Thursday, March 6, 2014

Retirement. Giving up? Letting go? The prospect of doing nothing.

Today is Luther's last day of work.  Last night, he was amped up like crazy and talked a mile a minute about everything.  Nervous energy, maybe?

I know he's jazzed about the prospect of not having to get up early, struggle to get dressed (make that me struggling to get him dressed after he's attempted to get dressed.  It's a 50/50 proposition whether he gets his socks on or not.  He tries and he gets major bonus points for still trying.), eat, get ready and yep - he's still driving.  I worry so much about the driving part.  He can't use his arms, remember?  Apparently he flings them in to the steering wheel since he can still move his arms side to side.  Just not up and down.

Giving things up is the hardest, isn't it?  Whether its letting go of a grudge, a past regret or resentment.  How many of us hold on to some old angry feeling because we want to be heard or need to be right?  Now take that THING we all have of holding on and think about giving up driving.  Work.  Putting on your socks.

The term "give up" feels negative.  Like you're a loser.  I give up.  I can't do it.  If you give up in the middle of having sex, well.  Lose.  You "give up" stuff for Lent and it's a hardship.  I'm giving up chocolate.  Suffer!  I suppose if you're giving up smoking, it's a good thing but it's still that feeling you're giving up something you enjoy.

As we age, we give up stuff.  Some things willingly.  I don't want to stay out until two in the morning like I did when I was 25.  Other things, not so willingly.  Same deal as quitting smoking.  I'm giving up mcnuggets, which I love, because I know - like the boyfriend I met when I was out until two in the morning - they're bad for me.  Youthful flings and mcnuggets.  So good and so bad.

Luther's last day of work.  He's giving up his work.  His income, part of his identity, his ability to produce, to take care of me.  It's all wrapped up.  He isn't choosing to retire.  The illness is forcing him to stop working.

My guess is he'll be relieved and excited about not working for about......... two to three months.  I imagine when you've worked for the last 45 years, you're ready to sit in the lazyboy and relax.

I'm treating this like he is retiring.  Although I'll still be working, I'm going to do my best to get him to do those things you equate with retirement.

He loves to fish.  I might have to hook the damn worm but a-fishing we will go.  Or at least we'll try.

<----My dad and Luther up at the cabin.

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