ELDER MUSIC: Taj Mahal
A TGB READER STORY: The Raisin-y Bite

What Do You Do All Day in Retirement?

It's one of the most common questions we get in old age: what do you do all day? Working people who spend at least half of their waking hours trading expertise for money can't imagine how old people fill the time.

I don't recall specifically, but I probably wondered about that when I was working age. Now, after 15 years in retirement, I have a pretty good handle on how those former work hours (and more) easily get used up.

Cooking along with the accompanying shopping, storing, cleaning up, etc. fills a lot of time. I don't eat out as frequently as when I worked

Always a news junkie, I read it more thoroughly and carefully now – at least a couple of hours a day, often more

As the years pass, I've gradually become slower so it takes longer to do everything

These days, I tire more easily than when I was working and often indulge in an afternoon nap. An hour, sometimes two, disappear

Reading books and magazines I once had time only to skim. So do research and writing the blog, trying to keep up with email, and don't get me started on technology glitches that need attention

And so on.

A couple of facts about old people's health from the U.S. National Council on Aging (NCOA):

Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. Four chronic diseases—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause almost two-thirds of all deaths each year.

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

The variety of federal, state and local agencies that deal with elder health issues have a lot of facts, some effective advice and thousands of pages of information on the internet.

What they don't mention is how busy those chronic diseases keep us, how much time they steal from our retirement.

In the two years since I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the care and feeding of my remarkably decent health (I'm grateful every day) takes more time than I would ever have imagined. Some examples:

Counting those damned pills into their little boxes. Ten days ago or so I rebelled, didn't sort them for the coming week and therefore had to do it three times a day. Stupid of me. Obviously. But I needed the break from routine even if it did cause more work

As the nurses and physicians told me way back in 2017 following my Whipple surgery, I must eat a LOT of food – the point being not to fall into frailty

Both cancer and chemotherapy drugs use up energy (and therefore, calories) faster than a body without cancer so “eat, eat, eat” they old me

Eat lots of protein, lots of fat and don't worry about lack of green food. “Food is medicine,” they said to me, and “The cancer will kill you long before this diet will”

I spend huge amounts of time preparing food to try to eat when I've lost my appetite for three or four or five days after chemo.

Simple household chores take what seems like forever particularly for a few days after chemo. I need to sit down to rest twice during those days while making the bed. Changing the bed? Don't even ask

Let's not forget two full days a month are gone – seven or eight hours each – of chemotherapy. Sometimes I'm exhausted enough for bed all day for two or three days afterwards and sometimes not, with no way to predict

Another five or six appointments each month with half a dozen medical specialists who seem to be required to treat cancer. It's a good thing I've come to like all these people – and the others, nurses, medical assistants, schedulers, etc. - and in a certain sense they have become friends

I wear out for the day by mid-afternoon which means I must get all the blog work and everything else in my life done by then. By 3PM, I can't even focus long enough to read anything longer than a short magazine or newspaper story

Enough. Any of you who have your own chronic disease(s) to manage every day know all about this.

Given that I have lived longer than the doctors imagined I would and who are predicting even more healthy time for me, I feel like a churl when resentment of the hours and days the maintenance involves overtakes me.

I try my best to get past it quickly. I can't be the only old woman (or man) who sometimes longs for the carefree, healthy life I lived for so long. What about you?



Comments

I suffer mostly from being 82!! :) Not much energy & the only chronic illness is hypertension which I take way too many meds for which I hate, but I do it. Have to get a 2 week pill box to fill, because like you I do not much like filling the darn pill box once a week.

Mainly I'm lonesome...…….3 adult children live away in other states & 3 grandsons in FL. Oh well. Everyday I pray & one of the main things is being thankful for a paid roof over my head, a check which I worked hard for, once a month & the ability to walk...…..not real strong walking, but more like a stroll. I do Chair Yoga at the local church hall 2 times a week & find it very relaxing. Otherwise not much else. Your routine sounds just fine to me & I admire your resolve. Be well, as long as time allows. :);):)Dee

Hi, Ronnie, My heart goes out to those on this blog who have chronic diseases or illnesses as in your case, that take so much time and energy from our lives. I am fortunate and only have chronic pain ( thanks to a whiplash mva) to deal with. It is my constant companion; however I am very good at overriding it -ignoring-and living my life and have a lot of energy for doing my two passions. I am only 68, a baby in the business of aging. I ballroom dance. I walk 5-6 miles a day and train my obedience dogs for competition. I like to think my good health and energy comes from exercise and diet, but do know that luck is a large component too in what gets sent our way. Until that point, though, I am doing what I love and it fuels me on the days when I feel pulled down by pain. I just keep on truckin...as we all do no matter what. You have inspired us in that!

