Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wanted: Adult Guidance

I had a meltdown recently. That’s not usual for me. I’ve been able to sail through most any troubled waters and always have been able to keep my eye on the safety of a shoreline, know the direction I wanted to travel. Perhaps age is slowing down my capacity to juggle change as easily as I once did. Maybe these past few years of not having had a “real” job has altered the ability I once had to look at a situation and simply know what to do. Or it could be as simple as it’s easier for me to solve other people’s problems than it is to solve my own.

We have some decisions to make. One thing that makes these decisions more difficult is that we feel the lack of the luxury of years ahead of us to change our course if we end up making the wrong decision and need to correct it. We’re getting older. Our bones ache, our health isn’t what it used to be and, darn it, we’re just plain tired. Major life changes are happening – welcomed, for sure, but scary none-the-less.

I’ve wished there was someone I could go to and say, “What do you think of this idea?” What I really want is ten minutes with my father or my aunt, the two most influential people in my life who have passed on and are no longer a phone call away. How I’ve missed their common sense these past few days! This feeling of being an orphan saturates my every thought. I’ve a younger brother, but he’s embroiled in his own worries and has never been one to offer an opinion on anything other than a second baseman being traded. Most of our friends are younger than we are, can’t really appreciate the unique issues sudden retirement thrusts upon you. Of course, there’s my mother-in-law, who has been absolutely wonderful, but not someone I can honestly talk to about moving away and get any kind of good advice from as she’d just say “don’t”.

Finally, after 57 years, I guess I feel as if I’m an adult, because there's no one left who's older than me I can go to for guidance. And the truth is, I don’t like that very much.

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