The Day after 7 April
Finding One's Own Kind of Retirement

Some Changes at Time Goes By

You may recall one of the quotations I selected from the Doris Lessing section in Esther Harriott's excellent book, Aging and Writers:

“It takes me longer to do things,” said Lessing. “Not physical things...but where it shows is the energy for writing...not ideas. I've always got too many ideas. It's the organizing of the ideas and getting down to it that takes longer. And also, energy runs out more quickly than it used to.”

So close is that to my own experience in recent times that I have said something similar fairly frequently – to myself and others. It's just what happens as we grow older.

BACKGROUND
For me, another part of slowing down, as I have written in the past, is that I am afflicted with a fairly rare condition called ASPD or Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder. I find it almost impossible to stay awake past 8PM, sometimes I can make it to 9PM and whatever time I go to sleep, I'm wake by 3AM or 4AM. On a good morning, I can snooze until 5AM but not often.

It is not much of a problem except when I have house guests or, for example, when there is a dinner at other people's normal hours. I can manage late evenings for a day or two, then the condition asserts its sleep demand.

An accompanying difficulty, unrelated to ASPD, is that all my energy, both physical and mental, is depleted by 2PM. That makes sense if you think it through:

In my working days when I rose at 7:30AM to be at the office by 9AM, I was tired by 5PM or 6PM – ten hours after I had awakened. There is the same interval between the time I awaken now and when I get stupid at about 2PM.

That means I am always rushed, on a treadmill to get the normal chores and errands required by daily life done along with the optional pleasures and still keep up this blog at the level of quality I require for myself.

After 2PM I've run out of steam for all of that, turn slothful and I'm no good for anything except reading, watching a movie, playing with cat, keeping up with friends or just pottering around.

Too often in recent months, my posts – stories, essays, whatever we call these things – have been more haphazard and less well thought through than they should be. Too often, I choose the easy road of rumination and chatter than take the time for the research or additional reading needed for more informed writing.

TIME GOES BY CHANGE
So now that you've got all those reasons and excuses, I am here today to tell you that I am set to experiment with a new publishing schedule. Beginning next Monday, here is how the week will look at TGB:

Mon: New post
Tue: DAY OFF
Wed: New Post
Thu: DAY OFF
Fri: New post
Sat: Interesting Stuff
Sun: Elder Music from Peter Tibbles

As many of you already do now, there is no reason, if you find the M-W-F post interesting enough, not to continue commenting and chatting back and forth with one another on the off days. Or not.

Remember, there is nothing you need to do. If you subscribe, via email or rss, the only difference you will see is that nothing arrives in your inbox or news reader on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

THE ELDER STORYTELLING PLACE
There is a secondary issue to resolve. If there is no post on Tuesday and Thursday, there is nothing on which to link to that day's story at The Elder Storytelling Place (ESP) so I am going to eliminate that feature altogether – the link, not the stories.

If you read ESP via email or rss feed or you have a bookmark you follow to read it, you don't need to do anything. If, however, you read that blog by clicking on the link at the bottom of TGB posts, you will need to rely on something else.

You can subscribe via email or rss by filling in the form at the top right of any page at The Elder Storytelling Place, or make a bookmark wherever you keep those things on your computer.

THE FUTURE
As I said, this is an experiment. I've set a general time period of spring and summer. If the spirit moves me, I might write something for a Tuesday or a Thursday now and then but it should not be expected as in the past – by you or me – for these next few months.

Sometime around September, we take a day together here to see how we feel about it. I'll let you know how it has worked for me and you will able to add your thoughts.

In addition to accommodating my age-related slowing down, this might also give me an opportunity to upgrade TGB in ways I've been remiss – some backend fixes, updating the movies and other lists and perhaps a minor redesign, but no promises yet on those.

Time Goes By, as an extension of my apparently undying interest in all things ageing, is my passion, my raison d'etre in old age, my reason to get up each day.

I am endlessly curious about what it is like to grow old and I use the thoughts, ideas and events in my own journey through this strange territory to guide my investigations and writing. (And that little piece of information is just to be sure you understand that I'm not going anywhere – only adjusting the schedule.)


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Arlene Corwin: It Was a Sunny Day Today

Comments

Sounds like a good and sensible plan to me.

Adjustments are good! I'm glad you're thinking of yourself.

Have to say - we have always been amazed at what you do - the level and volume.
You go, girl!

