Friday, March 31, 2006

Making up my mind

OK, I finally reached a decision. I'm going to retire at the end of Dec. of this year. I always said I would retire when Hub did, but he retired in 2000, and I have slogged onward. But all our debt is paid; the kids are out of college; Hub's consulting has been a total windfall, and I am finding the physical and mental strength to get up and go to work each day a constant, debilitating struggle. I don't feel that I'm giving all I should at work, because frankly I'm finding it hard to care. I've worked at the medical center at this university for 25 years, and every "new" crisis is the same -- been there, done that. The administration is so very short sighted, dealing with each crisis today, and don't worry about the consequences, we'll deal with them tomorrow. In the safety field, this is a particularly dangerous attitude, your only hope in disaster control is prevention, and that means planning ahead, a totally alien scheme here.

I probably won't get any kind of 'goodby' party, so I'm going to get my own retirement gift -- a Newfoundland puppy. I'm already on a waiting list with a great breeder. I had my lovely Lotsa Trouble from 1986 until she died in 1998; it was the start of a truly bad time, as I lost my mom in 1999, my dad went in a nursing home right after that, and died in 2002, my favorite aunt in 2003, and my only sib, my sister, in 2004 (she was only 57). Hub lost his dad in 2001. I lost my job in 1999, again in 2002, and again in 2004. I tried suicide in 2001 and 2002, ending up unconscious in ICU both times. Thanks to a great husband and kids, and the help of my doctor, two therapists, and a great psychiatrist, I am on the road to better times now, touch wood. Looking back, I can only think that I am far more resilient than I thought I ever could be. I still have black black times, but I trust that they will get better without my having to do anything but endure, and they DO pass and they last for less time each time. SO! A new puppy...Newfs are the greatest dogs, mellow, loving, contented to just be where you are. The great pity is that, like all the giant breeds, they live such short lives (8 to 10 being the average). My Lotsa was a therapy dog, and loved to go to the rehab hospital, especially the kids in wheelchairs, where she could just lay her head in their laps and be stroked. We went in the local parades with the kennel club, where she loved to walk at the edge of the road so all the kids could pat her as she walked by. I know a new puppy won't be identical to her, but just the touch of their fur, watching their clumsy way of running, I can't wait.

Something to look forward to.

1 comment :

Hale McKay said...

Hello - former West by God Virginian here. Saw your comment over at Carolyn's Ginger Quill. It wasn't until I was reading some of your previous posts that I realized you were in WV.
...I like to take note of fellow Mountaineers.
...I will drop in from time to time. Perhaps you might be interested in what a hillbilly-turned-yankee has to write about sometime. Check me out and say hello.