Crabby Old Lady and Retirement Coaches

Rewind the Week – 11 July 2014

Compared to many blogs, TGB has a consistently compelling comment section. In addition, I needed to carve out time away from the the computer so I've invented Rewind the Week, a weekly (or so) compendium of some of the provocative, informative and stand-out responses to posts from the previous week.

For the time being, this is an experiment and we'll see how it goes. If you enjoy it or don't or have suggestions for it, let me know and I will place it in consideration.

Monday's post on Loneliness in old age was the most commented upon this week. Apparently, a lot of us have personal experience with loneliess – if not now, at some time in the past.

Several people told us that they have chosen to live in retirement communities precisely to avoid loneliness. Lynne Spreen explained:

“The center of the community is the lodge (clubhouse) where you can join or start a group, attend activities, or just hang out and say hi. Also, there's always somebody walking, biking, sitting around the pool, or having a meal in the cafe.”

Grandmother Mary says her father makes daily connections at his local senior center. On the other hand, chlost reports that her mother, resident in an assisted living home, has made no friends:

“I think she does not feel 'elderly' as she sees the residents. But she does nothing. No friends there. No activities that she joins. No connections there. I want her to have a full life. But she is not interested in any of those things, and finds reasons they would not work out when I make suggestions.

“So is she lonely, or just a person who prefers to be alone? I am not sure.”

Vera spoke up for the happy loners among us:

“...even as a kid I never had any close friends. That's just the nature of an introvert, one of its many advantages is that you are quite happy on your own, no depression, no nothing. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

“I know in my area they are trying to do some senior health program where they somehow think people like me would need company in our old age or we will pine away and die. There is nothing further from the truth.”

My favorite comment on the story, The Privilege to Grow Old was left by Gaga Cheri:

”I recently asked my 10 year old granddaughter if she thought I was old. I am 60. She said, 'No, but you are getting there. That's how I choose to look at it, too.”

Until they reach their teen years children, I think, are the great truth tellers.

Time Goes By readers or, at least, those who comment are mostly enlightened about the futility of following the cultural status quo to do anything and spend any amount of money trying to appear younger than we are.

“I've changed my goals from trying to LOOK good to trying to FEEL good...” wrote Nancy Wick.

“I have changed my diet radically to reduce my sugar consumption and increase my fruits & vegetables consumption. And I have added swimming to my yoga and r routines. I don't try to be beautiful anymore, just healthy. I think if I stay healthy, I'll enjoy the coming years much more.”

As she so often does, doctafil summed up in her own inimitable way:

”Every comment above is gold. I never lie about my age. Today I piped up in my ESL volunteer job classroom and flat out said I am 71. Nobody fainted or dove out the window.

“No way will I apologize for looking, acting, being this age...Nobody should be kicked off the dance floor of life.”

A lot of you had a good time with Crabby Old Lady's retirement coach story and apparently most of us agree, as Catherine Summers wrote, that they are “just another racket.”

“By the way,” wrote Marc Leavitt, “would you like to buy a bridge? Let me tell you about it, on the way to Brooklyn.”

Elizabeth left us her prescription for life as well as old age:

“Be all you are. Be yourself; everyone else is taken. You can do anything you choose to do. Follow your heart.”

And here is Darlene Costner's response:

“I'm speechless!!! I never thought a person would need someone else to teach them how to live. If they haven't figured that out by the time they retire I doubt if there is any help for them.”

Just one more thing. The number of comments a story receives is a rough – and only rough – indication of reader interest to be taken into consideration along with the number of unique visits and page views.

On Tuesday, I told you about the new book, Farmlines, written by our own Dan Gogerty who is a regular contributor to The Elder Storytelling Place. Even though visits and page views closely matched other days of the week, hardly anyone commented.

It's not often that one of our community publishes a book, particularly one who is as gifted a writer and observer of life as Dan. If you don't know his work from ESP, maybe take another look at my post where I've quoted from a couple of his stories.

What Dan does beautifully is compare the life we knew as children with life today. Even with the dramatic increase in everyday technology over more than half a century, you would be surprised at the connections Dan finds.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Bettijane Eisenpreis: Carless in America


My mom is considering a retirement community, so these comments kind of left me at least aware of all the possibilities.

Shelly, retirement communities or ALF's have no magic elixir for happiness, only possibilities. Very few naturally introverted people will come out of their shell. I see it here every day. As hard as our recreation director tries, there are those that just don't want to interact. The better communities will recognize this, and give them their space.

I ordered Farmlines for my Kindle enjoying it very much, Ronnie. I don't comment often because I really dislike these small keyboards where I'm forced to hunt and peck.

While I am happy for anyone who gets a book published, the excerpts I read of "Farmlines" really turned me off. It is the use or over-use of computer terms to describe what we did back in the day that got to me. Doing that in one short story is okay, but to do it throughout a book is irritating to me and seems "gimmicky."

So, I thought it better that I withhold my comments than to look as though I wanted to hurt the book's sale...

I wonder how many of us read your comments about Farmlines and then simply clicked onward to order the book? I know I did--then I got busy and never commented here!
BTW, the book arrived and while it is a gift, I have been skimming and greatly enjoying it. Classof65 does it a great disservice in the comments above--it is not just about using computer terms but is instead a lovely compilation of memories of growing up and living on a farm while struggling to keep up with innovations that have developed in a rapid fire manner over the last 50 years!

Tuesday was a crazy-busy day for me, with doctor appointments that required four hours of driving, and another four of waiting, so not only did I not comment, I did not even read that day's blog. I'm going to catch up with it today, as I really enjoy well done reminiscence. Although I didn't grow up on a farm or even in a rural area, I had relatives in the Midwest who did and when, as a child, I visited them on occasion, I was transfixed. Though that lifestyle may have soon lost its romance, and I probably would not have handled the early hours, hard work and remoteness well on a regular basis, for a few summer days, it was blissful.

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