The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
LOOKING FORWARD: DISASTER OR DELIGHT?
Getting old is debilitating and wisdom takes the surprise out of living. But…there’s no escape. Baby boomers are cresting the hill.
Aside from finding a Fountain of Youth, marrying a plastic surgeon, or experiencing the rejuvenating thrill of seeing some raging demagogue burst a blood vessel and die on camera, we are stuck with advancing decrepitude. Bullsh*t aside, what should we do?
Opinion: Get a rocking chair, climb in it, and wait to die.
Opinion: Get a motorhome, drive till you can’t, and wait to die.
Opinion: Stay in your home, hire help, and wait to die. (Good luck, rich bitch!)
Opinion: Find a way to boogie, boogie till you can’t, and wait to die.
I vote for Option 4. Of course, there is that undeniable theme running through it all, you know, that bit about dying. Even baby boomers die.
I have a personal opinion about that: why worry about dying?---you’re gonna. It’s as certain as gravity. So see? there’s nothing to worry about.
The problem is all those years between retirement and death---because there are going to be quite a few of them. Even for someone like me, who intends to work until seventy (thanks, recession!), there will still be around fifteen to twenty years between retirement and the big Lights Out. What to do?
Well, I haven’t got all the answers, but I have another opinion. I think decrepitude is largely a state of mind. With modern knowledge about medicine, diet and exercise, it’s possible to stay fit and vital right up to the end. I know from personal experience: I can still walk farther, lift more weight, run faster, and outlast people half my age (I am 64). When I retire, I will have more time to exercise so watch out, I will look and feel like a million bucks.
So that rocking chair is going to feel like a pair of tight shoes. I may stay home or I may motorhome it (the gypsy life is appealing to ever larger numbers of boomers) but whatever happens, I will boogie till the end. See you out there!