A few days ago, we met with our new financial advisers.

They were two men in their thirties, handsome, perfectly groomed in tailored suits, and exceptionally tall. Standing in the elevator with them, I felt like a nine-year-old bringing a bag of quarters to the bank.

We sat at the conference table in my husband’s office, they were on one side, us on the other. Right away, I wished I’d dressed for the meeting instead of being in a t-shirt and jeans. Thankfully, the t-shirt had no words on it like THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE or Alzheimer’s Walk 2016, neither was a message I necessarily wanted to send.

They asked about our goals. They had that look people get when they figure you’re too old to have actual goals so you must have ‘retirement’ goals.

So my husband asked the big question. Do we have enough money to retire?

The two men looked at each other for a quick minute. One shuffled his papers; the other straightened his tie.

“Ish,” the dark-haired man answered.

Oddly, I knew exactly what he meant.

When the doctors filed into my son’s room to ask him whether the pain in his broken hip was improving, he thought for several long minutes, so long I thought maybe he’d fallen asleep, he looked at the ceiling, looked at me and then back at the doctors and said, “Ish.” The doctors all nodded like ish was a thing, a word that they’d learned in doctor school. Ish.

So when the financial advisor said “Ish,” I got the message loud and clear and so did my husband who has been singing “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” ever since.

We keep working. We keep meeting in the kitchen at the end of the day. We talk about what needs to get done over the weekend. We have strategic plans to finish, meetings to go to, proposals that need to be written.

Are we happy with that? Is that what we want?

Ish.

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Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash