I have been retired for about two weeks now, and I spent one of those with my wife as she enjoyed Spring Break. Now I’m alone with my thoughts and they are starting to scare me. I got some medical news recently that raises alarm; I’m a little apprehensive about our new fixed income, the expenses of school, and being on my wife’s employer’s insurance; I’ve got some interpersonal issues that demand my attention; I am starting a new exercise habit; and I am leaving the country to tour one of the poorest countries in the world in less than three weeks. All these things swirl around and make for one heck of a mid-life crisis!

Call me nuts, but I went out and got my ear pierced mainly because I no longer report to an employer who says I can’t. I gave up shaving, but instead use clippers to keep that two-day unshaven look so popular with the young actors these days, mostly to counteract the aging feeling I have. My retirement is a temporary condition, as I am enrolled to resume school full-time when the Summer semester begins May 19th. Career number two will prove to be more challenging than the first, which I do miss somewhat even though I pretend I don’t. My world is bigger than I know how to handle, but program teaches me to take it one day, one step, one breath at a time, and that is what I will do. I will take my young, capable self through whatever course necessary. I will resume school and finish what I started so that I can apply to nursing school next Summer. I will defiantly wear my single earring in my left ear (the straight one), as I enter into a profession dominated by women. I will do what I can to be for God what I am capable of being and no more. I will stop trying to rescue the world every day, leaving such rescues to God. I will buckle down my spending to keep within the bounds of my retirement check. I will run on my new running schedule according to professional advice. I will not fret about what may be lurking in my bloodstream, but trust that the One who created me is fully capable of maintaining His creation. I will love my wife, cherish my kids, keep in touch with friends, be involved with church, and go to a couple recovery meetings each week to keep my feet on the ground and share what little sanity I have with whatever poor sap walks into a meeting and finds in me something he wants for himself.

I’ve been watching my thought-pot boil over for a while now and thought I would spill some of the excess onto this medium so maybe the bubbling will settle. This is, after all, my recovery journal, and an imperfect life is what I’m living.

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