I will not go gently into that good night … or words to that effect.
Lots of people do not want to acknowledge their age and it is not a wonder why.
Something happened when I became a senior and I don’t like it. Don’t like it at all. Since turning sixty-five a couple of years ago strange things began to happen. While my hearing hasn’t changed I notice people, especially younger ones, tend to speak a little louder when they talk to me. Especially if I question anything. Somehow they feel if they repeat what they said, only louder, I just might understand.
Entering electronic stores I seem to be ignored as if I couldn’t possibly have knowledge regarding computers.
Staff in clothing boutiques no longer seem to be interested in me. May I show you to some clothing appropriate items. I have been dressing without their help since I was very young and do not need their help now!
Banks tend to explain things in extremely simple terms as if I am slightly demented when I question them. One young teller, who has none of the life experiences that I have, asked (with a smirk), if I needed her to give me a paper receipt to add to my files.
What happens if I refuse to disappear?
I have not changed. I am the same as I was before I turned sixty-five, but for some time now people seem to see me differently.
I was worried before I retired about the fact I might lose my identity. You know, I was what I did at my work. I was very proud to be a Poison Information Specialist, but little did I know I would now be free to build any other identity I chose.
I start by refusing to disappear. When I am shuffled along because I am asking more questions, I don’t leave the line until I get the answers. Do I care if I hold up that line? Not anymore.
The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. (Rollo May).
Don’t wait for someone to approve of what you want to do. Take your time and decide what it is you are going to do and then as Richard Branson says “Screw it, let’s just do it.”
There is power in choosing!
When someone has told me that I can’t or I shouldn’t do something, I have never let that stop me. As a matter of fact, it kind of propelled me forward! As we get older we tend to get more … what is the word … meek. Well, that is not going to happen to me. I am writing this blog to let you know you don’t need to have anyone’s permission to do what you want.
You are the captain of your destiny. No matter how small it may be, you get to choose what that destiny is. You are in charge and you are responsible.
Let’s have some fun!
Becoming a senior is a wondrous time. There is so much out there for you. I know that we aren’t all as healthy as we would like but now you have the time to change that. Start by going out for a walk, especially with a friend, even a new one. Each morning end the walk with a coffee or tea somewhere even at home. I know that finances can be a problem but a walk and a coffee are pretty cheap. You own your time now, make use of it.
Did you always want to paint? You were told how good you were in high school but somehow never had the time while working and raising a family. Well now is the time. Go to the seniors center to see if there are classes. The point is that you get to choose and there is power in choosing.
So many people say they will be bored in retirement. I say only boring people get bored.
A lot of people feel once they retire they don’t count. They aren’t productive members of society. I’m not sure who they are but they are wrong
I have a small piece of paper that I cut out of a running magazine for inspiration. A lot of people around me thought that I should not start running again ‘you know, at my age’.
My inspiration is David Arst from Wichita, Kansas. When he was 80 he won the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships, finishing in 1:57. This lawyer ran 15 marathons before switching to triathlons at age 70 — even though he didn’t know how to properly swim (he “jumped in and figured it out”). Arst still worked full-time and ran, biked, or swam six days a week. He said:
“You have to get out of bed first — that’s the hardest part. Of course, I have sore knees and a bad back, but so what? I’m 80!”
Now that’s a senior to look up to!
What is next?
I have started this blog as I have had a taste of retirement and I have to tell you that I love it. There is so much out there for me. My time is my own. I have friends around and the love of my life is with me.
I want to let those approaching retirement and those who have already arrived at retirement know what is available for them. There are so many services for them that they are not aware of. I want to change that.
But first I am flying to Winnipeg to see my son and his wife and while I am there I will go to the University of Manitoba and run a half marathon that really, I shouldn’t be running, you know, at my age!