Retirement, in a nutshell

As soon as Sunday’s Super Bowl ended people started speculating if Tom Brady will retire.
He keeps saying “no,” but they keep asking.
I know how he feels.
I too get asked all the time. My stock answer is, “Retire? I have to get a job before I can retire.”
It’s a comment on how much I love my “job” … in quotes because not once in 26 years has it ever felt like a job.
I became a full-time college professor in 1990 and have thanked the Lord for the opportunity every day since. And it’s not just about summers off, which ain’t bad, but about the fresh start at the beginning of each semester. I always feel I am getting a chance to teach a subject even better. And I want to keep trying until I get it perfect. Even though I am well past retirement age.
But as much as I love what I do, I must admit there are times when I contemplate what it would be like to not wake up early, drive to the college and perform before a group of students at 8 in the morning. What it would be like to stay up late watching a movie or reading a book with nowhere to go the following morning. What it would be like to spend a week or two at the shore in early October which many tell me is the best time to be there.
I usually shake such thoughts right off and go about my business, but a friend recently offered a description of retirement that’s hard to ignore.
A lot of people say retirement means “every day is Saturday.” That never appealed to me. But Joey Dietrick, the most original person I know, has a similar but considerably different take:
“You know what retirement means? It means there’s never again a last day of vacation. And never again a Sunday night.”
If anything pushes me over the edge it will be those words.

Ed Ackerman