Addiction – No, not that type!

coffee-cup-1239648

When I woke this morning, I said to myself: “Self, you need to be more assertive in what you do in any given day.” You are never going to get another book written if you keep putting off starting it. You have to become an addict.

No, not the person who is addicted to a particular substance, typically an illegal drug. The other type of addict, the one who is an enthusiastic devotee of a specified thing or activity.

Let’s talk about this for a moment. As human beings, we are all addicted to something. Some of our addictions are good for us while others we would be better off without. Take coffee addiction for an example:

I cannot call myself addicted to coffee – what coffee addict stops after his second cup of coffee? Besides coffee makes me pee which means I have to stop what I am doing and run …not walk…to the bathroom because when sitting at my desk attempting to write my 200 words a day or create a post such as this one, I usually get so wrapped up in what I am doing, I forget how old I am and that any small amount of liquid ingested into this old body causes it to immediately turn it into water.

Sitting at my desk writing sort of puts a crink ….is that even a word….in my writing style. you know what I mean. It’s when I remember after sitting at my desk for about an hour , that hey – you had two cups of coffee this morning and I think of that old saying: “what goes up – must come down. Well,  same holds true about the intake of fluid “what goes in – must come out.”  This takes time away from writing not to mention that at my age, it doesn’t take much to interrupt my train of thought which interrupts my writing. But I repeat myself.

Speaking of train of thought – where was I – no not the bathroom, I left there to head back to my desk to continue writing this piece. Oh, I know, addiction – another addiction I have is my feeble attempt to walk so many thousand steps per day. At one point, I was doing a minimum of 6000 steps a day. Could I call that an addiction? Works for me. One of the nice things about having a step counter in that expensive cell phone we carry with us everywhere we go is the app contained therein that tells you at the end of the day (and sometimes during the day when you least expect it) how well you are doing with your daily steps. I used to be addicted to walking five days a week first thing in the morning.

I would pop out of bed, do fifteen minutes of stretching exercises, put on my sneakers and walk for at least thirty to forty-five minutes. That is addiction. Rolling over and saying it is too cold outside to walk – well, that is just plain laziness. But, at times it feels so good to just roll over and go back to sleep. If there were two addictions I would like to continue with – they would be writing and walking.

Why is it that we can easily break the addiction of doing something that is good for us but continue doing the things that are bad for us? Take sweets for instance – how many of us love desserts? I cannot tell you how many times we have been to buffets and I eat what I think are healthy foods – you know salad, meat (grilled not fried), and fruit – passing on the rolls only to wander over to the dessert table and ruin what I just accomplished by eating healthy. That is addiction. But, one could write forever about the subject of addiction.  What is good for us and what is bad for us.  And let’s face it – that is not my style. My style is to write something – anything – that will bring a smile to the faces of those reading my rants and raves.

So, let me just say this: During our retirement years, if there is one thing we should become addicted to it is “Fun.”  We all worked long and hard to get to this point in our lives and while there are some things we should do and some things we should not do, once we reach a certain age, I am of the old school of thought that most things are good for us if taken in moderation. Take fun for instance, I could become addicted to having fun 24/7. After all, what is fun: Taken as a noun – Fun is enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure. Looked upon as an adjective – Fun is amusing, entertaining, and enjoyable. Getting back to the word addiction, at this point in our lives, best thing we could do is to become addicted to those things that provide us with days of fun.

I will end this with a quote (author unknown) that seems appropriate for the gist of this post:

“A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.”

Now go out there and have FUN!

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“It Ain’t Over Til the Fat Lady Sings!”

flea-market

Do we ever truly know what it is that will make us happy. It seems as though the older I get, the less I know what I want to do when I grow up. Interesting dilemma, isn’t it? But then, looking at it another way, that is what makes each day I wake – interesting!

What fun is it in life to wake up doing the same thing day in and day out. We used to be told when we were kids, that variety is the spice of life. I guess that is why we have tried our best not to get into a “rut”, if you will, as to how each day will go.

