Retirement–Day 9–Lessons From My Cat

It’s Retirement–Day 9–and while my body understands what happened, I’ve noticed a cerebral hitch in my get-along. I can’t relax. I’m wound up tighter than a __________. You may fill in the blank. Be kind.

I’ve mentally cut people off this past week. I’m not sorry. I want them to stop talking. I’m nearly choking with something I need to do or say, of paramount importance. Something needs to get done. I check my Fitbit for the time. Don’t I have to be somewhere? I know I’m late.

I’ve chopped up my week into sections, allotted pockets of time for this, and a bit for that, but scarcely more, and I’m not giving anyone or anything my full attention. I’m frazzled and annoyed. There is a sense of impending something

I was in a real hurry today at mom’s apartment, in Independent Living! No wonder I retrieved odd stares (more than my 30 or 40 on any given day usual), because NO ONE HURRIES over there.

But, me? I blasted down the hall like there were free maple bars in the dining hall  after the last time I pulled the fire alarm  someone from high school recognized me. I raced to her door and left even quicker. I’m sure it’s on tape, now on file at the police station.

I’d seen Grace-Allys reach for her cell as I flew by. Bitch. It had to be her. What kind of a name is that, anyway? What’s with all the hyphenating crap? Why can’t she go by Grace? Or Allys? Or better-spelled, Alice, like normal people? She wants attention. Bitch.

I gave mom a hug and sat on her couch. The edge of her couch. I couldn’t scoot my hiney all the way back because it’s harder to bolt. I didn’t want to pull a muscle. After I checked my Fitbit, I looked up and there it was. I saw the look. I noticed how sweet mom was while sending it my direction. It’s the silent, ever-patient what-the-hell-are-you-doing-but-I-love-you-anyway-because-you-are-my-child look. Oops.

I felt like running. I thought I might have ants in my pants. Or a rash. From the ants? Or the running? I just don’t know. I can’t think straight. Maybe I should apply salve.

I flew in my door after driving home like a bat out of hell, raced into her highness’s quarters the family room. And, there she was, our Blossom, on the couch on her cat bed, swathed in lying on her homemade princess quilt cat blanket, snorting breathing peacefully next to the mostly-eaten piece of oven-roasted Parmesan chicken on her little silver platter cat food dish, blissfully lost somewhere in feline Heaven, whiskers a twitching. Kitty-kitty.

It was then I recalled that morbidly uncomfortable hotter-than-hell August day…

March 2016_Blossom_summer-2012

I’m sure it was hell well into the 90s. I’d been out back sweating like a trucker, daintily perspiring, trying not to slip out of my lawn chair again to keep cool when I saw the moment. I needed to get this on film. Or sensor. WhatEVER. How the hell does digital photography work anyway?

Here was our Blossom, flat on her back, her under parts fully exposed. And I’m thinking, “Wow, SHE knows how to do this.” She’s got it. Just look at her!

Then it hit me, how lovely it would be if people did this–without others getting their panties in a knot* or calling 911–to lie flat on our backs in the grocery store, at the airport, or the DMV, wherEVER–when we need a moment.

And moments we have, all of us, when life changes occur. It’s a time to take note, breathe, plan, meditate; it’s time for pampering. It’s time for several well-deserved LADIES NIGHTS OUT!!! It’s time for wine, maple bars, and time to take it easy. It’s time for books, chats, and very long walks. It’s time for whatever I want it to be.

Because I’ve put in my time, it’s time to believe it’s my time.

*But, people do get their panties in a knot, and they do call 911 (Grace-Allys, I’m watching you).

9 thoughts on “Retirement–Day 9–Lessons From My Cat

  • I don’t think I ever forget the image of Blossom on her back and then imagining myself replicating the pose. Great post about early retirement. I went the other extreme. Instead of getting antsy thinking I had to do something, I gave in to utter sloth and did nothing. Then, gradually, I began to think of things I’d like to do, climbed out of my recliner, and went back to life. In that same manner, you’ll gradually ease up, I’m sure.

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    • Thank you so much! I know it will take time, and I hope the transition goes smoothly. In dentistry, there is a constant feeling of rush-rush-rush to get everything done in a limited amount of time (and do it well), and that is I think what I still fight. I’m slowly easing into it. 🙂

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  • Thanks, Amy; mostly, it’s been pretty OK, but some days I ask, “What have I done?” I retired from dentistry and while saying goodbye to the work was EASY, the hard part is saying goodbye to the people. You create little families–with patients and staff–and when that involves a great group of people (which I have not always had the luxury of working with but did with this last office), the leaving is very hard. So, while my post was somewhat truth, much of it was play (Grace-Allys exists only in my mind). I’m guessing there is a book in me somewhere…a great thing for retirement. 🙂

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  • LOVE that cat pic. That’s how I felt today in a fresh spring breeze under a warm sun. If the ground wasn’t muddy, my ass would’ve totally been in the grass with my paws in the air. But, you know, fur.

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    • Thank you so much. I have been waiting for an opportunity to use it; she is almost 17 now and is losing her hearing and sight. Poor thing. She also has arthritis in her hips. But, when she knows it’s us, and when we pick her up, she starts purring immediately. She is a very sweet cat. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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