It’s official. Alice faces an eviction notice. Sometime in the next ten months Alice will be out of my life forever. Recently she as caused me great pain and suffering. Her fickleness a robbed me of vitality . She has lulled me into a sense off fake hope, only to viciously turning me faster than Trump turned on his cronies.
Nevertheless, I will be a little sad to see her go. She as been with me for many years, all my life in fact. She supported me through childbirth, bore the brunt of the burden on my Yukon adventure, and kept me company on a daily basis. Before she turned nasty, she was there for me while I recently finally grew into the person I always dreamed of being.
I didn’t think she paid much attention to me but obviously she was listening when, I pronounced to the universe upon my retirement that I would try to “do it all” in the next 3 year, before my body gave out on me. Perhaps she was jealous and couldn’t stand to see my success. So, out of seer spite, over the last year, and true to my unfortunate prophecy, she began to turn on me – the nasty parasite. Her actions were insidious, building intensity slowly. I, like the proverbial frog in the frying pan, didn’t realize what she was doing until it was too late. A little ache here, a sharp pain there, a grinding, popping noise everywhere – the symptoms soon grew in intensity. So much that a few months ago, she almost incapacitated me.
My harsh awakening came on while I was carrying out an otherwise mundane task one cool January day. Up until a few weeks before that date, I still dreamed of grand retirement adventures – hiking the West Coast Trail next summer, tackling the legendary El Camino trail with my sister, and of tackling the many mountain trails near our vacation property. No dream was too big for me – until Alice sought her revenge.
The need for Alice’s eviction smacked me in the face when I found myself in tears in the grocery aisle. I had to pick up paper towels, but they were 5 rows away. I didn’t think I could walk that far, as I was debilitated by her pain. At that moment, I knew I had joined the legions of seniors who grasp desperately to their shopping carts for support the moment they enter a grocery store – who seek the parking spot closest to the door so they don’t have to walk so far. Who most certainly have no place on steep mountain trails.
Thus began my final journey to have Alice evicted – in other words, I knew I needed a new right hip. I decided to call my hip “Alice” so in a few months I can proudly declare “Alice doesn’t live here anymore”.
And it is now official. I am on the countdown. Sometimes in the next 10 months I will undergo a full hip replacement. I know I will be fine once it is done, and my healing is complete. But this disease has slowly robbed me of many retirement dreams. I waited too long to really run a marathon, too long to hike the West Coast Trail, too long to tackle many of the physical challenges I had dreamed of meeting. I know I will have to find other dreams to replace these – and ultimately I will. But in the meantime, I will allow myself a little time to mourn the change. I have to face reality – that I am soon going to be 60 years old, and I have osteoarthritis – a disease that will continue to slowly pick away at my physical vitality. The dreams of my youth need to fade away and make room for dreams more suited to this new phase of life.
I’ve decided that a positive unanticipated outcome of our long healthcare waiting list is that it is giving me time to adapt to the change. I am having the proper mourning time to adjust to my new reality. I am slowly experiencing a gradual shift in outlook. I know I
will still find metaphorical mountains to climb and will be just fine. In the meantime, i am trying to stay as active and healthy as I can so I have the strength to face what comes – and the desire to find a new reality that will be just as fulfilling as the one I thought I would have.
So, sometime in the next 10 months – watch for the final eviction notice. Stay tuned!