Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Priorities

I am 59 now. Dad was only 43 when his father died. He was 71 though at his mom's death. His original will and trust documents were prepared in 1979 when he was 62.

The attorney has prepared a will for me. It has made me think about my own future and any work I may start and some future retirement period and then that inevitable date with death.

Dad worked every day until he turned 81. That was the same year I came to live with him and mom. I think he knew he needed to quit. Physically he was in really good shape then and he was just beginning to have some issues. I think he was at his most productive between 62 and 81. I was reminded of that by the funeral. There were a number of people from the work part of his life that attended and several more that sent flowers and cards and called and emailed.

There wasn't much said really about his working life at the funeral. It is strange that we pour so much of ourselves into that aspect of life and yet when we die, at least if we are old, that part does not seem so important. I think that is in part because that aspect of life just continues on. And it seems to accelerate.

At 59 though I know I have to think about work and retirement and family life and how all that works together now. It is so different than when I was 20 or even 30 or 40. I was 50 when I moved here and I was able to work quite a bit even as a caregiver. Thanks to the Internet for that because it would not have been possible otherwise. But there's no going back to that work and, surprising to myself, I don't want to anyway.

So I've been thinking about priorities and what has to do be done now rather than later. I am the executor of my dad's estate. So I have to finish fulfilling his desires. That's going to take a while and really is mostly underway now.

I haven't figured out my priorities yet. But I think it is good that I've figured out I have to think about them.

There's a certain numbness that I feel that I think stems from the caregiving. Like when your leg is asleep for a while in church and when you stand up it doesn't cooperate well with the rest of your body. That's how I feel right now. But just like the asleep leg begins to tingle and throb and feel so strange - almost hurts - and then finally it joins its colleagues; so, I think that's what's happening to me.

13 comments:

nancy said...

what a great analogy and description of the numbness that you feel. i am feeling it right along with you.

i too have started to think about what i should start thinking about. if that makes any sense what i just wrote, i guess it will make sense to you!

hope you have a good day terry!

~Betsy said...

Interesting thoughts about putting so much effort into the working world, yet it getting so little attention in the end. This certainly puts things in perspective for me.

I hope you are feeling OK and getting through just fine. Numb is a great way to describe your feelings. Hang in there, Flinty....er, I mean Terry!

flintysooner said...

They are installing the alarm system in the house today. That means I start sleeping over at Judy's permanently tonight. One really big change for us both.

I think I may disconnect the phone here this week, too. I don't know yet how I feel about leaving a place that I've called home for nearly 9 years.

Thanks for your comments Betsy and Nancy. Really appreciate you both.

~Betsy said...

When I disconnected my mom and dad's phone, I was in tears. This was their phone number for 47 years! I asked for a recording from the phone company redirecting calls to my number - even though nobody EVER calls my mom any longer.

I just called their number the other day and it hasn't been reassigned yet. I don't know how I feel about that.

flintysooner said...

I don't know how I feel about it either. My son didn't want me to do it this morning. I know it is just because this number has been his Pop's so long. I haven't done it yet so I suppose it must be a little more difficult for me, too.

We didn't get phone service here until nearly 1960 as I remember.

Surprising what turns out to be significant and what's not.

cornbread hell said...

here's a thought.

you're old enough and young enough to wisely set your own priorities. enjoy the task.

Lori1955 said...

Very interesting post Terry. I have always thought that men define themselves by what they do for a living. But in the end none of that really matters does it?

I like the analogy of the sleeping legs. I am at the point where they are tingling. Still some numbness put lots of pain.

I don't have to turn off the phone since I live here but it is in Helen's name. I keep thinking that everytime I call someone their caller ID will show that it's Helen. More awkward for them then for me.

SKYGIRL said...

My Dad was able to take out "OLD" phone number with him, during his first move, it was so close, but by the second it was gone.

It has beeen the same number since 1958, I was "4!" It is funny how emotional I felt about that, and that his new girlfriend was calling herself Mrs. (my last name) before they were ever married.

I'm telling you, it's the Ants, and not the Elephants, that get You!

Hey, if you are going to rebuild there, maybe you can keep that old number? If you just keep the bare minimun, local calling, I bet it is not that expensive?

This is coming, from someone, that can not bare to erase any of her Mother's messages, off either phone,(Home or Cell!) and have been saving them, for Years?

And she is still....alive?

Chris said...

I would love to have an old phone messag from my mom. Just to hear her tell me she loved me again would be priceless.

I am awakening from my numbness. A bit forcefully but I am awakening. My dad is having ompany stay the night in the next week or so and I need to prepare for their visit. I have school to look forward to and get my mind settled into so the clock just refuses to stop for me. And I think it is time for me to move ahead. My mom would get a funny look on her face if she knew I was carrying on like this and say "Good grief child! Pick youself up by your bootstraps and move on already!" Just because I move on doesn't mean I can't look back and still miss her and love her. It just means I need to take her into my new life and keep her in my heart now. She's still with me, just a new location now.

flintysooner said...

Very good point Cornbread. I really wouldn't want any do overs either. When I suggest I might be old Judy corrects me pretty quickly.

Lori you might be able to get the phone company to change the name but it probably would be like visiting social security.

Sky the house has to go. Can't stand in the way of development you know. That's pretty quotable about Ants and Elephants. Judy has kept some text messages from me for a long time.

Chris that's rather insightful. Your mom would be right, too. But it's still a process all the same.

Thanks all for your comments.

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

It's great that your planning your needs, Flinty. I've been thinking about it far too long and your post made me realize I really have to get moving on getting those priorities completed.

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I certainly understand the numbness. My dad's been gone for nearly 10 years and some days I still feel that way.

((HUGS))

Thanks for sharing and reading my blog. I've added your blog link to my blog.

steflovesnonna said...

Thats a really good analogy. Thanks my friend. Hang in there it will wake up, it always does.

SKYGIRL said...

Auh, Flinty, I get the feeling you are spreading your wings, and getting used to not having to be anywhere, soon!

I hope that you & your gorgeous wife, are taking some time, and just driving around, looking at the fall colors, it matters not where you go, it is who you are with.

Fly, fly away Flinty! A job well done, caring for your Dad, and you just go ahead and 'spread those wings' of yours!

N.Mc. OOOXXXOOO