I feel like I'm in living in limbo. If you don't know what limbo is, here's what the dictionary says:
an unknown intermediate place or condition between two extremes: in limbo
I first heard the term limbo when I attended Catholic grade school back in the early 60's. The nuns told us to pray for the souls of unbaptized babies who were in limbo- because if they got enough prayers sent their way, their souls got elevated to heaven. So in my mind, limbo was kind of a holding zone between heaven and hell where you waited around for your ticket to get punched, but until it did, you simply had to wait it out. It was better than hell but it certainly wasn't heaven. It was.....limbo.
And it was all very confusing to me.
"Sister Agnes Michael, can they play monopoly in limbo?"
"No Daniel, they don't have board games in limbo"
"Then what do they do all day?"
"They wait until someone like you prays for their soul and when they get enough prayers, they get to go to heaven."
"So how many prayers do they need?"
"Is your math homework done, Daniel? If it is, I'd suggest you say some prayers. If it isn't, then get back to work."
I'm attributing some of my limbo feelings to the month of January because if there was ever a limbo-month, it would be January. After New Years Day, there isn't another major holiday until Valentines Day ( which we all know is a holiday that can make perfectly happy people feel miserable). There's not much else to anticipate in January other than the Super Bowl and this year it is being played on Feb. 1st. So there's just not much to look forward to in January other than waiting around.....a lot of limbo.
And then there's the weather. In spite of it being over 50 degrees the last 4 days here, January is usually cold, dark and gray. Even if we get a spurt of better than average weather, you don't want to get your hopes up because technically we still have 2 months of winter-limbo get through. Mother Nature could blast us with a foot of snow and sub-zero temps all the way into March. Best to keep the gloves, heavy coat and sweaters ready and hold off on the flip-flops and shorts for a while yet.
I'm also suffering from a good case of job-limbo. While my newly retired spouse (NRS) is settling in to her next stage of life, I'm back at work everyday for the immediate future. My earliest possible retirement date is too far off to be close, but close enough that I can see it peering over the horizon. I've got nothing significant left to accomplish but I've still got work to do. I've been told the time will fly by faster than I realize but there have been days when the seconds last minutes and the minutes last hours.
Speaking of retirement, I had a couple of Ward Cleaver moments last week when I got home from work and my NRS had our dinner prepared and the table set as I walked in the door. I was ready to don a black suit and tie and retreat to the den to read the paper and give fatherly counsel to Wally and the Beaver. This is not a bad thing, mind you, just a different thing. I suspect that we will be doing the limbo quite a bit as we both adjust to the changes going on in our lives. Like not getting over-envious when I got a text from her this afternoon that was sent while she was taking Grace for a walk on this unseasonable January day. She might not have been doing the limbo, but I certainly was.
I have to admit that patience, focus and "living in the here and now" have never been strengths of mine. I'm excited about the next stage of life and what it has to offer and I am ready to close the book on the 40 plus years of going to work everyday. But I have to wait a while longer and that gives me limbo angst which can best be summarized by adapting a quote from the end of "When Harry Met Sally" that goes like this:
"When you finally figure out how you want to spend the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
I hope none of you reading this are taking my plight very seriously, if at all, because I'm not. I know better. My version of limbo is nothing compared to what my dear friend Al is going through. I visited him several times in the hospital this past week as he was back in the ICU to deal with some setbacks related to the lung cancer he is battling. Time can't go slow enough for Al, I suspect, and if you are the praying type, please pray for him not for me. I can wait.
In the meantime, if there aren't any board games in limbo, maybe there are some others things I can do while in limbo:
A. Set a goal to go a whole day and not say the word retirement out loud.
B. Get the seed catalogs out and start to plan the garden for this spring.
C. Get some real work done.
D. Try to listen every one of the 15,000 plus songs I have in my ITunes collection.
E. Start taking Limbo lessons, the Chubby Checker version.