Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Good and Bad about Retirement

There's a lot to like about retirement. Last night I didn't sleep very well, which is often the case, but I didn't have to get anxious about it because I knew I could sleep in this morning. And while making the bed I thought how nice it is not to hurry through some of life's little activities because of the pressure to get to work. Not going to work takes away a huge amount of worry and pressure. For someone who's working, this sounds like heaven itself, but I'm discovering there are some pitfalls. I had one appointment to go to this week. It was at the VA and I made it about a month ago. Between my wife and me we have 4 new calendars. Two beautiful ones that hang on the walls and one each that we can carry around with us. Written on all these calendars was my appointment at the VA. It wasn't long ago when I worked 5 days a week, taught several Tai Chi classes in the evening and a writer's workshop, had lists and phone numbers of all my students and clients, went to meetings at work, had a family and a house and rarely was even late to anything. Well I missed my one appointment at the VA. One stinkin' appointment for the whole week and I missed it. It's of no interest to anyone why I missed my one appoointment, but this is my blog and it's helpful for me to know why, because in two weeks I have another appointment at the VA. I was all ready to go the night before. I had my appointment slip out and the alarm set and knew which building to go to. But in the morning when I started to get up, minutes before the alarm went off, my wife asks me what I was doing. I told her I was going to my VA appointment. Then she said "Isn't it Wednesday?"My appointment was on Thursday. We launched into a discussion about our looking forward to and talking about going to the Wednesday Farmers' Market, and didn't we just talk about that on our hike yesterday. Well we both agreed it was only Wednesday, and I didn't sleep very well that night and so I pulled up the covers and went back to sleep. I was awakened by her saying, "Oh shit, I think it is Thursday." I had to think for a moment how a person knows what day it is. We don't get a newspaper and are trying not to watch TV, so we don't have TV (for the moment). She then said, my cell phone will tell me. Well, she got up and checked and sure enough it was Thursday and it was too late to go to my appointment. I felt terrible and called the VA. The guy I talked to didn't want to hear any of my excuses, in fact, he didn't seem to care one way or the other. He just rescheduled me and I told him apologetically, "I won't miss the next one" and he replied, "Good for you buddy" and hung up. The good thing about retirement is I don't have another appointment for 2 weeks. I hope I make it.

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