Sunday, January 4, 2009

I don't like me today

People preparing to retire might want to avoid this blog entry.
I will be transparent.
I am not liking my age or my retirement today. I’m not liking myself much either. I am feeling sorry for myself. It’s entirely self-centered I am certain.

It’s snowing again. I have been out there twice today. With every shovel load I feel arthritic discomfort in my hands.
Time was when no amount of snow stopped me from driving but now the fear factor keeps us at home.
My son in law kindly picked us up to drive us to their home for supper so we would not have to drive. Both Christine and I appreciated this but we felt ancient.
I stopped for a Starbucks and noted the place full of young faces with no lines around their eyes, tight skin, brilliant eyes, pure white teeth and large smiles, and I was jealous and self conscious.
As I read about notable people who died at ages just years beyond my current age, I had the distinct sense that I’m on a slide that’s getting increasingly greasy.
Each day is like vacation, oh yes, so I do not immediately shave and dress well because I am not going anywhere. Who shouldn’t like that …but I feel lazy.
I am at home, and Christine is still coming to terms with my constant presence, albeit with my determined effort to remain in my studio/den and out of the way.
I used to be proud that I could drink any amount coffee well into the night and still sleep. Like others whom I have belittled I am now avoiding caffeine after dark. This reality is upsetting to me.
I confuse myself, pleased to be free of the press of deadlines yet often longing for the demands; happy with my isolation, disturbed to be interrupted by people or commitments and then quite to the contrary missing my former daily social contacts and interaction.
I have been painting a portrait of my departed parents and as I look into the eyes I am painting on their faces I am inconsolably lonely.
Every day is very much the same as the one before.
It’s snowing again.

Fortunately, tomorrow I may think this is the greatest time of life ever. Yea, right!


  1. Aw, Dad. I think I need to come over and give you a BIG hug!!! I LOVE YOU!!! (and was so nice to have you pop over yesterday)

  2. I know how you feel, Ron. During his later years, my Dad used to say rather often: “Don’t get old.” Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice, so long as we are still alive.
    (Unless, of course, we are “Benjamin Button” whose fictional movie story prompts very interesting thoughts about aging, in light of his having been born old and grown younger, physically at least.)

    A couple of years ago, Gail and I read an excellent book together, full of wisdom for our stage of life. I commend it to you: Stanley Hauerwas, Carol Bailey Stoneking, Keith G. Meador and David Cloutier, eds., Growing Old in Christ (Eerdmans, 2003).

  3. Thanks Cari. love you too.
    Thanks Terry for the book recommendation and understanding.

  4. Ron,
    Just got your kind email and spent time browsing your wonderful creative collection of artistic expression. You blessed me with your words and your shadows. Thanks.

    I see that you are still in Cloverdale as I am. Would a fellow sojourner be able to buy you a starbucks - before dark of course!