Old/Ancient

Here are a few of the ways you might want to try so that you do not feel your age or so that others might not refer to you as old/ancient:

Keep in mind the fact that it is 2018, not 1967

Give a kind thought to that little tummy of yours that wasn’t there 10 or 20 years ago. If no one else likes it and you are a pet lover, you can be sure your dog or cat will love to cuddle with you and snuggle right in

Stop shopping at stores like Old Navy

Stop holding your waist in when in the company of those younger than you – all you do is limit the oxygen going to your brain – which might also be the reason why you are starting to forget stuff.

Remember what you were taught in the Army – Never Volunteer – I know it is hard because: (a) you are over 65, (b) you are both a grand-father and a great – grandfather, (c) you are retired, (d) and you are so used to saying “Yes, dear, of course you know I will do it”, whenever you are asked to do anything.

Admit you don’t like wearing shoes with shoelaces and prefer clogs, flip-flops, or anything you can just slip your feet into so you do not have to bend over.

You don’t have to be a fan of “Demi Lovato” or “Miley Cyrus” – saying so just makes you look like a “creepy old man!”

When out with friends, stop whining about every ache and pain you have – most of your friends have the same aches and pains and know how you feel. Besides, at your age, whatever it is will go away after a few days and be replaced by a different set of pains for you to complain about.

Go to Walgreens and buy an expensive pair of reading glasses. The expensive part will give you incentive not to lose them like you have been doing for years now.

When out with friends, quit referring to yourself as a relic from times gone by – especially when you kid about when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Fact is that not everyone is up to date with science today and you will just confuse them more.

When you cannot remember something, do not claim that you are going through early onset of Alzheimer’s. Continuing to do so will enable the dementia fairy to find you no matter where you go.

Well, that is all I got this afternoon. Wanted to get back in the groove of writing and thought this might be a good way to start. Hope you enjoyed my rambling on about the words old/ancient.

Now let’s see, where did I set my cup of coffee? Uh Oh, brain fart – what was I thinking – it is time for my glass of wine – “Ah, there it is!”

senior-with-redwine

By the way, that is not me in the picture – I found it on “Free Images.com

Until next time!

Advertisements

Is This All There Is?

What is it about retirement that bothers us the most? Is it that we feel useless, bored, or that life and ourselves have become mundane? You know the days I am talking about. Those days where we say to ourselves: “Why bother getting out of bed – it is just going to be another day like yesterday!”

Why did I pick those three words to start this article? Let’s take a minute to look at the definition of those words.

Useless – Not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the intended purpose or desired outcome.

Bored or boring – Not interesting, tedious.

Mundane – Lacking interest or excitement; dull.

Now let’s take a look at the word retire – Retire – meaning having left one’s job and ceased to work.

Work – activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Prior to retiring – work usually meant that activity necessary to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. Another word for work is employment.

Employment – the condition of having paid work; a person’s trade or profession; the action of giving work to someone.

If you will notice, both words – work and employment refer to activity one had to do. Retire or retirement is usually the time of our lives where we no longer have a job to go to and our time is now truly “our time!”

Unless we worked at a job we truly loved and enjoyed, chances are work was not truly fun. It was as the saying goes: “A means to an end.” According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary – the definition of “a means to an end” is ‘something done only to produce a desired result.’ Hence my reference above when I talked about putting food on the table and a roof over one’s head.

Now that we are retired though and going on the assumption that we have adequate income to still address the needs for food and shelter, the time once given to work should be given to ourselves. How else can we avoid boredom or the feeling of being useless?

I say this because even being as active as we try to be, there are days that I do feel useless, well, not so much useless as “Gee, isn’t there more than this?” But, then I also say to myself: “What is this? You are the one just sitting here looking at old “Murder She Wrote” reruns!”

Bottom line is that to enjoy our retired lives, we need to stay active. Read a book, put a puzzle together, go for a walk, visit the zoo, grab a cup of coffee with a friend, learn a new language, anything to keep both body and mind active. A busy person does not have time to sit and ask the question: “Is this all there is?” They are too busy living life and as a result, enjoying retirement.

