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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 41 of 171

I found this interesting article on the Next Avenue website.  It bodes the question of just what makes us retire and/or if we're just too pooped to participate.

 

Downshifting From a Life in Overdrive:

Do we slow down because we retire? Or do we retire because we slow down? 

By Jill Smolowe April 29, 2019

Do you think that when we slow down, it’s because we’re aging or because the nature of retired life demands less of us?

I ask because, as I near 64, I look with a mix of wonder and bewilderment at the politicians, judges and entertainers who are more than a decade older than I and going full-tilt at their careers. Where do they get their energy? Are they aberrations? Or do their demanding jobs keep them young?

I ask because, as I approach retirement, I see indications of slow-down. I can’t tell if what I’m experiencing (common things like short-term memory loss, diminishing energy reserves, earlier bedtime) is a natural byproduct of aging or if it’s the unintended side effect of stepping away from the fast-paced life of a demanding job.

Am I, in other words, slowing down because I’m moving toward retirement? Or am I moving toward retirement because I’m slowing down?

It’s not that I can’t stay at my desk and crank out copy when an editor needs it. (Nothing like a deadline to focus your attention and energy.) But most days there are no deadlines beyond those I impose on my own writing projects. Unlike decades past, when nothing less than three to four hours of concentrated writing would satisfy me, I now feel sated after two hours of dedicated writing. Some days, I feel pretty drained, actually.

Is that because I’ve lost the habit of putting in long hours? If so, am I my own co-conspirator in my aging process, allowing changing habits to hasten the process? Or is this slow-down driven by biology, a natural part of the aging process that’s demanding I slow my pace, whether I like it or not?

Certainly, my disinclination to put in long hours — let alone late hours — supports my sense that I would not relish a full-time workload at this point in my life. I like my less-jammed, roomier schedule. I like having the ability to choose what kinds of work, paid or volunteer, I take on. I likehaving the opportunity to explore activities that I haven’t investigated before.

I don’t, however, like days when I have little on my calendar.

Granted, many of these are weekend days, but given the absence of a regular workweek, it makes little difference to me if it’s a Tuesday or a Sunday. Where once such an abundance of unstructured time would have filled me with joy, now it sometimes drags on me — a weight that makes me wonder if, by leaving the regular workforce, I’m accelerating my aging.

A Checklist of Interests

Certainly, I’ve made efforts to fill the expanded free time with worthwhile and satisfying endeavors. In addition to getting certified as a life coach in order to launch a post-retirement, part-time career as a grief and divorce coach, I’ve been proactive about developing the sorts of interests that retirees are encouraged to explore.

Volunteer work? Check. (I’m a crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line, a 24/7 hotline that offers support to people of all ages in all 50 states.)

Exercise? Check. (I attend Pilates classes four, sometimes five times a week. I think I’m actually more fit now than I was in my thirties when I was lucky if I could squeeze in a lunchtime yoga class once a week.)

Creative activity? Check. (Took a drawing class. Not my cup of creativity. It probably didn’t help that my drawings looked worthy of a fourth grader. I also dove into coloring for several months. Not quite sure why I’ve let that one slide. Maybe I tired of all those mandalas.)

Soul enrichment? Check. (Been meditating for two years now. More days than not, I put in 15 minutes on the proverbial cushion; once a week, I participate in an hour-long sit with a group.)

Friends? Check. (In addition to maintaining old relationships, I’ve nurtured new ones, among them my meditation and Pilates buddies.)

Grandchildren? (Not yet, and none in sight. But my husband and I did get a puppy recently. Very entertaining. The dog, that is; not the pee and poop accidents.)

All of this is supplemented by activities that I hope will help keep my brain cells active and healthy. I listen to lots of thoughtful podcasts (a substitute, of sorts, for the interesting office conversations about international and domestic issues I used to enjoy with fellow journalists). I play a few online games that challenge my speed, logic and vocabulary. (Also, hey, they’re fun.)

And I read. A lot. Novels. Memoirs. Nonfiction. As for my news diet, I swear I consume more newspaper, magazine and online articles now than I did when I was a working journalist. I’d like to believe the time I’m putting in is not only well invested, but a reflection of the times we’re living in. (All the truths I held to be self-evident while earning a BA in politics back in the ’70s are now being tested so rigorously that I sometimes feel like I’m earning another degree, this time at the Ph.D level.)

The Value of ‘Intentional Idleness’

But then I remember a friend’s father from childhood days, one who seemed older than most of the other dads. Didn’t matter what time of day I showed up to play with my friend, there was her father, reading The New York Times in the living room. I remember thinking: Doesn’t he have anything else to do?

Don’t I?

