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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by P Thought, May 3, 2021.
This, like many of your posts, is beautifully written and thought provoking.
I’m not retired yet, but my dream or wish is to bring out the hidden best from the broken. No matter how tattered my heart, having it hardened doesn’t sit well with my spirit. I’ve had to give myself an attitude adjustment.
Deep down, I seek redemption and long to serve. I want to be more compassionate, merciful, forgiving, and accepting. The belief that people are not bad, but are rather disfigured by the world, turns my heart more toward empathy, further away from judging.
I did not have children, so my hope is that once my experience has earned the privilege of humility, that I could be a surrogate of sorts, a whisper of encouragement for those fleeting faces who, by my failures or their circumstance, just so happen to be reaching and grasping for rock, and I hope I will not let them down when our paths cross.
In my opinion and in my experience, that right there would make you a great schoolteacher (edit: for the kids for sure, but for the parents too, who are there all the time even though you don't see them often). If there is such a thing. Which I'm not so sure. Our local high school seems to me already the way it did before I started teaching there, a faraway planet occupied by strange beings.
Thank you, P Thought.
I'm finalizing my first retirement and my first divorce, so I've got some catching up to do.
I know that I will always have something more I want to do. There's always that sailboat trip around the world...
Time flies like an arrow,
Fruit flies like a banana.
Possibly my favorite "Pink Floyd" song:
Though I’m not yet retired, I’m on a glide path that will, I hope, result in a gentle landing.
Yesterday, my wife and I gathered with some friends that we’ve played music with at least monthly over the past few years.
Besides us, there were two women and a man. Both women have lost their spouses in the last two years, one to pancreatic cancer and the other to a heart attack while splitting firewood. Their husbands were also musicians, leading the way in their duos, both dead at 65, a few years younger than I. These women found the courage to get their instruments out of their cases and to sing without their partners for the first time in decades. It was deeply moving for all of us and they found great pleasure in it.
The man with us had nearly died of an aortic rupture a couple of years ago and made a great recovery. But last fall, a motorist crashed into him and his motorcycle, crushing his leg. He played a Blind Blake song that I had never heard. We talked about trading guitars, and we are both excited about the possibilities.
My wife has some kind of progressive dementia. She still sings like an angel, but she will sometimes want to sing the same song next time around because she didn’t remember singing it twenty minutes earlier. It’s okay to repeat; we all do it more than we realize.
This is what our social life becomes—if we are fortunate enough to be able to remain mobile. It’s a weird twist on the game of musical chairs: the number of chairs remains the same, but one by one our dear friends, sisters, brothers and mates are taken away.
We still have our circle, and it tightens as we cling.
But our social life isn’t our whole life. The lucky ones get deep joy from children, grandchildren, siblings and cousins, who are the people we share memories with of shared grandparents, long gone.
The lucky ones are not alone. They don’t push away, but overlook, forgive, reach out, and embrace.
Thank you guys for all this. I have been struggling a bit with these kinds of thoughts lately. I'm not old enough to retire and I don't have the money to buy a Porsche and have a later-mid-life crisis either. Not that I would do that, just a metaphor. I just seem to be dissatisfied with all of my choices when I look back. Going through it, I always thought I did the best I could. Now I wonder whether I have been lying to myself all along. But when I read things like this thread, it gives me a glimmer of hope. Thank you for the perspective.
We all make mistakes. I've made a handful of huge ones that will impact me for the rest of my life, but they could have been worse (i.e. no jail time) so I can't complain too much.
I think the key is to learn from your mistakes and own them. It's ok to screw up, but then you have to move on. You've still got a life to live.
Dont reinvent yourself just let yourself evolve
if I had the chance to make more choices I think I`d choose to take more chances
I didn't actually expect to live this long already; I might not have planned enough for old age...
Simple. I let them go, accepted reality and got comfortable with it all. I’ve been retired for nearly seven years. Life got in the way of many of my plans. C’est la vie. Some things that I had hopes and dreams for are just never gonna happen. I am content with it all.
My daughter leans on me for childcare duties with my two granddaughters. She always prefaces her requests with apologies. I always assure her that it’s a labor of love. My usual response is “I have one function in life at this stage:To support you and the girls any way that I can.”
My best friend is recently retired. He and his wife had some grand plans for traveling and he was going to devote more time to his music interest. Then his mom became terminally ill, requiring constant attention. His son became embroiled in a terrible custody battle and my friend and his wife had to assist with child care and emotional and financial help. Finally, his wife was recently diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. Life got in the way.
Acceptance, gratitude, and getting on with your life in the best way possible is the only way to deal with such things.
OP echo's much of my disposition.