Hugs and cheers,

Karin

Can you imagine, Ronni, if you had fallen ill while still employed? Or while raising a young family? I see this with some acquaintances. Life becomes very hard in that scenario.

I am very grateful for the good health I had during my younger years while working and raising our daughter. I look back and wonder HOW I ever got so much done. I am also grateful for retirement so that I can spend time doing the things I enjoy at a much slower pace than I lived as a younger, employed woman.

First time I had to fill a pill box I actually cried. Now I have to do my husbands as well and again today called in prescriptions for find one expired. With refills how does one figure out when it was due? I'm lousy at math.

I am diabetic, I had a stroke in Oct. my balance has not returned completely, nor has my sense of smell and taste. At 79 I am constantly tired. (turn 80 in Oct.) My nurse friend said have you told your doctor, I said why I'm old. :-)

It is quite amazing how my days disappear. And my girls always ask what I am I doing today. I have two little ‘jobs’ I absolutely love. I am back with Curves, much needed exercise I have been neglecting.
I am in the middle of a knitting project. Once a week I meet up with three friends for coffee. I can’t believe I am almost 80, can’t say out loud. I did not take the 101 class on growing old. And maybe if I had taken the class I would have not listened. My sister likes to remind me it is just a number.
I loved the life of 50, life seemed so much easier. Today my creativity along with enthusiasm seems such an effort. And so easy at 50!

Longing for the earlier healthy years.....not 'arf. Can it really be only 2 years ago that Don had never been ill, had not taken any prescription meds - never had a headache. I can't believe it. My only problem was raised BP, controlled by one tab a day.

Then, whoosh, out of the blue, TIAs for Don and then a year later a cancer diagnosis for me. His condition is well controlled and he has been well for nearly 2 years. I put it down to my excellent TLC. For me, I feel as if I'm slowly declining, e.g. the tiredness, forgetfulness and the oh-so long it takes to do anything. What I need is a wife! Surgery has removed the tumour and I didn't want precautionary follow-up. I am told that a 3 monthly CAT scan showed no other involvement. All good news so onwards and upwards.

So, Ronnie, maybe we

I never thought I'd be in the ranks of those spending a lot of time with doctors or in hospitals or getting over stuff. But I am. I don't like it! After being unconscious for several hours in mid-March, I finally feel like myself brain-wise. But I'm still going to two doctors, two P.T. appointments and an appointment with a social worker THIS week! But I am trying hard and mostly succeed in practicing gratitude. I have lots of things to be grateful for. So there!

Another aspect of “What do you do all day when retired” is that we learn very quickly to fill our days with activities that we love. Often the reply is “I really no longer have time to go to a JOB!”
And yes, ATGB, I love an afternoon nap. But I also love walking with friends, maybe at least as important is that chin wagging that occurs when following up that walk with coffee or whatever.
And I’ve been most fortunate to be able to travel to wonderful places with my hubby, which always makes us most grateful when we return to our home.
My Sweetie has been laid up in hospital for over 7 months now, and I am grateful that I have time to see him every day, and to prepare him small microwaveable meals (institutional food is so bland and unappealing for the most part).
And I’m also grateful that his family is close by and can see him regularly.
And lastly I’m grateful that I enjoy relatively good health. One day at a time. Live for the present.

For years after I retired I continued doing everything I did before retiring. I did all of my own housecleaning, some repair, yard work, etc. I started doing it slower, of course, I traveled and attended plays and concerts. I volunteered at a nursing home playing the piano for the residents, etc.

In my 80's I still did all of my work but had sold my house with a swimming pool and lawn and bought a townhouse with a small back yard to maintain. I became much more tired and did less and less as the years rolled by. By my 90's I had a cleaning lady and no longer took care of my yard. I tired quickly.

Now I am feeling like I have been shelved. Last week my physical therapist advised me to just stay in my wheelchair all day now and not to walk (with a walker) unless someone was with me to help me. I protested that my legs would atrophy and she said, "We just want to keep you safe". Translation to me - "you are very old and now all that is left is to remain as free of danger as possible."

To me, that spelled the end of being independent for the first time in my life. I became depressed for a few days and told my daughter that I really am ready for the ice floe now. Then I became angry at being told I was virtually worthless and started doing what I can to maintain as much independence as possible. If this means standing to reach something I will stand. I stand with caution, of course, and have the rolling chair behind me in the event I lose my balance but damned if I am going to have to ask for help every time I need an item.

