calendar".

Nashville Beat said...

Well, so you have finally pulled the pin. Good on you, as Tim Blair might say! I also think Skeeter has some good things to say. I think a Doc Holliday appearance would look very distinguished on you. I hope Mrs. Paco agrees. I also hope to be able to join you on your walks soon if rehab continues to progress. Anytime you feel the disorientation that Rebecca warns of, go burn up some of that hoard of ammunition. In fact, now that I think of it, shooting at an outdoor range and walking two hundred yards to set your target up would be excellent exercise! Seriously, congratulations and know that I am saddened that the swamp has lost one of its few honest and productive denizens, but I am gladdened that you are now free to enjoy yourself.

bruce said...

Wow! Congratulations!

JeffS said...

Excellent news, Paco! Congratulations!

There's a lot of good advice up above, as I've been studying in anticipation of my own transition from employed to retired. That's looming in the not-so-far future, and I'm looking forward to it, with a similar level of trepidation.

Get that range time in, for sure! But check into shooting competitions as well. Three Gun is popular these days, and fun, even if you rank in the bottom third. And volunteering is another good way being retired.

Mayhaps we can join up, iwhen you and the missus mosey out west, eh?

Paco said...

Jeff: I'd like to pay a visit. Haven't ever been in your neck of the woods.

Veeshir said...

congratulations on gettin er done.

If you do come out here, look me up. I'm a lot less creepy in person.
Well, not a lot.

Well, just bring a gun.

Isophorone said...

Congratulations! I have another 6-10 years to go before being able to retire.

Paco said...

Veeshir: Have gun, will travel (I know you want to shoot that S&W Model 58, .41 Magnum; I'll just have to take my chances that those ag cops who stop cars at the AZ border checking for illegal fruit can tell the difference between a revolver and a diseased mango).

Isophorone: Thanks. You hang in there.

Nashville Beat: Look forward to seeing you when we go out there. What we plan on doing, eventually, is renting a house for a month or so (there are some nice, reasonably-priced ones in Cave Creek; one of them's next to a rodeo school!)

Veeshir said...

I wouldn't worry about bringing anything here, gun laws are awesome here.
You can conceal carry without a permit and just about anything's legal.

Nearly as I can tell, AZ gun laws are based on the principle that it's none of their business so don't bother them.