Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Plus and minus.

      Time Goes By has an interesting subject this morning and I joined in with my comments. Below is an expanded version of what I said....    

       I retired at age 64 (I'm now 75) because I could not stand the thought of another week of flying to and from, here and there, and then sleeping in a motel for the week followed by another week just like the week before. Only the airports and motels changed and after awhile they all became the same. Even the Phoenix Inn in Lake Oswego (home of The Crabby Old Lady) became boring. They were also the first to call me by my first name when I walked through the door. I dreaded seeing the blue airport shuttle pull up in front of the house...
       I thought that retirement would be my salvation from a job I had come to hate, and retirement would deliver the perfect life I had dreamed of. Sure enough, the job I hated soon faded from memory. That was a good thing. I had begun race walking (the silly walk) before my retirement and now I could devote myself to the sport. I had completed one marathon and many half marathons, 5K's and 10k's. I planned and competed in 4 more marathons. 2 of them in Portland, one in the Redwoods of California and one in Anchorage Alaska. We were going to explore the USA by car and by marathon. Yes, I do know that I had to get on a plane to visit Anchorage. Then, at age 68, my body gave out. Before my office days, I had spent 30 years working in construction. I worked in steel framing and drywall (a job I loved) and because of that physical abuse I've now had 4 back surgeries and the pain is still with me. I take pain meds on a regular basis. I had epidural injections 3 weeks ago and they failed to stop the pain. I've now been taking pain meds for 8 years.
      But not all is negative. I returned to art and began to paint regularly. I sold a few paintings and then, 3 months ago, I was given a show and my art was seen by lots of people. I was interviewed for the University newspaper.  I paint even more now. That part of retirement has been fulfilling; creating something of value and something that is appreciated by others.
      Next week I will be having another round of epidural injections. So, I'm not giving up and I feel  the positives of retirement simply outweigh the negatives.

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