Simple Man

I’ve heard it said that the time to consider what you will do in retirement is when you start asking yourself, “what will I do in retirement?” I have asked myself the same question as I have spent nearly 3 decades at the same task.

I have no big dreams or future travel plans, just more work. I plan to one day leave on a Friday and show up elsewhere on a Monday. I have even considered what I might do one day. I’ve always felt that if I could make retirement, I would do whatever I found interesting would not worry so much about money.

The top of this list would be radio broadcasting. I really love radio and have always kept in contact with the medium through my radio show. I’ve also done a little public speaking and emceed a few stage shows just to keep my speaking ability clean and sharp. Radio seems to be less live and more satellite as time goes on so there may not be a lot of radio left when I finally make the move.

I have never been happier at my current job. I am good at what I do and involved which is great. Somewhere before my 50thbirthday, I realized that my physical abilities would not always be what they are today. I would like to do many things with my life and each new adventure takes an investment of time, money and energy. The best time for a change such as this is when you are at the top of your game, not the bottom. I guess I’d just like to try a few things before I take up the rocking chair, I suppose that is a luxury that only American’s would even consider-most people in this world are just happy to have work.

I wrote down a list of my priorities and they were mostly just about time with friends and family and increasing my relationship to God. These priorities take first place in my life and the occupation which I spend my time has to take second place and support the higher priorities.
Maybe the last few years were not so much confusion as moments of clarity viewed through my own perspective of life. It was like a few simple tenants of life had been drowning in the muck of materialism.

While writing this column, I have heard the words of the group Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Simple Man” in the back of my mind. The lyrics to this anthem include a few phrases that really hit home. They include:
“be something you love and understand,”
“forget the lust for rich man’s gold,” and
“all that you need is in your soul.”

Those are true and helpful statements but you have to trust yourself deeply to make your own path. It takes internal strength, faith and vision. Perhaps the title of the song is what really hits me, “be a simple kind of man.”

Anyway, I am not going anywhere soon. This column will likely be a part of my life until I graduate to the rocking chair and onto the great beyond so you’ll see what happens in my life. Hopefully I will be able to tell you that I ended up a simple man.