Mom retired before she’d planned to. But at one point, she had a retirement date planted in her head. She initially started counting down to it from a point several years out.
Work made her mental for a long time, and then started making her physically ill. And so she went on stress leave for the better part of a summer. Then she and Dad came to visit me in Australia for three weeks. She went back to work once they returned home, after Labour Day weekend. Two weeks later she handed in her resignation.
Since then she’s been busy, happier, and more fulfilled than she ever had any idea she would be. She’s really fortunate.
One of the former WNET girls was kinda like Mom. I don’t think she hated her job, but she, too, was counting down to retirement from a point several years out. She’s just one of those people who has plenty of life to lead and chase, and you can’t do it while parked in an office.
I believe she was planning to retire next spring. Except recently she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Rare, inoperable and largely untreatable (at least in terms of any kind of effectiveness). I don’t think the odds of her being alive next spring are very good (though as I understand it she’s been too sick to work at all the last while, anyway).
Apparently she is relatively calm and resigned, at least to the world. And she’s the kind of person for whom that makes sense. She was always one who is witty and wise and whose shit is quite together. The rest of us, on the other hand, are pissed. Because, seriously, how fucking unfair is that?
A sick cosmic joke, really, to get within sight of the finish line and then… sorry, race is over.
We humans struggle endlessly to find reasons, to find meaning. It’s something we desperately need and tenaciously cling to, and yet, where the really big questions of life are concerned, we’ve got nothing more concrete than cave men did millennia ago.
Really, we put far too much effort trying to analyze, rationalize, and understand. Wasting time not doing, when, it would seem, waiting is one of the most dangerous things we can do.