America's Shame – A Turning Point?
Surprise! Old People Have Sex and They Like It

Is Relaxed Retirement For You?

One of the things about getting old is that there is no user manual. Nobody tells you what's going to happen and I don't mean the diseases of age - cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's, arthritis, dementia, etc - that are more prevalent in the late years of life.

What I'm talking about instead are irritating impediments that turn up unexpectedly – or more likely, slowly sneak up on us and are established almost before we recognize them.

We've talked about them in the past: dropping things more frequently, leaky pipes, unexplained aches and pains, new hair in all the wrong places, not enough hair where it belongs, forgetting old friends' names, too many nightime bathroom runs, searching for misplaced items, among other old age annoyances.

Hardly anything throughout our earlier adult years changes as much as in our old age and most of it takes up a whole lot of time just when we are grappling with the reality that we have a whole lot less of that irreplaceable commodity than we used to have.

A few days ago, a friend who just turned 80 told me that some days, if he has no appointments or other reason to leave home, he doesn't bother to get dressed.

Whew! Isn't it a relief to find out other people also do things you are embarrassed to admit.

Two or three times a month, at the time of morning when I would normally head for the shower to get ready for the day, the thought comes over me to skip it, to just hang out at home in my pajamas.

Sometimes, since it is part of the usual morning routine I've already broken, I don't even make the bed even though I really dislike walking into the room to a messy bed. So there you are: in one swell foop, I ditch the shower, the bed making and getting dressed for a day while feeling liberated and just a little decadent.

Which is exactly what The New York Times reported on last week – people who are refusing to buy into a busy, busy, busy retirement that the culture does a good job of instilling in us. Or shaming us into.

”For many baby boomers, retirement is neither a chance nor an excuse to take it easy,” wrote reporter Joanne Kaufman. “Rather, it’s an opportunity to take a class (or six). Then there’s mastering a language or an instrument, writing a novel, climbing a mountain, maybe starting a business."

But, The Times says, that's not for everyone.

“Mr. Lerner, the former money manager, speculated that if he had a wife, she might tell him to get out of the house and 'take old-age classes,' he said, referring to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Florida Atlantic University. 'My friends who take courses told me to look in the catalog, but there wasn’t one subject that interested me.

“'I don’t know. Maybe it’s my personality, but I don’t have to justify my behavior,' Mr. Lerner said. 'I’m enjoying my retirement just as it is. And if it’s O.K. with me, I’m not going to change even if someone else says I’m wasting my time.'”

Another Florida retiree agrees:

“'I’m not interested in going back to school,' said Mr. Walzman, 74, who has four degrees and had several careers, including a business installing telephone systems. 'In my youth, I was very ambitious,' he added. 'I had to get 100 on every test. I had to do this, and I had to do that.'

“Now, he plays golf, plays poker, swims twice a day and spends some time monitoring his investments. 'To be totally honest, I’m at peace,' he said. 'I’m happy. What can I tell you?'”

As far as I can see, it's not like relaxed retirement is a movement that's taking off. The barrage of advertisements and media stories admonishing us to keep busy or we'll lose our minds and die early is ubiquitous. But like those people in The Times story, we are not required to buy into it.

Undoubtedly, the adverts and admonitions are written by younger adults who mostly seem to want old people to behave like wrinkly young people because they don't know anything yet about the changes that accompany growing old.

Who also don't know that there are days when all those old-folks' annoyances (accompanied by a disease of age or two for some) slow you down to a crawl and who don't know that there are days when you can't find the wherewithall even to get dressed.

So don't let the prevailing culture direct your retirement choices. Do it your way.


Great post. I agree totally. Although for me as I am an artist I can never stop painting as long as I can hold a brush and see. But for people with no hobbies, why do they have to find one? My husband is happy to do nothing. Nap, surf the internet, run the occasional errand. he worked hard his entire life as a math editor. He is tired now.....LOL

Love it!

Well now, this is refreshing. And overdue. I especially like the part near the end about young people expecting old people to act like wrinkly young people. Sometimes it seems as if all those exhortations to keep active mentally and physically, accompanied by visuals of centenarian sprinters and college graduates, are just as reflective of the fear of aging as the advertising campaigns for the lotions and nostrums that promise to keep you young till you die.

Thanks for sharing your way.
I purposefully schedule at least one day a week when I can be dressed down, leaving the bed unmade, foregoing street clothes for my bathrobe or flowy caftan. I'm still busy: watering, doing laundry, doing research and writing, playing with my precious kitty, and watching any TV I've recorded. Sometimes I even go so far as to have a "No Tech" day where I limit my activities to reading, without interference by anything electronic.
I'd gotten a "F" in retirement until I figured out this down time was critical to my well-being.

