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!

Where’s the Fun in That?

Where Does the Time Go?

time-flies

It was only a few days ago that we said goodbye to February of 2017 and hello to March 2017. At the time, I asked myself where did the time go. So I decided to look at the Monthly Planner I keep open in front of me at the breakfast table to see whether those two months were wasted months or if we actually had something to show for the past time.

Truth is that we were evidently busy and active doing many things which, when I stop and think about it, is one of the reasons my wife and I feel we have been able to stay as active and for the most part as healthy as we have been all these years (I turn 77 this year and she will turn 79).

senior-citizen-jpg

Glancing over what all was accomplished during the first 60 or so days of 2017, the first and happy event was that our son from California, visited with us for a few days.  We had a great visit and will go visit him later in the year. Plus, we will, in all probability be taking a road trip back north to PA and CT later this year to visit relatives and our oldest son who lives in CT.

We live in a small manufactured home community and as such there is a constant turnover of homes thus bringing into the community new residents. One of my wife’s pet projects is for us to host what we call a “Welcome Home” party designed to not only welcome returning “snow birds” but also those new owners (individuals that have chosen our park to spend/live their retirement years in). That event was held on January 7th 2017.

Our park is also big on group travel excursions and as such – once a year we go on an “overnight trip” where we take in dinner and a show. On the return trip we  stop, shop and/or visit a Casino. This past January we traveled to Fort Myers, Florida (a little better than 100 miles away) where we enjoyed a show similar to but not exactly like “The Phantom of the Opera,” entitled “The Phantom.” 

Another thing we do here within the community is have what we call “Casino Night” which is an event sponsored and put on by the Lions Club. If you haven’t already guessed it, you would be right if you were thinking – I bet Irwin and Dolly hosted it.  Yours truly agreed to be the host for that event and I am happy to say the evening was a great success and we raised a nice amount of money for the Lions Club. This too was in the month of January.

Casino Night Jan 2017

Towards the latter part of the month several of us went to Treasure Tavern in Orlando, Florida  (another dinner theater) where both the food and entertainment was fantastic. Well worth the money! Not to mention the fun we have with our friends and neighbors on the bus ride to and from the event.

Treasure Tavern - Orlando Jan 2017.jpg

Off course, throughout the entire month of January there was our daily line dance practice four days a week, and our normal Wednesday night game of “Mexican Train.” Plus, my wife, being the “keeper” and person responsible for maintaining, and updating our annual Park Residents Directory, had to get that put together and ready for press by the end of January so that we would have our new directories during the first week of February.

Directory a

That takes care of the month of January and shortly after the beginning of February, quite a few of us from the park went to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel via Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s “Allure of the Seas.” Now that is one big ship – close to 6000 passengers and almost 2000 crew members. What can one say about such a cruise – 24/7 food and service. Great food, fantastic entertainment, wonderful company – just right for the perfect getaway every now and then.

Allure of the Seas Feb 5th

Okay once back home and with it being February, Dolly and I hosted the Valentine Day Dance here at our community park and fun was had by all in attendance which was close to 100 attendees. As is the case most months of the year, we also spend our time line dancing, playing Mexican Train, Social evenings once a week, pot luck supper every now and then, and several other events I am probably forgetting to mention. And oh yes, I cannot forget that I had to take a short break from all the fun and frivolities to do my taxes and get them off to the IRS.

Valentines Dance Feb 2017

Unfortunately, February was not all fun and games. Shortly after returning from the cruise, Dolly took sick with a viral infection (bronchitis or allergies or something) that laid her up for the better part of two weeks, but I am happy to say that she is better and was back in class just this morning teaching the “newbies” in our park – you know – those individuals that don’t know about line dancing but see how much fun it is and want to learn..

Cartoon Line Dancers

So, here we are in March and while it isn’t as busy a month, we are planning a short, and possibly overnight trip to see a cousin that comes to Florida to get away from the nasty northern winters.

