As of tomorrow (June 29, 2012), my father (that’s him on the right) is retiring. He’s a CPA who spent the past eight years with Africare. Prior to that he spent 23 years at the American Red Cross.
When I tell people my father is retiring, they frequently ask me what he’s going to do with all that free time. I jokingly tell them that my mother has a lengthy list to keep him busy. But honestly, I don’t really know. But I’m anxious to find out (no pressure, Dad)! I would be hard pressed to answer the question: “what is your dad’s hobby”? Because I don’t really know. His hobby has been excelling at his job and raising and supporting a family. And he has done a tremendous job.
All through my childhood, my dad worked. A lot. He was out of the house before the sun rose on most days, and we frequently didn’t eat dinner until late because he didn’t get home until 7 or 7:30. Frequently, he would also go into the office for several hours on Saturday mornings. But I never once felt like one of those kids whose dad was never around. Somehow he still managed to make it to all the requisite sports events, plays, recitals, and other sundry activities in which all three of his kids took part. He helped with homework and science fair projects, and he and my mom made a great team when it came to rule-making and discipline. He set a fine example for his children on how to have a tremendous work ethic and still be a loving husband and father.
Much to his chagrin, he is having a retirement party thrown for him at his workplace tomorrow. It is something he doesn’t feel is necessary. But I’m taking the day off to go to it, because I want to hear people brag on my dad. Not because I need them to validate something that I already know; but because he’s spent so many years being proud of us that I selfishly want this opportunity to step back and be proud of him. I want to hear people talk about how awesome he is. Because he REALLY IS.
Dad, I hope that you’re able to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, which is pretty hard to come by these days. But regardless of what you decide to do, I know that you will be glad to be free of the stress that comes from caring so much about your work and the people that work for you, as well as maintaining your own self-imposed high standards. I’m including just a few photographic suggestions (all selfish!) of things that you might find to fill some of those retirement hours.
I love you, Dad. Happy Retirement!