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A River of My Own Choosing

December 3rd, 2022 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, will my rickety back hold up until I can turn in my paddle?

I manage to post almost every week in this forum in one form or another. However, I have missed a few weeks recently. The first missed post was simply a case of a busy period that left me half brain dead. Age is catching up with my and lowering my resilience,

Being missing in action the last couple of weeks had a different cause. My chronic and unpredictable back problem flared up. The unfortunate reality is that by back is in a cranky mood most of the time. But this go-round it got downright irate. I had to use all my remaining sick days and vacation days to weather the storm.

I am back up and running now but still labouring a bit. My chiropractor has upped his game to get me back on track (pun intended). Seven treatments and counting in the last 16 days.

I have been constantly arguing with my back throughout this episode. Really, you have to do this now? I will be retiring in four months! You could not wait that long? At least then I would not have to sit at a desk seven hours a day.

Oh, the joys of getting old. Supposedly we get better with age but that does not apply in this particular situation. I would like to be akin to a bottle of wine that gets better as it ages. But the truth is I am more like a perishable commodity that is nearing the end of its best before date.

The limited warranty on my body evidently expired some time ago. I cannot pinpoint the date but I think it happened somewhere around the age of 50. Reaching the half century mark in one piece and relatively sane was a significant accomplishment. But I have yet to receive the reward for it. I guess I should have opted for the extended warranty but I don’t recall being offered it.

Wisdom does accumulate with age. I see many things more clearly now. (Well, not literally. I am due for a new set of eye glasses.) But patience does not appear to be bundled with wisdom. In fact, there seems to be an inverse relationship. The wiser I get the less tolerant I am of the things that annoy me.

Even more alarming, the things that annoy me are steadily growing. I am at risk of becoming a cranky old man.

Notwithstanding the ravages of age, I am looking forward to retirement. It is a threshold at which I can turn my back (pun intended) on the things that make me roll my eyes and mutter under my breath. I will have license to say thanks, but no thanks to those things without being penalized.

Life is a bit like paddling a canoe. For much of it, people like me who elect to go their own way have to paddle against the current for 65 years. Retirement means I can choose another river to follow. Four months until I can turn in my paddle. I am counting the days.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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