I would live in my bathrobe if I could. It's more comfortable, cuts down on laundry and saves wear-and-tear on my street clothes.

I often feel guilty that I don't have an interest in volunteering anywhere now that I'd have the time for it. I did try it for a year after my husband died, enough to know I'd rather be more selfish with my time and do fun things because in my age bracket that can change in a heartbeat.

Yes & Yes. I do get dressed everyday & I do make my bed, but I think it's out of habit & it does make me feel more "productive!" LOL. But mostly that's all I do! I read, listen to some TV or music, & feel absolutely no guilt. That's what retirement for me is all about whatever moves me & that's not much :):) Great post, Ronni . Dee

Love retirement. Not getting up to an alarm clock, reading a good novel in a day while doing absolutely nothing else. I am finding that in my old age (82) I am rather content and that's a very good thing!!

I appreciate that this is a time in my life when I don't have to do things "I should"...and furthermore I don't have to provide an explanation to anyone.

I do take the occasional Osher Course at a nearby university, but only if it appeals to my curiosity. Travel, the library, the internet and the YMCA are all useful. Family is pretty small at this point.

Tried volunteering for a couple of years and found it too much like a job. I'm fortunate not to need a job any longer.

I too am so glad to hear I'm not the only one. I feel very guilty sometimes, but never enough to change my ways. I do love Osher classes, but don't take many. And on the many days when I have no class or dr. appt., I just chill. I do get dressed (sort of) - I put on some pants with a comfy elastic waist and a T-shirt (absolutely NO bra!) and read, do crossword puzzles, etc. Don't even clean my own house anymore; I pay someone else to do it. After getting up at 5:45 every morning and working, taking kids to all their activities, while volunteering a lot, I've earned the right to just relax.

I love it. Did a lot of volunteering the first few years but it was work without money. I also have multiple degrees and certificates so formal classes are totally off my chart. Being quiet and just being with myself most days is a real pleasure.

And I agree that many of the articles and some books are written by people who have no idea. Your blog has been so helpful to be able to reject the hype and define my own path.

Whew! So I'm not just a pathetic lazy slob after all. To me retirement means finally doing exactly what I want to do or not do. I watch late night TV, I sleep late. No alarms except for rare morning appointments. I do still get dressed every day, eventually, but just in case nearby family drops in. I sort of make the bed every day (pull all the covers into place while I'm still in bed, then slide out the side). I spend my time watching tv, playing serious video games, browsing on my laptop, working on my blog. Do dishes or laundry when I run out of clean stuff. Don't go anywhere except the grocery store once a week or a walk around the block. I'd pay someone to come in and do the housekeeping but I'd have to do a lot of housekeeping before I'd dare let her in!

Another terrific subject from you. I like "Perspective's" comment re volunteering. Found it demanding like a job without salary - yet all the negatives. I'm finding at 78 that I really enjoy being by myself a lot. I've had a wonderful circle of friends for over fifty years but that circle is closing in and there are only two of us remaining. I love to read. Enjoy being able to have all the information available to me for researching at my fingertips on my pc. I adore my music on loud since there aren't any nearby neighbors. I have three adopted pets and, of course, my husband - altho' he has diminished memory and is quite frail at 82 so I've more responsibilities in terms of picking up the slack on his end. We also seem to have a steady schedule of medical appointments more than anything else in the way of socializing. It's a lovely way of life without much stress and I have fantastic memories of all the traveling we have done. And then there is the joy I find in my gardens which are pretty maintenance free because I've planned it that way. What else can I ask for? It will be pretty good until I make my exit my way.

After hearing the clock signal noon I've been thinking seriously about changing from my comfy robe into the slacks and T-shirt laying on my unmade bed. However, the only reason I might do that is to go out for lunch so I don't have to do any work in the kitchen. Great post, Ronni. Agree with everything you said.

Great topic! Yes, all this stay social, volunteer and take classes, it's not for all. I do love my friends, but why don't "they" ever tell us to read a good book, take a hot bath, watch a great movie......or even, heaven forfend, meditate, enjoy solitude, and feed the birds? Or even.........stay in our jammies all day!!! I haven't done it much, but when I have it's been totally delightful. I do find myself at times longing for more energy to paint and garden, but I'm learning to roll with it.

