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Jim Larkin | all galleries >> Galleries >> ...2013... > Jan. 7, 2013
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Jan. 7, 2013

Something happened to me on January 1st. Something that I never saw coming. It was like when you are running through the woods and turn around to look at something. When you look back to the front there is a branch right there. Too close to be able to do anything, You can’t stop so you make the exaggerated motion that suggests you were just hit in the face with a bat. You never saw the branch coming, but there it was.

On January 1st I entered my 20th year of being a cop. While I knew it was coming, it was abstract. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it so I ignored it. I ignored it until I saw the new vacation sheet posted and I had 30 days. That was my branch. Only the old guys get 30 days of vacation. I guess I am having so much trouble with it because I don’t FEEL like I have been doing this for 20 years. I still make more stops than most guys. I still look for dope. I still shake hands and take people to jail. Now, where my age does show is in my common sense. I no longer get too excited about the little stuff.

I am past the point where all the “old” guys were when I got hired. I remember looking at those guys and thinking “Man, that’ll never be me.” Guess what? It is. I don’t age well. On my 30th birthday I was in a very dark place for days. My wife can attest to that. 40 wasn’t too bad. 50 is going to be a complete meltdown. I already see it coming. I guess I hate getting older because every year forces me to face my own mortality. Granted, knock on wood, it’s 40 or more years away but still.

I can retire in 6 years if I wanted to. 6 years. 6 years. I think that if I say it more it will seem real to me, but it never does. I can’t wrap my mind around it right now. Maybe in another 10 years I’ll look at it differently. Time has a funny way of doing that to you. I remember in the mid 90s going to a club in Cleveland called “The Basement.” I would be in that bar 5 days a week, dancing until 2:30 every morning. I remember actually telling myself that I couldn’t ever see me not wanting to do this forever. Well, as life would have it, I did not in fact keep doing it forever. I don’t remember the last night I was there, and that’s sad to me. I wonder if I won’t remember the last night being a cop was fun. The last night that I couldn’t imagine not doing this forever.

I hope I can remember that night forever. I truly love my job. I’m not sure I have ever had more fun, outside raising my kids, in my whole life. I am on the backside of this crazy ride though, and I know it. I look at these young guys we’re hiring and I am a little jealous. A small part of me wishes I was starting out again.

“Ah! the clock is slow; it is later than you think.” - Robert W. Service

So true........

other sizes: small medium original auto
Janet Donnelly10-Jan-2013 14:18
Jim, I relate so much to the substance of your thoughts here ……. I did indeed have a kind of mini-meltdown when turning 50. Now, however, that I am 68 and look back, it all seems rather silly. To be honest, I would rather have the ME that’s inside my skin today than that other ME at any time in the past. Congratulations on the 20 years!
Máire Uí Mhaicín10-Jan-2013 13:31
Creeping years catch up on us all, but it's how we approach life that's important, no matter what age we are.
pkocinski09-Jan-2013 12:42
Congrats on reaching 20 years on the job and thank you.
mikiruaq09-Jan-2013 01:36
Congrats to you Jim. Great image and the story just adds the spice to it. Well done. V
godro08-Jan-2013 19:19
Nice black and white and compo,well done!!!
Brenda08-Jan-2013 17:09
Well done and congrats! I retired at 47 from the computer business and I don't regret leaving. I loved my job but there's so much more in this wonderful world. And the 50's are GREAT!
Laryl08-Jan-2013 16:07
the clock is really slow.. I just had my 60th birthday and it was fun.. finally get some of those senior discounts! The number on the cake means nothing to me, I'm happy it keeps changing and I embrace each one. 60 was fun, 61 will be a bit boring. 65 should be cool. It's all your choice of how to view the years going by. They open up doors to new experiences, new phases in the kid's growing up. Congrats on 20 years!
Guest 08-Jan-2013 14:54
Congratulations Jim. Just one thing, if you make more stops than the others then they must be doing nothing because I have ridden with you a few times...
Terri Steele08-Jan-2013 14:03
Great image and a great story too... you are so wise to realize... that it is later than we think.
Mike Stobbs08-Jan-2013 13:17
Well done Jim...heres to another 20 years.......(BTW hows Sinta doing?)
John Buffin08-Jan-2013 12:42
What the hell? I can't like a comment here??vvvv
David Sands08-Jan-2013 12:30
You are nothing like the "old guys" that I remember when I came here 11 years ago. They were lame and reacitve, not proactive like you are... You my friend bring an intensity and sincerity to the job. I am always amazed while on a call with you and someone does a dumbshit thing to deserve the wrath of the Police (SMH). After the dust settles I see you dealing with said dumbshit in a manner which they have a respect for you after all thats happened. Pretty cool to watch it, even cooler to be in the mix with you. 20 Years- you ain't old. Get back to work.
RC08-Jan-2013 11:30
That is huge. Congrats. I remember you telling me about being an M.P. so, you've been doing enforcement work for some time.
Ed Preston08-Jan-2013 05:12
Congrats on 20 years Jim! Love the low angle and DOF! Vote!
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