Friday, June 11, 2004

Only the Good Die Young, so I Retired at 23

It seems not too long ago I was leading a prosperous corporate life. Then I had a revelation. What would I rather do than go to central Georgia? Answers: a) join a health club b) live back at home c) drink Coors Light or d) anything. Well, I will let you decide the answer I chose.

So I cashed in my hundreds of dollars in my former 401k and headed off to Arizona for an early retirement. As luck would have it, my money ran out around the Midwest. Which is a blessing in disguise since I would prefer frostbite over sweating from the back of my knees. I still managed to wake up and take my vitamins (2 hot pockets) and start my day like any other walking heart attack.

Somewhere between the chuckles of Cosby and Golden Girl reruns on TV Land I got the nerve to play tennis again. After the mid-day set, I liked to go home and watch the people drive back from work and say to myself, phew! I am glad I got myself out of that when I did.

Sleeping late was great, but there was still a lingering problem. Sometimes it's hard to stay up past 9:30 when you know you'll just end up sleeping through Regis and Kelly. Plus, what about my income? Some may think I am naive to retire at 23 but when you know that the government has your back with such fine programs as social security and Medicare it's just down right silly to worry about nickels and dimes.

I started to give back to the community in the past month. I did some projects like cleaning the gutters and dewinterizing (yes it is a word) the pool. Both tasks easily cleaned my sinuses.

If you ever, ever are thinking of getting a pool- don't unless you can afford for some other schlub to clean it for you. Even with a cover on it, our pool turned into the largest freaking bird bath in the county. A week later and the former floating compost heap is ready for summertime fun.

It is not a heated pool, so I love to invite people over for the first time to swim and tell them it is warm. "Are you sure it's warm?" "Oh, yeah I was in it yesterday. If you never have seen the face of instantaneous shrinkage, I recommend it is quite humorous.

People asked me if I regret my retirement decision. No I do not. That all may very well change if I run out of money. I have a lot ahead of me this summer. There are festivals pretty much every weekend. And where there is a festival there most definitely is a church bingo tent. Maybe I'll go play and amaze them with my unbrittle bones and perhaps pick a recipe or two on how to make a good casserole.

If you don't slow down sometimes you may realize that life already woke up, shuffled to the elevator, rode the bus to the pharmacy and just passed you by without you even knowing what you missed out on.

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