A few years ago, I got a tongue-in-cheek book for my birthday – “All of My Friends Are Dead.” As a lifelong police officer and trainer at age 65, there is some truth to this – friends and acquaintances from over the decades are dying, and all too soon. Some passed without me knowing with the news of others’ passings announced on social media. As a member of the local Porsche Club, my friends and acquaintances there are generally in retirement, enjoying the fruits of their labors in life. They too are fading away one by one.
Whenever we hear of one of these untimely passings, the statement in our circles is almost always made – “You know what this means – time to go to the race track!”
In other words, we aren’t getting any younger. There have been lots of quotes about aging and death, but the time between the day you retire and the “end of retirement” – the Golden Years – should be spent making up for the long work days, the overtime, the toil of your working years when you either couldn’t afford or were too tired to do anything fun.
Too many of my friends worry about too many things related to the eventualities of approaching illnesses and death as they age. Now I am not saying that we should not pay attention to our health – far from it. But I have found too many conversations over a beer that now include a diatribe about ailments, doctor’s appointments, lab tests and strange diseases. Not that I am not concerned about yours and my health, but – it’s time to go to the race track!
At age 63 prior to retirement from Daytona State College, I started a little business with Porsche 924S and 944 cars from the 80’s. I buy them for parts and then use the parts to revive, rescue and restore these wonderful cars, then sell them. After two years and my eventual retirement, I found that I not only enjoyed the work, but wanted to expand it a bit. So this August I had a steel building put up on our property to house my little Porsche business, and am now in the process of outfitting it and getting ready to move equipment, inventory and tools into it so that I can continue working on these cars.
The true test of whether your choices in retirement were correct and accurate hinge 1) on your happiness with your eventual choices of activities and 2) you attitude towards your “previous life” and what you spent a good chunk of your life doing in the past. In my own situation, I thoroughly enjoy what I am now doing, looking to find more time to do it. When you consider that I let my Florida police certification expire a couple of years ago and that my Florida Law Enforcement Instructor Certification will expire in a year or two – and that I don’t care – is a healthy attitude too.
It’s time to go to the race track. The weekend of October 12-14, Roebling Road Raceway, Savannah, GA. I will be there at the track with a Porsche. And you cannot drive a Porsche on a race track without looking forward.