Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chasing My Tail

This is traditionally the time of year when we embrace change. Time change. Weather change. Clothing change. Winter is almost behind us with the dark dreary days. Brilliant sunshine and longer daylight hours lure us outside to work in gardens and on lawns. We spruce up our living spaces and think of flowers and summer pleasures.

Some people plan vacations or short day trips. Everyone is looking forward. This season, more than any other is about anticipation.

For those who celebrate, Passover and Easter are right around the corner. Food preparation and religious observances are in the planning stages. Coloring Easter eggs, planning Easter baskets and all manner of other things are on the to-do lists. It's renewal time.

I've been thinking about this. Renewal. Even at sixty-five, there are adjustments, changes to anticipate. Somehow, I always thought about retirement as settling in, finally having everything 'just right'. And much to my surprise, I find there is more work to do. So what is this retirement people speak of? If anything, it seems I have more to do than I ever did in the past.

It's just 'stuff' no one talks about. Cleaning out and getting rid of junk so my children won't have to--in case something 'happens' to us. Don't you like that phrase? Not die, but happens. Because we don't want to discuss death on this beautiful spring day. We don't want to acknowledge the inevitable.

For over two weeks I've worked on one of those necessary tasks--sorting through photographs--and there's really nothing to bring the reality of reaching the end of life like looking at old pictures. Memories flood your mind. Memories of youth and optimism and wild chances. Memories of folks long gone and life stages celebrated from birth to old age.

But death is not yet. On this bright beautiful day there are still things to tend to, tasks that must be accomplished in order to live comfortably. Life goes on. When the photographs are all sorted and packed and mailed to their new owners, there will be a new task. Or two or three or...

Retirement? It just means I don't have to answer an alarm clock.