Saturday, March 01, 2008

Future Shock: A Preview

I do believe I have just experienced a preview of what retirement will be like. Suddenly, I'm not quite so sure I'm going to be properly prepared for it. Sure, retirement for me is at least five years down the road, assuming I take the "65-option."

My premature glimpse into that future is based entirely upon the previous three weeks of physician-mandated rest. Three weeks do not a future make I know, but those twenty-one days have been filled with enough ennui and disquietude to force me to rethink the years ahead.

For reasons that escape me, my wife does not appreciate the fact that she has been leaving the house for work at 6:45 in the morning while I'm still fast asleep. To make matters worse, she has come home at 4 pm to find me ... sleeping! This was particularly brought to my attention one evening when the dirty pots and pans and dishes were still stacked in the kitchen sick, the trash had not been taken out, and the cat's litter box needed tending. Add to the equation that she had to shovel the entire driveway and the front and back steps after six inches of snow one day last week.

Don't get me wrong, I both sympathize and empathize her plight in this matter. In my own defense, until three days ago I was unable to do those things. I could not stand or put any weight on my right leg because of severe pain. That fact doesn't account for the doctor's orders to stay off the leg and to keep it elevated above my heart as much as possible. (Also the first week of convalescence was comprised of four or more hours for six consecutive days at the hospital.)

I will add that in the last three days however, I have taken care of those previously mentioned chores. Funny, isn't it that when I didn't do those things I got an earful, and yet when I did do them, nothing was said at all?

Working with the elderly, I never fail to be touched by the devotion of those couples who have stayed together and have endured so much for so many years of marriage. It's nice to know that one's significant other will always be there through thick and thin, through times good and bad.
Then again, maybe ... maybe not!

A woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day.

One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer.

As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, "You know what? "You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side... You know what?"

"What dear?" she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.

"I think you're bad luck... get the f**k away from me."
In May, the 5th to be exact, my wife and I will have been married thirty-six years! (Or would that be nine in leap years?) It is sad, but for a lot of baby-boomers few marriages last that long nowadays. As for our marriage, I see no reason for us not lasting another fourteen to hit that magic 50th anniversary ... and beyond.

Thus it is that I have begun to reflect, to rethink the years ahead. What's it going to be like with both of us not working ... both of us home ... all day long ... 24-7 ... 365 days?
A Healthy Relationship

This 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, had died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to her interest in health food, and exercise.

When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi. As they "oohed and aahed" the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

"It's free," Peter replied, "this is Heaven."

Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth.

The old man asked, "what are the green fees?".

Peter's reply, "This is heaven, you play for free."

Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisine's of the world laid out.

"How much to eat?" asked the old man.

"Don't you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!" Peter replied with some exasperation.

"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.

Peter lectured, "That's the best can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."

With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly. Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong.

The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault. If it weren't for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"
Why am I obsessing about the future anyway? I cannot prevent it. I will be better served worrying about today. That yet to come? I can only take it one day at a time.

GOOD NEWS: Today was my final out-patient visit with the doctor. I have been cleared to return to work. He suggests I go with a light schedule for the first week and then back to a normal full schedule the following week. (Gotta keep contributing to the Social Security, you know?)



Skunkfeathers said...

Congratulations on your upcoming 36th anniversary. Unlike my last phone call, made on a hope and prayer, yours turned a corner on the road to forever together. Much as I sometimes wish mine had been so lucky, it's nice to know folks that actually are and remain so.

Yeah, I do know it's a lot of work; you two are proof it pays off.

As for a solo (and likely to remain so at my advancing rate of depreciation..*snort*) preparant, it looks very likely that I will *retire* when I go ten toes up, and not before LOL.

Jack K. said...

Glad to know you are on the mend and will be able to go back to work.

Congrats on 36 years. After 40 I know it ain't always easy. But, it is worth it.

I tend to do whatever she who will be obeyed asks.

Advice I have for all men who decide that marriage is what to do. Remember these three comments:

"Yes, Ma'am."
"No, Ma'am."
"Whatever please you my love."

These phrases must be uttered in a sincere manner.

lime said...

glad to hear you are doing much better. thats' a scary infection you had a second round with. glad to hear you feel confident in the relationship you and your wife have built. that is a rare and lovely thing.

Miss Cellania said...

Good to hear about your recovery! Retirement won't be so bad, as long as you stay healthy most of the time.

Hale McKay said...

Miss C,

Staying healthy seems to be the operative idea.

Hale McKay said...


Thanks on two counts - my health and my marriage.

What a waste it would be for us not to continue to grow old together.

Hale McKay said...


Those phrases are definitely a prerequisite to long and healthy relationship.