I have spoken to many retirees who tell me that I will know when it is time to retire. I will feel it in my gut, they say. Well, I thought I felt it in my gut a few weeks ago, but it turned out it was just the 30 pounds of excess weight I was carrying. Funny, I also seem to feel it in my back, knees, shoulders and feet as well! What I am actually feeling is the aches and pains of getting older. I am not yet retired, but I am definitely feeling my health is not where it should be.
In contrast, I have met retirees who seem to have springs in their steps and smiles on their faces. They are out there travelling the world or simply enjoying “nana” or “papa” time with their grandkids. How is it that these ol’ timers are looking and feeling better than me when they are five, no 10, no 20 years older than me?
I suspect there are many reasons why I feel so old, but I can point to job stress as being reason number one. I think about work 24/7, even on my days off. I cannot seem to let the job go. It is so bad that when my wife and I go out of the country on vacation, I “sneak” my phone into the bathroom just to keep up with my work emails and text messages. My wife thinks I have IBS because I am sometimes in the bathroom for an unusually long time! I am always thinking about work. Even my dreams are about work. I cannot seem to get it out of my head!
Admitting I have a problem is the first step, right? Right. Now, how do I fix the problem? How do I put the spring back in my step, like some retirees? Well, one way is to retire (and I am not too far off from that). In the meantime, I have to maintain work-life balance, better nutrition and better sleeping habits. Easier said than done. But, I am inspired by the many retirees I have met who seem to have such youthful energy. To my peers who are still working, find balance in your life and do not let this job consume you; take care of yourself and live, love and laugh! To all you retirees, thank you for showing me the importance of life after this job
and that happiness is achievable when you are not chasing a promotion or avoiding the boss. You are an inspiration to all!
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ISSUES
PPOA has heard many complaints about problems with York and the difficulties retirees have been having in getting proper treatment for their work-related injuries. I want to thank those who took the time to send me detailed emails about your experiences, good and bad. I, along with PPOA Executive Director Wayne Quint, met with York management to voice our concerns. This meeting followed our meeting with the County CEO’s office on this same topic. York and the CEO have agreed to meet with us regularly to address our concerns, so please keep the comments coming if you are having trouble getting proper medical treatment or are having difficulty getting prescriptions authorized. PPOA will advocate on your behalf. It does not matter whether you are a PPOA member; we simply want to make sure those who have served this County are receiving proper care for their work-related injuries.
FAREWELL TO FRIENDS
This year was a particularly tough year for PPOA. We said goodbye to our longtime friend and co-worker, Jimmy Vogts, who passed away on April 25. I cannot put into words how much I miss him — I miss his mentorship, his sense of humor and his dedication to serving others. RIP, Jimmy! We also sadly lost a dear friend, Graham Hawley, who helped countless PPOA members with preparing their wills and trusts. Graham worked for United Estate Planning and accompanied the PPOA team at many LASD Retiree Roundups throughout the years. He was a kind and caring man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, always.
This year, we also bid farewell to Paul Roller, who retired as PPOA’s executive director. We will miss his extensive labor knowledge, but wish him a long and happy retirement. I truly enjoyed our many conversations, and I appreciated his insight into labor unions and contract negotiations, as well as his love for PPOA. His successor, Wayne Quint, has huge shoes to fill, but I enjoy working with Wayne and admire his commitment to learning all about PPOA and how best to serve our members.
When I finally do retire from this job, I will have fond memories of all the people I had the pleasure of working with at PPOA as well as all the wonderful people, both active and retired, who I had the opportunity to meet over the years.