I’ve got to tell you that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – especially when you’ve spent your entire life with a Type A personality. Being either a military man or a cop has occupied most of my time since I first left home for the Citadel at age 18. Since then, it’s been hard just to fit all the adventures into one lifetime.
Now I’m no longer running patrols or dodging bullets in the jungles of Vietnam. I’m not on a plane making a crash landing in Vung Tau. I’m not on a C130 getting ready for a parachute jump. The convoys along Route Irish in Baghdad are over. I’ll never again stand in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon, Iraq. I’m not a street crimes officer on a robbery stakeout. I’m not a detective interviewing some suspect trying to get him to confess. I’m not a patrol officer doing a felony stop. I’m not chasing a burglar or car thief through alleys and apartment complexes. I’m not wrestling with a shoplifter. I’m not looking over the top of my Glock at a guy who just pulled a knife on me. These experiences are all in the past.
Life is very, very tame at 64.
The good part is that my wife Debbie and I get to spend most of our time together instead of apart. She doesn’t have to worry about me getting shot by some street thug or ambushed by terrorists. I don’t have to deal with scumbags, cope with the deaths of both good guys and bad guys, and it’s no longer necessary to put up with the political horse manure in the military and law enforcement communities.
We’ve traveled some, and we’ll travel more. But the last three years since my retirement have been mostly a time of adjustment. The big adventures may be over, but the small adventures will be of our own making. We went to Idaho and Montana last year. This year it may be Mount Rushmore or perhaps the Alamo and Tombstone. We’ll figure it out.
Regardless, my greatest blessing from God has been to live the last forty years of my life alongside my wonderful wife. Debbie and I are walking down the far side of the hill of life together, and we shall deal with whatever obstacles we may encounter - as we always have. After all, life is all about enjoying the good times in between the bad times.
The mission of life continues…..
Charles M. Grist