Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Are we trying too hard?
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18. — Mark Twain
Longevity is big business these days but that’s nothing new. Throughout history people have tried all sorts of weird things to stay forever young. And we’ve been told that Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth.
            Today, of course, with increased knowledge and dissemination of information, efforts to stay young are not as drastic as they were at some point in the past, one of them being drinking human blood. Today we have tons of experts telling us what we need to do to extend our lives. They are all over the internet with some offering sure ways to live past 100.
            But we already know the drill. We must walk, exercise, eat well, challenge the mind and laugh often. However, the experts are challenging us to do more, to run marathons, to forever count calories, etc. But are we trying too hard?
            Author Barbara Ehrenreich says that we are “killing ourselves to live longer.” The question is: Is it really necessary to go to extreme to make the most of our later years? Perhaps not.
 With all the advances in health care, it is said that today’s boomers can expect to live longer than their parents and much longer than their grandparents. That may be the general rule, but there are no guarantees. My grandfather passed away at the age of 89 and I doubt that I will live longer than him while my father died at 55. We can’t change destiny, can we?
If our goal is to live to 100 and beyond, I believe that we have to consider quality of life. We all know that old age can play havoc with the body and the mind, but heeding the advice of experts might very well make it possible to enjoy later life in better shape than was possible in the past. At least that’s the objective.
            I think that the secret to being happy is to take reasonable care of ourselves while accepting our mortality.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Discounts
These days, many if not most companies offer senior discounts to their customers. The age when such discounts are available varies from 55 to 65. Some even start at 50 although most folks are far from seeing themselves as seniors at the point.  
          The way I see it, since seniors have done their share for society it is nice to see that they can get some perks here and there. However not all seniors take advantage of such discounts. Some have lots of money so they simply don’t care, while others see such discounts as a reminder that time never stands still and they avoid them. To my mind, the latter simply avoid reality. When did saving money become a bad thing? 
          Of course we are all getting older, but why not save money while we are. Most people face reduced income at retirement, so having age discounts is most welcomed at that time. I take advantage of as many as I can, and when they are not posted I ask for them. On occasion, I am told that the company does not offer senior discounts, however I usually get a price reduction.
          On a few instances when I was not offered a senior discount and inquired, I was told that the reason was that I did not look old enough to quality. Either the person had a sense of humor or had simply forgotten to give me the discount.
Either way, while I may have been flattered for a moment, I suggested an eye exam ….

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ah, Birthdays!
Birthdays are great when you’re young, but they become really pushy later on. We don’t necessarily want to age, but birthdays are there to remind us that we can’t escape the march of time.
            On days when I feel sorry for myself because of my age, I force myself to take the time to consider all the people I have known who have left this world at a much earlier age than I am right now. And I am aware of so many because the older we get, the more people we know who pass away. The trick is to be grateful for whatever birthday is just ahead.
            I have latched on to a habit so that an approaching birthday will not take me by surprise. A couple of months before the dreaded date, I force myself to think that I am already that age. And then when the date finally arrives, I am already acclimatized so it’s not really that bad.
            When I turned 65, I remember my aunt telling me: You’re so young! Of course everything is relative, but now that I look back I realize that I was indeed young, or at least younger. The way to deal with birthdays, especially the big ones---you know the ones I mean--- is to try to find the humor in all of it.
            For my latest recent birthday, one of my sons who has a novel way of looking at life presented me with a card on which a lady in front of a computer is using white-out (you know the white stuff in little bottles we all used for corrections on paper) to correct the text on the screen. The inside caption: white out a few years and have a great day. We don’t always remember the cards we get for birthdays, but I can assure you I will remember that one. 
            I think I will spend the rest of my life whiting out a few years here and there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Choice for Fun
It used to be people retired and did little—little planning, little exercising, little smiling. Things have improved, thank God. It used to be you were old at sixty while now seventy is the new fifty. Baby boomers are more active than ever and, because of advances in health care and wide information dissemination, can look forward to a long retirement. In fact, it is predicted that most of today’s boomers will live well into their nineties. That’s a lot of years to do little.
I firmly believe that, like any other stage of life, retirement has to be planned to some extent. We certainly cannot plan every minute of every day, but there should be a guiding desire toward a goal. We are all different so goals will be different for everyone. But I don’t know that I have goals, Bob told me recently. He is about to retire and has not planned anything beyond playing golf as much as he can. That’s certainly a nice enjoyable goal, but there has to be more to fill all that free time.
Just as we chose careers that appealed to us, that fit our personalities, our choice of activities in retirement should be based on what moves us, makes us feel good, not what friends or family feel we should be doing. I know a man who turned to photography in retirement and is having a grand old time. He was a chef all his life so his children thought he would spend his retirement preparing meals for them. But he wanted out of the kitchen to embrace a new passion. He’s the perfect example of a fulfilled retiree. 
Good for him, I say. A retiree’s mantra should be change for the new, the fun.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Healthy Silliness
I got an interesting e-mail the other day that I’ve decided to share with you. See if you don’t agree that being silly can be fun.
<                  - At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer to passing cars. Watch them slow down!
<                   - In the memo space on the front of your cheques, write weed or pot.
<                   - When you’re at a fancy restaurant, order diet water.
<                   - When there are other people behind you at an ATM as the money comes out scream: I won! I won!
<                   - Pick up a box of condoms at the pharmacy, go to the counter and ask where the fitting room is.
<                   - In a large department store’s change room, drop your pants and yell out: There’s no paper in here!
<                    - Sing along at the opera.

And then there is the cartoon caption that I like. One woman is telling her friend: I never thought I would get remarried at my age, but how could I refuse. He said: come and grow old with me. I’ve got lots of life insurance.