It is been a while since I have produced a blog. One of the reasons is that my wife has been gone visiting relatives for several weeks. What this means for me, when I wake up I get started immediately by taking care of the dogs and going outside to start my project. When she is not here I do not take the time to sit down and drink my coffee and watch the news.This means I do not sit down and write a blog.
I have been going fishing in my new boat. I told you in a prior blog that if I got the boat I would let you know. It is not a big fancy bass boat; it is that basic Tracker aluminum bass boat. Originally, I struggled with the idea of borrowing money to get this new toy. But I received a lot of encouragement from my family and my friends, like Frank in Sacramento. Frank’s statement that, we are not getting any younger and we should enjoy our life, really pulled me through.
I think one of the issues I was feeling is that I was being selfish and spoiled for buying this boat. The retirement funds that I live on are finite. Each time there are large amounts of money spent on an item, there is a realization that that money is gone and will not be replaced. Sometimes it feels like I am between a rock and a hard place. I know that I need some kind of activity to look forward to which will keep me busy and active. For me, that is fishing. Even though I normally do not eat fish, it is an activity that takes all my concentration. When I go fishing I do not think about any of the issues surrounding my life. I solely concentrate on the fishing, while enjoying the view of sitting on the water. I do not know at this point that in five years I will still say that I am enjoying the boat and fishing. But I can say that right now it feels great. I also enjoy the fact that I can do this alone without the help to get the boat in and out of the water. The aluminum boat is very light and easy to launch and recover.
There’s another thing about fishing, it doesn’t matter what the size of the fish is. It is the thrill of casting out the line and waiting for the strike. Even after the strike, it is an effort to get the fish in the boat. I fish for largemouth Bass and many of them, even after I think they have been hooked, fly into the air and the hook is released from the fish. I usually call that spitting the hook out. I am always amazed when a very small fish attacks a lure which is barely larger than the fish itself. I practice catch and release. So when I get home and I am asked about the fish that I caught, I can only tell a fish story. Not a bad hobby.
I look forward to my trip on the lake and fishing. But I also do not want to do it every day. I still enjoy working with my hands and riding my tractor. I imagine many seniors like me still want to diversify doing new and different things. The challenge is to keep those new and different things within a fixed budget.
I do not want to run out of money before I run out of life. But I have no idea how long my life will be and I have to face the fact that I can do things now that I may not be able to do in 10 or 15 years. If I’m lucky and I turn out like Frank in Sacramento who is 92 and still active, I will truly be lucky.
I want to mention a few other things in this blog. One of the reasons that I write this blog is to help me deal with my PTSD. I do not like even mentioning the fact that I have PTSD. But it does affect my life and I have to deal with the ups and downs that it brings me. For some reason, I have recently been a little down. Buying the boat itself helped me climb back up out of the deep hole of depression. I told my wife recently that I was feeling a little lost. I’m sure that many people, who retired from a job that took all of their attention and effort, now feel some of that sense of loss. It is not that there are things to do; it is like starting all over again. But this time it is less clear what the goals are. For all of us the goal is to enjoy life. But that leaves a lot of wiggle room as far as defining a goal. I’m blessed with a lot of people who support me in my retirement. And I really have no reason to even get depressed. But it happens and so far I have beaten it. Back to my opening statement, overcast days make it a little harder to feel bright and perky.
As a proud man, I find it hard to share in any of the above thoughts. I believe I’ve always been strong and now I do not want to look weak or frail. I’m not asking for sympathy nor do I want it. But as this blog is a way for me to handle some of my issues with PTSD, I’m going to let a few things go out.