This post has been delayed due to the lack of internet access. RV parks have sporatic internet… But, I am now up and running, so posts will be more timely.
I remember working, but retirement is the very best! My last permanent address was Washington, D.C. I lived for the congressional recessess – long holiday weeks and August. In the old days Congress would adjourn by mid-October and not come back until mid-January. Not anymore, they work right up to Christmas, passing legislation they should have done before May. When Congress was out of town on “recess” or a “work periods”, we in D.C. enjoyed the peace and quiet. Don’t misunderstand, I have great admiration for Members of Congress, especially newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, they work 7/24. No kidding!
Let’s consider what the life of a newly elected member, who lives west of the Mississippi. They do breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Rotary, Town Halls, Chamber of Commerce, picnics, constituent meetings all weekend, then get on a plane to Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon so they can be there for votes at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday they are in D.C. attending committee meetings, voting, meeting with constituents, and worst of all – Fund Raisers. 70% of their time they are dialing for dollars. Raising money for their next election. A newly elected member of congress is the lowest on the totem pole, and more often than not they won’t be back after 2 years. They come to Washington with the best of intentions. I applaud them.
I moved to Washington, D.C. in 1999. Congress was barely functional and going downhill. The deaths of Senator Ted Kennedy and John McCain was the beginning of the end when the Senate was the diliberative chamber, it looks more and more the the House or Representative.
At the beginning I took it very seriously. I believed people could make a difference, but I also attended fundraisers breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even play golf at Pebble Beach with “moderate” Republicans. But, I came to the conclusion Congress did less damage when they were home in their districts or states. I never worked in Washington, D.C. when Congress was particularly functional. Bi partisan, passing legislation on schedule, getting along with one another and not lurching from crisis to crisis.
I wasn’t a student of congressional procedure. In fact, it always amazed me I became a Legislative Director, believe me I tried to avoid management. I always considered myself a worker bee.
My joy about this New Year is the fact I don’t have to go back to work. Retirement is GRAND, and I recommend it! I remember after two weeks of quiet and holiday cheer returning to the office was a nightmare. Trying to get back into the swing of things, meetings, conference calls, getting out of bed in the morning. Like the WWII song goes, “Oh how I hate to get up in the morning, oh how I would love to remain in bed.” I was never a morning person, and I remain a night owl today. But, I don’t have to get up, and believer me I don’t.
I wish for great things in 2020. Good weather in Florida and improving my golf scores. The removal of President Trump from office or defeat in the election. I hope the GOP will come to its senses and put country over party and their own personal ambitions – not likely. Most of all I wish happiness and renewal to all my friends and former colleagues who are returning to their desks in the New Year and carrying on the good fight. I will be thinking of you as I walk the beach daily and the sanctuary of the 18 holes.
I send love to my friends and family who lost dear loved ones in 2019. My two uncles both passed away in 2019, Jim Ackland and Bob Moseley; and, dear friend Mel Sather an special man with an inquisitive mind and a mischievous smile; and, former SEIU colleagues Hector Figueroa and Steve Albrecth, both increibly decent and committed men who cared deeply about working people.
P.S. I took my first Pickle Ball lesson today. What a life!