Happy New Year! Well – at least we can agree to the New Year part. Like it or not, it’s here. The happy remains to be seen. I’m really hoping that 2023 means that the worm has turned. I’ve been asking myself; do I feel like the world going to hell in a hand basket just because I’m getting old or are things really going downhill? Politics, social media, COVID, the economy, the whole work from home situation and the “younger generation”. Michigan was recently in a state of emergency, schools closing early, holiday events all postponed all due to a threat of a impending winter storm. Like it has never snowed in Michigan before. As I expected, predictions of over 18 inches of snow turned into only about six inches but winds did produce some decent drifts leading to a few hours of less-than-ideal driving conditions. It wasn’t long that crews had our roads cleared and life was basically uninterrupted. Not like Scott needs any more reasons to fear going in public, threats of a triple-demic also filled the news; you know – COVID, the flu and RSV.
I tended to believe that things were really worse than ever until I heard the following. In his continued search for interesting information on YouTube, Scott recently found this reading by Paul Harvey that was written in 1965 entitled “If I Were the Devil” – if you are curious, you can view it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGrWvrGDOXg. This isn’t meant as a religious ploy of any type but more as confirmation that things really aren’t much different; the only change is in my perspective based on 58 years of experience. It’s likely that since the beginning of time, the adult generation has always felt like the world was becoming a place of evil and craziness while the younger generation, thought their elders were just old-fashioned and out of touch. Now the tables have turned and I am part of the geezer generation.
My negative perspective is very likely magnified as a result of the last year. The year my fairy tale life came to a screeching halt by a visit from the dreaded “C” word. In hind sight, we were lulled into acceptance with the promise that if Scott could weather the stem cell transplant and the 100 days that followed; we could return to a life of normalcy. A fantasy I clung to until Day 100 came and went and he continued to struggle to recover. Now we’re told that while all the literature speaks of the critical nature of the first 100 days post-transplant, the actual recovery time is more often an entire year. Something I’m struggling to accept.
Living with a cancer survivor is exhausting on many levels. It’s spending all your time with someone who is mentally, physically and emotionally unavailable while you find yourself in over-drive and suffering from mental over-load. New medical terminology and managing pills and appointments. Laundry and dirty dishes continue to accumulate, the demands of owning a business remain and life goes on around you. Household finances don’t take a break either while you wait for AFLAC to send you that advertised yet seemingly unattainable claim checks to get you through the worst times of your life. I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated in my life. The claims are valid, and I continue to provide proof after proof and yet we still are waiting for thousands of dollars from them. It is certainly the cause of a lot of stress and frustration right now. It’s so tempting to just throw my hands up in the air and give up but I don’t know that any one should ever just walk away from that kind of money. I’m about ready to call Sam Bernstein or better yet Geoffrey Fieger. I think they need a Class Action Suit filed against them to make them understand that the undue stress and anxiety they cause their customers is nothing short of cruel and unethical. Not like life isn’t already hard enough that you need to make it impossible for people to get what benefits they have bought and paid for. I probably won’t go through with my threats of legal action but it at least warrants some investigation.
After “passing” on many holiday parties, we finally managed a Christmas get together with my side of the family on December 26th. Christmas with our kids is scheduled for January 7th and then a get together with Scott’s siblings and children on January 13th. Hopefully everyone is healthy and we will be able to take part in both those events. We ended the year with a visit from friends in the afternoon followed by a relaxing evening with Scott’s daughter and her husband. Scott made it until 11 p.m. so that was pretty impressive.
Trips to University of Michigan are dwindling to every other week and now that 2023 is here we can start thinking about a trip to Florida in March. After all, we are both retired now! I’m looking forward to a day when I can actually feel like I am retired. So many other duties have taken the place of my job that I’m already one of those people that don’t have a clue as to how I did a job and everything else all at the same time.
I have never bothered with New Year’s Resolutions and this year is no different. Magazine displays have promised us quick-fix diets and fitness plans as long as I can remember. Still, we are a nation that continues to grow in number and girth. Most would never believe that I was a twig as an adolescent. With more on my plate than I can digest, pretending for a few days in January that this year will be the year that I slim down, isn’t even on the radar. My goals will continue to be less about me and more about providing my staff the tools and equipment to operate in my absence. That in turn will free me up to spend time with family and friends; which is my goal for my retirement and 2023.
Our social calendar will likely remain a little sparse in 2023. More than anything I’m hoping to see that little by little the Scott I used to know and love returns to me. I’m looking forward to uncovering ways to take advantage of my status of “retired”. Organizing meet ups at the beach with the girls – (we are still girls at 60ish aren’t we?) or afternoons with my grand-daughter. I took advantage of my status yesterday afternoon – a friend called and we did an impromptu meet-up at the casino. I donated a little more to the Potawatomi nation than I planned but it was a good time. A good start for what I hope is a year of more time with friends and family and less time at hospitals and doctor appointments.