We’ve been back for 3 months now. It feels like a lifetime.
I’ve been working per-diem. More than I’d like, but we’re always short-handed and it’s hard to say no. Moreover every shift contributes towards the next airfare, the next Khao-soy, the next adventure.
The best thing I bought was getting a new lease on life for Gypsy. One night, a couple of months ago, she was actively dying. We mourned her through the night. The next morning the vet recommended surgery. I was skeptical – I didn’t see how diarrhea. vomiting and losing one’s lust of life would be the symptoms of uterine cancer but I said yes. Anything to stop her suffering, including having her die on the table.
She didn’t. After a few days on the cusp, she got back to being her hairy, stinky, wonderful self. I told her that I could have bought a brand new puppy with the money I spent for her surgery. She wagged her tail and smiled, loving my sense of humor. “What a good joke” she said in dog. And it is. I’d have given a limb – out of the few I’ve got – to see her happy again. It was cheaper than that, albeit not by much!
Steve is trying to behave retired but he’s struggling. It turns out that talking about learning to play guitar is more fun than actually doing it. He turned to amateur radio. After buying a few of them on EBay, he discovered that it’s only old people who still do it. He didn’t like that. He’s now working on learning Morse Code and joining the amateur radio society of Thailand.
His efforts to divest us of our belongings/responsibilities are not going well either. He sold the sidecar but not the motorcycle nor the sailboat or the camp in the Adirondacks. News flash: 1. Buying is easier than selling. 2. The things you own, own you.
In between shifts and dog walks and enjoying sunrises, I’ve been writing. I’ve put aside the second draft of my ED novel, “Overdose” to ferment. My short pieces got ignored by such prestigious magazines as Conde Nast Traveller, Diabetes Health and AARP. In the spirit of writing what you know, I’m now working on “Wine and Food” magazine. I’ve earned my first writing money from International Living. I’ve had a couple of pieces published on Doximity. I started another book – provisionally called “Sick Cruising – the Journal of a Cruise Doc.”
I’ve recklessly succumbed to a major travel itch and I’ve scheduled summer trips to Paris, Azores and Thailand, while Steve chose to stay home with the girls. Remember the money from those shifts? Gone now.
Who knew retirement was so hard? I thought one just stopped working, started knitting, accumulated cats, and you’re all set. Not us. Like salmon swimming uphill to spawn, we’re struggling. Hope to get there some day.
Thanks for being with us still, and please keep in touch. Let me know if you care – that’s why I write this. Otherwise, I’d just try another unpublished piece for a magazine.