The alarm clock didn't wake me up this morning. The sound of text messages did. Text messages from the working world and one e-mail from my old office.
Today is my first day cut loose and left utterly to my own devices. And you should see my devices sometime.
The technical term is retirement. But I don't like that word. The word "retirement" connotes receipt of the gold watch, a white belt to match white patent leather shoes and moving to Arizona. I still consider myself to be a young person. I still have lots of energy and most of my marbles still. I will do something else with my life. I just really don't know what that "something else" is at this point.
Which is kinda scary. I won't lie to you. At least not about this.
We are creatures of habit and structure. Men in particular. And as one of my friends-one armed with a license to commit social work-told me, I am a fixer. As she said, I have experienced a lot of loss in the past year or so. Maybe work kept me from dealing with it. So I guess now there's nothing much left to fix but me. At least for right now.
I am a guy. Goddamn I hate this.
But it's going to be OK. It's just going to be different.
I talked to a lot of people about whether I should take Uncle's offer to retire early. One of the people I talked to was my old friend Linda. Linda's health is not the greatest in the world. Whatever it is they can't seem to figure it out over at the med school.
" Just think of getting up on a beautiful morning in October," she said. " Think how wonderful it would be not to have to put on clothes and fight the traffic. Think how great it would be to get up and take a long walk. To breathe the cool air and see the beautiful colors. Me, I have to go to the Mayo Clinic. I like your prospects better."
Perspective is a bitch is she not?
Early this morning, I took Linda's walk for her. And she is right. It was great. The first steps of Act II.
The e-mail from the office said, "I miss you already."
I miss you too, baby. But the Federal Government survived the assassination of Lincoln. It will survive without me.
Everything is going to be OK.
I'm not retired. I am changing.
It will be different. See? Already I am overindulging in one sentence paragraphs.
Everything will be OK. I just have to figure it out.
As Mr. Frost said, "You come too."