I started this blog as part of my effort to “scare” myself just a little everyday. Maybe it is too much of a challenge and that is why I have avoided posting anything on it. Yes, the dog and his issues put me into a bit of a funk for a while… I am so good at rationalizing behaviors that will give me the excuse I want so that I will not follow through with something. Maybe the blog idea, even it is only me who reads it will give me that push I need to follow through on some of the many ideas percolating in my head. So what does this have to do with retirement. Everything.
My mind is full of all of these things that I want to do and seem not to follow through with because I use all kinds of rationalizing thoughts to not do them or start them and not follow through with them…. and of course my number one rationalizing thought is I don’t have enough time to …blog, exercise, walk the dogs, eat healthier, read more, plan, socialize more, dance more, listen to music more, play golf, train with a trainer, write in my journal, check off nagging tasks that have bugged me for years, organize myself, travel, garden, … because I WORK. Of course, if I retire I will have all this time to do all of these things…. That scares me. Why? Because I do have time now and I have not managed to stay committed to so many things. What makes me think that if I have even more time I will do them? Will I just have all of these wonderful thoughts and ideas rolling around in my head, not follow through, and then be bored and depressed and mad at myself for not working? At least, if I work, I get all of the social contact and challenges that are the part of my job that I really do enjoy and would miss. But if I continue to work next year, I will still have much more limited time to do what I think at this time in my life is what I have a real desire to do. Maybe it is is a bit too scary to face these questions? Is that why I stopped the blog?
OK. I have to do some things to help me with this decision. Follow through with 3 things even while working. If I can find time to do these three things and make them a habit, I will begin to prove to myself that I will follow through with my other “retirement ideas” when I have more time.
1. Blog: 3 times per week
2. Yoga: 2 times per week
3. Get advice on someone who can help with the decision.
I started this blog as a way to reflect on the changes and challenges of the new year. God decided to give me a huge challenge to face today. Rowdy, one of two yellow labs that I are a huge part of my family, had a rough couple of weeks. It began a couple of weeks ago when he suddenly became very ill and had to have emergency surgery for a large mass on his liver. I really didn’t think he was going to make it that day. Yet, he did and we joyfully brought him home to love and attention by family and friends throughout the holidays. Yet throughout this time the dark cloud of doubt and worry was never far from the surface. Dogs don’t just get large liver masses for no reason? Sleepless nights of worrying about the lab report which came today confirmed my worst suspicions. The nurse would say is “Sorry, this isn’t good news… the doctor will call you.” So I wait for the doctor to call. Torture. I distract myself with this blog. Options?
The last two years of loss and pain, change and challenge should prepare me for this heartbreak. Does anything prepare you for the loss of something you love so dearly? Dogs do hold a special place in your heart. Rowdy and Leah (Rowdy’s sister) have given me company in my darkest moments and unconditional love and loyalty. I realize now these were things I didn’t have from “mustard” during the last decade of our marriage. He would say Rowdy is a “dog just a dog.” I know he loves Rowdy as much as his narcissitic self can love anything.
Why doesn’t this vet just call? I just need to know something…
“What would be the point of living if we didn’t let life change us.”– Mr. Carson– Downton Abby
The beauty of a new year is the blank slate spread before you and the fresh anticipation of a new beginning. The days are really the same only the date has changed but it is the underlying excitement of a new year and the possibilities for self motivated change that makes this day special. January 1 is a day of reflection on the changes that occurred during the past year, trepidation about the changes to come in the next year and resolution for self proclaimed changes one hopes to make.
As I reflect on this day I realize that I have made tremendous progress in my new life of living alone during 2012. I now look to 2013 for new changes of leaving full time work to explore all the new possibilities life has to offer.
So, what is the point of living if we don’t let it change us?