Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Retirement Planning and Queues

Mr. Squirrel has discovered the bird feeder. He'll be making many trips a day to his cache, I expect. I do hope his cache is not in my eaves somewhere. So far, Mr. Squirrel, the sparrows, and chickadees have been at the feeder. They will help me with my list.

A great colleague of mine retired this week. He goes back to school to take philosophy. His dream is to resolve the issue of choice over death. Can we choose our own passing, and how can those we love make the best choice for us? Shold they make that choice? He smiles like a chipmunk every time he talks of his retirement. His parting words to me is to not delay in making my own plans.

Now, my own retirement is over a dozen years away, but I've been a good girl and gone for the training. The trainers were excellent. Their first great gift is that they convinced me that, financially, we will be just fine. They also convinced me that I need a vision, mission, and a plan if I am to enjoy retirement. What is my dream?

To make it easier for people in queues. Start an advocacy and consulting non-profit group that helps people get through the intake process as humanely as possible. We should be able to do this without stuffy waiting rooms, sweaty lines, take-a-numbers, triplicate forms, harried receptionists, and surly intake workers. One wonders sometimes if they make it so hard just to keep the numbers low?

You see, I dread the queues in my own future. Pharmacies. Hospitals. Disability applications. Insurance claims. I fear I will become one of the faceless masses, that pairs of dead eyes will stare past as rough hands stamp, "Rejected".

How do we make the whole experience more humanizing? Why can't intake be like Pike Place Fish, where they make everyone's day? For a few moments, there is genuine contact. And we earn this great connection over fish! http://www.pikeplacefish.com/

Anyways, that's my dream. All the things I want to do will take years to set in motion. But I've got the years. And the talent for making it better.