This was edited April 2014 from its original first published as part of my July 2008 letter.
Well I’ve been employment-free for 4 months and 5 days now. I have officially completed 1/3 of the first year of my retirement. And what can I say about it other than, wow, what an emotional roller coaster these four months have been. What started out as a life-changing adventure with hopes of turning my health and outlook around has managed to turn so far around that life was able to kick me square in the life-makers!
My primary goal when embarking on this new life as a stay-at-home Dad was to really make an effort to get myself into better shape. I began exercising daily and changed my diet, both in quantity and quality. Over the first two months the results were extremely encouraging as I lost 15 lbs and was improving my strength and flexibility (a little something for the wife, uh huh). Then BAM!!! No sooner had I started feeling good enough about my successes to begin telling friends and family about it then my old nemesis should reappear. One Friday, out of the blue, I began to experience the extreme fatigue and mental fog that plagued me for most of the six years but had certainly alleviated to a meaningful degree over the past couple years.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lingering symptoms that I’d been dealing with for the past year or so have become more acute and I’ve even gained a new one just to add some variety to the situation. I am absolutely devastated, angry, and distraught. I haven’t felt this poorly in awhile and the fact that this relapse didn’t strike as soon as I had started my new routine was an especially difficult pill to swallow. I really felt things were making a turn for the better when in reality they were coyly making a play for the worse.
So I have no idea where I’m going from here. Perhaps a psychiatrist is in order as I’m finding myself wishing Dr. Gregory House was real and not just a television character. Those TV doctors are fantastic. They always figure out what’s wrong, often in a day or two, even with commercial breaks! And there are always a couple of really hot nurses and even a sexy associate doctor to do all the testing and checking (and bathing). Now that’s health care!
I should do a reality TV show where all varieties of health practitioners compete to cure me of my mystery disease. Think of the conflict potential of having medical doctors and alternative healers locked up in the same house. I’m thinking just watching a self-proclaimed Alpha Centaurian Shaman in a loin cloth trying to convince a Mayo Clinic neurological doctor that a balm of adolescent Sasquatch spit and the dried genitals of the male G’Tyckla slug from the methane rain forests of Bocais Gigantes IV is the sure cure for what ails me, would at the very least lift my spirits, if not cure me outright!