Until next time!

One Day At a Time!

How often do we hear that saying or for that matter say it to ourselves on any given day or during any given week?

Life today can be hectic but for the most part, enlightened people throughout the ages have understood sayings such as this. As a matter-of-fact, a more common saying which is more of a prayer than a saying is The Serenity Prayer, you know, the one that goes as follows:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Most of us know or should be cognizant of the fact that all life takes place in the present, or more precisely, in this very moment. And as the saying goes, this moment is a gift which is why it is called the present.

Each of us no matter where we stand in the hierarchy of things all get the same 24 hours in a day. Let me clarify a bit. No matter what our circumstances – we each get the same 24 hours. Therefore, time is the one commodity all people get equally. What we do with those 24 hours is what determines whether we will be happy or sad, angry or peaceful, coolheaded or upset, you name it – our mood, no our attitude is ours and ours alone to choose.

Keeping the above in mind every day is one of the reasons why I do my best to make a list each and every day. The list keeps me focused and is my way to stay on track with what is important to me, not others. Checking off items on that list at the end of the day provides me with the assurance that what I am doing is what I consider to be important and that all else sort of becomes secondary.

My decision as to what would be the best use of my time, i.e., living in the moment, is what keeps me grounded and why I take “one day at a time!”

Other signs we may follow could be: “Live and Let Live”

                                                            “First Things First”

                                                            “Think, Think, Think”

Following such a philosophy does keep one grounded and, speaking for myself, quite content.

happy-face-1191165

What is a Back Burner?

Many people say: “those who think they are doing good by ‘multi-tasking’ are really only doing many jobs or projects at one time – but not necessarily to the best of their ability.”

stove burner

I used to multi-task and to some extent still do more than one thing at a time like glance over something I want to read while also watching a TV show. But when I want to truly occupy my mind, while doing a project around the house, I will allow a different project I am thinking about to mull around in the “back burner” of my mind. The back burner of our minds operates like the stove in our kitchen once the meal is prepared but not quite ready to serve. We move the pot to the back burner to simmer allowing all the ingredients to mix, blend, and simmer creating this wonderful tasty meal for others to enjoy.

Back burners operate like a slow cooker – you toss in various ingredients, mix them up, and then walk away from them for several hours. The less times you open the pot to check on how they are doing – the better the meal will taste once done.

Many times, when I have problems that need solving and aren’t so earth-shattering that they need to be attended to immediately, I toss the idea around in the back of my head – usually subconsciously – allowing the problem to simmer such as the meal in the crockpot. We may not know it, but our back burner is always there ready to help us in situations like this.  While we are scurrying around doing our daily tasks, this back burner – while quieter and softer than our everyday mind – is intelligently thinking of ways to solve the problem(s) we have no immediate answer for.

Taking things to task this way enables our brain to be utilized both while working on current projects and silently thinking about the problems we want to tackle a day, week, or month down the road. It is not meant to be used to procrastinate though. When we toss the problem onto our back burner – it is to obtain – at a later date – a solution to the problem. Not only can this method assist in solving many problems, it should also reduce the stress in  one’s life.

Count to Ten!

counting-fingers-1-1482748

How many of us remember hearing one or both of our parents use the expression “Count to Ten” whenever they got angry? Back in the day, this was supposedly the sure-fire way to cool down when one was on the verge of becoming angry.

Today we are usually told to breathe – take a long breath – hold it in while saying one – exhale and then take another – hold it in and say the number two – and so on until you reach the number ten. Naturally if it is something that really has you frustrated and angrier than usual, you should probably do this until you reach the number twenty. Those of us who have meditated on occasion, might recognize that this is a form of meditation.  It is the systematic rhythm of counting and breathing that relaxes the mind so much so that it is almost impossible to remain angry once you have finished.

