My wife left me Friday. She packed up the car and headed to Savannah, Georgia without me. One of my nieces is having a birthday and she wanted to be there. My daughters wanted to be there as well. I read an article this week about Bill Gates. Billy takes a week every year to go away somewhere without his wife and kids with no technology and no distractions. He does bring books to occupy his mind sand time. It is a week for him to simply be and think without the noise of the outside world. Just a man alone with his thoughts. This is my weekend alone. I had some work to do and pulled s late night Friday. I then went out for a steak and potato and saw some friends at the restaurant and hung out a bit. I woke up this morning disappointingly early but in defiance rolled over and closed my eyes, determined to catch some more zzzz’s. I ended up laying in bed for a couple of hours watching a Netflix movie on my phone. Of course, I do still have responsibilities. I had to turn on the heat lamp for my son Tucker’s turtle, Steve, and feed him. Then I headed out to the Cafe to eat a noontime breakfast. What a lazy day. Gates says that many innovations and new directions have sprung from his lonesome annual holidays. I’m calling this my weekend getaway.
It is hard for me to conceptualize my life without Stef and the kids. They are just part of who I am. When I think about decisions or plans they are just there, embedded in my process. That’s why I feel a bit lost if they are ever gone, even if just for a weekend. I think it is a great thing to spend time alone, thought… to let the dust settle to the bottom. To be able to think clearly and to hear your inner voice distinct from others but it just feels weird at first. It takes some getting used to.
My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child or a spouse. May of my clients have gone through the death of a longtime mate and they talk to me about it. I empathetically tell them that time heals all only for them to tell me that it doesn’t. I feel like we help people move on. We assist with closure when a loved one passes away through handling their probate estates. We do that for many people. However, I know they will have to go through the journey alone and adjust to that life and that must be so hard. My eyes tear up thinking about it. I know I would be lost without Stef and the kids if one of them were really gone. I can’t imagine.
I like Bill Gate’s idea of a week alone for clarity, thought and planning. I may incorporate this into my year going forward. However, I don’t like to think about the day I might be without my wife. I just hope she is always there and I like to pretend that’s the way it will be. I also couples plan for the future by mapping out their estate plan in case one of them isn’t there anymore. I don’t like to think about that so I know my clients don’t either. However, like Gates, our lives will run better if we do take that time to plan. I hope that I can help them sit down and think about each other and their lives and develop their plans for those days we don’t like to think about.
So, I am going to try to put a plan together for today… maybe a workout, some planning, some work and some television. It’s back to work as usual on Monday and I plan to be well rested by then. If I can help with your plan give me a call at 704-749-9244 or online at mcelderlaw.com.
Greg McIntyre Elder Law Attorney
Elder Law Attorney