As I slowly assimilate into the role of retiree, I look forward to reading the daily emails from Moon. I look forward to the Retiree Roundup, and I am starting to add retirement events to my calendar as doctor appointments get fewer. I went to a couple of retirement parties recently, and it was fantastic to see all of the people not just from my own generation but from past generations who are still loving retirement. It’s those parties with the mix of active and retired that are the best to me. They allow me to really look at my decision to retire and say, “Yep, it was a good one.”
I promised not to take sides or comment about happenings under the current Sheriff, and although it goes against my “always speak truth to power” philosophy, I am holding my tongue and sticking to my promise. Many of you have family who are active members on the Department, and I have spoken to more than a few about what is in store for them both in the world of politics and public opinion, as well as about the internal politics on the Department.
I know a lot of retired members are passionate about it, but hold your tongues to protect those you love. I was even told that some of you are directing your family to other non-PEPRA agencies.
To all of that, I say this: Work with PPOA on legislation and policies that impact your family and loved ones. Make your thoughts known so we can express them for you to the Sheriffs Villanueva. It matters. Some things that come up are changed for the better, some for the worse and some out of lack of experience or historic retention. Attend some retiree events and meet people. Let them gain experience from yours. Lots of these events have current executives and sometimes legislators in attendance. Take the opportunity to be heard, and maybe the spark will be lit for change.
I will close with this: along with those Moon emails come the almost daily notices of someone’s passing. Some enjoyed long retirements and some too short. Please, if you have family and friends in the business, try to share your wisdom. Tell them not to stay on the job too long. I would advise them to get a fulfilling career, keep outside interests and friends and get hobbies! Most importantly, I would remind them that this is a Honda Accord lifestyle, not Ferrari. The sooner one learns that, the quicker they can move to the next chapter! And all of that is not to bash the profession or the organization. Heck, I worked under five sheriffs — or six depending on how you look at things. The Department has never been the same from one to the next! It is a great organization that continues to evolve, and I loved almost every minute of it! I just see the other side of retirement and how wonderful that can be as well.
Until next month, please keep the emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.