Hitting fifty is hitting me hard. I know that I have more years behind me than ahead of me.
Part of me is proud of what I have done. I got my first bachelor’s degree when I was 29. I was willing to go back to school when the economy tanked. (Michigan was in a one-state recession before the financial crisis of 2008.) I then got a BBA and then an MBA. I got my MBA while Barry had cancer. I helped him with that. I sold the house on my own. I moved the two of us. I dealt with a gazillion bizarro crises in 2015. I’ve helped Barry be straight and sober since 1988. I’ve had spiritual (mis-)adventures galore. I’ve overcome my need for anyone’s approval.
My panic and sense of determination come from what I haven’t done: a career. Most people my age are eyeing retirement and I feel like I am still preparing to do something when I grow up. But Barry’s health issues have pushed me to make moves in that direction. It no longer matters what shape he is in, how he feels, his opinion, what the insurance company does or doesn’t do, or whatever. I simply do not have the option of watching TV with him for another ten years as he sloooooowly goes downhill from the Huntington’s. I can’t wait until I am sixty to start working. I have been trying to transition him and me as easily as possible, but none of that matters anymore.
I feel very good that I have done everything I can for Barry. I’ve tried to do everything with him he wants to do. We’ve had the important conversations. We’ve made the choices. No one could ever be more prepared than us.
I am now outside my level of control. I’ve made all the preparations I can. Much of what happens from here on is outside my control. Nobody can say I didn’t do what I could