So I get my food out of the fridge, fix my lunch, and do what I can in addition to my hours on the computer doing most of the things you mentioned, Ronni, (sans blog), read books and watch a video clip before bedtime. I dress myself with the exception of shoes and stockings and continue my lifestle as best I can. I no longer go out to lunch with a friend or do very much but I continue to do what I can.

What do I do each day? I too am asked frequently, and I remember asking my own mom when she was nearing my age. Like you, she had cancer, and it took up more time than she wanted to give it. She had chemo every 3 weeks, losing about a week to the nausea and weakness. Thankfully, she had good friends who made sure she had something healthy to eat during that week. The other 3 weeks of every month, she did whatever she pleased. There was bridge club, church volunteering, and occasional chats with friends. Frequent lunches at nice restaurants. She took occasional trips to visit me or my brothers. She also visited other relatives and friends in distant parts of the country. She even took a cruise to Alaska, where another cousin lives.

Mom watched her share of TV. I remember being able to ask her what night a new program would air, and she could give me day, network, and time.

She had some doctor appointments, of course, although she tried to schedule them all on the same day. I remember that she was put out by the way some of the medical offices treated her. She refused, for instance, to "bring all of (her) medications along," as some nurses insisted.

"I can certainly tell you what medications I take," she said. "I can even type up a list. But I'm not going to carry a brown paper bag with all of my prescription drugs in it." She pointed to an elderly man nearby. "Where do you think he's going, and what's in the bag?"

I couldn't agree more, and now that I'm nearing 70, I too am subjected to doctors or staff who apparently think I'm too feeble to know what drugs I'm taking. Nor do they respect that I have a nifty app on my phone that keeps that list up to date. A nurse recently asked me about a prescription I follow, and she quizzed me about the amount I take.

"Here," I responded. "Take a look at the list in MyChart. Doesn't it agree entirely with the one I just gave to you?"

She claimed the doctor wanted these facts checked to see that I wasn't taking medications that combat one another. Why then was I the one that had to bring up research that showed he had prescribed two such medications during a recent visit?

But fine, I'm all for checking. However, I won't haul my medications around, whether they fit in my purse or I need a brown paper bag. Nor will I accept the suggestion that older people like to chat with one another in the waiting room. You know this is just an excuse, and that they always keep you waiting too long. I waited 2-3/4 hours to see the doctor during a recent appointment. Then I left. The woman at the desk asked me if I was going to lunch.

"Nope. Just going."

"But he was nearly ready to see you," she replied.

"He's used his time," I responded and headed for the door.

There were no emergencies going on, by the way. They were simply being disrespectful of my time.

I have two volunteer positions, I take a lifelong learning class, and I like to visit the library, or friends, or the riverbank. And like my mom, I watch some TV too.

So don't push me, you people who are wasting my time. I expect you to value me in a way that appreciates the life that I lead, however I choose to lead it.

I have an appointment with a Nephrologist today after my primary doc discovered some abnormalities on a recent blood test that may indicate kidney disease. I am praying that this is not the beginning of a long and never-ending regimen of tests, pills, specialists, and treatments. I have never had a chronic disease in all of my 73 years and thought of becoming a "slave" to medications frightens the heck out of me.

I admit I get somewhat impatient with "what do you all day?" Usually, I reply absolutely nothing! Which is, of course, not true. I love my day. I love putting off the washing up, or making the bed; I love playing with my cats, knitting, reading, writing, reading this blog; speaking French with Francophiles, watching ridiculous movies with granddaughter; Happy Hours and amazing cocktails (I live in Portland OR). I will be 76 this year with COPD and three pills a day, along with inhalers twice a day.

I am truly grateful for his blog and you Ronnie as well as all your lovely followers. I have found it so much easier dealing with illness, pills, shortness of breath and eventual death after finding and reading your blog.

o/

Reading all this scares the crap out of me, too. But it also reminds me to do what I can while I can. My first year of retirement has been wonderful - doing volunteer work that I enjoy and enjoying the freedom from endless scheduling.

The Waiting Game
I have examined the actuarial tables
and have concluded they are based on fables.
At my age, according to the tables I have read,
I probably should already be dead.
I hope to stick around a few years more,
to learn what the tables are really for.

