|2015, 74 years old, blogger for 9+ years,|
retired from a career in education since I was 55. I know retirement and
aging because I am living it!
So here goes some truths about retirement and aging that you will not hear from me very often:
- You will get bored...really you will. If you're smart and active it won't happen very often but if you can figure out a way to avoid it let me know. Mind numbing boredom will happen!
- You will fight with your spouse. Spending 24/7 together is not easy and even after our almost 20 years of retirement we are working on not making the other unhappy.
- Money is an issue. If you are not careful, the list of wants can outnumber the list of "can affords" a whole lot.
- Spouses have different needs. Time spent "playing" can be a problem. Women may get very tied up in church volunteer work and the husband may not like spending day after day alone. Men can golf a lot with their friends. "Golf widows" really do exist.
- Staying healthy is a real job and not for the faint of heart. Food, exercise and real medical issues can take a lot of time. My mother told me once the getting old is very time consuming. She was right.
- If you live a very long time, things wear out...not you but things. The car, furniture, houses and even the yard. If you think that you can retire and then wear the same clothes you had on the day you retired for the rest of your life, you are not being realistic. If you don't keep your life and your personal appearance up to date, you are going to age a lot faster and you will look and act very old.
- Hanging out totally with old people can take it's toll. I need to be around young people often. My outlook simply doesn't fit in a lot of the time.
- If you are a snowbird one or other of the partners will want to spend less time away. In my experience, women miss their grandchildren and want to go home before their husbands. I suppose it could work the other way around.
- Leaving a profession that requires a lot of brain work and losing that intellectual connection can be hard. I always tell you that it is an opportunity to make new friends and build a new life. But it can be hard to find someone that shares your interests. I know this for a fact because I want to talk about science and books and computer technology. My grandchildren are a great help. But in public I struggle. I simply don't fit.
If you are like me your children may not realize that your life is NOT perfect in everyway. They will be surprised when you say you are bored or need help. Truly, they are surprised in the SURPRISE! kind of way. So you may be surprised that I have even said these things out loud. But, there you have it.
If I have lead you to believe that life will be perfect or made you feel like a failure if it isn't, I was not being honest. I quoted the Wall Street Journal recently:
All that said, it’s important not to go overboard and expect an entirely positive experience of aging. The key is to hold both positive and negative in balance and really understand and own the aging process.That my friends is the truth. It is a matter of looking at you glass and ALWAYS seeing it as half full!