It is the oxygen intake you are getting due to the breathing in and out while counting that enables our brain to sort of relax by the time the entire counting process of one to ten or one to twenty is over enabling us to increase our perspective of the whole picture subsequently making the so-called “big stuff“ that created the problem or dispute in the first place to look like “little stuff.” Believe it or not, this little exercise works well whenever we get frustrated too. So, next time you find yourself – how shall I say – a little out of sorts with yourself or a project you are working on – try this counting exercise.

Actually, one could perform the exercise anytime during the day or week if for no other reason than to keep us calm and prepared for whatever might come next in our daily list of things to do. One doesn’t have to be angry to do it as it has a great calming effect and keeps us focused. Once you try it, you might just enjoy it as I do and sometimes just practicing it daily keeps me from losing my cool in the first place.

 

“Living in the Moment!”

”What is meant by the saying “Living in the Moment!”

Life is Good

I would like to think that it means enjoying whatever one is doing at any moment in time be it reading a book; writing in one’s journal; having dinner with friends and/or family; or working on a project such as a minor home repair job, hobby, or possibly attending to an odd job for a friend.

Living in the moment though does not mean we can forego looking towards the future. Oh, I am sure there are some people that think – “with all the turmoil going on in our world today – who knows what tomorrow might bring and therefore I am going to live for today and let the chips fall where they may with regards tomorrow.” That may be all well and good but as those of us who have recently made it through Hurricane Irma know – there is more to the statement “Live for Today” than some people realize.

I recently wrote an article entitled “Bump in the Road” and how life tends to throw such bumps at us now and then. Well, Hurricane Irma was one such bump. What some people may not be aware of are the “after bumps” we must take into consideration as well.

While many of us made it through Hurricane Irma ‘unscathed,” the fact of the matter is what if we would have been one of the unfortunate ones that weren’t so lucky? It is a thought that crosses my mind every time such an event takes place.

In planning for the evacuation of our home, we had to gather food, water, prescription drugs, clothing for two or three days, flashlights, important papers and so forth just in case our homes were damaged or quite possibly destroyed. Note: It was mentioned in the news that 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed by Hurricane Irma. One of the thoughts, if not the main thought, that runs through one’s mind other than merely surviving at times like these are: In addition to what I am supposed to take with, what other possessions should I take with – you know – just in case?

They say material things can be replaced and I concur with that thought process but another fact is: while houses, cars, clothing, and high-tech toys can be replaced – what constitutes important information? How many of us have taken the time to record and keep safe data necessary to rebuild our lives after an event such as Irma should we be one of those unfortunate individuals that lose everything? I am talking about having a record of such things as bank account information, driver’s license numbers, insurance policy information (house, car, health, life), wills, passwords, and so forth?

These are the essentials needed to rebuild (yes – rebuild) one’s life in today’s high-tech world when a tragedy such as Irma strikes. While I have tried to maintain such records over the years – it is events such as this that always leaves me wondering – “Am I truly prepared?”

I am reminded of a television commercial some years back – and I believe it was for “Capital One” where the commercial says: “What’s in Your Wallet?” By the way, disasters come in all forms – they do not have to be the result of a hurricane.

Living in the Moment is one thing – attempting to revive all the data that proves you were living and are still living is yet another thing. Some things need to be thought about today, and tomorrow, and the next day as well.

Until next time!

Bump In The Road

Mistake

The only problem with getting out of bed at night to write is that I do not get up as early as I would like to the next day. But, when retired, like those of us who are, “Does it really matter?”  My answer to this question is a resounding yes – it does matter! My thoughts on this subject are that we should strive to be as consistent as possible with our daily routines.

For me, having a consistent schedule allows me to function without confusion, doubt, or whatever as to what it is I need to do each day. Getting up at the same time every day, stretching, taking my morning walk, taking my morning prescriptions, etc. enables me to prepare my mind for whatever I had thought about doing that day. Some days I prepare a list before I go to bed as to what I want to accomplish the next day and other times I wait until I am having my morning coffee to make such a list. I try to make it a point to retire at the same time each night and most nights stay in bed and not get up and write.