True, there is our line dance practice and we know that is something we do on a regular basis, four days a week. But that is also our way of exercising to stay in good physical shape and so we do not consider that to be part of a rut. Staying physically fit allows us to continue doing things that just pop into our head on the spur of the moment.

I know that many people, when they reach our age, settle in and follow the same routine day in and day out and that is fine if that is what serves their purpose. But we wake up each morning saying to ourselves “What can we do that is interesting today.” It is that attitude that has carried us through seven plus decades and reminds me of an old adage I eluded to in a different post recently which stated:

It ain’t over till (or until) the fat lady sings.”

If one will recall, this saying, according to Wikipedia, is a colloquialism which means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is (or appears to be) nearing its conclusion. It cautions against assuming that the current state of an event is irreversible and clearly determines how or when the event will end.

Having said that, today we will seek out new adventures. There is a gigantic “yard” sale going on in the neighborhood we are presently visiting and as such, we are going to see if another old adage is true. The one that says: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” Wish us luck.

Until next time!

 

 

Inner Peace

While I prefer to write wild and crazy stuff and material that will make people laugh – today I am taking a more serious approach to my writing (but, fear not, I am definitely not giving up attempting to elicit smiles and laughs from those of you that follow my antics).

Today’s post describes two words: “Inner Peace”

What is meant by “inner peace?” Some would say that ‘inner peace’ refers to “peace of mind” or referring to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being ‘at peace’ is considered by many to be healthy and the opposite of being stressed or anxious.

For whatever reason, when I woke this morning I decided to ‘go back’ to my old routine. By that I mean to take care of ‘me first’ before doing anything else. I have been somewhat lax in my daily routine and have been noticing changes – changes both in my mood; changes in the way my body feels; and well – just changes in my overall view of life – and by change, I mean both what has been and what may be with regards the future.

Some might think that this is a good thing. But……and therein lies the proverbial “but!”

In my situation, without going into a lot of unnecessary detail – the opposite was true. While on the outside, my mood appeared to be upbeat and great but deep down inside raged a small war – a war about what I should be doing versus what I am actually doing!  My body has been giving me signs that – how shall I put this – “all is not right with the world.”

Little things telling me something is not right – both physically and mentally. I have been taking what I would consider to be a ‘cavalier’ attitude of life. “Que sera sera” if you will. You know – the phrase that is used to describe the notion that fate will decide the outcome of a course of events, even if action is taken to try to alter it.

This morning though, call it an epiphany, or quite possibly in my case, a brain fart, I thought of a quote by Cheryl Strayed who said:

“You don’t have a right to the cards you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.”

Thinking about this I decided to get back on track and the first thing I did was get back to my meditation routine and after meditating for fifteen minutes I also resumed my early morning stretching routine. There was a time not too long ago when I did this routine religiously and loved every minute of it because once done – I was ready to face the world no matter what it might throw at me. Time to get back on that saddle!

So, with that thought in mind, once again I am back on track and thus into the reality of “playing the cards I am holding!”

pretendBut, like I said above, the wild and crazy stuff is still to come so hang in there and watch for my next post! 

I’ll be Back!

Relax, Think, and Reflect!

think-relax-reflect

I got to thinking recently, at what point in our lives do we think we have all the answers? Then I said, self, we never have all the answers. Why? Because the day we think we have all the answers, well that is the day we may as well hang it up and just store the old boots under the bed or in the closet.

While we would like to think that we are set in our ways, fact is that becoming set in our ways is probably one of the worst things we can do as we age.

Think about it – as I may have mentioned in prior posts – in our lives, there is nothing as consistent as change. With that thought in mind, we have to keep all our options open which means we need to keep our life and thinking flexible.

We all know how things can change in – as I like to call it – “In a New York Minute. ”

in-a-new-york-minute

Fact is, due to that we need to be ready to “rock and roll” as soon as anything different does happen. Why, because one should never get too comfortable in life. We need to be ever vigilant and know how to roll with the punches.

