It was time for the other shoe to drop, for the dark side to appear. Darkness was the theme of the week.
This particular week started on Halloween with oral surgery and appropriate gore. Then came All Saints’ Day with words like necrology (“list of the dead” in case, like me, this isn’t in your vocabulary.) The stock market has been bouncing around like a ping pong ball in a garbage can. The price of oil is twice what was considered astronomical a few months ago.
The cosmic switch for November was flipped to “On”. The trees are bare and it’s cold and gray and frosty. The clocks have been turned back and the earth is hurtling towards the next solstice marking the shortest day. Afternoon walks have to be moved up or darkness falls with no subtlety. Thwop. It’s dark and reports of bear sightings in the vicinity immediately flash before me. Oh dear. Oh me, and oh my.
The retirement comments are moving from congratulatory into the realm of interesting and revealing. As with so many of life’s decisions, the comments of friends and acquaintances are likely to reflect their own position. A friend who is only a few years younger stated that he didn’t want to retire early since he didn’t want to waste his education. Interesting. I see it as, arguably, the loss of a particular job and way of living each day, but not as brain death. When I cease doing a job, am I still me? Am I more me, perhaps, when I choose my own lines to color within? I hope so. It is true that blank pages are daunting for most of us and we flee.
There are many comments from experienced retirees warning of slippery slopes of all kinds with descriptions of experiences that are all downhill from somewhere. Working on financial matters, I was asked by two (2) professionals to predict my death. That one stops you in your tracks. I know that they meant that in order to make certain decisions, we needed to look at my personal demographics to get an idea of my life span, but they didn’t say that. As the waves of Baby Boomers hit this stage, no doubt a more politically correct (or at least kinder) way of asking this will be found. My reaction was to laugh. You know the alternative.
After a day of errands, I was deep in these thoughts as I drove up the dirt road and turned into the driveway. There in the thin, gray November twilight was a flock of wild turkeys convening and conferring in front of the garage. They reminded me that it’s also a time of Thanksgiving and gratitude. After this week, I am thankful that they weren’t buzzards.