Tag Archives: retirement

I Sit And Wait

I spend a lot of time saying that when I retire I am going to disappear into the woods. Not just to hike, but hoping to live out of the main stream of society. To get away from civilization and the filth that it has produced and yet it still demands its place at the table. Away from the talking bobble heads who have found that if they weren’t able read off of a teleprompter would most likely be selling the Squatty Potty at 2 am on some desolate cable network to bleary eyed souls wishing they could disappear as well. (Don’t ask how I know about that)

But here I sit, waiting. Waiting for the day when I can walk out the door for the last time. Walk out the door so this part of my life becomes a memory, one that melts as quickly as the sun sets.

Every day now I read and watch the news and the longing to disconnect from the nightmare of shit that rules the world becomes that much more overwhelming. Here are a couple of gems from the recent news:

“Boy, 16 gives brutal details in killing of pregnant high school cheerleader”

Why did he kill her? Because she hid the pregnancy past the point where she could get an abortion. So how did he solve his problem? He stabbed her in the heart and then left her body in a dumpster. Classic.

“Mom,  37, who allegedly drowned 10 month twins could face penalty”

I’m not even going to get into this one. I sense that a special place in hell exists not only for the one above, but more so for this one.

So I sit and wait. And for now, as I continue to recover, the absence of my long and almost daily hikes is becoming a mental burden. Despite the fact that the cold and often angry weather of the winter months would still keep me sane as I made my way from trail to trail and peak to peak, allowing all of the shit churning in my head to be flushed into a vast wasteland, all I can do is hope for better hiking days.

I need to be listening to the wind as it make its way through the naked trees because it has a way of enveloping me, its unique song guiding me to and through my favorite hiking spots.

People say to me, “You are wishing your life away.” No. Not wishing it away, but instead wishing, hoping and waiting for greener pastures, to find a place where although stupidity may still be present, it won’t rule the day. And yes, I am positive that the grass is greener on the other side of this fence.

So I sit and wait.

 

 

Why The AT? Then Again, Why Not?

Image result for appalachian trail sign

“To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live.” –Tenzing Norgay

In a little under two years I will be eligible to retire from my job as a special educator. In NYS, teachers can retire at the age of 55 if they have 30 years in the system. Directly after high school I spent four years in the Marine Corps, then went to school and worked other jobs for  several years before teaching.

So what does this mean? It means that my time in education is near an end. So what next?

As I mentioned in my previous post, my first goal in retirement is to thru hike the Appalachian Trail. As a matter of course, the first question that everyone always asks anyone with a similar goal is “Why?”

With that said, let’s get the “why” out of the way.

My first adult real life challenge came in October 1983 when I reported to Parris Island, SC for basic training with the USMC. Without a doubt, this was the most difficult thing that I had done in my life, both physically and mentally. To describe it as three months of pure hell would be an understatement!

After being discharged I began hiking more than I ever had and used this as my primary form of exercise during the months that were suitable for hitting the trail. The rest of the year was spent riding a stationary bike in an attempt to try to get and stay in shape. This remains true to this day.

So, when you look at my love of hiking and put that together with a lifelong desire to accomplish difficult tasks, a thru hike almost seems inevitable. Why not?

More on this as I continue my research of the AT and engage in some more self reflection.