“When I retire I’m going to _______ ”, how many of us have said this on more than one occasion? I know I have, far too many times and today is the day that it is actually official: I am retired and I can now do that “(fill in the blank)” for real!
A ton has happened over the past several years. During my wife, Bunny’s, protracted battles with cancer and ultimate passing, I was fixated on making sure I kept working and kept bringing in money. When Bunny died, our finance guy asked me “Why are you still working?” What? Why am I still working? Of course I’m still working, because, uh, er, because … umm … still at work, because … Turns out, I didn’t need to keep working. Some cautious planning and considerable good luck left me with enough coin that I could, indeed, stop working and begin to slow down.
A lot of that good luck came from my employer over the past 20 years, AWT Environmental Services, Inc., a New Jersey based environmental site remediation services company (basically, a heavy equipment construction type company that works with yucky stuff). AWT has been like family to me, and has also treated me like family over these years. Yeah, yeah, I know that all companies say that, “We’re like one big family here”, but AWT lives that way, seriously. And I mean that in every way, good and bad …
When Bunny, who’s health had been poor for many years prior to her passing, went through any type of crisis, AWT was right along side us, being supportive, giving me whatever time I needed to get her healthy again, along with acting as a comforting cushion when I needed to relax for a few moments. And, like any true family-type relationship, we had our quarrels and squawks with each other through all of those years, too, but always ending up with a “hug & kiss”, back-to-business as usual conclusion.
So, a huge Thank You to the Postorino Family, the AWT Management team I worked so closely with over all of those years, and all of the employees who were always (okay, okay … usually… LOL) a pleasure to work with, for the long years of employment and friendship. Continued great successes to you all!
When Sheila and I met I never expected to be living here in Georgia, retired. When I first moved down south I maintained a reduced, work-from-home support schedule for AWT, maybe 25 hours a week (which typically turned into 30 or more hours, but that was no big deal) doing report writing, proposal preparation, interacting with the NJ staff, that kind of thing. But still, the idea of not getting up and commuting to an office every day started to kinda FEEL like I was sort-of, maybe, a little bit retired. I could meet Sheila for lunch on our deck if she was working from home, or maybe join her on a business trip (some of which I have chronicled here in this blog) and work from our hotel room.
So, semi-retirement was almost like being retired. But, in some ways, not quite … I still had responsibilities, still had occasional sleepless nights where I worried about business stuff, still had to plan to completely goof-off for a day if I felt like it.
Now, I can … Fill-In-The-Blank … some of which includes paying more adequate attention to the music part of my life, recently given new inspiration with the potential of new band mates. I can also begin to finally start paying attention to the workshop area here at home, a really well-equipped functional shop that sorely needs some organization, cleaning and freshening up (Sheila has a list of projects that could easily take two generations of marginally qualified Jersey guys to complete). I will also delve much, much deeper into my writing, a topic I have only touched upon but something I greatly look forward to doing. And, of course, living my life to the fullest with Sheila, who has been an angel sent to me to keep me sane, focused and incredibly happy!
So, Happy Retirement to me!! And again, many thanks to AWT for putting up with a grumpier-than-usual Jersey guy all of those years!