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, January 25, 2011

Is There Anything to Look 
Forward To, After 65?

So I had this down moment. Sitting by myself (first mistake) on a winter evening by the fire....should have been blissful, right? Well sure....unless you're a NEUROTIC DRAMA QUEEN who can find the cloud around every silver lining.

So in a few minutes, I start wondering what the future holds (second mistake). A few minutes after that, I start wondering what I have to look forward to (third mistake). I start to think I'm too old to have a future. (Alert! Idiot walking!)

Fortunately, I had totally bored myself within 8 minutes and had returned to my more normal ground mood: enjoy the warm fire, delight in my antique recliner with the sheepskin to sink into, realize my cat is purring, and have a drink. 

But truth be told, my momentary descent did yield a positive reflection:
no matter what your age, you have to have something to look forward too. It's all too easy for "mature" people such as myself to think all they have to look forward to is aging and death. Frankly, everyone has that to look forward to, what? Between 65 and 100 (that's right, I'm gonna live to 100, just watch me), there are a lot of things to look forward to:
  • do one thing you love to do, every day
  • grow roses in New Mexico (hah! just you wait!)
  • do something useful
  • downsize
  • simplify
  • go Zen on yourself, baby
  • have a drink
  • with a good friend or a good dog
  • create something beautiful
  • have another drink
  • FINALLY visit Europe
  • and be at peace.
Sometimes I think we are so used to running at top speed that we don't know what to do with ourselves when we finally retire or even cut back, so it feels like there's nothing to look forward to. The other night, I realized that is damaging nonsense. 

I was reminded of the Spanish proverb: "How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward."

I once had a horse that liked to drink beer out of his salt lick. Summer evenings, I would go out to the pasture and share a 40 with him; half into his salt lick, half into me, and watch the sunset. Maybe I'll get another horse....but he has to like beer.

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