Truth be told, I never quite envisioned the possibility of getting to use this particular song, now 50 years old, to introduce an article here:

But here I am, with one knitted sweater and six, rather than three, grandchildren, to my name, and up ahead, there's a highway sign that says "THE MOTIONS." These days, that's what I'm going through.

The downward slope, these days, is more so; I'm not entirely sure I'm going to make it through the next two years. And those two years are pivotal, because I can supposedly retire at 66, assuming the government hasn't burned through all those billions of dollars that aren't actually socked away for Social Security. Like many other people, the only thing I like better than going to work is not going to work.

Out of curiosity, I just dialed over to the Social Security Administration, and, again assuming they don't descend into financial hell, what I should get from them, plus a smallish pension from my younger days, equals almost exactly what I take home these days. I need dip into the 401(k) only for emergencies, with the proviso that I can't deal with too many emergencies, if you know what I mean.

Then again, if my life isn't going to be at the bare-subsistence level, it's not going to be all rings and things and Skittles and beer; it will limp along at subsonic speeds for whatever time I may have left. The upside of this scenario is that I can get a whole lot lazier without jeopardizing my so-called Quality of Life; the downside, of course, is that I'm already amazingly lazy. (When the time comes to settle the estate, it might be easier just to set fire to the house, rather than to clean out all this junk. Not that I'm at all suggesting that, of course.) My circadian rhythms are probably not repairable, but it won't matter if I don't have to get up and go to work.

The biggest question, I suppose, is how long I'm going to be physically able to take care of myself. I've already outsourced things like yardwork. A lot depends, it would appear, on the nature of my inevitable demise. If it's slow, long and drawn out, there will presumably have to be adjustments made; if it's all of a sudden, well, I won't have to deal with it myself.

Really, I've already more or less adjusted to the idea of being a shut-in; a decade ago I was much more active, and maybe a smidgen or two healthier, albeit many pounds heavier. And there's not a whole lot else that needs to be done: my kids are pushing 40 and aren't likely to call on me for anything, and my dance card remains uncluttered by things like Actual Names. What's more, it's probably quieter from here on out. And who knows? Perhaps they'll find a way for ua old-timers to hang on a lot longer than before. It may not be soon enough to help me, but I never expected it to be; I'm surprised I'm still around this late in the game, and anyway, to borrow a phrase from another Beatle, life goes on, within me and without me.

The Vent

  25 November 2017

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