I’ve been dealing with back pain for the past few weeks and some nights it keeps me from sleeping well. Now I’m no stranger to physical pain; I’ve dealt with chronic pain for a good part of my adult life so I know what it’s like to get up in the morning feeling like a truck ran over me during the night and still have to head off to work and put in a full day. It’s just that I’m growing weary of it.
One morning earlier this week, I sat at my desk with my heating pad on my back and considered how nice it will be when I’m retired and I can set my own pace on days when I’m hurting. I’ve pushed myself, sometimes to my detriment, for many years. It will be a new experience to be able to listen, and adjust accordingly, to the messages my body is giving me.
Even when I’m not dealing with pain, like many of us, there are some nights when I find myself wide awake hour after hour fretting about the fact that I’ll have to get up in a few hours for work. I try not to watch the clock, sometimes I even read for a while (Thank you Kindle Paperwhite for allowing me to read without having to turn on the light.), but I can’t help but think about how hard it’s going to be to get going when morning comes.
How glorious it will be not to have to worry when I can’t sleep at night! How wonderful to know that the activities I’ve planned for the day ahead are, for the most part, of my own choosing and that I can change the schedule if I want to. Heck, I will even be able to take a nap if I’m so inclined. (Doubtful, but I’m sure I’ll like knowing the option is there.)
As I move closer to retirement what I’m looking forward to the most (aside from spending time with my family) is being able to set my own schedule that works with my own rhythms.
I’m already imagining myself getting up early–perhaps not as early as I do these days, but still early–for a few uninterrupted hours of writing when my mind is freshest. I’m thinking about staying up past 8:30 at night without feeling like I’m falling asleep on my feet because I’ve had an extra hour of sleep. I’m contemplating early morning walks with my hubby, my dogs, and my camera. I’m pondering warm, clear, late, summer nights when we head out past city limits where it’s dark and we can set up the telescope and do some stargazing.
I’m thinking about those mornings after a night like last night when I can take it slow, perhaps enjoy a cup of coffee with Gerry in the hot tub to ease my aches, and get moving when my body is ready.
Sounds lovely to me.
I’m sure it will all be lovely. You help me remember why my life style is great even though I may sometimes feel a little disconnected or like I’m missing out on something. Part of the contentment in life stems from an ability, I think, of being able to bloom where you’re planted.
You don’t have long to go now. The time will go fast.
Christine, your comment about blooming where you’re planted is absolutely right on. In fact, I said that to someone recently who didn’t receive it all that well choosing, instead, to put more energy into getting “more”. I agree with you wholeheartedly: a good part of contentment is derived from the ability to be satisfied with where you are and to make the best of it. Attitude is everything.
Warm hugs to you, my friend.
I’m sorry you’re a chronic pain sufferer, Linda. I don’t envy you. In fact I feel that people with chronic pain deserve a lot of extra compassion. I hope you can endure it for 11 more months. Then when you’re able to listen to your body and adjust your life accordingly, your pain will go away. I hope. 🙂
I suspect that, while it may not completely go away, the pain will become more bearable as I’m able to slow down and set my own pace. Don’t we all long for that on some level? I don’t lament these flare up times too much, Grace. I’ve been blessed with many pain free years in the past.
Linda, your post brings back memories of the months leading up to my retirement. And it is as nice as you imagine! That doesn’t mean that some days don’t have a wrench thrown in them, but at least we have the flexibility to adjust. The chronic pain also brings memories of that part of my life; I just got up to get something for the aching in my legs. But I live in a part of the country not friendly to those of us with things like fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc. Perhaps when you’re retired and our mutual retired ladies’ schedules allow, we could meet halfway for a lunch. I’d love to sit and chat with you awhile about writing, quilting, and grandkids. 🙂
Blessings on the months ahead,
That would be great, Sherrey!! I think we have a lot in common. In fact you’ve named a few here: fibromyalgia, writing, quilting, grandkids! We would have lots to talk about, I’m sure.