At one time in my life I had wanted to take up martial arts – not necessarily to become some “bad ass” type of individual but mainly because every person I knew that had mastered some form of martial arts had also mastered control of their lives as well. Think about it – individuals such as those familiar with martial arts moves, you know, moves like ducking and weaving or dodging and flowing – usually are quite in control when something unexpected happens.

And we all know, in life, we need to be flexible. By rolling with the punches as mentioned above, we will be able to see life in a different light. Life should not be looked upon as our enemy. Life is our friendly partner who shows us how to duck and weave or dodge and flow. By taking this approach, chances are we will have fun in the process versus taking a cold hard stand and drawing a line in the sand. My educated guess is that if we take this latter approach, the only thing we are going to learn is what it feels like to be knocked down a peg or two.

Over the years we have looked upon our lives and how we approach life as one gigantic adventure. Why else would we have moved a minimum of twenty-five times over the past fifty-three years. As a matter of fact, one such adventure had me quitting my job (after I had received the best salary increase ever in five years) to move clear across the United States (from Florida to Arizona) with a wife and two children on the assumption (there is that word “assume” again) I would land on my feet and get a satisfactory job (which fortunately I did). Did someone say “adventure!”

By taking the approach of “Why not do it?” just think of the experiences we can have. And at our age, how many wild and crazy ideas might we have in us yet. Whatever they are or may be, fact is that even if the thought of doing something different scares us – we should do it anyway. Think like a turtle. If we don’t like what we see when we do it, we can just crawl back into our shells as though nothing happened. Not too sure of this thought process but I don’t “not want” to be adventurous either.

Being the age we are though, one does have to be logical about this process. Some opportunities may just have to be passed up because, well, let’s face it, the smart person should know when to say yes and should be smart enough to know when to say ‘no’ as well. After all, we didn’t get to where we are today by making “dumb” decisions.

There comes a time we need to get out of our comfort zone and do different things. Besides doing something different is not only exciting but can also – believe it or not – improve our mental well-being. Take us for example, we have been in this same house now ten years – but we do not look at it as it being our last residence. We both have dreams of finding our Shangri-la. A place that has all the amenities we would like so that we can spend the last quarter of our lives listening to the waves at a beach or listening to the sound of the birds chirping, watching squirrels scamper across the lawn scavenging for nuts and/or seeds. All the while enjoying our cup of coffee while we take in how beautiful each morning is at this particular time of our lives.

What better time to sit back, relax, think, and reflect. Now that is retirement living.

Before I go though. let me just mention that I hadn’t planned on using this piece just now. Because we are going to begin yet another adventure shortly and as such, will probably have limited Internet service, I decided to share this post with you but also add one or two comments regarding what my future intentions are as it relates to this site. My goal is to use part of this time away to do two things:

  1. What some of you may not be aware of is that I post a daily quip to my Facebook account and as such I am of the opinion that my material is becoming stale and not as entertaining as I would like it to be. So , while away on this adventure, I hope to update my material making it more interesting and fun so that when I do return, individuals following my nonsense will like the turn of events and direction I will have chosen for future posts.

  2. In addition I intend to do my best to determine or shall I say finally choose “my niche” to write about here on Lakeland Musings by Irwin. By that I mean something that I am truly passionate about, want to write about, naturally with the ultimate goal that those of you following my blog will find it interesting as well and as such continue following my blog on a weekly basis.

So, wish me luck and as Arnold Schwarzenegger said in The Terminator,

“I’ll be back!”

Recharged

Recharge

rechargeable-battery

The older I get, the more I tend to look for something in my life that takes me out of myself. We all need to have something or someplace to go to recharge ourselves.

