I had a little moment in the parking lot at CVS today. I went in to fill my daughter’s prescription and was told that on our new prescription plan, a 30-day supply would be over $200. Panic, fear and guilt ensued, and by the time I got to my car, I’d mentally applied for two jobs to bring in extra money to meet basic costs that hadn’t seemed like luxuries when I was working.
Fortunately, I hadn’t left my good sense in the store, and when I got to the car, I made a call to find out what my options were. Turns out the 90-day supply was a much better deal - pretty much what we’d been paying on our old plan, and perhaps even a few dollars cheaper - and I didn’t even have to use mail order to get it. Relieved, I wiped tears out of the corners of my eyes and chided myself for pushing the panic button.
I felt foolish sitting in the parking lot wiping away tears, and was about to reach into the glove compartment to pull out a napkin when a car pulled into the space next to me. At 10 AM on a Thursday, what were the odds that I’d know the person in the car?
Not in my favor, as it turns out. Out of the car stepped a retired administrator from my school district - someone who’d always been well-spoken and well-put together, and today was no exception. She was kind and friendly and empathetic, but that didn’t stop me from feeling ridiculous.
Shortly after my parking lot panic, I read an e-mail from a friend, who described her feelings about a situation in her life as “cautiously optimistic and almost scared to relax,” which struck me as an apt assessment of my feelings about retirement. I’m having fun - too much fun - and it seems too good to be true. So much so that I’m quick to think that any little setback portends disaster, that a $200 prescription means I need to get a real job or my golden years will be tarnished by penny-pinching and endless servings of Ramen noodles.
Putting it on the page, or saying it out loud makes it clear just how ridiculous I’m being and helps me to put things in perspective. Still, it feels so wonderfully decadent to be at home during the day - particularly to send my daughter off to school and greet her when she comes home - that I can’t help feeling as though there’s a price to pay, and that assessment is just around the corner.
Another friend recently posted on Facebook that years ago, his father had urged him to do something that he loved. And he did - and so did I. I loved working with kids and families and school staff for nearly thirty years. How could I possibly be so blessed as to find something else I love as much at this point in my life?
All my life, I’ve been pretty good at making lemonade out of lemons. How strange that I don’t know what to do when someone hands me the lemonade.