I ask because, as I move closer to retirement, I look at those septuagenarian and octogenarian politicians, judges and entertainers, and I wonder: Are they doing it right? Am I doing it wrong? Did The Beatles throw down a false marker on this “when I’m 64” business?

Then I think about what those elders’ days must be. All that running around. All that doing what they’ve been doing for the last several decades. Do I really want to keep tilting in the same direction I always have? Where’s the learning curve in that?

I have a meditation friend who speaks of “intentional idleness.” He encourages people to let go of so much busyness and slow the pace. Only when we’re not rushing through our days, he says, can we create space for the new to arise.

I like the sound of that.

Jill Smolowe
 By Jill Smolowe
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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 42 of 171

Don't wake up until ten
Three men were discussing aging on the steps of the nursing home. "Sixty is the worst age to be," announced the sixty year old. "You always feel like you have to pee. And most of the time, you stand at the toilet and nothing comes out!" "Ah, that's nothing," said the seventy year old. "When you're seventy, you can't take a crap anymore. You take laxatives, eat bran - you sit on the toilet all day and nothing comes out !" "Actually," said the eighty year old, "Eighty is the worst age of all." "Do you have trouble peeing too?", asked the sixty year old. "No ... not really. I pee every morning at 6AM. I piss like a race horse - no problem at all." "Do you have trouble taking a crap?", asked the seventy year old. "No, not really. I have a great bowel movement every morning at 6:30." With great exasperation, the sixty year old said, "Let me get this straight. You pee every morning at six o'clock and take a crap every morning at six thirty. What's so tough about being eighty ?" To which the eighty year old replied, "I don't wake up until ten."

 

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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 43 of 171

Repost I believe!

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Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 44 of 171

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Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 45 of 171

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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 46 of 171

Preacher's Wife

A couple were going on a vacation together but the wife had an emergency at work. So they agreed the husband would go as planned and his wife would meet him at the hotel the next day.

When the husband got to his hotel and had checked in, he thought he should send his wife a quick email letting her know he'd got there ok.

As he typed in her email address, he made a typo and his email was sent to an elderly preacher’s wife instead. It just so happened that her husband had sadly died just the day before.

When the grieving old preacher's wife checked her emails, she read the one from the holiday maker, let out an awful, loud, piercing scream, and fainted on the floor.

At the sound of her falling, her family rushed into the room. They tended to her and then looked at her computer and saw this email on her screen:

 

Dearest Wife,

Just checked in to my room. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. It sure is hot down here.

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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 47 of 171

 

The Chief  Petty Officer was bragging to the Ensign one day. You know, I know everyone there is to know. Just name Someone, Anyone and I know them.
Tired of his boasting, the Ensign called his bluff, Okay, Chief, how about Tom Cruise.

Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends and I can prove it.

So they fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door and sure enough, Tom Cruise, shouts, Chief ! Great to see You! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!

Although impressed, the Ensign is still skeptical. After they leave Cruise's house, he tells the Chief that he thinks his knowing Cruise was just lucky. No, no, just name anyone else, the Chief says. President Bush, the Ensign quickly retorts.

Yep I know him, let's fly out to Washington.

So, off they go. At the White House, Bush spots them on the tour and motions them over, saying, Chief, what a surprise. I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and that Ensign come on in and let's catch up.

Well, the Ensign is very shaken by now, but still not totally convinced.

After they leave the White House grounds, he expresses his doubts to the Chief, who again implores him to name anyone else.

The new Pope, the Ensign replies. Sure, I've known the Pope a long time. So, off they fly to Rome. They're assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when the Chief says, this will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards, so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the Pope. He disappears into the crowd headed toward St. Peter's. Sure enough, half an hour later, the Chief emerges with the Pope on the balcony.

But by the time he returns, he finds that the Ensign has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics.

Working his way to his side, the Chief asks the Ensign, What Happened to him.

The Ensign looks up and says, I was doing fine until you and The Pope came out on the balcony and the tourist next to me asked, Who's that on the balcony next to the Chief.

Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 48 of 171

Old Age is a Gift - I Have DecidedStory old age jokes

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body - the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avant-garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 am, and sleep until noon?  I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love.. I will I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old!

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten, and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say 'no', and mean it. I can say 'yes', and mean it

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day

Today, I wish you a day of ordinary miracles.

 

 Author: Unknown

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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
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Re: Funny Stories and Life Experiences

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Message 50 of 171

The Weight of the Glass

Once upon a time a psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students.  As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question.  Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter.  It all depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light.  If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little.  If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.  In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water.  Think about them for a while and nothing happens.  Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little.  Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”

 

The Moral of the Story is:  It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries.  No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.  Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you.  If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down. 

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