This is all very reasonable. How on earth you've up until now produced material every day is beyond me.
We will just savor those "on" days that much more.

I've often wondered how you could keep up your schedule of writing new posts five days a week. I do two blogs a week and that's usually all I can manage, though sometimes I throw in a third. There are others things besides blog posts that I want to work on and that schedule gives me the time to do an occasional poem or something I don't want to share with the world.

Hope your new schedule works well for you. On your off days I'll start coming back to read the comments instead of doing it later in the days.

Ronni,

Your description of what is happening with you energy-wise is familiar to me, and most likely to all your readers.

Energy level is the most evident adjustment trigger I am experiencing. It takes me so long to
get ready to go somewhere for which I need to be presentable, that by the time I've gone and returned home, I am pretty much exhausted.

Another, most evident to me, is multi-tasking--just trying to do two things at once is much more difficult, if not impossible.

And, next is muscle loss and its attendant lack of ability to carry, lift, drag all the household stuff that needs to be carried, lifted, dragged.

Thank you for your honesty, integrity and forthrightness. You are a credit to all of we who are aging (that's everyone?) You deserve this birthday gift to yourself.

Also, thank you for the ASPD link. I had
not heard of that and it may be a clue to my own
sleep pattern changes.

For a minute there, I thought ASPD had finally put a name to my sleep problems, but upon further reading, the symptoms don't add up. In my case, I go to bed late, wake up at 3 AM and get up at 5 AM. Sleeping pills only make me groggy the rest of the day.
Your decision to cut back on your blogs is a wise one. At this point in your life why subject yourself to the pressures of a self-imposed deadline. I cut my blog down to one a week a year ago. This gives me the opportunity to sift through the piles of info I get every day. Less pressure, more fun.

I have been wondering for while about this but decided to finally get up the nerve to ask. Whatever happened to Jan Adams, the tech guru who first mentioned Google Reader and how to get it ? I had never heard about a reader before and I am so grateful that she did. When Google shut down their Reader, I switched to a new Reader. It has been a part of my day ever since I started reading. I continue to add interesting people and subjects as well as have people decide to drop blogging for one reason or another. It must be hard to come up with something each day and I hope this break will give you time to catch up with your other interests. I also hope you don't decide to drop it as you have been an inspiration.

Ronni, no one could begrudge changes you want & need to make in your life, and these make perfect sense. Much more time and energy for yourself and we still get your best. (Gosh, now I'll have at least half an hour extra time myself on your "off" days...how shall I spend that?) Enjoy the new schedule, we're behind you.

What Jean said. Plus, time is such a luxury. One of the great joys of my 2nd half is savoring great stretches of leisure. Some days I can say "I didn't leave the house at all!" and it is with delight.

Twin City Joan...
People like Jan Adams and Virginia DeBolt (web teacher) who once blogged here were mostly doing me a favor. They have their own lives, their own blogs (very good ones) and we all have time constraints.

On the other hand, there has never been a second of my blog life here that I wondered what to write about.

I keep a book with a running list of thoughts and ideas that by now must number several hundred even with checking off ones I use. Ideas are never a problem; time is.

Well join the crowd, An afternoon siesta does help. My mind is so active at 4 AM. I never thought of it as a disease. My solution is to never give up. Keep moving.

I agree with all of the above. It has constantly amazed me how you keep finding new and interesting topics on this journey we call getting old.

I suffer from ASPD only I waken around 2-3am, get up for 3-4 hours, surf the Internet, answer a few e-mails, and return to bed for a second sleep.

I always intended to write a new blog after a hacker forced me to quit the old one. I even started a new one with the name "Darlene's Serendipity". I never got back to it after that because I just had other projects to focus on. I didn't finish those projects either and I am now sure I never will. Somehow it no longer seems important.

All I can say to you who are younger than I am is that it doesn't get better. So I fully understand why you are cutting back, Ronni. That's one of the joys of old age. We no longer have to do things that have become tiring, boring or stressful.

Ronni, I've long marveled at your posting every day. I couldn't do it. Never had any desire to. I post when the spirit (or daily news) moves me, normally several times a week. That's not the regular schedule often suggested for bloggers, but I've done my time with deadlines and the schedules of others. Enjoy yourself, on your schedule.

