Sunday, May 5, 2013

ALL TOO COMMON A STORY

Retirement. We all look forward to that time, it's a goal, a plan, a time when we can finally do all the things that we couldn't when we had to get up and go to work everyday.  We had to cram so many things on the weekends, errands, grocery shopping, maybe a movie, trips with the kids, all our obligations to church, the kid's school stuff.  And then it finally arrives.  Retirement.

The grass seems greener, the sun seems brighter, we think we can finally sleep in, everyday (only to find out that our aches and pains don't let us sleep past seven anyway).  All the t-i-m-e we'll have.  Yay, FINALLY!!  But...the time we thought we'd have so much of, well, as you approach your 70's, it takes you twice as long to do things so you're still wishing the days were longer.  What a rip-off!

And then there's the matter of your health.  Whoever said, "if you have your health, you have everything" was really wise.  Even if you've been a proponent of healthy choices, exercise, supplements, and so on, there's no guarantees that you will really be like those folks on the retirement brochures walking along the beach or playing golf or sitting on the veranda of their glamorous summer home.  Who are those people, anyway?

Yes, your health in your post-retirement years can easily go down hill, like I said, even if you've done everything right. And there you are, looking down the barrel of an announcement from your doctor that, well, you have something serious that will require involved therapies, pills, and treatments to even have a chance of beating the odds, if you're lucky.  And sometimes what the doctor says takes your breath away.  He tells you that your condition is such that you may not have 10 or 15 years left, substancially less and you best make sure everything is in order.  Not what you thought those wondrous retirement years would be, now is it?

I know, this is hardly a light-hearted poem or fluff piece.  I also know all this sounds maudlin and morose but this just happened to one of my dearest friends...and a college classmate...and a wife of my brother-in-law...etc. etc. etc.  I probably shouldn't have written about this tonight but, gosh darn it, I'm mad.  Really mad!  I don't have anyone to blame (though I wish I did.)  It's just that every time I here about a situation like this and then compare it to the whole retirement myth, again I get mad and I just had to vent.  If I've shattered your dream of retirement, I'm sorry.

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