View Full Version : The Road Ahead

06-01-2019, 11:50 AM
You see your face. It's no one you remember. You wonder where you put your love, what you found, what you were after. You want to say: 'I slew the dragon, I left the world a safer place.' You can't really, not these days. Perhaps you never could."

--John Le Carre, The Secret Pilgrim (1990)

So a couple of what might be called milestones recently: a birthday and the realization that I have only a year left to work my trade, a year and a half if I go the distance and put in 15 years on the street. I'm not the only one to realize this: yesterday I had the great pleasure of watching my crew's reaction when I deadpanned: "Maybe I'll stay until I'm seventy. Try for sergeant again. Run for Sheriff."

Yeah, that's not gonna happen.

Brutal self assessment: after 37 years so far in law enforcement, I'm physically and mentally wearing down. It's telling, I think, that I pray every day for patience as well as courage, strength and endurance. Don't want to end up like the Old Man in the Continental Op stories, with "years of sleuthing" leaving me "with no feelings at all on any subject." (Though I wouldn't mind being able to "spit icicles in August.")

Make no mistake: no kumbaya for me. Not going mystic or mindless. No flower power, one world, all roads lead to salvation horse sh**. No chemicals, unless they devise something that can reverse, say, arthritis, without turning you into an impotent snowflake. I'll take the pain instead.

My principal asset (besides substantial deposits of stubbornness and rage): I finally know what I don't know.

So the plan is to fix that. The body can be trained to rework and to work around (Brent, you are forewarned). The mind is kept active: I read. I write. I learn. I'll learn to ride a horse properly. And train dogs. Maybe to fly (Ted, beware). I have three project cars quietly rusting in my garage.

And I have a doctorate in making order out of chaos.

The road ahead? One step at a time.

Gabriel Suarez
06-01-2019, 11:57 AM
I felt like you some years ago. Life afterwards is actually better in many ways. As Ragnar said in the TV show...don't look back...we aren't going that way.

Brent Yamamoto
06-01-2019, 12:46 PM
The more I train the more I realize things I don’t know.

But we already knew that, and those that understand it best know a MOUNTAIN of good, solid, useful material. We all have things to learn, and we all have things we can share with others.

Many other thoughts on this subject but I will simply say that for those who don’t know him...

I recently had a conversation with Papa’s wife. I told her that Papa and people like him were an inspiration to me. People that have been “beyond the Wall” as Gabe so aptly put it. People who have learned hard lessons and can articulate those lessons for the benefit of those with the ears to hear.

In short, I told her that Papa was a badass.

“Yeah,” she said, “he IS a badass.”

06-01-2019, 04:50 PM
Consider "Ted's Pain Cream" for the arthritis. My mother in Law swears by it.

06-18-2019, 09:47 AM
Thanks Papa

This has being a timely post that spoke to me on a personal level. My life has changed drastically in the last two years. And I had to learn to adjust to a whole different way of living.

The hardest part for me was that my training first started to slow down, becoming sporadic, as we got ready to move. I also wanted to spend as much time with Mom as I could the week she was home from the hospital.

Then once we moved into our new apartment I had to place my workout equipment in storage, no longer having my own garage-Only an outside parking space-Leaving me without a place to workout. Which means I have not being able to workout in 14 month`s, not out of laziness/a lack of self-discipline but simply because I could not figure out a way to train-Even working out in the local gim in town I found out to my frustration was not a possibility due to the place not being wheelchair friendly at all.

Always having preferred my own company, having had that in common with both my parents-We as a family having enjoyed each others company and hanging out together-I now have to make a point of becoming more social. Because of a combination of suddenly living alone and now needing to make an effort to create opportunities to enjoy life and having activities that i can loof forward to.

I have not really made a concerted effort to improve my circumstances. Looking for and identifying obstacles instead of working at improving my situation.

That was until I read your post. Since then I have contacted my local councilman having come across a gim full of brand new equipment that nobody uses at the local community-hall.The place is also completely wheelchair friendly.

I also asked around and then heard about a local social club for wheelchair users. And am waiting on the contact details from the person who told me about the club.

A LITTLE UPDATE-Since I wrote this post:
It is a yes to using the gim but there is still a bunch of hoops to jump though. There is another meeting tomorrow where some of the particulars will be ironed out. We agreed that I will follow up with the councilman in a week if I had not heard from him before then.

I came across a local towns-group on Facebook yesterday and have sent a request to join, where I will ask about the social club. Not having received any feedback.

I was also asked to help the local Practical Shooting Club with their scoring. Which means I will go to the Wednesday Training Days and get to travel to the competitions over the weekends. Starting tomorrow!

And who knows I might even talk them into letting me shoot some!

So thank you Papa for the push, providing me with the momentum to start to move in the right direction-Going forward and not looking back over my shoulder.

I will keep you posted.


06-18-2019, 10:53 AM
Elfie, you're welcome. "Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." You are giving me a push as well.

Becoming a social animal is hard for me, too, despite over 37 years in law enforcement, maybe because of it. Church; family (even scattered to the four winds and diminished); work: these keep me from becoming a bitter recluse. These and a strong, loving wife.

And, surprisingly, this forum. There are many lone wolves here. We leave our sign and like mountain men, we rendezvous. But even if we never meet, there is discipline here, and support.

On a practical level, there is a device called "Body Blade," often used therapeutically, that takes little room and will, if properly used, work arms, chest and core with surprising effect. And a pair of light dumbbells is compact and, I think, essential.

Now saddle up.

06-19-2019, 06:41 AM
Timely post, inspirational.

06-19-2019, 06:44 AM
I felt like you some years ago. Life afterwards is actually better in many ways. As Ragnar said in the TV show...don't look back...we aren't going that way.

Ragnar's quote struck me as very appropriate, thank you.

06-20-2019, 02:57 AM
The last sentence heard Loud and Clear Papa, and taken to heart.



M1A's r Best
06-20-2019, 03:40 AM
I think I understand the rage, stubbornness, maybe even the unwillingness (or is just being hesitant?) to make an effort to be around other people.

I retired early. I could have kept working, but it was a matter of time before my mouth went into motion before my mind was in gear (as dad used to say) and got me in some kind of HR/manager/PC trouble. Tough being truly honest with people/situation these days. Tough doing the job the way it should be done to allow you to go home at the end of the day knowing, absolutely knowing, you've done the right things to make it better than when you got to work at the start of the shift.

Retiring early was a very good thing, for me anyway. Greatly reduced the number of stupid, uncaring, unknowing people I have to deal with every day. I still hate to call HR and deal with those people when I have a need to change something about my retirement/medical insurance, etc. It is so difficult, sometimes, to find someone who will do what they say, do it right and get it done right now.

Those old cars aren't as friendly as having a dog or three but they will provide you with something to spend time, effort and money on and once you get them going a certain amount of fun when out on the road. You'll have time to do what you want to do when you want to do it and only as long as you want to do it. Time to spend with your wife. Whether it's watching a movie, enjoying a sunset/sunrise, or taking trips without having to cut something short in order to get back to work.

Not sure where you live but one thing I really enjoy here is looking out the window on some cold snowy winter morning while I drink a cup of coffee and I know I don't have to scrape ice, push snow, or drive with the idiots that think 4WD means you can do 70 in a 55 without any worries. We sit here, listen to the sirens of the police/rescue squad going up/down the road to the accidents and are thankful we don't have to be out there in it.

Good luck and stay busy doing the things you enjoy, as much as you can.