It is November, and as I promised, here I am.
However, here I am, and here I am not. Or at least, better put, here I am not quite fully. Yet, at least.
Over these past months, I have had some health issues come up: not at all life-threatening, but serious enough to cause me to pause and examine. In the meantime, I celebrated my sixtieth birthday. Another Hallmark day, come and gone.
Consequently, after much reflection, I made the decision to leave my work at the United States Veterans Health Administration. My last day of service was, appropriately enough, Veterans Day.
I deeply enjoyed my almost nine years of work with combat veterans. I learned much. I was deeply moved. I changed.
Yet, far too sadly, when War never seems to end, persons like myself, those of us who are touched “askew” by War: we get older. Energies that we once had, dwindle some. The body sometimes says to us, as it said to me, “It’s time.”
I have been fighting this realization for a while. Yet, true to form, the one who helped me was a combat veteran, a young man who looked me in the eye and, with a knowing smile, merely said, “It’s OK, Doc. Everybody’s tour-of-duty finally comes to an end. You served your time. It’s OK.”
I can’t thank him, and his fellow combat veterans, enough.
For a while now, I am going to be doing “substitute doctoring,” otherwise known as “locum tenens.” It is good, helpful work, work which will allow me an opportunity to to reflect, not only on Dream 1 and Dream 2, but even more on nine good years, nine hard years. Nine years of listening to war, of serving fine men and women who simply were wanting to find Life again and move forward.
For their sake, and yes, for my own, I need to take the time necessary to reflect and to rejuvenate. Odd word in this case, rejuvenate, from the Latin iuvenis, young. I’m afraid I’m much more the senex, the old man. But we can’t re-senecate, can we? We just senecate.
Ah, well: hopefully not in a manner senile.
I’m not sure when I’ll be back. I suspect I will. As a senex iuvenior, a younger old-man?
I can hope. And so I will.
Difficult when you have trod so very many fighting men’s paths, albeit at one remove. One man’s path can be hard enough to follow Good luck with your upcoming young-old life.
I know exactly what you mean when your body says that its had enough and needs a rest. I wish you the best in your new adventures.