Relaxed Resignation

There are many sorts of people. For our purposes, we’ll streamline all the variations into two general categories: Workers and Relaxers. Relax has potential as a word if not for the unfortunate lax association, as in laxative or lackadaisical. Nevermind all that for now; let’s not get sidetracked.

Yesterday, in a self-contained fit of frustration and temper, I thought to myself (usually my thoughts are to myself due to their vitriolic nature) “If ever I am diagnosed with a terminal illness, I am so done with this shit.” That’s right. Done, quit, vacating the premises, leaving the building. I will not negotiate another deal, there will be no more phone calls or emails, no account reconciliations. “Others” can figure it out.

To highlight the things I will no longer do, let us begin at the beginning. I will no longer rise and shine at fucking four o’clock in the morning. I will sleep soundly until 6 or 7, enjoying my dreams until they come to a natural conclusion, without the interruption of the company whistle signaling the commencement of work. Once I rise, to a tidy house (keep in mind, I am dying. The house will be kept in the pristine condition that I like), I will have some coffee and sit in my chair in the living room while I, simultaneously, read the paper and listen to public radio. There will be a strict moratorium on television viewing while we wait for the death knell.

I’ll wash the breakfast dishes. I’ll have a nice shower. I’ll dress in the clothes that I love; something other than the attire I wear in this godforsaken sweat shop that I am currently confined to. I think I’ll wear a little make-up and my pearls. I have a strand from my husband and a strand I inherited when Mum died. As my terminal illness progresses, I will give Mum’s strand to my niece. She has a delicate neck and it needs pearls.

On fair days, I will take a walk to town. I will not be going to the bank or to the post office. Both of those places have been sullied by work errands. “Others” will fetch mail and money. I’ll be lunching out, alone, as I see fit. After lunch, I will be going to the library to read magazines for an hour or two. If the weather is not fine, I will stay home dressed in lounging pajamas. I’ll enjoy a creative lunch; grilled cheese with something or other. Lately, I like Ontario cheddar with a bit of blue cheese for added flavor. I’ll have salad too. After lunch, I’ll read one of the twenty or so books I have been dying to read but cannot get to because I am overworked and overwrought, teetering on the edge of total collapse. If my demise meanders through the summer months (that’s my plan), I will be reading outside in a brand new chaise with nice comfortable cushions- no more bargains at $19.99 for me.

I have no idea what the supper menu will consist of but you can rest assured it will not require a lot of messy pots and pans. We will break the television moratorium to watch the News Hour. Since I am dying, I’ll be going to bed shortly after supper. I expect I will continue to be very warm throughout the illness. I will be sleeping on cotton sheets under the new comforter with the windows open. I like fresh air and I don’t want to be too warm. “Others” will have to suck it up Buttercup.

As I lose mobility, “others” will move heaven and earth to see that I am comfortable in an aesthetically pleasing environment. I think our friend, Jim, will have to reconfigure the bedroom so that I don’t feel isolated. It will be expensive, I know. Since we’re going to be spending some money anyway, I’d like a new Bose CD player for the bedroom. I think we can remove the television until I have passed. It always reminded me of hospital decor. Now that I’m on my last legs, I don’t want to be taunted by fragile mortality every day.

“Others” have mentioned that they would like to work as long as they’re able, right up to departure time if possible. Not me. I intend to relax before the journey.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
This entry was posted in Autonomy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Relaxed Resignation

  1. Peggy says:

    Well now! If that isn’t the most cheery post one can write on one’s BIRTHDAY! Happy Birthday O&D and I don’t care if you care who knows it. We are once again the same age. I’ll print off this post and tuck it away to remind you and the “Others” of how you want to spend your last, what? six months, or so? It looks like you plan on lingering for a while. That’s a good plan. Now, what about this new puppy you’ll be getting? Have you made arrangements for it upon your imminent demise? What happens if you become terminally ill in the winter? Shall we sojourn south – say, the desert somewhere? Will you take up soming peyote while I sip cold gin? Let’s make a plan just in case it is cold when you get your diagnosis.

  2. Peggy says:

    “soming” peyote? I don’t know what that is but it’s a good idea.

