Briefly, this morning, I thought maybe I shouldn’t retire.
One thing I’ve noticed – and envied – since I got to Whitefish is how all the retired guys at the gym finish their workouts, and then they just hang around – they go into the sauna, they read in the lobby, or they sit in the hot tub.
This morning, after my workout, I was sitting in the hot tub, and actually listened to these two old guys talking about the stuff that they were talking about. And one of them was explaining how he’d read this book by this rogue Mormon woman, and was explaining the LDS church (or, at least, the rogue woman’s view of it) to the other guy – and somehow the Masons figured into all this, as well.
It reminded me of what I once heard an AA speaker say, back in the late 80s – “Alcoholics get drunk and talk about really important stuff – like, ‘how many seats on a 747 airplane?’ ..and politics. Somebody said, ‘Nixon wuddent no good when he was governor of Tennessee'”.
So maybe I don’t want to hang around the gym and talk with the other retired guys after my workouts 🙂
This is a blog, sure, but it’s also a diary – and one thing that a diary is for is for memory. And later on, I’m gonna wonder – why did I think I had to retire? – and so, just like when we left Bozeman for Whitefish, I want to have the reasons written down somewhere.
I had always sort of thought I’d retire at 65, but then, when we moved here, we decided to move that up to 62 – the earliest age at which one can draw Social Security. So why move it up to age 60 and a half? …especially, why move it up, when at the same time, I’m pouring money out like water building the Dog House across the street.
And the real reason is simple.
I’m retiring because I can’t do my job anymore.
Sure, I want to go walk around Northern Pines Golf Course, pulling my fancy pull cart behind me and just playing as much golf as I want to play. I want to ski 100 days again. I want to be able to train – swim, bike, run, lift – as much as I want, without having to make sure that I have enough energy to go to the office.
And I want to spend time in my hammock.
And I would like to try to learn both Spanish and German grammatically. I want to go back to taking piano lessons again, and maybe even guitar lessons.
All of those are good things to do when I retire. But they aren’t the reason that I’m retiring. They’re just things I’m telling myself will be nice about retiring.
If I could still do my job effectively, I’d keep on working.
But I haven’t been able to do that for a while – and it’s been getting worse, and getting worse faster.
My brain is just plain getting slower, and foggier. It’s harder to remember stuff, and it’s harder to concentrate. My doctor says no, it’s not dementia. So it’s just plain old aging.
While this is happening in general, my ADD is getting worse. I’m losing things all the time now. So I can’t keep my mind on what I’m doing at work, and when I can, I’m not as effective at it.
For the ADD, I’ve tried going back on Strattera, and then going back on Adderall. All that did was grind my teeth down.
There have been quite a few times recently when I’ve found myself in a code review, and I simply could not figure out what the code was supposed to be doing. I’ve had to simply leave the reviews undone. Even when I’ve asked for walkthroughs, I’ve still been left with a huge case of the “huh?”s.
Coupled with this is the fact that my physical plant is going down fast.Training that I could do with impunity two years ago now leaves me exhausted. But, if I don’t train, then I feel groggy and puffy. So I go ahead and try to train.
Also, I’m not able to sleep nearly as much as I used to. Two nights of the last three, I’ve gotten up around 2 AM, after about four hours of sleep.
This means that I’m more tired, and tired all the time. And being tired and stupid is a no-good recipe for getting work done. In fact, it leaves me lazy. I start giving up and wandering off.
Stupid, tired and lazy. Can’t get the job done. No wonder I feel guilty about taking a paycheck.
Now, I’ve started this hormone replacement therapy. It might, someday, make some of ths stuff go away. It hasn’t yet, though. I did ask about just going on a leave of absence for a few months, to see if maybe rest and medication might improve my ability to get work done. But they weren’t interested in that.
I have even asked – twice – to have my job level lowered, from Senior Developer to Associate Developer, so at least I’d feel better about not being able to produce as much. They weren’t interested in that, either.
Later on, I’m going to look back and tell myself “Surely, I could have pushed on through. I could have been more disciplined.” So I need to leave myself a written reminder that, while I was in it, I wasn’t able to do it. Prayer and discipline and sleep aids. Tried all of that.
So, future Jim Puckett, when you start to think that maybe you shouldn’t have retired, and you get mad at your earlier self, come back and read this.
And go easy on me, okay? I was really doing the best that I could.