Recovery is a slow and steady thing – if you do it right. I have no intention of doing it any other way, so slow and steady it is. Slowing down is not a bad thing. It has forced me to face my thoughts, not run from them.
I have studiously avoided thinking about what life will be like when I retire. Retirement plans were happy, joyous things when Kevin was alive, and sad, depressing thoughts after he died. I have a few years to go before I can retire, but I can’t ignore the fact that I need to be ready for it, need to plan.
Kevin never worried about his retirement, but then again Kevin never worried. I remember early in our marriage when money was tight, he told me not to worry, he could always go busk on a corner. God bless him, he always thought music could solve all the problems in the world. I told him he would have to busk all night and all day to raise enough money to get us through – he was unfazed, typical Kevin. He picked up extra gigs playing, we economized, and we got through.
That’s what he would have brought to my retirement. That confidence that whatever happened it would be alright, we would get by. But, he would say, you have to have something to do, you can’t retire and do nothing. He was going to paint and try to get on at the local university to teach music. Oh, and he wanted to travel, and to write, to grab our grandchildren and take them for the summers and show them the world. So much to do, and in his case, no opportunity to do it.
Now there is just me looking forward – to years filled how? That’s what this recuperation period has forced me to think about. To think about what it is that I like to do, that gives me purpose or gratification. A day can stretch out endlessly if you have no way to fill it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to retire to nothing. There was a TED talk about this by a wiry, healthy 93 year old; it is sobering to think that retirement looms and it could last for as long 30 or 40 years. For some anyway. Watching that program really brought home how important it is to have a plan. My plan.