Several years ago I wanted to sell my home, buy an RV and hit the road for a while. Not a permanent situation, but a chance to do something I want to do while I am young enough and able to do it. I don’t want to be sitting in an old folks home full of regrets over things I never did.
Retirement experts tell us to look down the road and see how you will need to live as you age. I see that, and that makes me even more determined to do something even if it’s wrong.
I have been studying about reverse mortgages for my home. But something about them gives me reason to pause. Home equity is something I am owner of. Borrowing against that so that in the end the bank makes money on my home is troubling. I guess this is partly due to my experiences during the recession. I don’t trust bankers at all.
Ideally I should sell my home and downsize into something smaller and cheaper. Except in this area real estate is outrageously high. All of the rich retirees have eliminated cheap housing for me. My hose is all I can afford, though I do not have the money to do regular maintainance and repairs. What a dilemma!
I hear what friends tell me about roommates or a second job. But I think I know what is best for me.I didn’t live this long by being stupid. I have roots here, and friends. I don’t want to live near my family. I am not afraid of new people and places.
I am asking God to give me wisdom, since He knows the end from the beginning.
Everyone is an expert on knowing how I should live. Where and how and what. But at the end of the day what works for them may not work for me. I have to live with the consequences of my decisions just like you do. So why is everyone so worried about what I may or may not do?
My friend got a reverse mortgage on his house and it is working out great for him. He thinks I need to get one. But I don’t think that is a good idea. My friends with two incomes and low expenses who never move and who never do anything criticize me when I talk about moving or going on an adventure while I am young and fit enough to enjoy it. They want me to live like they live without their means.
I am finding out recently that ideas I had several years ago were not the crazy rantings of a grieving spouse. People like Jane Bryant Quinn are writing the same things that I thought about. So maybe I should have done things three years ago. By now I would have known if it was a good decision or not.
My pastor has said how money brings reality to life. So when it becomes unsustainable for me to stay where I am will he see how his words inspired me or will he think I am a rebel? I don’t really care at this point. My friend gave me a book that challenges us to act and venture and do and go. But when I tell him I want to go he says that is not what it means. Don’t give me books that inspire me and then throw cold water on my ideas.
There, that’s enough for now. Change is in the air. For the first time in years I feel energized to do something.
One of the blessings of going to church is how the Lord Jesus can touch my life and give me hope and words of encouragement. This all happened to me Wednesday night. As I wrote before about being unsettled and wondering what to do, now I feel like I can stay put and not be moved by what is happening around me.
My future is secured by the promises of God found in the Bible.
One of the struggles I am dealing with lately is whether to stay or leave where I am. I have been in this house for 20 years. Kathy and I bought it in 1997. It is fine, filled with good memories, but I cannot afford to fix or maintain it. Part of me wants to run away from my problems, and part of me wants to stay and fight.
There are things I can do to help me stay until I die. And there is the option to liquidate everything and leave. I need wisdom to know the best way forward for me.
If you are a praying person pray for me.
I have been thinking about what I wrote earlier about Why Not Me. I think the easy answer is I am not ready for a new relationship yet. The four years that I have been alone do not come close to offsetting the 40 years I was married. Yes I miss female companionship. Yes I enjoy female conversation. Yes I am attracted to a beautiful woman. In all of these things I am definitely a normal man.
But when I think of waking up after the honeymoon and finding I have to make a new life with a stranger it scares me. I don’t know if I can do that or not.
So I am going to stick to my original premise, that it is too soon and it is not time for me. Maybe someday, maybe not.
I just heard this morning that two people I know are engaged to be married. I am happy for them both. They are both 50ish and divored so I hope this works out for them.
The thing that bothers me is, what’s wrong with me that no women will talk to me much less go out with me or, gasp, marry me?
It’s not that I am in a hurry to meet someone. But when I see things like this something in me stirs and I feel the lonliness all over again.
Something has recently occurred to me. The job I am doing now, but which is about to go away, is the first job I have had since Kathy died. I started doing this particular job for this company about one month after she died, and have been doing it ever since. But we are shutting down this service at the end of January so I will have to shift to another position within my company.
I don’t know if this is significant or not. I did my current job all through the dark days of grief. I did my work while struggling on the inside. And just in the past year I have finally felt like I had come through my grief and had settled down and had begun to think about my future.
Maybe this break with this position is necessary to moving on past the things that tie me to death. Or maybe it’s a coincidence. But it is happening either way. And as I have written before, nothing that happens to me now is anything compared to the things that have happened to me in the recent past. So I am ready for a new door to open and for a new opportunity to present itself to me. I’m not going to worry or fret. I am moving on.
My how things change. We make plans, set goals, think through what we need to do, and then out of nowhere comes change.
When Kathy died it was an unexpected change in my life. From being married for 40 years to being suddenly single. One lesson I learned from this is that nothing that comes my way can compare to this one traumatic event that changed my life forever.
My work is changing. I am still with the same company, but my steady gig of the past 4 years will be in the history books come February 1st. What’s next, I don’t know. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. And help is on the way. I didn’t want this to happen, but it did.
I am grateful for the lessons I have learned going through these events in my life. Will I quit or give up? Absolutely not! God did not bring me this far to leave me.
What other changes will I have to face in coming years? Who knows. But with the Lord’s help I know I’m going to make it.
What will I do next? Saturday, go for a hike. Sunday, go to church. Monday, go to work. In other words, as things change around me on the outside, it seems important to not change things I have control over.
It was four years ago tonight that I hurried home from work only to find my beloved wife Kathy dead in our bed.
If I had known then what I know now I still would have been too late to change anything. Her goodby when I left for work early that morning where perhaps her final words on Earth. If I had hurried home when she didn’t answer my calls I still would have been too late.
I am sad today, but not overwhelmed by grief. Nothing I could say or could have done will bring her back to me. Besides, should and could are evil words that I rarely use.
I am sad at the loss, and my lifetime of memories are mine. But to quote the prophet George Strait, “It’s time to say goodby to yesterday”.
Normally today I would be out in the woods or hiking across the prairie enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of our beautiful national forests. Instead I am here typing on my computer trying to stay warm. I woke up to a cold and rainy day, probably snowing up on the mountain where I intended to hike.
I am a fair weather hiker. I am not going to hit the trail no matter what. No damn the torpedos for me. I do enjoy the wet, fresh scent after a rain. But not the cold wet time while it is raining.
This is one of my personal dilemmas as a full-time worker. I have one day a week to do fun things outdoors, which is Saturday. So if the weather or other circumstances interfere, I have to wait 7 more days to do what I want to do.
I used to think that retirement was being financially free to do what you want. But I am thinking today it may be having time to do what you want to do, not just what you have to do.
So for a while, I will do as little as possible and enjoy some R&R today. The sun will come out tomorrow, just in time for me to go back to work!