I have been negligent about posting and cannot believe it has been more than a week since I last posted. So, rather than post one of my usual long-winded posts, thought I would just share some whimsical thoughts with you to hopefully bring a smile to your faces. I’ll do better with my next post!
Question: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth? Answer: A mechanic
Here is a thought – since we all have a lot on our plates these days – just think, if someone ever invented a microwave TV – we could watch a one-hour show in ten minutes!
Here’s yet another thought – look on the bright side of having shaky hands as we get older – now when we are at the grocery store and pushing the shopping cart – the wheels stop wobbling!
You know you are getting old when you attach a cord to your cordless phone because you’re tired of looking for it.
Speaking about knowing you’re getting old – you know you are really getting old when you begin to wish your rocking chair was battery operated.
You know, I used to get upset when people used to make fun of my age on my birthday but now – I just take it with a grain of salt………..a bit of lime, and a shot of tequila! Works for me.
And before I go, let me leave you all with a conundrum:
‘If we had a bill of rights that got wronged, would it be right or wrong for a judge to right that wrong?’
Did you ever stop and think, now that we are old and in the retirement scene, how many kinds of old people there are in the world?
Crazy rich people, rich people, middle class old people, and then we cannot forget the old farts like me and you. As I see it though, the main problem in not having any money, is that not too many people take us seriously.
Think about it – due to not having much money – we must do our own laundry, drive our own car, clean our own house, mow our own lawns. We are not part of that class that can send their laundry to a Chinese Laundry; expect the chauffer to be available at a moment’s notice; expect the maid to pick up after us and keep our house clean; nor show our pride in our garden and landscaping due in fact to having a gardener that keeps everything trimmed and neat.
As a result, since we do not have much money, it falls on us to do our own laundry (hopefully we are fortunate enough to have a washer and dryer within our house), drive ourselves to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments and even to the garage to have it serviced – plus there is also the washing and cleaning of the car we must attend to ourselves as well. Not having a maid to pick up after us, we must clean the house on a regular basis – you do the toilets – no, you do the toilets – and the list goes on and on. And then there is the mowing of the lawn, trimming the bushes and so forth – yuk – I think I will pull up the grass and put in stones.
How do we avoid this – after all, we are retired now and expect to live the Life of Riley (meaning an easy and pleasant life). I am sure that many of you old-timers out there remember William Bendix and how he portrayed the role of Riley. Who can forget his famous catch line “What a revoltin’ development this is!”
After all, there are hundreds of thousands of younger people that will be coming after us and they have but one goal in mind – it is their duty to follow in our footsteps. The way they intend to do that is by getting older themselves – it is what they live for.
But being the generation that they are, one has to ask how are they going to do this? I for one, feel that we should treat our younger generation as interns – you know similar to those working for our politicians. Do you think for one moment that politicians pay their interns? Nay – interns may work for free but they are not stupid! Their payment lies in the connections they make while interning.
What does this mean – well, we old farts have to be well connected and by being well connected, we become “intern magnets.” In this position we can get all the free 0ld-person-in-training interns we want. After all, isn’t that what the younger generation wants – to be like us during our retirement years. We can teach them how to do their laundry, go grocery shopping, plan doctor’s appointments, maintain the car, and yes, even how to clean the house – toilets and all.
All the above sounds good doesn’t it? I thought so too, until that is, I remembered the type of connections interns and politicians have in common – “those with money.” Uh, oh! I bad! If you are like me, your connections are likely the same as mine – those that do not have two plug nickels to rub together. Thinking this way will find us paying for our interns and that is going on a huge assumption that we might even find one willing to work for less than Minimum Wage. Nope – that is not our end goal.
Back to the drawing board – being a not so well-connected old fart might just merely mean that we will have to think up some hair-brained idea to raise some money for old farts like me. In the meantime, I guess I will continue cutting coupons and taking advantage of all the BOGO sales I can find. I may be getting old, but I am not stupid!
I am a “the glass is half full” type of guy. However, that is not to say I have always been that way. Prior to retiring, and as a matter of fact, even up to a few years after that – well more than a few years after retiring, I looked at life as one where my glass was always “half empty.” I am sure we all remember the expression “the glass is half full” or “the glass is half empty”. Were I to say this in today’s age and in front of small children, I would expect to hear one of them say: “What’s that mean?”
Now that I am much older, I tend to look at my life as “half full!” This may seem a bit odd because depending on what group of people you associate with many people might feel that the glass is pretty much “half empty”. Why? because we are senior citizens!
In my humble opinion, those individuals preparing to retire must ask themselves this question: Are our glasses half-full or half-empty? One of the best ways I know to look at our lives when we reach retirement age is to look at life as though we have a half-full glass as opposed to a glass that is half-empty. Okay, for the skeptics out there, having reached retirement age, one might argue that our lives may be half-over. But that does not mean we should look at our lives as being half-empty.
True, I would have liked to know at age eighteen or even age twenty-five what I know now but one thing we all know is that we cannot turn back the clock. I am sure there are many facets of our life we wish we could relive and do it better but being realistic, the fact of the matter is there is no genie we can conjure up out of a bottle to ask for three wishes that might enable us to redo those days or years of our lives. So, what are our choices? Complain, scream, holler and say woe is me, woe is me! Nay, those are the words of an individual looking at life as if our glass is half-empty. Instead, we need to “man up” and accept our lot in life as it is and get on with it. Bottom line, we need to look at the rest of our life as if the glass is half-full.
Every morning I wake, I look forward to whatever life throws my way. Am I happy with some of the crap being thrown at me – No – but I stop and think to myself, posing the question: “Hey, will this matter five years from now or even better yet, next year?” Probably not – so why sweat the small stuff?
