It was a year ago today that started the beginning of the end for my wife. She had just suffered her 4th and most severe heart attack that would in 78 days result in her death. Those 78 days were the most stressful of my life! Being an Aspie I had more emotional breakdown during that time than I thought was even possible.
For me, the grieving process would take about eight months. I was living pretty much in limbo during much of that time. Just living day-to-day. Finally, as the Spring came this year, I started thinking about “my” future. I am alone for the first time in 36 years. It has taken these 8 months to find that I “can” cope by myself. I don’t need as much help as I thought I would. Now it is time for me to start thinking about my future, instead of looking to the past. That has resulted in a significantly different mindset.
All my adult life, I have sadly pretty much taken a safe approach to most things. I stayed in an unsatisfying job I never really enjoyed for twenty years because I didn’t want to take the risk of not finding another job. I thank the Lord that the last ten years for that company became very rewarding as I moved into a very different area work area, and the 30-year pension that resulted from sticking around has given me a comfortable life since. So, that caution was not without some positive benefits, but…
When my wife died in hospice here where I am now residing. I decided that just staying here in an independent-living apartment was the safest choice. I rationalized that when the time came I could move from my apartment to the assisted-living in the adjacent building, and when that was not enough, it would be on to the lifecare building until the end of my life. As you can see, I again made the safe choice. A part of this choice was driven by the fact that I had decided that I was only going to live a few more years. The rationale behind that was driven by some pretty faulty data that I don’t care to get into here. Since I am in pretty good health, I really don’t know how long I will live, it could be months, or even a decade or more.
In two days I am starting my roadtrip in which I have vowed to get out of my comfort zone, to seek more satisfying retirement years ahead. Part of that will be to look at alternatives around the country to maybe obtain a more satisfying lifestyle. I have about convinced myself that I need to be more in the “pursuit of happiness” mode than the “safe” mode.
Since I am the sole-decider now, I am totally determined to focus on what’s ahead rather than to just being in the “Waiting for God” mode as I am in now. To say it as simply as possible, my satisfying retirement years ahead have finally taken priority over caution.
I hope I am up to this task before me?