December 14, 2016

It seems as if I’ve put everything on the shelf (Christmas and golf) to pay attention to a bunch of things Tracey and I have been talking about for what seems like years. Some of the stuff are big things: like taking care of our wills and getting our family trust together; like sitting down with several financial planners to try and figure out how best to ensure our finances are handled correctly as I begin the (hopefully) slow slide into retirement; like helping my sister-in-law Tam with getting her divorce from a guy she hooked up with under crazy circumstances some thirteen years ago. Some are smaller things: like finally taking to the shredder bags and bags of financial stuff – some of it left over from fifteen years ago and our time in Louisville; like emptying out the closets where we’d stored old computers, printers and electronic stuff.

Of course, 2016 will be looked upon as the year my mom passed away. But in other ways I think it has been monumental as well. When all is said and done I’ll look back at this year and see it as the year I truly understood I’m now in my sixties. Things that might have seemed important (or at least meaningful) in my life seem less important and even frivolous now. I see some of the crap and the power plays going on at my workplace and I’m just not willing to play along with it anymore. I find myself realizing that the 5-year projects I’m being asked to participate in will either be over or close to over when I decide enough is enough and that I don’t want to play the full-time project manager gig anymore. As it is, the 7 AM calls I have to be on with my India guys every day because of the project we’re all on really sap my energy – not physically but mentally. It’s not that I can’t be “on” for long periods of time, it’s just that it’s tougher.

I find myself sitting under the happy pineapple lights on the back patio with a glass of Pinot Grigio and wondering how I would like to see my remaining years play out, knowing the chances are that I won’t have much of a choice in it – that’s just the way life is. You can make plans all you want, but life has an odd way of intruding. I know 2017 has to be the year we pay off all of our debt once and for all and begin paying the necessary extra principal in order to pay off our house by the time I’m 65. If we can be totally debt-free by that time it would be a huge burden off of our backs. So that has to take priority over everything. It might mean not hitting balls or playing golf, foregoing a weekend in Vegas, or passing up the Goodboys Invitational for a time, but I’m prepared for that. The time for fu**ing around and putting crap off until tomorrow or for another time is over.

I’ve never worried or concerned myself with mortality; I guess what bothers me more than anything is the idea of living my ’60s like I did my previous decade. I mean, at some point you have to grow up, right? Never being much of a hoarder of material things to begin with, I find myself wanting to donate or toss out stuff I’ve kept around for so long: music, books, and the like, and surround myself with only the barest of essentials. While I’m keeping my Roman Catholic / Anglican connections, organized religion seems very unimportant to me right now; seeing God in all things Creation is just as sacramental to me.

And maybe that’s why I, besides my mom’s passing, I’m really not interested in Christmas this year. All the ways I’ve celebrated it in the past, from the music, the movies, the church, and the traditions, all seem rather pointless, exercises in repetitiveness purely for the sake of carrying on a tradition whose impact doesn’t go far beyond our house walls. Maybe if we had kids or grandchildren it would be different, but it’s just me and Tracey and Tam and the rabbits, so who the hell cares? All the living trust stuff we’ve been doing has gotten me thinking about possessions and handing them down to another generation, but guess what: I really don’t have much of anything of value or anything anyone would really want.

So that’s my mindset going into the end of the year. Sounds kind of depressing, I guess, but that’s my way of thinking. A successful day at work, a good workout at the gym, some good Mexican food, enjoying a breezy night on the patio, some good George Harrison or Caribbean music, a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio – that’s all good enough for me. The days are really short right now – I’m waking up for my 7 AM calls in the dark – and the year has been so bad that maybe getting all this stuff done and out of the way is my way of getting rid of this year and all the stuff that needed to get done during it out of the way in order to start 2017 with a clean slate.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:13 | Comments (4)
  1. I know what you mean. Every thing that happens in my life was always dutifully reported to my dear sister the very next day. And tho’ I say “goodnight and I love you and miss you” to her every night before I say my prayers, life just isn’t the same without her. The tears are flowing freely as I write this and I can’t help it – this hurt will never go away. Love you, Auntie Marge

    Comment by Auntie Marge — December 15, 2016 @ 8:43 am

  2. Going through some similar things related to finances. Still have a few years left to pay off kids tuitions. Need to be fiscally smart. But also don’t want to live like a monk. Have to enjoy the journey now as well!

    Hopefully the GB Invitational will still be part of your “must do” list. Good friends are priceless & not something to be saved for some perhaps some future time. Wouldn’t be the same without TGWS. Be well my friend!

    Comment by Goose — December 15, 2016 @ 10:59 am

  3. Well then, I shall wish you both a Happy Yule. Christmas for me is time with family and the joy of the little ones. Making traditional Latvian goodies and time with good friends. I got a new car this year, Chevy Equinox LTZ. The Infotainment system has a 93 page manual. I love it. All wheel drive, V6, tip shift and more buttons than I know what do with…AND heated seats as today is 17 degrees. I miss making Christmas morning brunch for you all. That was always fun for me. I would love to have you come back for a visit and maybe one day I can make it out there. You both are still so special to me. Love and blessings.

    Comment by Jana — December 15, 2016 @ 5:54 pm

  4. To Auntie: my heart aches and breaks for you. Actually, for both of us. I only knew her for a better part of 60 years, and as a son, but she was, and still is, my hero. She was everything I ever aspired to but could never be.

    To Goose: Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry I folded like a cheap bridge table at last year’s Goodboys – it was too soon after my Mom’s passing and I wasn’t up to the weekend. I embarrassed myself and I’m sorry for that. To be honest, I’m not sure if I will even pick up the clubs again. There’s something inside of me that resists even opening up the shipping box with my clubs.

    To Jana: Tracey and I cherish your friendship and all the memories of Louisville. It’s strange that I hated being there at the time but look back on those years and our friendship with you fondly!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — December 17, 2016 @ 2:55 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info