I read this and found myself nodding my head. I'm still in my pj's as I type this. I spent yesterday going, going, going with two of my grandkids. One of those stops was at the library (they love to read) and I have two new books in hand. Although at some point I have to go out and buy coffee, I'm out.

I forgot some personal hygiene the other day, and I'm afraid I offended some folks with my sweating without wearing deodorant. But the next day I smelled like a rose. And I hadn't planned to be around anyone, so it was just a fluke. I throw those covers on the bed over the pillows daily.
Now I'm adjusting to living totally alone as my dear cat died last weekend. That's hard for me, keep expecting her to be in the next room when I walk in. I know lots of your readers have gone through the loss of a loved one, and I've also had it before. But this time I'm saying that was my last it's harder.
Thanks for writing and eliciting such a great community of comments.

Great, incisive post, Ronni! Really enjoyed it. Your points are well-taken. And yes! I have lazy days when I dress in sweats or cozy at home clothes and wallow in my ability to curl up with a book, read articles on the"net" (or blogs like this one) and just enjoy my freedom from my "shoulds" and schedules. I yell at the little nagging voice inside me that says I "should" be doing this or that. Being "productive." Isn't reading and learning from a book or movie or blog "productive"?? I have found one volunteer job I like--on the Board of the Friends of the Library. We sort and stock all the donated books. Doesn't feel very much like work as I truly like the group and enjoy the socialization. And an added bonus is I get first crack at buying wonderful books. Being a book lover, this is terrific. Most get re-donated after I've read them--or passed along to a friend. Otherwise, they would explode my house! Life is good. Kind of like being an aging teenager with an allowance-- and no parents or teachers or bosses telling me what to do! I dreamt of a life like this.

Hip hip hooray for relaxed retirement-- Today's blog highlights what scolding of elders to be more active really is-- insidious ageism!

My DIL who likes to spend a day in her pajamas says, “ I just call them ‘clothes’.” Helps remove any guilt or embarrassment!

Great post and comments...thanks to all.

Heh--you guys are just reaping the benefits of a well-spent youth! I'm going to turn 81 in a couple of months, and there are plenty of days when I don't have a lot on my calendar. But--as someone who was a flaming alcoholic (still am, just don't drink) until her early 30s, I have unmade beds and undressed days associated with feeling sick and ashamed and guilty. So--I always, without fail, make the bed and get dressed. I may spend the day in front of the computer, but, by God, the house and I are presentable! I just somehow feel more prepared for whatever may happen if the house is neat and I'm dressed. We're not talking interview outfits here--just pants and a top. But I'm, you know, ready!

I love you guys. This is so timely for me! I am one who feels guilty for all I do and don't do. I don't volunteer either. I did for a while at a wild life rehabilitation center, and I loved it, but it was an hour drive, and my supervisor always looked sweetly distressed when it was time for me to leave. I am in my pajamas as I type this, having my morning coffee, as I do every morning. I wake up when I wake up, not to an alarm. I exercise with a trainer--because if I didn't have a trainer I wouldn't exercise. She keeps telling me I should compete at weight lifting in my age group. Hell no, I respond. I have a wilderness of overgrown flowers in my flower beds, a back yard that belongs to my two small dogs, and a desk with a very small clear area for me to work in amid all the piles of paper & books. I keep thinking I should clear out and organize my house for my children. Well, I should.
But so far, I don't. Etc. Etc. This is a sweet time for me after many very stressful years. Thank you and your readers for helping me give myself permission to enjoy it.

Dear Ronni, Your post and reader comments lead me to question where i am - with the "get up and get going" school or with the "relax and take it easy: crowd. So I must say that old age (I will be 82 next month) has me in the middle. There are hours at a stretch (sometimes even a day or two) when I am the energizer bunny; meetings with friends and colleagues - writing, speaking,, phoning e-mailing to advance the professional and social causes that have always been my passion.
Then, suddenly, I come to a complete stop. I cannot do one more thing! And I am left on the couch with my kindle, classical music on the radio, a cup of coffee close at hand - in blissful solitude while the battery recharges.

