By Phil Goldstein
North Forty News
Welcome to Tales from Timnath, my inaugural column for North Forty News. I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given by the publisher to share some insights from and about the fastest growing community in Northern Colorado.
Since it was retirement that initially provided the time to finally use my 1973 West Virginia University journalism degree and write, I thought I’d kick this gig off with a bit about that status.
John A. Shedd’s 1928 saying, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”, while sometimes misquoted, is apropos to the conundrum I encountered when I stopped working.
I made up my mind in 2007 that I could retire. I was going to do absolutely no work for at least a year, if not forever. My accountant told me my wife and I could bear it financially, as long as she continued slaving away at her job. My doctor told me my health would improve once I stopped lying awake nights, obsessing over who wasn’t doing what at the office. And the dogs were in favor of it because they would have someone at home during the day for their amusement.
So I did it. I retired. I was proud that I didn’t make the mistake my father did and wait too long. He thought he’d struggle with all the free time. He waited until he was 63 then reluctantly yielded to my mother’s pressure. He later admitted he should have stopped working earlier.
I, on the other hand, lasted all of two weeks. I struggled with all the free time.
Fortunately, I was offered a position with a consulting firm almost immediately. Despite needing to learn new skills—mostly related to technology, since I remain an analog guy in this now-digital world—I jumped at the chance with the understanding that I could accept or decline whatever assignment the firm sent my way. I thus maintained some semblance of retirement. It was also satisfying, for once in my working life, to lead the horse to water but not care if it drank, only if my fee was paid. But there was still more time to fill, so I sought other productive endeavors.
I agreed to serve as president of our HOA, but only because nobody else would do it.
I’m now in my tenth year because still, nobody else will do it.
I accepted a position on the Town of Timnath Planning Commission, with the last seven years as chair.
I exercised as often as possible, and I learned and began coaching the then-emerging sport of pickleball.
Fulfilling an ambition I’ve had since age 10, I took drum lessons and joined some friends in their neighborhood basement band.
I watched even less television than before—the news was all the reality I could stand—but ramped up my reading to two books per week.
I made myself very unpopular with area developers over the problem of windblown construction trash, but I ultimately won the war.
I learned to take naps. I hadn’t tried it since I was four years old, and it’s definitely an acquired skill as an adult.
And, best of all, I started writing, first for one, then a second publication just in Timnath and now here with North Forty News.
In subsequent columns, I’ll elaborate on all of my various involvements and more, frequently featuring life and times in our little town.
Interestingly, I found that when taking the ship out of the harbor in retirement via various volunteer endeavors or new hobbies, there were sometimes as many aggravations and frustrations as during my working days. But on the whole, this retirement thing is pretty good. I just don’t think one knows what it will be like until one gets there.
Thanks to a good friend for providing the metaphoric jump-start for this inaugural column.
Phil Goldstein writes Tales from Timnath periodically for North Forty News. Phil is a nine-year Timnath resident who serves the Town of Timnath as chair of the Timnath Planning Commission. Phil is finally using his journalism degree after getting sidetracked 47 years ago. The views expressed herein are Phil’s only. Contact him with comments on the column or suggestions for future columns at NFNTimnath@gmail.com.