From My Perspective

What to do in Retirement!

Seeing that my life these days is much busier than, I expected it to be, let me just say that when I first started blogging, much of what I wrote was geared towards either those individuals that were soon going to retire or   that, like me had already retired. Let’s face it – retirement is merely just another phase of our lives. And while I may have intended to write about retirement issues, fact is that when it was all said and done, I found myself starting this blog site (second site I blog on) basically for my own enjoyment. Well, mine and those of you that get a chuckle out of the gibberish I come up and that flows onto these pages.

Sound selfish – not really. How many of you out there reading this blog, and be honest, have what we all would consider to be “good days and bad days?” If we are being honest, most of us will admit that we do experience both good days and bad days. The secret to master though is to have more good days than we do bad days. I have never quite determined what my “niche” is. I just sit down at the computer and well, what may be rolling around in my brain (yes, I do have one – leastways, I hope I do) eventually gets transferred to the page I happen to be creating. 

Should I come across any idea or subject that I feel will assist other retirees or those soon – to – be retirees, I try to share same via a blog post. However, there are those days when I really do not have an inkling let alone an idea of what I may want to write other than knowing that I do want to sit and write and want to share what it is I am writing about with others. So, what do I do – I just let my fingers flow across the keyboard and hope that what goes onto the page is something worthy of reading that will not only bring a smile to my face – especially on days where I am down but will bring a smile to your face as well! They say that misery loves company – well – I would add that reading comical stuff causes others to think comically too and that given the choice, most of us would rather be in a comical mood versus a down and out mood.

I try my best to smile as well as laugh as often as possible plus I am very fond of trivia, quotes and thoughts to ponder. So, this post has no specific niche other than hopefully after reading it, if you were in a bad frame of mind that you will be in a good frame of mind. And if you were already in a good frame of mind, that what follows will only add to your happiness.

Trivia/Puzzle

Name the law that says: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  NOTE: Answer at the end of the post.

Thought to ponder

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Joke of the day – this one is a one-liner

Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

Quote for today

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

Interesting math statement

40 when written “forty” is the only number with letters in alphabetical order, while “one” is the only one with letters in reverse order.

Senior moment

You are delighted to discover that your new acquaintance is taking all the same prescriptions that you are.

This day in History

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell – is granted a patent for the telephone.

In 1933

The film King Kong premieres in New York City.

Answer to Trivia/Puzzle: A proverb coined by the twentieth-century British scholar, C. Northcote Parkinson, known as Parkinson’s Law. It points out that people usually take all the time allotted.

 Until next time!

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When the Time Comes!

The Great Beyond!

Here I sit wondering what wonderful words of wisdom I might share with you folks as I try desperately to get back into a schedule of writing a post a week for this site, (as you can see – that isn’t working!). A short time ago I learned of the fact that a blogger I follow has been told that the disease she has been diagnosed with is terminal.

While most of us, on occasion think about dying and deep down inside know that death is life’s only known certainty, being informed that your time is running out causes one to stop and think about and hopefully come to terms with our own mortality.  It isn’t hard to recognize the fact that being given such news is a truly personal and transformative experience. I mean, let’s face it, we all know that we are going to pass on into the big unknown sooner or later but to know that it is going to happen to you and probably sooner than later, that has got to be the ultimate eye-opener about how short our lives here on Earth truly are.

It is one thing to look upon death as “the great equalizer” but how do you handle knowing that your time is soon near?  The older I become, while not often, the thought of death and dying does slip out of my subconscious mind into my everyday thoughts. Not to the point of dwelling on the subject, mind you. But usually when I happen to be in our community clubhouse and I see the Memorial plaque on the wall which lists those individuals who have since passed on. As a matter of fact, just within our small community of 297 homes, last count there were thirteen of my friends who have passed on in 2018. Add to that fact that several of my close relatives have passed both in 2017 and 2018. As we get older and recognize that friends and relatives are passing on – it does make one realize that many of us in our seventies and eighties are truly in the twilight years of our lives.

They say there are five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The question that haunts me whenever I allow myself to drift off and recognize the fact that we all will inevitably face this fact is: “Will I confront death with both eyes open and grapple with the conundrum of death or will I allow the torment of illness to change my relationship to the world around me. When you get right down to it, I am sure we could all come up with various questions that would pop into our head were we to be given such news. Questions such as: “Now that I know I am facing death, what is there left that makes my life worth living?)” Being told that your future will not be geared to goals you may have set for yourself over the years or plans you have for the future, what do you do?

Receiving such news makes one face his or her own mortality which when you stop and think about it changes nothing in one sense and everything in another sense. It is sort of like wanting to say to yourself: “Okay, I give up, I can’t go on. But then on the other hand, not knowing when the exact moment is going to be, you also ask yourself – what has changed?  You may as well say to yourself: “I can go on.”

Hopefully when my time comes (actually I would like to take the coward’s way out and die peacefully in my sleep but seeing how my sleep habits are anything but peaceful – I am not holding my breath on that being my way to leave this world), I will merely seize every moment granted to me because when one gets right down to it, “time is all we have…. and when we receive that news, the only thing that has changed is that we found out that we don’t have as much time as we thought we had.” 

It gets back to something many of us have been saying for years and that is enjoy life and “live every day as though it may be your last.” If we do that, chances are we may well avoid those five stages of death.

Until next time!

Idioms and Our Days!

Did you ever wake up one morning and wonder how you were going to get everything you had on your plate done within the eight hours allotted to getting it done? This brings me to an “idiom” that is usually associated with the mood we place ourselves in when facing such a situation. Think about it – we have a ton of things to do and only a few hours (well, eight hours is a bit more than a few but what can I say, I haven’t had my morning coffee yet) to do it in.