This daily “to do” list keeps me grounded. I know exactly what I want to get done and at my age I also recognize the fact that some of it will be done while other items may get moved to the following day’s list of “To do’s.” The neat part about such a routine is that, in life, we come across what one famous person called “bumps in the road.” Having such a list enables us to – address the “bump in the road” and come back to the list another day. Most of the time the list represents things that we would like to do and in some instances, need to do …………….but………..chances are none of them are emergency type situations thus should a “bump” occur, we can easily stop everything and address the “bump.”

Do we ever complete our list of “to do’s?”  If you are like me, probably not. Some get done on the day you planned on doing them, others get moved to the next day, and some get moved so often that eventually you say to yourself – apparently this one is not that important and it gets deleted completely from the list.

Bottom line is that the list gives us a purpose and should a “bump in the road” occur, enjoy the good times you had prior to the bump – address the bump whatever it may be or if possible, walk away from the bump – do not let it get the best of you, and get on with your life.  Remember – you are in charge of your own destiny!

Until next time!

When Do I Get to Laugh?

Here it is time for me to rant and rave once again as an old fart. When I first started blogging several years ago, it was suggested that I find my niche – “Niche: a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted, i.e., finally found his niche.” 

As one might surmise from reading my “About Me” page – I have no true niche. Basically, I have two thoughts that serve as my ‘niche’ – talking about and sharing retirement experiences and ranting and raving on just about anything that crosses my mind. But, there is usually one common thread I weave through anything that I write about and that is – I try to make it comical.

For me, pretty much I am the happiest while in front of my computer attempting to create a piece of writing that is both informative and comical – and for those of you who have been following my rants and raves for some time – I am sure you will agree – at times the information provided is more comical than informative.There is a reason for my madness though and that is with all the negative news floating around the Internet, TV, Radio, Facebook, Newspapers, and whatever other means of communication is available to us: “Enough already” – when do I get to laugh?

With that, allow me to take you into my crazy mixed up world of sayings, signs, and a picture or two. Within the confines of my office one will find all types of mementos that we have picked up over the years, had given to us or are pictures that made us laugh at some silly moment in time. For instance – in the morning if I am not feeling up to par – all I need to do is look at one sign I captured via my camera once and I am ready for just about anything.

 

 

Drink Coffee

And then there are days where I must do considerable research but don’t feel like it. What do I do – you got it – look at yet another plaque on the wall like this one about studying:

Why study

I could go on and on but I should save some of these for another post. Fact of the matter is that we all have our – how should I put it – our “Out of Sorts Day!” Fortunately, I do not have many of those days but when I do, all I need to do is make a cup of coffee, go in my office, sit down in my chair and just reminisce by looking at all the mementos, pictures, and wild and crazy sayings I have hanging there. Before you know it, I am back to my old self – thinking up goofy posts to write about and share with you here so that you can share in my madness too!

Remember: “Growing Old is Mandatory – Growing Up is Optional” and I choose not to grow up. Plus, I would rather be happy than grumpy – and besides, believe me when you get right down to it – it is so much more fun! 

 

20160722_113711

Have a great day.  Until next post!

A Day Late and A Dollar Short!

Day Late

 

 

 

the-almighty-dollar-1239259

Here I am again late with my weekly post. Made me think of the idiom shown as the caption of this piece: A Day Late and A Dollar Short – or in other words:

Action that was taken too late and is too feeble to be of any use! Well, so much for that definition – I am not so sure that my post is too feeble to be of any use. The fact that I am posting something within eight days of my last posting has got to be worth something (I am going to get on a weekly schedule sooner or later – perseverance is the key and I will overcome my tardiness).

Last month we decided to become the reverse of snow birds. Snow birds, if you will recall, are individuals with homes up north who come to the south for the winter. We are going to be North birds – our home is in the south, but we will be coming north for the summer.

