A compulsive doer, adapting to change…

Dependency withdrawal hits the compulsive doer hard.



Retirement’s first day began as any other.  Up before dawn.  Teeth brushed.  Coffee made.  At my desk to review the day.  First, I have to do…nothing.  Second, I have to call…no one.  Third, I have to go…nowhere.  Overwhelmed, I started again, only to get the same results. 

My wife had died the year before, now work was done, and I was confronted with no external needs to meet.  Dependency withdrawal hits the compulsive doer hard.

Doers tend to overfill the gaps in need meeting, with their own interests.  Fortunately, I had begun my retirement bucket list prior to the unexpected and expected changes.  First on the list, was knowing how to stay connected to my geographically scattered family.  Second, was a previously started on line degree.  My wife’s death had put that on hold, and now was the time to restart the study.  Third, was my obsession with landscaping my yard.  Here, I immerse myself here into oblivion.  Fourth, was to wean myself off calls into the office, to keep up with progress and changes.  One year into retirement, checks were placed next to each item.

The first year done, the realization that I was not going to die anytime soon, took hold.  My wife and I had married young, and for all practical purposes, I was never a bachelor.  Thoughts of, what would I have done entered my mind.  In high school I had wanted to hitchhike across the United States.  My family nixed that idea, but on my 66th birthday, driving Route 66 became the plan.  This morphed into an 8,000 mile driving tour of the southern states, and back across the north; highlighted by a four day, Rim to Rim, backpacking trip, to include swimming in the Colorado River, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Incubated dreams eventually emerge.

Year two is fading, I passed another physical, and I question if I dare to plan longer term doing?  My advisor says I need to plan to live to 98.  That means turning 30 again.  I have already screwed that up twice.  Dare I take that chance again?


Author: Doug Jenks

Every life is a story of stories. Most stories pass quickly, without notice or significance. Every now and then, a story carries with it an impact that marks a life milestone. These are character and philosophical defining moments. With no audience other than myself in mind, I began writing to record and identify my transforming moments. It is with some apprehension that I put these musings in a forum for others to read and comment, with the hope that they will prompt self-reflection on the part of the reader, with regards to their own milestones.

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