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Someday I might retire and do something easy, like farming

I had an email this morning from the head cheese at FBC
(Farm Business Communications is the division of our parent company that looks
after our family of publications including Grainews, Canadian Cattleman,
Country Guide, Alberta Farmer Express and Manitoba Co-operator, New York Times,
Washington Post, National Geographic – okay, those last three aren’t part of
FBC). But, I had an email from the publisher advising me that one of the gals
in accounting is retiring after 34 years. I think Barb started there when she

was 10. (Here’s a photo of her happily working on my expenses)

Barb Fewer .jpg

I am getting to that stage in life when people ask me about
retirement (although come to think of it, it has often been suggested for the
past 20 years). And I guess it is something I/we think about, but I always come
back to the question “retire to do what?”

Quite a few of our friends are retired, and I have a lot of
colleagues in the agriculture industry who have “retired”. But, so often what I
see are people who retire from one job, to go to a different job, that maybe
has a different timetable. One couple was telling us the other day, they are so
busy in retirement they haven’t even had time to go golfing. What’s wrong with
that picture?

Now, if my goal was to retire so I could get up in the
morning when I feel like it, putter around the house, sneak in the odd golf
game or fishing trip when I can, and then do the odd bit of work when the mood
strikes, well then, I guess I am already there. I have the the Dorothy Syndrome. I
click the heals of my Ruby Slippers and repeat to myself  “There is no place like where I am”.

To really make a change in my schedule I would have to get
up at 5 a.m., get organized, dress so I looked presentable to the public, go to
some office by 8 a.m. where there are other people I may or may not like, be
reasonably pleasant and sociable all day – that team player crap, actually do
some work for several hours, fight traffic to get home in the evening, have
supper and go to bed, stressed over all the stuff I didn’t get done today and

should do tomorrow. That’s a major change that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I think I am just stuck here in this hellhole of a home
office, in my sweat pants, doing this salt-mine of a job, between naps, for the
foreseeable future. When I win the lottery this Friday or Saturday then maybe I
will reconsider, and do something really easy like farming. I always remember
an old joke about the farmer who won $1 million and people asked what he would
do with the money and he said, “keep farming until it is all gone.”… I am sure
that is a joke, although no doubt some days real farmers have to wonder.

The only fly buzzing around my life plan ointment is when
good, solid, pleasant, hard working people like Barb in accounting retire,
there comes an ever-increasing risk that some bright, younger, over-achiever
might land in that job and start asking stupid questions like, “why are we
paying this guy, does he do anything?” Right after my nap, and Oprah, I’ll have to find out who the new person
is and start sending him compliments and gifts. That strategy has worked for

Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at
[email protected]


About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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