Thank you for sharing your sleep pattern. I'm 64 and noticed changes in my sleeping a few years back. I wondered if it was age related. Sometimes it has been tough. It makes lots of sense to care for yourself by adjusting your posts.

It is a a well organized plan and just what is needed when things get old...blogs that is.

I too have wondered how anyone can write a blog post every day as I write when I feel like it. Otherwise, my blog would feel like a job.

As for the afternoon fading, although a decade younger than you, I too suffer this malady. I fade after 4 pm. For years I have pushed and tried to do things in the evenings. When I was teaching, I had to often be out in the evening. I can no longer do it.

Being an extrovert, I love to talk to people and am quite happy to exert the energy that takes but not in the evenings. It is too hard so I no longer go out after 5 pm. I am sometimes saddened by what I miss.

As for the sleep, though, I go to bed between 8 and 9 and sleep straight through to 6.

An excellent idea, I think, Ronni, always to modify our activities if they don't serve us well as we age.

And it seems that all those who've commented above also empathise with your need and agree.

Good idea...I recently combined my 3 blogs into one, with different topics on different days from the other 2...and some of my followers probably got lost. It's hard sometimes to keep all those posts on just one blog for me, because I still have the other interests. I not only blog for others, but to create an archive for myself.

My blogging journey began only 5 years ago with a haphazard schedule of posting approximately once a week. Even with such reduced expectations, I’ve often been tempted to stop the blog completely. I could never imagine how much dedication it took for the frequent posting schedule you have maintained. I salute you for a commitment to 3 times weekly!
Be well,
Jeanette

Signature Ronni! Brilliantly modeling observing oneself dispassionately, learning and accepting evolving needs, and making adjustments as necessary. No whining, no harsh indictments, no railing against natural courses of events. I aspire to such self-aware, self-accepting, self-forgiving living. Thank you for everything you are and do.

Symbiosis - - Writing your perceptive blog obviously feeds a need within You, Ronni - to observe, read about, consider, and display your thoughts as a convincing whole. In turn, we, as your Readers, value your thinking. It saves us time. You predigest it for us, and we can use your thoughts to launch our own. (We're good for you, and you're good for us.) I don't wonder that you're a cornucopia of ideas!
May you continue to enjoy your part in this symbiosis!

Sometimes it takes a while to understand that we don't need to pursue the same goals all the way through our journey through life. Each age has it's own set of responsibilities and goals. It took me a long time to realize not everything needs to be done with the same sense of urgency. Congratulations, Ronnie, for making your own discovery of priorities and time lines.

I, for one, will look forward to your posts when you feel ready to make them.

And yes, upon occasion I hope you will continue to just chatter about Ollie and other easy topics. Those posts are delightful as well.

Cheers to you! Taking care of ourselves first is priority #1. Glad you are doing this for yourself. I've always been a morning person and an early bedtimer. I start to fade by late afternoon. That's why I get in my yoga, walking, creating and swimming by mid afternoon. Then I read and watch my shows or movies until bedtime.

Ronni, I have some health issues that also require me to pace myself. I'm 65 and this is not new in my world, but I still find it embarrassing, especially with friends who are my age but not health challenged. Compared to my younger days, I have become something of a hermit. The schedule that works for me is mornings and evenings home (work at home, deskwork, chores, cat care etc.) and afternoons out. In my "out time" I do errands, exercise, take classes, work appointments, visit friends etc. When I am invited out in the evening, or have morning meetings, this disrupts my flow. I feel like I am becoming rigid and set in my ways, but this general pattern works for me, so I totally support your setting up a plan that works for and sustains *you*! I am also a single woman, and as we well know, YOYO - "you're on your own!" so if we don't take care of ourselves, and make the necessary compromises, our health will suffer. Thanks for your great blog. Frankly I don't read it every day and by its very nature, it's archived for reading whenever! Be well!

Ronni, I absolutely echo every comment made here. I have been amazed at your productivity. I am so glad you are arranging a schedule that works for you. We, your devoted readers, WANT you to be happy, content and only as busy as makes you happy.

Ronni
Thanks to share with us your difficulties.
I will be 76 soon and if I do not sleep 8 hours a day I simply can not stand still.
My doctor told me to sleep all I can.
A siesta after lunch will probably help you a lot and make 5 light meals a day can make a difference.
I nourish my soul with your blogs.
Thank you so much!
Take care of yourself first
Bia

A smart plan Ronni. Cutting back on the demands of writing is something that I have had to deal with myself and I have no regrets.