True, we all have issues as we get older but I have found that taking life one day at a time is the only way to move forward at this time in our life. One of the things I find helpful is writing a “To-Do” list every morning and by having a busy schedule. I’ve been retired now almost twenty-five years and the one thing I have learned is that we need to keep busy. I always thought I was a fairly healthy individual but believe me – when a sickness or health problem comes up at our age, the first thought to cross our mind, leastways my mind, is why did I let myself go. Actually neither my wife nor I have left ourselves deteriorate but we could have done more.
Today we walk as much as we can and do morning stretches to keep our bodies limber and in fairly good shape. Years ago we line danced sometimes three days a week and some weeks five days a week. It is a lot of fun and does keep you in fairly healthy shape. Staying under the covers when that alarm goes off every morning is not a luxury to us – we look at it as an early start to something new and exciting.
Reminding ourselves that we aren’t twenty-five or even fifty anymore enables us to think of some of the comedic things that we might look forward to (or not) as we age. For instance, one thing that is consistent with regards aging is that our bladder tends to remind us that we do have unfinished business that needs to be taken care of once we wake. It is usually during my morning walk to the bathroom that I remember that I am no longer 25 or even 50. For some reason or another, once you pass the three-quarter of a century mark our bones and muscles tend to remind us that we are not as young as we used to be. Another hint is when we look at ourselves in the mirror and say to ourselves – who are you – when did you get so old? Good news though is the fact that looking back at me is an elderly gentleman smiling, saying “guess what – you don’t have to go to work today, you are retired”.
While many of us succumb to many of the various ailments that come with the aging process, one has but to look at all the modern medicines available to us today that weren’t there yesterday. Modern medicine is being created and designed to enable us to cope with these ailments, enabling us to live to a ripe old age of say 80 or 90.
It is true, however, that as with any change in say natures’ plan (leaves falling from trees, flowers dying and then watching both the trees and flowers come back to life when the seasons change), we could have repercussions as we live an extended life. What repercussions you ask? Repercussions such as quality of life issues. How do we cope with such issues? By keeping each other healthy by visiting the doctor regularly, eating the proper foods, exercise, and yes, take our medications as prescribed by our doctors.
Another thing I would recommend that will provide much benefit towards living to a ripe old age is staying socially active. Loneliness can be devastating. Stay active and surround yourself with friends and relatives. Even contact via the Internet, social media, phone calls, can be beneficial as we move forward at this point in our lives. While we have quite a few friends due to our dancing and social activities, and do stay in touch with our children and relatives even though they live thousands of miles away, I personally look forward to the exchange of thoughts with friends made via Social media sites such as Facebook; Retirement-Online.com, and Lakeland Musings by Irwin. Why, because our travel time has come to a standstill due to Covid-19 and since we cannot be there in person, keeping in touch via these mediums, remind us that we are not alone during this pandemic. By staying socially active via the Internet, I know that there will always be someone to talk to and share thoughts with.
Let me end this post with the following thought for the day:
Old age is like a car. Paint can conceal the exterior, but the lines reveal the age.
Look at the balance of our lives as merely another part of our story – one that we have to live, enjoy, and share with others.
Have you ever wondered why some things are important to some people while others take a completely different point of view of that same subject? Being a simple man and not really needing much to make me happy, recently I have found that there are but a few of the many things we do each day that I look forward to. These are personal things. Things like: What the word of the day is? Which quote will cause me to stop and reflect for a minute or two as to where I am today! And finally, what funny joke or saying will I read or hear about before the day is out!
Each of these three things have become my bastion of hope that even though I am getting older and the world, at times, appears to be spiraling out of control, I look forward to seeing what I can learn each day be it in the form of a new word; famous quote; funny joke, or whatever (let’s face it – we are always or leastways should always be learning something) and doing so makes it all, let us just say, interesting!
One of my most recent words that I learned about is: Eudaimonia
According to Dictionary.com – Noun: “human flourishing”, a contented state of being happy, healthy, and prosperous.
I would venture to say that “eudaimonia” is what many of us are looking for most of our lives. To be happy, healthy, and prosperous!
Sometimes I think of quotes first thing in the morning while other times, I may be engaged in a conversation and the gist of the conversation gets me to thinking – gee – what famous quote may apply in this instance? Such was the case recently when I was in a conversation wherein the question was posed: Have you given thought to what it is going to be like when you reach your eightieth birthday? Personally, I am one of those unique individuals that think age is merely a number. However, I must say that this question piqued my interest thus causing me to look for a quote representative of age and the aging process: Below is what I found:
“Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.” ~Charles Dickens
Isn’t the above description that which we all seek – our hearts and spirits to be young and in full vigor.
Finally, as mentioned in my opening remarks, the third thing I look forward to every day is the possibility that I will hear and like a new joke. And while I am now well past the age of 70, the following one-liner about age struck my fancy: Statistics show that at the age of seventy, there are five women to every man. Isn’t that the darndest time for a guy to get those odds? Am I concerned? Nope! We (my wife and I) are coming up on 58 years of wedded bliss come May of this year and so I don’t need to worry about those odds.
As we age, we all tend to spend our times differently. I would venture to say that golfers tend to get in as much golf as their bodies will allow them to endure; individuals that have a hobby of sorts may do their best to spend more time engaged in that hobby; those that spend a bit of time doing volunteer work may find themselves spending more time at the place they volunteer. Me, with the exception of required household chores, maintaining the household budget, and seeing to it that the house is well-maintained, I spend as much time as I can doing what I like to do – reading and writing.
Whatever your situation is though, one thing we may all tend to learn as we age is that when we were younger, time seemed to be standing still whereas now that we are much older, time seems to be flying by. Don’t waste it, make every day a full day.