It was a good weekend because I got to spend it with my kid brothers, sisters, nephews and a cousin we hadn’t seen in a while. Now that I am getting older, I always feel so much better when I get the chance to spend some time with relatives. One thing I must say – catching up with their latest happenings, humbles you as it makes one realize how good we have it. Some of the things they have been through within the last year is a reminder that things aren’t always greener on the other side of the fence, and the fact we aren’t getting any younger doesn’t help either.

Another nice part about this adventure we recently embarked upon – is that we will now be able to see everyone more often cause instead of being 1100 miles away we are less than 150 miles away even if it is only for four or five months out of the year.  The change of scenery and social activity may be good for our souls as well.

Well, that sums up this post – let’s see if I can prepare for my next post in less than one week.

Until next time!

How to Plan for a Good Retirement

retirement

Having been retired now for 20 plus years, reading articles about how to prepare for retirement (other than the usual financial aspect of retirement) often amuse me.

Most of us go through life concentrating on our jobs, family, day-to-day projects that come up whether good or bad, planned or unplanned. By the end of the day, the only thing on our mind tends to be – an hour or two of relaxation before retiring for the evening knowing we will be doing it all over again tomorrow.

While I do not dispute what is being said in these retirement articles, I must admit, due in part to the way my retirement came about – none of the things that I supposedly should have considered ahead of time came to mind, leastways not in a “pre-planned retirement sort of way.”

For instance, one thing we all should think about prior to retiring is deciding where we want to retire to. In our situation, first thought – due to being unemployed/retired was where to move because the house as well as the size of the mortgage payment was okay if we wanted to stay there and be “house poor” (meaning we would not be able to travel or do much else as all our funds would be spent maintaining our house). As a result, we decided to take the same approach as my company did – down-size. We purchased something smaller and less expensive so that we could do more than just live in our house. By down-sizing ourselves we have been able to enjoy our retirement as well as do some of the things we wanted to do in retirement.

Another thing people refer to when discussing retirement is that they should put together a “Bucket List” – you know – a list of those things you want to do before leaving this earth. This one has me stumped – mainly because I guess I am too simple a type of guy. For the life of me, I cannot think of one thing I must do before I die and so I do not have a “Bucket List” of sorts.

Another biggie on most pre-retirement lists is: Continue being sociable. This is one activity I would not have included when preparing for retirement but I must admit we are more sociable now that we are retired than we ever were in all our married lives even when my wife was President of the PTA and I was President of the Dad’s Club back in Jacksonville, Florida.

I would be remiss not to mention exercise as s pre-retirement thought. Why, because one cannot be active during his or her working life and then just sit around eating donuts and drinking coffee once we are no longer working. In our case, while we remained active once retired, eight years into retirement, line dancing entered our lifestyle and to this day our exercise is done in the form of line dancing both teaching and doing. By the way, there is a completely different story that could be told regarding how line dancing came into our lives – but that is for another day.

Both of us are quite wary of how one’s health changes as we age and so we eat appropriately, paying attention to what is good and what is not good for both of us. But that is not to say that we will not have the occasional donut (Saturday mornings you will usually find us socializing with friends within our community eating donuts and drinking coffee. Besides we would not want to avoid our social responsibilities – now would we?

Another item on the pre-retiree list of things to do once retired is learning new things. Learn a foreign language, begin painting or some other hobby that used to excite you but took a back seat to your family and career, become involved with puzzles or some other activity to engage your brain. We need to keep both the body and brain active if we are going to live in retirement as many years as we were employed.

Other lists I’ve read talk about volunteering and getting a part-time job. While I cannot speak to the volunteering activity – I can discuss part-time jobs. Shortly after we retired we needed additional income to cover that span of time between our retirement date and the date Social Security payments kicked in. We went to a job fair held by Busch Gardens and through some great negotiating, landed a job for both of us with scheduling to match – meaning we worked the same hours and the same days – the only catch was that we could not work in the same shop. It was a great three years and we learned new skills – how to operate a cash register.

There you have it – bottom line – whether you plan for retirement or do some fancy finagling should it sneak up on you when you least expect it – putting your heads together and taking into considering some of the topics just mentioned – you will be in for a great adventure. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Until next time!