Let me explain. I have a sister that adores her pets – last count it was something like four dogs and two cats. My educated guess is that no matter how miserable she might feel on any given day, chances are that all she has to do is take a few moments out of her day to sit with and play with her dogs or sit and pet one of her cats, and I would venture to say that within minutes her thoughts of miserableness vanishes and she becomes a completely changed individual. It is at that particular moment in time that she realizes that everything becomes worthwhile. At that point in her life, any gloom she may have been feeling is lifted and chances are that she feels revived or restored. She is calm, happy, and loved.

Having been a pet person earlier in our lives, but wanting to travel whenever we want, we no longer have any pets. I do not have that luxury nor do I regret not having it. With our children being scattered across the country as they are – we appreciate the fact, that should they ever need us or we tire of not seeing them and want to pick up and just head out, we can do so at a moment’s notice. So, what I am trying to say is that pets are not my answer to having something in my life that enables me to take me out of myself.

We all have something in our lives that gives us that restored feeling when the correct button is pushed. Chances are that it is something that does not require a lot of money either. For some it may mean going to a particular place within their house that they can either be alone in their solitude be it to read, paint, meditate, or what have you. Something that enables us to just recharge.

For some it may mean listening to music, others it may be pick up a favorite book and read a chapter or two. Some, like my sister become involved with her pets. Others it might be absorbing themselves in a hobby like crocheting, knitting, or quite possibly jewelry making.

Let’s face it, most of us, if not all of us, need something in our life that takes us out of ourselves especially in today’s world – and stops us from taking ourselves too seriously. As mentioned it can be an animal, a child, visiting and talking with a long lost friend or what have you – something that makes us realize that stuff that appears to be getting to us isn’t really all that important in the overall scheme of things. We need these distractions to remind us of the simple pleasures in life.

I read somewhere once that it was said: “What good is that piece of music that you enjoy if you don’t get it out and listen to it sometime?” When was the last time you played or listened to your favorite piece of music?

As for me – well, I have my line dancing

line-dancing

and my writing.

writing

Both of these allow me to become distracted from the chaos in the world today. And when I do become embroiled with either of these two pursuits, I feel so much better afterwards.

Lately however these two “hobbies” do not seem to be enough. My goal is to expand upon the writing because, we – (my wife and I) are presently doing line dance for exercise and as such – the teaching part is down to two days a week (dancing is still four days a week though). My desire is to become more creative with my writing – chalk it up to all my years of learning, I guess. I would love to do a weekly or twice weekly series such as a cartoon series

retirees

– just something about retirees to make others in our position laugh whenever they read my posts.

Such a pursuit would definitely do two things (1) distract me from all the chaos in the world today and also – not that I don’t have enough to keep me occupied during my retirement years (2) enable me to give back to the community (albeit the Internet community) and do so in a wild and crazy way with but one desire – make people laugh and enjoy themselves.

Can I pull it off? Who knows?

instructor question

But by trying I will have created the distraction I need to put all the other craziness in the world on hold while I create my own wild and crazy world for everyone to join in and laugh about.

Until next time!

Changes are coming!

change

Following this post I am returning to posting once a week. I have been beating myself up because early on I would only write a post several times a month – if that – and then felt bad when I wasn’t writing more often. Then I came across the Daily Word Prompt Challenge on Word Press and began posting daily as I tried to keep up with creating a post to respond to the daily word prompt.

In addition to doing that, what with all the negativity in the news today, on television and even on our computers, I began posting a “thought for the day” or something “funny” on my Facebook page as well as on another Facebook page where I am a guest blogger – “I Love Retirement.”

Bottom line is that I haven’t been writing about the things I want to write about which is why I started this blog to begin with.  Anyone that has checked out my Blog Page will see that the Categories I am interested in writing about are: Contentment; Live For Today; Passions; Rants; Routine; Senior Moments; Writing; Uncategorized, and most recently Word Prompts.

True, I could attempt to use the Daily Word Prompt to write an article that would fit well into one of these categories. Except that just makes the process exactly that – “a process” and that is not what my writing is about not to mention that it would sort of be forcing me to write something.

