Monday, February 25, 2013

Retirement is just another way of saying the journey’s just begun

Is serving a burger your way in my retirement future?

Good question, and one Bev, my wife, and Tom Cross, a good friend and fellow outdoors writer, want to know.

Me too, in fact.

With plans to retire from The News-Herald on the march to April 1, a decision of what comes next is a very real, practical one for me.

I’ve already nixed becoming a Wal Mart greeter. For the obvious reason that I fail to possess the necessary people skills.

Ditto the suggestion of becoming a tester for jet aircraft ejection seats, as someone outside my immediate family suggested.

What’s left then?

Well, one wag worries my job will involve driving Bev crazy. That could happen if I don’t get myself busy on a project or two.

Other outdoors writer friends I know have successfully navigated the retirement seas: Paul Liikala, Steve Pollick, Art Weber, Guy Denny, Chip Gross, Jim Dudas, just to name a few.

Yep, I want to keep busy; stay active and be involved.

I suspect I’ll continue doing some freelance work. Just not jump in with all sorts of stuff that I’ve done for close to 30 years here. I want to throttle back on those items during retirement.

And I intend to keep alive an outdoors blog one way or the other. The outdoors blog I maintain and anchored here at The News-Herald is the only social media I believe is worth the wordsmith effort.

Perhaps finding some voluntary work to do with Lake Metroparks or the Holden Arboretum. The way I figure it, I’ve covered the former for more than 25 years and than latter for more than 15 years.

All in all, I believe I could contribute to either one of them.

Then too Guy Denny figures he could hook me up with a conservation group. We both got a good laugh, however, when he humorously suggested the Sierra Club.

Ah, I don’t think so. I’m a conservationist but that group is more than a little too “progressive” for my conservative tastes.

Of course I intend to hunt more, fish more. And I won’t have to beg out of invitations to join a friend to do either one, using the excuse I have a deadline due yesterday, a meeting to attend, or a Flipcam to shoot.

Nor will I take a guilt trip Sort of like now when I’m “out in the field” while my peers at the paper are slaving away with their phones ringing, note pads being burned by fast-moving ball-point pens even as the computer system has gone AWOL for no good reason.

Hey, feeling guilty has happened once or twice (maybe even three or four times) during my stint here with The News-Herald.

So where do I go from here?

I’m not sure, actually.

What I do know is I’ve reached a trailhead; one I thought all along was the end of the line.

And yet what I’ve actually come to discover is how this trailhead is really nothing more than just a place to change horses. Time to saddle up and take the road less traveled.

As Peter Pan instructed Wendy on how to find Neverland: “Second star on the right, then straight on ‘til morning.”

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

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