Best wishes

Well thought-out plan Ronni.

With you 100%....

Ronni,
Good decision. I wondered how you were able to write on a daily basis. I will appreciate your thoughts all the more for receiving them as you can do them.
Mary

Well, bless my soul, and if that don't beat all! And here I thought I was the only one that ran out of gas in the early afternoon and took a name in my comfortable reading chair in the afternoon!

At 78 I'm still working as a contract bookkeeper for a couple of small businesses and producing a Web radio show two mornings a week, so I have to get it all done by noon or that's it for me, too!

It is really reassuring to know that this is not just me!

And another blessing is that I can fall asleep as soon as my head hits a pillow and only wake up once a night to go "p", which I understand is also quite normal at my age, but luckily, most nights I can fall right back to sleep. I think one secret to that is I only leave small nightlights on at night to find my way to bathroom, and never turn on harsh regular lighting, so no bright light comes in through my eyes to my brain to tell me I thinks the sun is up and it's time to get out of bed, sleepyhead! Learned this secret to falling back to sleep years ago ... and it sure works for me.

Ronni, I will cherish your blog if it's only once or twice a week. Enjoy life. You, and the rest of us, have earned the right to pick and choose how you use your energy!

You have already achieved a great deal in helping to shed light on what its like to grow old . Having to blog daily was a tough schedule to keep at any age especially the high standards you set yourself.
Don't give yourself impossible deadlines- enjoy this time in your life.

Thanks for sharing your sleep patterns. I am 63, you seem to sleep better than most of my ~63 old friends. My strategy is extreme, I seldom go out at night....

Ronni

Did you check your blood lately.
Anemy sometimes is a problem in our age.

Regards

Takecare of yourself

Bia

One hundred percent support, Ronni.

Take care of yourself.

YMF

Sounds like a plan to me! Thank you for all you've done so far and for what you will yet contribute to the field of ageing. While accepting that mine is an unpopular (maybe even deviant) view, I don't much like old age. I understand that it is what it is, and at least for now it beats the alternative, but there's not much to like about it.

I was--and still am to some extent--a super high-energy person. It is NOT easy, at least for me, to be philosophical about and accepting of the physical and mental losses that are increasingly noticeable at 78. Until I turned 75 I was pretty much still "me", but sometimes I feel like "me" is fading away. Darlene's comment that "it doesn't get better" is undoubtedly spot-on but disconcerting nonetheless.

I value your honesty and understand the need to set a different pace. At the same time your thoughts, observations and analysis of this aging journey are invaluable. Even if you only did one post a week it would really help to understand.
Thank you and take care of yourself.

This is a great compromise, for you, as well as for us readers. And the change is only for 2 of 7 days - not too bad! Live as your choose. You're fortunate to have a variety of interests/passions that you enjoy and are able to pursue. So grab you ticket to ride!

And to Darlene and Elizabeth - though a mere 7 and more years younger, I hope to hell I have the sharpness and eloquence as you two when I am your ages!

What am I going to do without your blog every day? It's necessary - part of my routine.
I'm too old to change.

Cheers, Ronni, you are wise to recognize when change is all that is needed to avoid burnout by self-imposed deadlines. Hope the new schedule suits you well.

Brilliant! And thank you for giving us the gift of allowing us to feel less guilty about all you do for us!
Time to ponder is a great gift, too!
And if one feels withdrawal symptoms, one can check in on all the other options on TGB.
Brava, bravissima!

I am copying this blog and the comments.
It describes me perfectly
and guess I have been fighting the less energy
and trying to continue on
and cannot.
Your hours are mine
have always been that way
up by 4:00, bed by 7:00 and no energy after 2:00 - the no energy part is just recently
and I have turned 80.
Guess I am right on schedule :)

I love how you plan! Definitely a role model to me.

"This above all, to thine own self be true..."
Good for you for adjusting your schedule. I was astonished when I recently found out how many years you've been doing this blog!

As for ASPD, I live in a senior community and it doesn't seem to be that rare among us folks! And everyone has their own way of dealing with it.

If you haven't seen Rives on TED talks you'll enjoy his take on 4 a.m.
http://www.ted.com/talks/rives_a_museum_of_4_o_clock_in_the_morning

Whether just a 'chat' or further enlightenment I always look forward to your blog.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)