I’m not afraid of work.
I suppose I have a leg up on some guys because I love my jobs, all of them, and they keep me moving from about 5 am to 9 pm or later most days. I’ve been called a workaholic more than once, but every time it was by someone that doesn’t know me well enough to understand my motivations. I don’t waste precious time arguing as it would cut too deeply into my work time.
The truth is I am 60 years old, and up until a couple of years ago, I only had to worry about me and Ana and retirement was well within the realm of possibility for us. Then we became foster parents, and soon we will adopt our little girls, Cady and Emma. If they go to college, I will be 80 years old by the time they are employed, and I am done paying for it all.
The way I see it, the opportunity is there now alongside the ability and if I hit the gas hard for the next few years, I will be able to provide what my family needs to get a good start. And I would be able to slow down a little and enjoy being an old fart doing fun old-fart things. I figure I could take up a hobby, something I love to do like photography, writing, podcasting, and creating videos…
You see, I’m doing what I love to do already, and for all intense and purposes, I am retired. I just happen to make money from my retirement hobby. It does eat up a lot of my time but I don’t want to sit on my butt watching tv, or putter around the yard or any other things old retired farts do. I love to hike, ride my Harley, travel, scuba dive, and most important, stay in top shape so I can chase Ana around the house when the kids are napping each afternoon.
But there is this one thing I would love to do when I decide to slow the pace a little. I want to be a pilot. I don’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t want to fly. In the early 1980s, I began pilot training, but personal circumstances prevented me from completing the final flight exam, and I never circled back once the dust settled.
Near my house in Las Vegas, there is an executive airport, and on the second floor of the terminal is a coffee shop that serves the best breakfast I’ve had outside of my home. It’s a coffee shop that services pilots and executive travelers and military types and it is decorated ceiling to floor with aviation memorabilia, model airplanes and pictures. When the day’s crap level rises higher than my rubber boots, I pack up my daydreams and head on over there. I’ll fill my belly, lick the plate if no one is looking, then sip black coffee and watch airplanes take off and land and wonder what it would be like to be flying them.
It takes the edge off the day. And it puts everyone else and their problems in perspective. The sun is always brighter when I leave there, the breeze a little cooler, and the world a more beautiful place.
Flying. That is my happy place.