I think I’m going insane! Retirement will do that to you. Hour after hour, day after day, they’re all the same. Wake up, shower and dress. Eat breakfast, take pills, and take a nap. Eat lunch, more pills, and take a nap. Renee asks me what I want to do. I answer whatever you want to do. We end up napping. Sit outside with neighbors and drink bourbon, then there’s dinner, even more pills, some lousy TV, more naps, then sleep. Up at 3 am and do it all over again.
What’s so fricken insane is that I counselled my patients, advising them that they could not retire until they had developed a second love that would occupy their time and stimulate their minds. Being the idiot that I am, I never developed an outside interest, immersing myself in my medical practice. Then I got sick and had to retire.
We are too damaged to play golf or pickle ball or just about any sport. I’d walk everyday but my groin sprain and broken toe limits my ability to walk. I’ve bought everything I need and some things I don’t need. On pretty days, we go cruising with the top down. Of course, there is Rock Steady! I’ll return when my body stops hurting. That should occur about the time hell freezes over.
I have my first love, Renee, but I’m driving her crazy. It’s like I’m glued to her side. Lucky for her, she’s found some women she enjoys coffee klatsching with.
The moral of the story is to make absolutely sure you have something to do when you retire. In essence, you need to have a second occupation and you need to start constructing it long before you reach retirement age. Next, stay well enough to do it! Finally, be realistic! Playing with the kids and grandchildren is not enough. They grow up and get involved in their own worlds. If you can, develop 2-3 interests that will keep you busy and engaged with the world around you. You will get older; and, with age, abilities diminish.
I almost forgot to mention depression. Depression is a normal human emotion and part the aging process. I know it carries a stigma even though it shouldn’t. Don’t hide from it; own it. I remember an elderly patient who told me she was unhappy and her friends thought she was depressed. She vehemently denied being depressed as she recounted the 7 funerals she had been to in the last 12 months. She recounted how she lost most of her savings and was probably going to lose her house. She told me her family had deserted her. On the third time she denied being depressed, I told her, “You’ve got two choices. Either you can be depressed, or you are insane! I’m depressed just listening to your story.” She owned up to being depressed and started on meds. The next time I saw her she was much better.
Here is today’s joke:
A woman puts an ad in the paper looking for a man who wouldn’t run away at the sight of commitment, who wouldn’t hit her, and could fulfill her sex life.
Two weeks go by and nothing. Finally, one day the doorbell rings. She opens the door and sees a no-armed, no-legged man.
She looks at him and asks, “How do you expect to fulfill my wishes?”
He explains, “I have no arms to hit you with and no legs to run away.”
Then she says, “And the sex life?” He looks at her and says, “I rang