What comes next?


Now that’s a big question.  What should I do now that I’ve retired.  I try to do useful things every day, but I’m feeling old and useless and worst of all, unattractive.  Welcome to my midlife crisis.

I really don’t mind the gray hair.  I’m trying to get used to the wrinkles.  The failing eyesight is a drag, but I don’t look dorky in glasses.  As we age it seems like all we do is lose.  Losing eyesight, eye hand coordination.  It just isn’t fair.  I worked hard all my life and life just keeps getting tougher.

I find myself saying, “I used to do that” and “Oh, we haven’t been there in years.”  How does that happen?   When do we start retreating from our world, stop doing things.  I don’t hike any more, we don’t go to the zoo, and we haven’t been to San Diego in ages.  Life seems to push us and shape us into the person we end up being, and there is nothing you can do to change it.  I can’t stop the aging process, though I want to.

I never had a plan, like some people, you know, finish college, get my career started, get married, buy a house.  I did all that, just not in that particular order, which I guess is really the root of my problem here.  How would my life be different if I had it to live over?  It’s sort of awe inspiring to think back at the girl I was at 18 and the risks I took.  Of course, I know now that risks are for young people.  We don’t take risks as we get older.  Too scarey to even think about roller blades at this point in my life.  Do I look like I need a broken arm?

My doctors are younger than me, and they all look like Dougie Howser.  I don’t know who Kim Kardashian is or who was the last American Idol and I don’t care to find out.  But It feels like life has left me behind. I can’t keep up with technology any more.  I used to know all the software out there.  I understood computers when they were big.  The smaller they make things, the less likely I am to own it.  An IPad, for instance.  It does everything except take pictures,  but you’ve got a phone that does.  My phone only makes phone calls.  It doesn’t take pictures or connect to the internet.

My last year working was chaos when the firm introduced new software.  I wasn’t concerned about it at first.  I sat through the training, wondering if any of what we were being taught would be of use.  When we went live with the program all hell broke loose.  Gliches in the system.  Gliches between this software and that.  It took six months to work the kinks out.  Meanwhile I’m trying to do my already stressful job with a computer that I no longer understood.  I couldn’t keep up.  I took notes, had additional training, but when I went to do something I generally did not recieve the desired result. I was forgetting steps.  I saw myself being left behind.  I couldn’t keep up any more.  I forgot more and more.  I wasn’t sleeping,and  I was stressed.  I started sleeping again (thank god for elavil), but my memory did not  improve much.  This was a law office, what if I forgot something really important?  It was the beginning of the end of my life as a secretary.

It took me the six months before I became fairly proficient at the new software, but I wasn’t feeling relieved or less stressed.  My commute got longer every day.  The thought of losing my job loomed like a thundercloud on the horizon.

As it does with every thing, the day came when I knew I had to resign.  I forgot something major.  Something that should have been calendared over six months ago.  I went home with a migraine and cried about how useless I had become.  As defunct as the first Word progam.  I couldn’t imagine being unable to work any more.  How can we afford my retirment?  Who can possibly live on disability?

Me as it turned out.  I’ve been retired three months and so far we are making ends meet.  As long as the Republicans don’t pass any laws interfering with my disability pay, we may just squeak by.

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2 thoughts on “What comes next?

  1. So much sounds familiar..I was working full-time and assistant to a Director within the organization. My job was very detailed…month end balancing for the donor accounts department..I was not in any way an accounting person….but it took concentration as did other aspects of my job and recently things had not been as easy and I was soooo tired. One week I couldn’t balance and so held up releasing the next month’s postings..so I took it home and worked on all weekend..redid it I don’t know how many times..and when I realized all I had done was +’d instead of -‘d and the form that I made up …..told you what to do…did I cry and cry and when I went to work on the Monday I was so embarrassed and apologetic to all …That was shortly before I went on short-term disability…overcome everthing and depression set in…then while on the Short term..I was diagnosed with M.S….I never went back to work…and I felt soooo alone ..Memories..ahhhhh….Diane

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