So what am I doing post retirement? Did you know I retired? It’s funny, I always wanted FREEDOM 45. I assumed at which point I’d leave the Air Force and go fly for the Airlines. Instead I jumped the gun and medically retired this year at 40. It looks good on paper but thats really a crummy story for another day.
Once about five years ago I was talking to my pain Psychologist and he said what’s the dream? We used to talk about this a lot. We focused on what would be an ideal day, this was mine. ‘ I wake up in the morning, put my lovely children on the bus, I go swim or paddle board, and then peacefully write my blog while drinking hot coffee.’ Not a bad morning plan?
I think I’m actually getting that down, with a few real life exceptions
- Wake up put children on bus. The children are much quieter in my vision, always have their hair brushed and matching socks. And our bus doesn’t actually come down our road. We have to drive or walk to the main road. The intersections are much too dangerous for the school bus to turn or even stop, so instead it’s ok for my three children to walk a mile up with no sidewalks on a double blind high collision hill? Thanks, we’ll pass. We’re still working on post Ben PTSD stuff. There’s not enough Ativan in the world for us to do that walk. We have nice bus stop friends and sometimes we walk through their yard. Anyhow, not exactly the vision but not terrible. And now that we keep all the socks by the front door theres a lot less last minute sock induced panic.
- The paddle board thing is lovely, but only when I have someone to carry it down. I think I’m still limited to lifting 5 pounds. Annnd I also seem to have overlooked that whole temperature change thing in Canada, lol. When we do go in the summer usually I sit and Lily paddles me about. It’s lovely until Henry gets upset and he has to come with us too. Then I’m sitting with a wet dog in my lap and of course the cat is watching it all. I am thinking of getting an indoor bike for the cooler days. So that part of the dream is kind of coming into focus. Isn’t it funny how my vision had no sound, temperature or cat hair.
- I sit down with coffee and write my blog. Hmmm, well how has that been going (looks away sheepishly) To be honest its really hard to start. Every time I blog I get to this point where I feel like I can’t be truthful anymore. I feel like it will make people sad, or…I don’t know. But this time I’m stronger. I have a voice, and I have some things to say.
What have I actually been doing since I retired? Workin’ on me, y’all. Leaving the Airforce isn’t just leaving a job, its a way of life, an identity and if I’m not a female pilot role model, inspiring the future, then what am I? I’m lucky and I have a good set up here but it took a lot of work from a lot of people, it didn’t just fall into place. A while back it was becoming clear that recovery was no longer a goal. Quality of life is the goal. And so this summer I’ve been working on that. Happiness. Joy. I always joke and say I’m quite an ASS because I really only do things that I want to. Folding laundry gives me a migraine, no one likes that, totally not worth it, so no laundry for me! When we moved here I knew this home was going to be my Kate house. The one where I wouldn’t have to hold back because we were going to get posted in a year anyway. It will probably be my forever house. And so we’ve been creating a life here. I am all set up with pain clinic, a social worker, my Veterans Affairs case manager is wonderful, family, rehab, physical therapists, specialists, pharmacy and so importantly, friends. I think balance is coming. I may not fly, I can’t serve, but I am certainly not done. I have so much more to give. I just need to find my new chapter. And so…
WITH LOVE LAKE HOUSE grows!! (as in the house itself, I’m not having any babies, that ship has sailed, don’t ask me, don’t ever ask! DUH!!!)
And whatever else you ask for…..