Sunday, January 08, 2017

Welcome to retirement!

Yesterday I went to a retirement party for one of my longtime coworkers. When I first arrived at Springfield Tower (SGFT) he had just moved from controller to a staff position. He later was promoted to supervisor and then ended his career as the Air Traffic Manager (ATM) at SGFT. He was (and is) one of the few people that I really trust and admire. I spent many of my breaks in his ATM office just talking about life or whatever happened to come up that day.

We talked about our kids, our spouses, our churches, our beliefs, baseball, whatever ... rarely did we talk about air traffic or our jobs.

Being there yesterday (with other retirees) reminded me of how glad I am that I retired when I did. I could have gone another 17 months and made a little more money and increased my pension by a small amount, but I am really glad that I didn't. Many of the things that I have done in the past two years, I would not have been able to do if I was still working.
Truthfully, by comparison, my retirement is pretty modest next to many of my peers. I had a relatively short career and never moved beyond a mid-level facility. Never-the-less, I do realize that my pension and savings is still more than many working people make and we are pretty comfortable.

It was also the last day of work for one of my controller friends. I was very happy to see him at the retirement gig. He, too, is one of the good guys! It seems that our schedules rarely overlapped over the years and I didn't get to work with him as often as I would have liked. If I would have been able to pick my team, he definitely would have been on it! There was one year when I shared a line with him and two other great guys. I was most certainly the weak link on the team that year!

It was good to talk with the other retired folks and I was a little disappointed that only a couple of the current controllers showed up. I do understand that they have been working a lot of overtime and so their time off is pretty precious.

I do hope that my friends find their new retirement rhythm quickly and start to enjoy the freedom that it gives. I haven't been very good at keeping up with other retirees and maybe I need to get better at that. I know that air traffic was much of our common bond while working and so it is understandable that we no longer share that and may grow apart. But it is always nice to have worked with people that you have genuinely liked and respected and perhaps we will find that is enough to continue our friendships.

To Brent (BA) and John (YU)
Welcome to the good life!

John <><

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