  3. So many (of us) feel the same… what I don’t understand is why we feel we need to wait until we’re dying?… anyway, great post, love the relaxed look… 🙂

    • elroyjones says:

      For us, the work environment has become adversarial, particularly when dealing with insurance companies, but we must continue to work if we wish to continue to eat. There is also the conundrum of employing a small group of people who rely on us for income. In the meantime, I will live vicariously through you and the people I know who have managed to take the looooong break!

  4. I think the secret of life is to do some of this stuff before a Doctor tells you you are dying.

  5. John says:

    So, the burning question is: are you really able to relax? Some people just can’t…even if they have the time….

  6. Doug says:

    Well, this is a lively post. And could that birthday rumor floated be fact. And facts are strange things. Like a four am wakeup. Which is when I am most relaxed, but this is not about me.

    So the question is, and always will be…are we having fun yet? And all those details of the way of your demise suggest that you are. Which I think puts you ahead of the Reaper before he even has a chance to game out your going. So you win.

    And have a wonderful day.

    • elroyjones says:

      I’d rather have a good time, sometimes that has backfired and been my downfall but those times have been few and inconsequential in the end.
      I love the early morning as long as it is relaxing, love to watch the sun rise. I am not overly fond of rising to discuss work as soon as my feet hit the floor.
      Yes, birthday fact, yes wonderful in an unconventional way. Thank you.

    • elroyjones says:

      Unless it’s fun at four- sunrise on vacation, where it’s warm, and I have a tan, and someone is making breakfast for me then I’d be livin” the DREAM.

  7. George says:

    Oops! It looks like your birthday’s been outed – I hope it was a great one, young lady!

    What a fine job you did of making decline & fall attractive! If & when those days arrive, be sure to take pictures for posterity!

    Happy birthday, friend!

  8. Books you been dying to read — nice! I am curious as to what you think “the journey” is and what, if any, the final destination will be. HF

    • elroyjones says:

      I knew you’d like that.
      I had a near death out of body experience about 20 years ago. When the ambulance arrived I was clinically dead, no respirations, no pulse. They worked on me for a long time to get me running again. It was not the happiest day of my life and from my completely objective perch above myself where I could see disheveled long hair messy all over my face I thought, viewing myself as I would a character in a movie, “How sad to die on a day when you are so profoundly unhappy.” I felt that I was part of a universal oneness, for lack of a better word. I do not believe in an afterlife that is populated by individual egos and ids but I do believe very strongly that our energy continues on. The emotions that we value so much in our physical lives, love, empathy, hope are all replaced by acceptance of existence on a different level of consciousness.
      That accident changed my life in many ways and I have been able to understand better what my purpose for existing here and now is. Other things have happened since then that lead me to believe there is a lot more beyond our tangible experience.
      That, Harper, is the short answer!

      • Thank you. I am an unbeliever, but I like to here the stories of those that believe and why. All joy in living. HF

      • elroyjones says:

        On no you don’t; you can’t just pop in and leave a short comment like that and not expect any questions. So you believe this is it, the end, no mas? I don’t believe in god and I often question the experience I had and attribute it to misfiring neurons as I was about to make a less than graceful exit but like you (who began this I might add) I am interested in what others believe. Tell all, soonest, please.

      • I grew up and lived many years in the “faith.” However, I came to realize that I did not believe in a god that could in any way be cruel to his creation. And, that seemed to be every god. So, I have moved away from it all. I can still pretend when need be, but in my heart, I believe that when it is over, it is over. HF

      • elroyjones says:

        Thank you. I feel so much better. I don’t believe in an afterlife more of a science based energy situation but if this is it, I don’t mind. Lots of people have died before me so if nothing happens it will be okay. I try to make what happens now count.
        I will be sad to see the end of me. That would be a nice epitaph “Too bad she couldn’t stay longer.” I’ll be no muss no fuss right into the Easy Bake oven.

  9. That’s the way to depart — a meandering demise. Chances are you could make it for several summers. Sort of like Jimmy Cagney dying after he’s been shot by the FBI — with a lot more sophistication, of course.

  10. You make dying sound so appealing!

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