If you are like me, the first thing that pops into my head is that if I am going to make any headway in the list of things I want to do I am going to have to move “like a bat out of hell!”

What does that even mean? Well, if you look it up – the expression “like a bat out of hell” is very commonly used in English. Bats have been associated with witches since the Jacobean times (reign of James VI of Scotland). Bats fly very quickly as if they are panicking, so this is how the phrase is associated with its origin.  Source: theidioms.com

But instead, I sit down at my desk and prepare a “list of things I want to accomplish” knowing full well that I will probably not get all of them done. But, by having the list in front of me, I can pick and choose those that I feel are most important and attack them first. In that manner, when the end of the day comes and I sit down to review the list once again, hopefully, those that were of most importance will be check-marked ‘done’ and I will feel as though my day was not a total waste of time. Beats moving “like a bat out of hell!”

By taking the approach I mentioned above, one avoids yet another idiom that many people fall victim to in their everyday lives – that of “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Which, by the way, I must admit, I used to do all the time.

Again, referring to the same source, the oldest record of this particular idiom “making a mountain out of a molehill” is to be found in Nicholas Udall’s translation, 1548. It was mentioned as:

“….The Sophists of Greece could through their copiousness make an Elephant of a fly and a mountain of a molehill”

He is comparing a fly with an elephant which is a clear reflection of exaggeration. It is impossible to compare an elephant with a fly because of the difference in their size. Since then, this idiom was used rapidly in order to highlight the dramatization.   Source: theidioms.com

My point to this entire post is that if we slow down and think things through and not fly off the handle “like a bat out of hell,” the tasks before us on any given day are not those of the “making a mountain out of a molehill,” but instead are as simple as that!

Source: theidioms.com

Until next time!

Wake Up Call

As has been the case lately, I have not been writing posts as frequently as I would like to. It would appear a small thing called ‘life’ tends to get in the way. I know ….excuses, excuses, excuses! But, having said that I have another reason for not writing and that is that my “Idea” box is empty. Empty, that is, until around three o’clock this morning.

It was after I woke to go to the bathroom (one of three or four trips that I make in an evening – “Oh, the joys of getting old – but having reached age 78 last month, I am not complaining – just confessing!” During one of these trips I started thinking about what my next post should be about. What entered my head was a combination of things – one, I was feeling sorry for myself because lately I have been having some minor health problems and how this minor health problem could be looked upon as a  disability!

But then, my mind then wandered (which it tends to do a lot lately) to item number two which was about some of the posts I recently read where some retirees complain because they do not know what to do with themselves now that they are retired.

This combination of ideas got me to thinking, not of myself, but of others, people with true disabilities, not the mediocre ones many of us feel we suffer with during our daily lives. I got to thinking how these people managed to hold it all together and have the strength to move forward and do something with their life. Many of which probably never did retire as they were too wrapped up with what they enjoyed doing every day of their lives.

People like: Helen Keller – born June 27, 1880, and became deaf and blind at 19 months yet went on to become involved in significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century and worked diligently until her passing to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Or, John Nash – an American mathematician, born June 13, 1928, whose life, marked by acute paranoid schizophrenia, is known to us thanks to the film “A Beautiful Mind.”  Knowing of his illness, Nash fought against it and went on to develop a successful academic career that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

Christy Brown, an Irish writer and painter who had cerebral palsy yet went on to write or type only with the toes of one foot and his most recognized work is his autobiography, titled My Left Foot.

I could go on an on as there are so many – Stephen Hawking, Marlee Beth Matlin, Michael J. Fox, Stevie Wonder, Nick Vujicic, Andrea Boccelli, and Muhammad Ali to name a few.

Many of us handicap ourselves into thinking “woe is me – what am I going to do with myself – I have it so bad” or “what is happening to me ‘sucks’.” When such a thought crosses our mind, what we need to do is “Gibb slap” ourselves on the back of our head and thank our lucky stars we are not ‘disabled’ in the true sense of the word, straighten up, and get on with our lives doing something instead of whining about it – myself included.

Besides, ‘wine’ is best served at the end of the day as we sit back, put our feet up, relax, and take stock of what we accomplished today. After all, we are retired, we have as much time as we need to get it right! Or do we?

Until next time!

Life – Hard – Complicated – Or is it Just Us!

If there is one thing I have learned and am still learning the older I get is that we humans need to lighten up and not think life is always hard. Life truly isn’t all that difficult, unless of course, we ourselves, complicate it.

How so, well let’s take a step back and look at the schedules we set for ourselves. If we are still in the workplace, although I am not and I will get to us retired folks in a bit, in the interest of self-preservation or looking out for our future, we usually take on more than we should. Notice I said, usually. Oh, we get done whatever it is we say we are going to do – but at what cost?

We do not spend as much time with our families. We stay at the office or workplace longer than we should. And this can cause holes in our relationships with family later on in life. Being a retiree now for 22 years, I am becoming aware of some of my own short-comings when I was in the workforce. Although, truth be told, had I not done what I did over the years, my guess is that we would not have been able to enjoy our retirement years as much as we have and continue to enjoy. No regrets.

But, we do need to take time for ourselves and enjoy life. Whether still working or retired, we need to think twice about what we agree to do when asked. We do not need our activities swallowing up our lives. I used to work with an individual that early on said: “I work to live, not live to work!” Fact is we should make it a point to stay active and busy because we want to live.

Whether working or not, by treating our lives as a gift to be treasured and enjoyed, versus a commitment to be fulfilled, chances are we may just find that little piece of happiness we are all searching for.