Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cue the vultures

Some of them approach the subject directly.  "Sooo...when are you going to retire?" they ask.  Others are more indirect.  "I'm feeling lazy about doing an you think I should do one?" they say hesitantly.

I get it.  I work in an amazing place, and I have a good job.  Since people found out I'm eligible for early retirement, I don't blame them for wondering when the position will be vacant.  However, it's hard not to feel like a carcass in the desert with vultures circling overhead.

My response to these questions is vague.  Depending on who's asking, I say "I'm not sure," "Three bad days in a row," or, if I really don't want that person to get my job and screw up the program I worked so hard to build, "I think I'll stick it out till they kick me out."

The truth is, I really don't know.  I don't know if I'm ready for a drastic change in income, to stop flying in helicopters, or to lose my identity as a wildland firefighter.  Some days I am, especially on those long pointless meeting days or when faced with red tape and paperwork.  Other days, when the pilot and I fly over the national park to a new fire start, I'm uncertain.

Some people have a plan in life.  I never had one.  I moved wherever the wind took me.  I never planned to be a firefighter for 31 years, yet here I am.  And even though it's a little scary at times, I like not having everything decided in advance.  Some day I will wake up and say, I think I'm done with this job.  Maybe it will be soon, and maybe it won't be.  The vultures will just have to wait and see.


  1. You have had an amazing career, even though unplanned! It has been, and is, important work not only for the resource but through training others in the work, the safety, the people and resource responses. You will know...and there will be new open horizons for you when you...and not the vultures....decide that time has come.

  2. You will know when that time comes. Unequivocally know! A few weeks when the football player walked out in the middle of a game...he KNEW. Ok, maybe that was a bit drastic, harsh and unethical...but he KNEW. Follow your heart. And enjoy every step til then...and after too!!

    1. I didn't hear about the football player. I'll have to look that up. Thanks for the kind words!

  3. So when are you retiring? HEHEHE


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