A factoid for this thread: On her frequent trips for grandma duty, three hours' driving each way, my wife listens to Sirius XM channels.
She's become a Deadhead!
Of course I know she hasn't really. For one thing that probably isn't really possible this late in the "game", no Jerry and all, and for another thing there's no microbus in the family (though we did have one once), to follow the band around with. I guess that would require home visits now. But she's listening to whole concerts in the car on the Sirius Dead channel, and the YouTube videos at home (I don't even know how to work that) are dominated by Dead concerts and singles. And she actually listens to some of my informative ramblings about the band, its songs, and its members. I'm not a real Deadhead either, but I've known enough of them (one is really all it takes) that I could play one on teevee.
I am not complaining. I can play my feeble collection of Grateful Dead records and CDs in the open now; she never used to like them. You don't listen to Jerry and the two Bobs very long without picking up ideas helpful to playing, singing, and writing, so I'm enjoying Mrs. Thought's Dead Binge very much. Maybe I should start browsing Amazon for blotter paper and chemistry books. . .
Not sure what to say here for these hopes and fears. I could start taking social security in less than two weeks but lately I feel quite bring it on about life. Embrace change, get it done, fix things, play hard, rinse and repeat. If I don't keep going hard things already tugging and bothering will get worse, get their chance.
Fears? Plenty right now. Challenges with my wife's and my mother. One's got terminal cancer. My wife's 5 years past. Do we really have enough savings?
My wife probably had it right when she had her cancer med pump in pack and took off on her bike some years ago. It was precisely at a time when there was a lot of complaining and fear in the world but she hid what was going on, got on a mountain bike and left repeating "I will not quit". That's how we should live.
There are plenty of fears, but for as long as I can I want live more bring it on than say it's time to retire. My 140 mile off road bike ride I just did nailed it - many ways totally in and out of my comfort zone at same time.
I want hopes to shine through and never fear as a late age dad. When I'm done I hope I don't leave a big mess for someone to clean up and they'll say he had fun.
It's interesting that you have been retired as long as you have Mister P, it seems like only yesterday you were talking about retiring. Time like toilet paper goes faster at the end of the roll though, so I'll take your word for the length of it. I find it even more interesting that you're still wondering about the impact your life will have on the universe. GOOD for you!
I had a lot of thoughts and aspirations about retirement. They really never went anywhere. I toyed with the idea of going back to work, even had a couple of opportunities to do so, then let them die. I finally discovered that after a lifetime of working, literally got my social security card when I was eleven. It shows me making contributions clear back to that time period, or did when I filed, but I digress. I found that I don't really want to do much of anything. I don't feel compelled to do anything. I'm not convinced I'm any more lazy than I've always been, just better at it.
I've simplified my life to the point that I seldom have to do anything very taxing, and if I do, I'm lucky enough to be able to just hire it done. If the pall hanging over the entire world would suddenly diminish and the world return to normal, I might be more interested in doing something if not spectacular, at least more involved than taking out the trash. I've had many great adventures in my time, I think I've reached the point where I just enjoy staring out the window like Tom Bell, and wondering where it all went.
I'm not depressed, also not concerned with the end and all that. Actually I feel pretty good just playing golf when I have the chance, taking a walk with my wife and dog every day. Even playing a tune once in while. Every once in a while, you know that feeling you have when you kind of crave an ice cream cone? I feel like I should be doing SOMETHING, then I realize I don't really want to. Then I get on the forum and see who is retiring!
Phil Mickelson the golfer one time hit a very poor shot off the tee. This was back when they still allowed on course reporters to interview players while they were playing. The on course guy got in Phil's face and asked him, don't you feel mortified to have hit such a lousy shot? Phil looked at him like he had a four inch booger hanging out of his nose and said something to the effect of. I can't change that shot, it's already in the past, there's no point in thinking about it anymore. What I have to do now, is marshal my thoughts, and hit my next shot as well as I can. True to the way Phil has always played he got himself out of trouble and extricated a par from a very bad initial shot.
I first took this idea to the golf course and it helped my thinking and ability to absorb bad shots, because they are a part of the game. THEN one day, when I was pondering what to do after a poor shot, and trying not to think of how I'd gotten myself in trouble to begin with, I realized LIFE is like golf! When you screw up, and you will, all of us do, don't dwell on why or how you got yourself in trouble, just try and figure out how to minimize the damage, and move on! Everyone on earth makes mistakes at one time or another, sometimes big ones, sometimes small ones, but mistakes nonetheless. The important thing is to not dwell on them, and to try and do as good as you can on your next move.
At 60 and near retirement, I still chase gear and tone. I am still working on my Rockabilly Rig. I still enjoy music...