Monday, March 20, 2017

Men in Black at the Old Guy Coffee Place

People handle retirement in different ways.  We should all try to be sympathetic because going from a full time, high pressure, high responsibility role straight to nothing is a jarring life change.  

As somebody who has retired fairly young from just such a job I feel as if I should offer a bit of advice to a guy I know who is going through this and might be having a bit of difficulty adapting.

He is spending too much time on Facebook.  Social media should be used for cat videos and travel photos.  Most people care more about your pets than your pet causes. 

And he calls.  Every few days.  On the Land Line of all things!  Whatta geezer! He never even waits for me to answer its just:

"Hello, this is Barack Obama".

For a decade - two terms plus your initial campaign - you have of necessity been neglecting your family.  You have had to face criticism every time you play a round of golf when something is on fire somewhere in the world...which damn it is always.  When you were center stage people even begrudged you the occasional vacation, pointing to a running tally of how much it cost taxpayers to shuttle Air Force One and the limos and the entourage.

Now, when you can do whatever you choose with nobody much caring you shouldn't still be Political.

I say this as friendly advice.  On the issues we have areas where we agree and disagree.  I have voted for you and against you.  I understand that there are causes you care about but perhaps even there you should ask if your personal involvement so soon after leaving office helps or hurts things.

American politics has unwritten traditions.  One is that First Family Children are off the radar screen.  So I have no way of knowing how a life of celebrity and often absent parents has impacted your daughters.  I wish for the best for them.  You have remaining a precious but very narrow window of time left to be "dad".  Take them white water rafting, or build a Habitat Home with them. Or anything else in the Real World that the still lingering Security detail deems suitable.  They, the kids not the Agents, will soon be gone.

It is another tradition that former Presidents restrain their opinions on the actions of their successors for at least a year.  It's a good tradition, one that your predecessor has honored not for one year but essentially for eight.  It probably does more for your legacy than anything else.  

Ah, here I go again.  A Retired Guy running on at length.  It's best done over several cups of coffee at one of the designated Old Guy Coffee places.  Gimme a real call some time, not the robo variety.  

I obviously have time in my schedule.  We'll get together.  The serious looking guys wearing sunglasses can buy their own coffee but you'll be my guest.

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