Should I wake one morning and read something in the newspaper or see something in the news be it on TV or my computer and want to write a post about it “ranting on,” if you will, I do not want to stop and say – hmmm – how can I slant this to incorporate today’s daily word prompt.

I want to be spontaneous. By that, I mean that even though it may take me a few days to create an article worthy of posting on my blog site that covers what I read or seen on television – it will be just that – a spontaneous reaction and my take or feelings on the subject. Hopefully those of you following my posts will read and enjoy same and provide your comments – good or bad – as long as they are provided in good taste.

This whole scenario came about because in my attempt to write something about each daily word prompt, my own true reason for writing has sort of taken a back seat. In addition, attempting to create a post designed to address the daily word prompt has made my writing seem like a chore and/or work, and is not really how I feel about my writing. If I wanted something to be a chore and/or work, I could do just that – go back to work. And believe me at age 75, soon to be 76, that is not my goal in life.

I write for fun, to be informative, to share information (primarily geared to those of us that are senior citizens and/or retirees), to be funny (sometimes downright wild and crazy), and at times – just to keep my own sanity (writing can be so therapeutic).

Another reason for taking this approach is that deep down in my soul, I would love to write another eBook, (Love, Marriage, Retirement, and Gratitude was my first eBook) and unless I set some parameters on my writing time, I know that this will never happen.

So, while the Daily Word Prompts Challenge has been fun, I will be changing my style to writing one post a week, both here and for my other blog site and these posts will be based on whichever of the aforementioned categories strikes my fancy that particular day.

One can only hope that those of you that have been following my blog will continue to do so, if for no other reason than to see what this old fart is writing about in any given week.

until-next-time

Keep on writing!

Obviously, I’m Confused

The Obvious

The word obvious is defined as something easily perceived or understood. Another definition would be making reference to something that is predictable and lacking in subtlety. After looking at my WordPress account, specifically the number of posts I have managed to write in the month of August, it is quite obvious to me that the Word Press word prompts have apparently re-ignited my desire to write once again.

Taking this one step further, learning how to include images pertaining to some of the things I have written sparked me even more in that I found it to be both challenging and fun, not only in my attempt to write a piece based on and pertaining to the word of the day but also to include various funny little images that sort of complimented the point I was trying to make.

However, while I must admit, it has been fun, I find myself longing for time to write other articles not necessarily linked to the daily word prompt.  So, with that thought in mind, perhaps in the future, I may just incorporate the daily word prompt into whatever article I was contemplating writing. Some days, it may just be based on the daily word prompt while others may be to tell a story, or discuss a point that may pertain to our retirement life

What is not so obvious is whether I categorize the article under the Category of “Word Prompts” or one of the other categories I tend to write about.  We shall see.

confused

It is completely obvious to me, for instance, whenever I pass the bookcase we built to hold many old pictures sorted by name, and so forth (the intention was to eventually create photo albums while we may still know where the picture was taken as well as who is in them), that I should be taking time to complete this project.  Reason being – how shall I put this – “time waits for no man” – meaning that this is a project we should move to the top of our priority list. After all, we are not getting any younger!

 time waits for no man

Different subject – Seeing that we have introduced new dances to our line dance group when we felt it was time to do so, now that we are back to dancing, it should have been obvious that sooner or later one of our students was going to ask the question: “Are you planning on teaching us any new dances this year?”  Such a question was asked this past Tuesday and so, obviously, we will be introducing a new dance – probably beginning next week.

new line dance

Thinking of other ways to satisfy today’s word prompt was to think up quotes that have incorporated the word within them. In doing so, one of my favorite detective stories came to mind and I am referring of course to a quote from “Sherlock Holmes” as he quoted in The Hound of the Baskervilles:

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Sherlock Holmes

 To conclude this piece because I feel like I am beginning to ramble on, let me just say this – when, if not during our retirement years, is it so obvious that we still have so much to do and so little time to do it!

Until next time!

https:dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/obvious