Certain things seem to remain consistent from childhood through adulthood. Remember waiting as Christmas day approached, the anticipation as it drew ever closer? Thinking to yourself, "What will Santa bring me this year?" "Was I good or was I bad?" "Can we not have stuffed bell peppers for dinner this year?" Those few weeks in mid-December seemed to crawl along like The 12 days of Abyssus (look it up, Copernicus).
The same can be said for other major life events, right? Those last few months of freedom just before your marriage ceremony. The anticipation of the birth of a child (or so I've heard). Time spent counting the days until a special vacation... again, it's the anticipation.
For me, once I decide on a major life change, e.g., deciding to move from one state to another, I set in motion a plan and a timeline with a certain target date. And often, I tend to accelerate that target date as much as humanly possible. Once that decision to move or whatever has been made, the inner child in me wants it now. Patience is a virtue I do not possess.
And so, it has been for these past six months since I made the decision to retire from my job of seven plus years. The job, by the way, has been great. Unlike the common misconception that Chamber of Commerce directors play golf each morning and take naps each afternoon, the position is actually busy, diverse, interesting, and fun. It is an honor to represent Grimes County and all the cities and towns that it comprises.
I think back to discussions I had with Judge John Leflore as he was approaching his retirement. "Only 622 days left," he would update me each time I ran into him during his final years in office. I always got a kick out of his countdown. And now, I find myself doing the same thing. I only have this number of days left, and only that number of workdays. Thankfully, there is an app that keeps track of the days, hours, and minutes to whatever date you specify. It is the high-tech equivalent of exing out the days on a calendar.
My grandparents retired to the Texas hill country at age 65, which seemed SO old to me at the time. Trust me, kids, age is all relative. As I approach those numbers myself, nope, it's not so old. My grandparents retired to a very nice mobile home that they situated on a small parcel of land. They built onto it, added patios and awnings, had outbuildings for various purposes to make it their home for the 15 or so years they anticipated that would take them to the end of the road. Lo and behold, in a surprising turn of events for them and for us, they lived much longer than they expected. Each lived to nearly 100 years! In her later years, my grandmother mentioned to me, "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have bought a real house!"
These six months have passed quicker than I had imagined they would. Now, with my patience being at its end, and if I have inherited my grandparents' longevity genes, it's time to bring on the next thirty years of fun. Hey, what do you call a person who is happy on Monday morning? Retired.
The column represents the thoughts and opinions of Johnny McNally. Opinion columns are NOT the opinion of the Navasota Examiner.
Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County and writes a bi-weekly column for the Navasota Examiner.