Every day at work seemed like it would never end. Then in what seemed like a blink of an eye you were old enough to retire. It didn’t really sneak up on you. You could have easily recognized the signs of aging. Remember when you were young and entered the workforce and thought about a keg party on the weekend. Now KEG has been replaced with EKG. You use to buy killer weed then you became a homeowner and were now buying weed killer. When you were young you felt invincible like Superman. You now feel like Superman after a double shift at the kryptonite mine. You now turn out the lights for economic reasons not romantic ones. The snap, crackle pop sound that was your breakfast cereal is the sound your limbs make getting out of bed in the morning. You use to feel bad only from a hangover from a night on the town. Now, you feel that bad daily and you haven’t been anywhere the night before. Hell, your back now goes out more than you do. A night out at this age means sitting out on the patio. Happy hour now means a nap. Your job had become less fun and now that you’re retired fun has became a lot more work. You’ve slowed down so much that it takes you two hours to watch, “60 Minutes.” You have become wise enough to watch your step but feeling too old to go anywhere. You also don’t want to fall as breaking a hip seems to be mandatory as you get older.
In retirement you will learn to do without a lot of things. That is because your feet are so tired you can’t stand in line for things. You’ve lost all your energy so you now procrastinate. A solution is to make to do lists of things you’ve already done. You’ve also gotten grumpier and can’t stand people who are intolerant. If a sales clerk tells you, “Have a good one” you reply, “I’m old I no longer have a good one.” You are now in AARP which gives you things like discounts on travel. That’s a waste as at this age you get travel sickness. You will also get discounts on getting your taxes done. You of course now don’t make enough money to pay taxes. You are now officially an old fart and when asked for donations reply, “I’m on a fixed income.” Discounts on drugs are a great benefit! You don’t do mind expanding drugs like you did when you were young, you now take memory enhancers. You are now on so many meds you’ve built an extension on to your medicine cabinet. You will be getting cortisone in so many body areas that you will think about alternatives. Perhaps, you should have your blood taken out and replaced with cortisone. That way you can just pinch the area hurting and activate the cortisone.
There are some things you can buy to make your retirement better. First off you will wonder when they started making chairs you couldn’t get out of. That is why you will need a good sturdy reclining chair. One that electronically raises and dumps you out is worth considering. If you and your wife are still getting along you can purchase a reclining sofa. You won’t have to sit next to each other as the center section does not recline. Also, get a reclining bed platform. This is great for reading or watching TV in bed. Raising the back slightly will cut down on the snoring from sleep apnea that you or your spouse definitely has. Get a great mattress that will ease your arthritic filled body. I usually buy local but could not find a mattress I liked. I’d recommend an online Pangea or if you’re flush with cash an Avocado mattress. Setting the platform to zero gravity will also help with the pains you have after your gym workout or chair yoga class. Those are both courtesy of the Silver Sneakers card your advanced age has provided.
Get some comfortable walking shoes. If you wear a wide EEEE like me I’d recommend shoes by Brooks, SAS, Drew or PW Minor. All are over $100 and will be deep enough for you to put your $500 orthotics in. You need these because of the bone spurs in each heel. At least twice a year you will get cortisone shots in your heels. You will also be getting these shots in your hips, back, knees and shoulders. You will have money for expensive shoes as you no longer have to buy clothes for work. You use to love going from store to store clothes shopping. Now you buy all your clothes in a medical supply store. All you need now are loose fitting diabetic socks, two long sleeve dress shirts, two casual short sleeve shirts and four colored t-shirts. Two of those must contain printed comments. I’d suggest statements like, “World’s Greatest Grandpa or Glam Ma.” You need one pair of navy or tan dress pants. You will also need two bark denim pairs of jeans. One can be tighter fitting but one must be baggy. That is the pair you will wear when you visit the orthopedic surgeon. You can easily roll them up for that cortisone shot in your knee or have access to have it drained (an experience you will not forget). Optional clothing is shorts accompanied by black high socks and sandals. Buy cheap bifocals and leave a pair in every room in the house.
There is a fine line between hobbies and mental illness. Home gardening and being a guy who mows his yard every other day is a mental illness. Get a hobby where you can get out and meet others of all ages. Impart some of your wisdom on younger generations and learn new ideas from them. You’re never too old to build community. Mark Twain said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter.” I say, “Work with others on issues that matter, no matter what your age is.”
World Party : “Ship of Fools”
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” ~ Betty Friedan