Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Major Milestone of the Social Variety

With any luck, in less than 12 hours, I will achieve a major life milestone. One I have been working on and investing in for over 47 years. A milestone that some say I would never achieve.

This milestone is not unique to me for I will be sharing it with millions of others who, like me, have waited a long, long time for this day.  

I will be sharing this milestone with Georgette, who first achieved this milestone a year ago. Watching her experience this milestone has only made me anticipate this day even more than I ever could have imagined.

While we are sound asleep, sometime during the dark of night, unless I am up letting Grace out for a pee and some nocturnal sniffing, this event will take place.  And when I awake, it will have occurred without a sound or any other outward signs that something significant and well-earned has happened. 

I will rise early to head off to my part-time job, but first, I will brew a cup of McDonalds Premium roast coffee in the Keurig and take my usual early morning position in one of the recliners in our living room. I'll reach up and turn the switch on the lamp 3 clicks to light the darkened room. With my I-pad in my lap, I will take a few sips of the hot, fresh coffee in order to brace myself for the realization of 47 years of work. Normally I would flip to the local newspaper's app and scan the news of the day and perhaps scroll through my news feed on Facebook. But this  is a special day and those rituals will have to wait a few minutes and seconds longer.

With the anticipation of 47 years, I will take a deep breath, maybe two, then more deliberately than usual, will enter the log-in and password into the boxes on the I-pad. Holding my breath, and if all goes as I expect it to, this milestone will be revealed as the magic of digital technology delivers the evidence in a matter of seconds. Years ago, one would wait patiently for a human to hand deliver this milestone directly to their home, often waiting days and weeks.

As my eyes quickly scan the screen, I suspect my heart will beat a bit faster. 47 years of working for this. 47 years of investing in this. The time has finally arrived for me to......get my first of hopefully many, Social Security checks.

What? Is that the sound of a lead balloon?  

What's the big deal you say?  

Yes, I know it isn't really a check.  I signed up for direct deposit, after all it is 2016. Give me a break. 

Sorry for sounding a tad bit defensive, but this milestone is a big deal to me. And don't even think about calling it an entitlement, I worked hard for this milestone, beginning with my first job at McDonalds way back in 1968. 

If you know me, then you know I have my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek as I write this, trying to concentrate as Georgette just shouted out "what is emulsify?" at the TV followed by Alex Trebec responding with "right you are!" ( one of our new retirement rituals is watching Jeopardy at 4:30). 

I've discovered that retirement is a pretty good gig, at least is has been for me so far. After doing not much of anything during the holidays ( except enjoying the holidays), I started a part-time job on Jan. 2. I'm back on the clock only this time it's a digital clock instead of one of those noisy time clocks like we had at McDonalds.

I get asked all the time "how is your retirement is going?" My usual response is, "pretty well so far, but what do I know, I've never done this before". And I've never received a social security check or deposit before so I'm really not sure what to expect when it finally arrives.

I suspect I will dance a little jig of joy when I see the deposit. 

I will mark the moment with a quiet reflection for a life of work well done.

And for that point on, it will be no big deal, just one of those things I will scan the screen for once a month. 

Unless some day it isn't there when it's supposed to be, like some people suggest.

But I don't have much control,if any over that, so I'll worry about that later. 

Besides, Jeopardy is calling. Broadway for $800, Alex.