I think I am in retiree hell. It’s not that people hadn’t warned me, because they did. They said that before I knew it I would be too busy to actually enjoy my retirement.
Come on, really? I am a cartoonist. Seriously, how much time can THAT take?
Yet here it is at 11:07pm and I am still working. Frankly, I blame the Surface Warfare community, because SWOs cannot tolerate leisure time.
We fill our time with things we like doing, or are important to us. Our obsession with fixing things that need fixing begins to suck us in, and before we know it, we are completely immersed.
And transition, as it is known now, ain’t easy either. You retire from the military at the height of your career, then get thrust unprepared into the civilian world, ready or not. It is similar to the massive come-down experienced by senior officers who leave command at sea one day, and find themselves sitting in cubicles in the bowels of the Pentagon the next.
Retirement is kind of like that, except you don’t get a housing allowance.
But that’s OK. We still have our old military credentials to give us comfort, and there are lots of places out there who are looking for seasoned veterans with leadership experience. We can make a dent in our communities or in business. We have a lot to offer, and there is dignity in that. And in a small way, I think people appreciate the fact that we dedicated a lifetime of service to making the world a better and safer place.
I’ve been through every one of these pictures. I’ve reached the point that I’m really glad I don’t matter any more. I don’t miss the “Hard Charging” or the “Burn the Midnight Oil” or even the “Saved the Day” events. It’s enough now to be complemented for being reliable and proficient at my job.