Terrific 2017 New Yorker piece on ageism that complements the hyperactivity v. serenity topic. Yes, it's the culture.
"In the 1920s, an engineer’s 'half life of knowledge'—the time it took for half of his expertise to become obsolete—was thirty-five years. In the 1960s, it was a decade. Now it’s 5 years at most, and, for a software engineer, less than 3. Traditionally, you needed decades in coding or engineering to launch a successful startup: William Shockley was 45 when he established Fairchild Semiconductor, in 1955. But change begets faster change: Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 25 when they started Google, in 1998; Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he created Facebook, in 2004...the sweet spot is your mid-twenties: The guys with kids and mortgages are at a real disadvantage. The median age at tech titans such as Facebook and Google is under 30; the standard job requirements in the [Silicon] Valley—which discourage a 'stale degree' and demand a 'digital native' who’s a 'culture fit'—sift for youth. That culture is becoming the culture. At Goldman Sachs—a century-and-a-half-old investment bank that is swiftly turning into a tech company—partners are encouraged to move on after 5 years or so, or risk being 'de-partnered.' ...By 2020, for the first time, there will be more people on Earth over the age of 65 than under the age of 5...Like the racist and the sexist, the ageist rejects an Other based on a perceived difference. But ageism is singular, because it’s directed at a group that at one point wasn’t the Other—and at a group that the ageist will one day, if all goes well, join. The ageist thus insults his own future self...Ageism is so hard to root out because it allows us to ward off a paralyzing fact with a pleasing fiction. It lets us fool ourselves, for a time, into believing that we’ll never die. It’s not a paradox that ageists are dissing their future selves—it’s the whole point of the exercise. The cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker codified this insight as 'terror management theory.' Becker wrote, 'The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.' ”

My faith in humanity is restored! and I no longer feel like a sloth. How I love the days not bothering to dress, just laze about and do whatever I want. And now plan my weeks to include those wonderful days. Love your post, Ronni, and ALL the comments. It made my day

A relaxed old age is no longer a choice for me, but a necessity. There are days when I just don't have an iota of energy and all I can force myself to do is sit in front of my PC screen and try to keep up with the news. Those days are becoming more frequent as the years pile on.

Because I have no option, I do not get dressed or fold the laundry that has been waiting for 2 days. Eventually it all gets done. And I don't feel one tiny twinge of guilt.

Because I live alone and there is no one to fix my meals I sometimes eat something that is prepared and ready to eat. Last night it was ice cream. I know this is not good for me, but there you are.

On the good days I accomplish quite a bit and am proud of myself, but it's spasmodic. And I usually pay for the burst of energy the next day. That is what a relaxed retirement has come down to, but - hey - I am not complaining. I like it and the bad days are the price I have to pay for these extra years I am blessed with.

Interesting posts...most days I get dressed about 11 am, unless I have an early medical appointment. I do not stay in PJ's all day unless I am feeling sick from my sinus allergies.
I have good intentions of getting outside early to walk, but seldom do walk until after noon. I do go to yoga for my balance, flexibility, and to relieve stress 2 x a not want to have another fall like I had 6 years ago which left me crippled up and in pain for a year.

As for volunteering, I, too, became discouraged after 3 years of holding a weekly therapy group for recovering women court ordered for drug and and alcohol use. That left me time to initiate a program for the local library to deliver books to home bound I tutor one hour weekly in their literacy program. My student is more like meeting with a friend because that is what we are, dear friends, and I enjoy it. I do not do anything I dislike including being around bitter, unhappy people.

Re house cleaning, I do the minimum, but have cleaning women every 2 weeks which helps me keep my "piles of stuff" from taking over, and also keeps me on a schedule to change the kitchen and bath towels, sheets, and the chair covers that protect the upholstery from our 2 dirty, little, inside/outside, spoiled cats who each have their own chair. At 10 pm they go in the garage to sleep, with a cat door on to keep them inside and safe.

What else...oh yes, the best is my ability now to take art classes from a marvelous teacher not too far away. And I discovered when cleaning up my backyard garden for a visit from my gardening group, that my arthritis was much less a problem so now I am more motivated to get outside and clean up areas that need attention, not so interested in taking care of my bonsai collection anymore. ...benign neglect for them.

Thank you, Ronni, for this topic...I am 78, and my husband is not a house cleaner person, but then again, he never complains about anything, and he likes everything I cook for meals, and he is a dear, even if he spends most of his time exercising on the treadmill , or riding a bike, and sitting in front of his computer, so I am very lucky we have each other and are both healthy enough to still travel.

Yay, exactly! This is the hidden secret of getting old. All you young folks can work yourselves silly and we'll just find a book and a comfy seat or take a lovely walk. I thought I -should- volunteer or otherwise keep busy after I retired too. A couple of years later, I saw the light. And guilt is optional.

Nowadays, I am in chemotherapy, which forces me to prioritize which activities get my limited stamina each day. I will remember that lesson.

