Finishing races is important, but racing is more important. Dale Earnhardt
In the sports world, professional athletes sometimes get injured or sick. For some, surgery for torn ligaments, broken bones or other issues requires an extended absence. In the MLB, baseball players can be put on the DL (Disabled List). In the NFL, football players have injury categories including the Injured Reserve (IR) list. For the guy or gal whose career does not have millions of adoring fans, bright lights and cameras or sponsor endorsements, she can be hospitalized at the worst time where work or family are concerned. For compulsive, “Type A” people – and I am a recovering compulsive worker – time away from the office is being away from my team and from the battle. I certainly felt that way when I had to retire from the Navy eight years ago. It took years to lose that compulsion to be involved and to simply enjoy being “retired”.
the home stretch
Many know in the game of baseball, between the “top” and “bottom” of the seventh inning, is a time for the fans to “stretch”. And then the game resumes. For a month of recovery from abdominal surgery, my work life feels it has had that “stretch”. While I did not plan to be away so long, after a few weeks at home, the light housework, cooking, and a few other chores seem preferable to the whole regular job thing.
“What am I thinking!”
Of course, I have been working almost forty years, so this is as close to “retirement” as I’ve gotten. My youngest adult son still questions my work ethic, “are you STILL off work? When are you going back?”, he says. I remind myself he’s only held a real job for two years. Forty more to go (unless he eventually learns to save a dollar or two). As a Baby Boomer I know taking time off only leaves a bigger headache to return to. What is time off worth to you?
To get a week at home, a few might trade work for a hospital bed. Fewer still might trade, for two weeks away, surgery, staples, hospital food and daily changing bandages. Maybe for three weeks, one or two might volunteer for a hospital stay, including an operation; a persistent cough that racked your body with pain each time; use or not use painkillers which alleviate pain but slow down healing; bedrest, antibiotics, itching and requiring help to pack medicated strips into the surgical incisions twice daily to properly heal.
sporting legs, backs, sight, and wind
The last leg. On the back nine. The finish line is in sight. A second wind has kicked in. Athletes want to be in the race. With apologies to Dale Earnhardt, the sooner restarted the sooner I reach my finish line.
After four weeks, going back to the “job” is preferable. A discussion I had with a blogger concluded that suffering is needed for great art, drama, and writing. Is my blogging getting BORING? I am not suffering! Where do I get inspired? Suffering at work. I am not used to working like this!
With my return to work, there’s going to be an adjustment. Others are going to suffer. Dogs won’t have my company during the day. Barbecuing and making dinner for my wife coming from work are going to be a weekend-only thing. Coming off the DL is an adjustment. Work is going to expect that I will return to my suffering program and knock a homer out of the park. Perhaps my dogs will be inspired to blog.