In February I announced my retirement, to take effect in June, with my last Sunday being June 19. Since then, several people have asked me if I am retiring due to poor health. It's a fair question, considering that I have spent more time in the hospital in 2015 than in all the years of my life previously. Indeed, my last surgery, in January of this year, was for another hernia, and it kept me away from my work for a few days, with several weeks of not lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk.
The answer is no, I am not retiring because of ill health. I feel fine, and none of the procedures I have had done show any sign of needing any further treatment. As I said in a newsletter article, it's kind of like going for a walk on the rail-trail with Doreen in the spring, when we feel we could walk forever in the fresh warm air and bright sunlight. We like to turn back soon enough to get to the car when we are tired. The trick is to know when to turn back while we are still feeling good so that we won't be worn out before we make it back to the car. I want to retire before I am worn out so that we can enjoy some more free time together.
I know I am going to die some day, and I'd like to retire first. I know people who do it the other way, and I'd not like to join them. My Dad died at the age of 79, and my Mom died at 81. If I last until the average of 80, I have 13 more years. I hope to live beyond that, but we never know.
In thinking about retirement, Doreen and I imagine going for more walks together on a regular basis. Maybe we will join a gym together, which is an experience we have shared briefly in the past. On the ELCA retirement web-site, I read about a program called "Silver Sneakers." If you sign up for this, you can visit any Silver Sneakers affiliated gym in the country for free. That sounds like fun! While I can't do many of the physical work-outs I have done in the past, there is still a lot that I can do. (At the time of this writing, our daughter, Kendra, is hiking and skiing in the Himalayas at about 17,931 feet. We just enjoy the pictures she sends.)
We all know that there will be more health issues as we age. We also know that there is a lot we do to take care of ourselves so that we don't need so many medications and so many visits to the doctor. I hope to take advantage of the very good health I have now in my later years. Thank you for asking.