Loved this article & mama mia would I love to "do it my way" (a more relaxed retirement) but no chance of that with my husband refusing to move outa this too-big-for-us place & him "adopting" way too many people even older than us that he feels sorry for. I feel sorry for them too; but like I keep telling him, "You need to remember that the most important 2 elders that we need to conserve our energy for & take care of is you and me! And that won't be easy with us not having kids to help us." But he won't listen.

It's almost 3 pm and I'm still in my nightgown! I've done some chores, and will be going out to dinner tonight, but it is SOOOOO wonderful not to have to pay attention to anybody or anything except for the 2 cats. I can't even remember the last time I wore hose!!

Oh my gosh, I am normal!!! Here I thought my lackadsical attitude was a harbinger of impending doom...Thank you all for the reality of enjoying my autumnal years!!!

What a great, as always, post. I have always wondered about those who " retire " and then are high drive into living life to the hilt, taking courses, volunteering, scaling mountains, founding nonprofits, you name it and it's all high drive and in fast forward. It reminds me of racehorses taken off the track, if put in a paddock ( think small pasture) they will run themselves to death because they don't know how to go slow. We need to learn to use leisure. To own our smell the roses, to savor doing NOTHING. Let life come to us in quiet and peaceful moments. AARP magazine is always featuring those that are doing skydiving and scaling Mt. Everest or founding successful businesses. What about the rest of us? Some of us value a different way to do it. Our culture is all about being proactive to the point of losing life. Ok, I got to rant...thanks for hearing me out!

I'm only 61, so, early in the process - although I've been retired for 5 years.

But basically I think that it's not our job, us the older people, to help the younger people avoid the knowledge that they are going to age and die.

Waving at you all and looking forward to more days without a to-do list. Surely that's the highest stage of humanity, consciousness without obligation.

This week our retired geezer cycling group rode 52 kilometres on a bike path that snaked along the north shore of Montreal.

Gorgeous water views on one side and on the other, a bunch of high end high rise nursing homes and sprawling riverfront mansions.

As we rolled past one nursing home, a senior woman sat on a bench with her PAB. The caregiver gently held the woman's hand and tried to get her to speak, but the sounds that came out made me immediately picture someone I love in her shoes.

I didn't mention it to the group when we stopped for lunch, but I kept thinking about her though, right into the night.

I will keep my table busing vol job at the ILR, one morning a week. The residents are like a second family, and my 94 year old friend lives there.

I may be an outlier here, Ronni.

Gardening is my religion.

Hours getting dirty in bummy clothes.

Pilates, walking and roaming the neighbourhood on our bikes.

I did six guided walking tours of Montreal neighbourhoods, like Little Italy, Chinatown, PieX, St. Henri, Golden Square Mile.

Met a nice group of seniors on these walks.

Had a great time.

DH and I go to all the festivals. Jazz, Comedy, Mural Fest.

And we read for hours.

We keep on keeping on.

Thank you for this. I really thought I was going to enter a whole new phase in retirement and to accomplish things I never had, but one does not have the energy one once had.

I thought this article was related. There’s the myth of the reinvented middle aged person, which maybe similar to the myth of the super energized old person (or the one who can work into their nineties).
NYTimes The Snake Oil of the Second-Act Industry by Alissa Quart

Thank you for an interesting post, Ronni. Your followers are all so interesting and willing to share their own views.

When my children were in their teens they fancied a fellow named Ashleigh Brilliant,
(and yes, that was his real name) that marketed a line of posters and T-shirts called "Pot Shots". The one I truly liked, and thus remember, was the shirt emblazoned "DON'T SHOULD ON ME".

I sometimes thought I should make one for myself in mirrored printing so I would see it when looking in the mirror at the start of a busy day, and trying to be 'Mrs. Peter Perfect' in a teenager infested house. Age and a bit of experience has given me that gift anyway now that kids are adults. For that I'm grateful. There is a real peace in just being who we are and knowing there is only one like us in the world. I think we all try to give it our best shot. Some older folks I know use the phrase, "comfortable in your skin." Yeah!

A few years ago, I'd probably have pooh-poohed this concept. I'm 81 now. That's the story for me. Not that I'm necessarily thrilled with it, but it is what it is.

This is pretty much how I’ve been living these retirement years though until the past 3 years I was working part time. I simply don’t welcome regular obligatory commitments. I like the kind of activities I can drop in on, or not, that don’t require my presence. Even have jettisoned the self-imposed requirement of more rigid publishing blog posts.