What’s in store for us over the next few months? Well, we will continue teaching line dance (four or five days a week); will continue to go to Mexican Train Game night every Wednesday evening; attend our usual Saturday morning coffee and donuts to shoot the breeze, if you will with our friends and neighbors, more doctor appointments; a Saint Patty’s Day Dinner (and no, before you ask, we are not hosting this one); and finally, last minute odd jobs around the house so that it is in tip-top shape should we decide to run away and do who knows what over the summer! One never knows with us!

waterfall-in-the-forest

Until Next Time!

The Aging Process Then & Now!

ageing-gracefully

Have you noticed that once we reach a certain age, things tend to slow down? Even though I usually wake at the same hour and go to bed about the same time every night, for some reason or another I tire more easily these days. As a matter of fact, truth-be-told, I would have to say that I tire more easily now than I did during any other period of my life.

Problem is, I have never been one to take afternoon naps and usually if I get up and move around, the sleepiness tends to disappear. Or, if I occupy my brain by reading a book, or writing in my daily journal – anything to stimulate brain activity (take a walk or do a ten or fifteen minute task) will remove the thought of being tired. As such – no nap is necessary which is not to say that such a nap is bad for you. I personally have never followed such a routine.

Also, for as far back as I can think of, I have always been one of those individuals that is an “up and at ‘em type of guy” when that first alarm goes off first thing in the morning. I am always the first one up just chomping at the bit to see what the new day will bring.

Of course, being a list type of guy, I usually have most of my day already planned before I go to bed and that normally consists of whatever is left on the “To Do” list I did not complete the prior day in addition to items I think of that I want to complete before the new day is over.

But lately, I must admit there have been days that I would be just as happy to turn that alarm off, pull the bed spread up over my head and say “Forget it world, I’m just not ready for this day to begin.” I would just as easily hit that snooze button or in my case – merely change the time the alarm is set to go off to allow for another hour of sleep.

Is it because I have passed the ripe old age of 76 and am heading into becoming an octogenarian? Just the thought of that makes me think of a quote by Mark Twain who said “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”  But now that I think of it – Nah, I think I will pass on that thought and just accept where and what I am right now.

I guess it is natural for one to have concerns about the changes we see happening, not only to our bodies as we get older, but to our brains as well. Take the daily “To-Do” list I usually prepare each morning. I can think of quite a few things I should place on that list – but knowing that I am not getting any younger – in reality, I place things on the list that I want to do.

Let’s face it, a lot of things require a bit more thinking these days as to not only what to do but whether or not it actually needs being done in the first place and if it does – the question also arises – but must it be done right now? I am the same way with various books I have laying around the house. Some I have started and never got back to – others I haven’t even started yet. At the time I obtained them, I am sure I had every intention of reading them and absorbing the knowledge contained therein. But now – well – the fad has passed. Now they are merely dust collectors.

Getting old can be a pain. One can be fortunate however, if what I briefly described above are the only concerns one has during this, the aging process. While I have had my problems some years back with certain health issues, for the most part I lead an active and fairly healthy  lifestyle. But even so, as one ages we do find that this “getting old” stuff can create changes in our lifestyle.

As we get older, things tend to take a little longer to do. You know, like getting up out of the recliner after sitting for an hour or two. Or going to the grocery store or mall and looking for your car once done shopping. Both our bodies and the old grey matter isn’t working as fast as we have become accustomed to in the past which seems like just a few short years ago!

Some things – our capability to rise from a chair like a normal person instead of a decrepit old fart that hasn’t exercised a day in his life or bending over to pick something up from the floor (bending down may not be such a problem but coming back up – whoa there big fella – now that is another story!) causes us to stop and pause and utter the words – when did I get old? Feeling the blood pulsing through the veins in my skull and listening to my heart rapidly pumping the blood through my veins upon becoming vertical once again isn’t the music I had intentions of hearing at this stage of my life.

Fact is – as we become older – we change as does our bodies. By acknowledging those changes, accepting them, and making allowances for same, one can continue to enjoy life.  Besides who would want to go back to any time in our past – remember in going back – at some point  we will also have to move forward once again and I am sure that there are some years during that interim that we wouldn’t want to relive all over again. I can think of a few myself.

Best thing to do is to accept whatever changes we may incur within our bodies and our minds as we grow older and accept those changes with the same viewpoint as we have done over our present life span. After all, we made it this far – why change a good thing!

retirees

Until next time.