In 2008, Don Burns retired as the CEO from California Spa and Pool Industry Education Council. Joe and Don had served on the NSPF Board of Directors together for over 15 years. Joe sent the following note to Don on his retirement.
I recently saw on CNN where you are retiring ….or was it the History Channel… and I thought you might benefit from some of my observations, having gone through the experience myself, regarding what to expect during the transition. What I noticed most was the phone stopped ringing, no one at my office seemed to need my advice (Although I now really take pleasure in calling my voice mail at the office and there are no messages.) Another benefit is having the first decision of the day being “whether to roll over and go back to sleep.” But getting to that outlook can be challenging due to the lifetime of being essential to others, you know, being depended upon.
I’ve talked to other recent retirees and its pretty much the same. Superman says he was really depressed for a long time after he retired from Dell Comics. He noticed a definite drop off of damsels falling from tall buildings, and a slowdown in airliners losing power at 30,000 feet. Like all of us, he began to notice technology passing him by. He says half the bullets now have a speed faster than his. These new skyscrapers, in the emerging nations, are just too tall to leap over and he doesn’t go near high speed trains in Japan and Europe because he embarrasses himself. But in the end, Superman made the transition, started wearing knee high shorts and moved to Sun City where he rides an adult tricycle up and down the streets. On the other hand, some can’t seem to let go.
There are a lot of people who have never had to cope with adjusting to retirement, i.e. Jesse James, JFK, Amelia Earhart, John Dillinger, Martin Luther King, Billy the Kid, Marilyn Monroe, etc. I think you get the idea. There are a lot lessor options than making it across the finish line and receiving the gold watch.
As Roy Rogers used to sing “Happy Trails to You.” Don.
Best personal regards,