The lazy days appear erratically as they did over a decade ago after my husband retired, then his health began to restrict his activities. I might have days when not working, we might sleep in, laze around the house only to discover it had become late afternoon. Why bother to dress then we decided. I’ve continued that tradition on occasion as a widow.

I'm a widowed lady of 71. I share my home with my SIL, which is nice and works, because the house is roomy and we get along well, but have separate lives.

I love to putz in my garden, which feeds my soul, go out to eat with a few friends which also includes a drink or two, follow many blogs and news commentaries on my iPad ( this enjoyment takes up a lot of my time) and watching some quality TV at night (PBS, MSNBC and some streaming movies) and then sleep and repeat.

I am more mentally engaged in politics than I have ever been and while it's very disturbing now, I feel a push to stay informed.

I like to stay social because it helps eliminate the loneliness I sometimes feel from being a widow.

I like a chill day when you can do nothing other than think about things sitting outside and enjoying nature.

Do what makes you happy..that's it!

Oh how I do love this post! Yes to everything said above. I retired a bit early at 59 1/2, for a variety of reasons. Mainly, the house was paid for, the kid was well launched, and we had enough savings and know how to scrimp.

I only want to add that making the bed is not necessary. It turns out that leaving the covers turned down reduces the dust mites on your bed. The only way those little critters get water is from condensation from your body warmth under the covers. Leave the covers thrown back all day and they die.

Mary's comment's final line speaks to me. Maybe just the comfort of a sense of community when living alone. Thanks Mary. I have used Robert Louis Stevenson as my personal inspiration lately. He was a very young man when he wrote this brief piece.
Stevenson was not yet a well-known writer in 1877 when he composed "An Apology for Idlers" (which, he said, was "really a defense of R.L.S.")

''There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy, we sow anonymous benefits upon the world, which remain unknown even to ourselves, or when they are disclosed, surprise nobody so much as the benefactor. The other day, a ragged, barefoot boy ran down the street after a marble, with so jolly an air that he set every one he passed into a good humor; one of these persons, who had been delivered from more than usually black thoughts, stopped the little fellow and gave him some money with this remark: "You see what sometimes comes of looking pleased."
It's true in my own life when I remember to actually DO it.

Two more things about clothing. The millennial generation has made an ideal of clothes that look like, or function like, pajamas. My daughter-in-law calls it living the dream. Sometimes the young ones show some wisdom.

When I retired I bought one summer dress that I referred to as my play clothes. For the first few years it was a T-shirt fabric tie-dyed dress but I lost weight and it outgrew me. Now I have a rayon summer dress from the Greater Good shop. I will wear it until it wears out. Also go to Ragstock and buy tie elastic waist rayon Thai pants and found an online source for those lovely long-sleeved Indian cotton blouses we wore in the 60s and early 70s.

Embracing the inner hippie wannabe that I was!

I think we all need to give ourselves permission to live the rest of our lives the way we choose because we're not going to get it from a workaholic society who still can't face the fact that our body ages.

We are still battling ageism in this culture and maybe it's time to put that finger up in the air and tell people to bug off. Trying to be polite here. lol No need to defend, justify or explain myself at this age.

I am tired of people asking me what I do rather than trying to get to know who I am. I have a lot to share but nobody wants to take the time to listen. The freedom I have today to do whatever I please is refreshing but I still have to battle the guilt and shame that is placed on me by society and also by myself.

Funny, I do the opposite. Some nights I sleep in my day clothes. Why not? I picked them to be comfortable, washable, and wrinkle-resistant. The only real difference from my pyjamas is colour and style -- and the label.

It's kind of nice to wake up once in a while and be already dressed for the day!

Even when I was working I wouldn't get 'dressed' if I wasn't leaving the house, so I just continued on after retirement. When I retired my son asked what I was going to do & I told him nothing. He questioned it but I am perfectly happy reading, surfing on-line & fighting with my dogs. I hope I have 20 more years doing the same.

I often don’t get dressed if I don’t have to leave the house. Sometimes, I shower and put clean pajamas on. Never made the bed when I worked...just closed the door. Now that I’m retired and living in one 528 sq ft apt, the bed is visible all the time to me and anyone who stops by, so it gets made while the coffee is brewing. I recently discovered Osher and have taken two classes since Spring as well as becoming a weekly volunteer at the OLLI office of the University of Southern Maine in Portland. I’ve loved both classes and enjoy my 3.5 hrs of general office duties. I know that I am appreciated there for my office skills and for every 25 hrs of volunteer time, I get a free class or workshop. Win-win

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