--Henry Lowenstern, 93

I don't nap, as getting up once a day is unpleasant enough. Don't want to do it twice. I'm definitely a low energy type and doing the dishes, the laundry, the grocery store, etc. each gets its own day. I dread changing the bed, since it involves laundering the one set of sheets. And the mattress is extremely heavy, even when just tucking in sheets. I do the pill-counting thing once a week, which is annoying but necessary. (And no brown bags for me. The list on my phone is simpler, more reliable, and much appreciated by the nurses.) The rest of my time is a mix of watching tv and/or browsing the internet, working on my blog, or playing video games.

When I first moved to Colorado I was dreaming of all those day trips I'd never had time for before, where I'd just hop in the car and drive wherever inspiration led, following impulse down unfamiliar mountain roads. So many places in the state I've never seen. But now I'm afraid to drive very far alone for fear of fatigue taking over unexpectedly, or my leg cramping up, or something. Leaving me stranded and alone in unfamiliar places and, in the mountains, likely without cell phone service.

But I do enjoy, immensely, having my time to myself. Whether I do something, or nothing, it's according to my whim, not someone else's.

I've had asthma, and sometimes pneumonia, since I was about 3. Started after a trauma
in Japan about 1951. I only had one nebulized inhalant available, and I diluted it with water. Now, I use corticoids, nasal sprays, Albuterol, etc., etc., plus shots every year. I see an
allergen specialist. Having a chronic problem like asthma as we age is a real hassle. The trade off is that I was never supposed to age past 25. I guess it's a good trade; I got almost 50 years extra.

I am glad you have lived for so long!

I am in my late sixties and have become more regular with working out, walking, and eating more healthy. It’s a social thing for me as well as I’m widowed with no children. I try to enjoy each day no matter.

Like Dee, my biggest problem these days is being 82 years old! Who would have thought! 3 years ago I lost all my large intestines, the cause of which has never been determined, and now that little ostomy bag attached to my abdominal exterior dictates my entire existence. My schedule is built around the vagaries of my intestinal system! A far cry from my first 79 years of existence.

I've been working since I was 13, and a few times at 2 jobs. Raised 3 kids, and just gave up my last bookkeeping client 3 years ago when my eyes started to go! A much different schedule from today. But I must add, I am beginning to like the current schedule of nothing more than getting up at 8 am, making my own meals, doing my own small laundry once a week and having loads of time to wander around the world through my much-loved computer.

Like a lot of only children, I learned at the beginning of my existence how to be alone and how to entertain myself for long stretches of time. It's a lifetime habit and, I'm sure, had a lot to do with my brief marriages. Always thought I ought to write a book and call it "Never Marry An Only Child: We Never Learned to Share"!

Just this year, after standing up and blowing my meniscus out in my knee, I've added a phalanx of doctors. I wore my body out doing physical work, and so I have had a bone doc fora long time. After knee surgery, I had a long bout with Afib which lead to a Cardiac man.
Many years of bronchitis after every cold leads me to a pulmonary doc. At the same time, my fading memory has led me to a neurologist. It's not Alzheimer's but PTSD. Planned surgery to remove a cataract lead to drops...and I was allergic to them.

I'm looking at this mess with a sense of humor. There's lots of good stuff all around. I am so lucky and I know it..

Not retired at nearly 72 and with chronic health issues and so I'd be happy to be asked what I did all day if I weren't working to earn money! I do wonder what those who are healthy and w/ money and time do all day.. do they clean their houses incessantly? do they golf? watch TV? take care of grandchildren? If they are healthy, is it easier?

Oh Ronni, I long for the days of yore (younger days .. even into my 60s) when I could walk .. it's the thing I miss most of all. My scooter is fine but I can't just take off .. it's a production! And are we among the more privileged who don't toil outside our homes at jobs like cleaning hotel rooms or others' houses? I know we must be. . or many of us are.

At 71, I've been "retired" for some years (ignoring for the moment that during those years I've done several intense bouts of paid "work" by choice.) Having long worked as a "consultant" I came to retirement totally accustomed to having to set my own schedule. I think I've been good at this. And I've fulfilled some travel dreams, achieved some fitness milestones, learned a lot, and blogged regularly.

But these days, I find aging impinging. I get more tired. I seem not to be able to stuff the same number of tasks into a day or a week. So I must discern what to cut back on ... and perforce, I will. :-)

Dear Darlene -- I know you'll keep moving as you can!

I have found it very interesting and helpful reading what you lovely retired adults have to say about life in the slow lane. I will be 83 in august and yes, I can tell it!
I was always a vey active person mentally, physically and socially. I have had my share of this and that in the way of illness. I fractured my back in a fall from a horse in my 30's but re-cooped and it did not effect my life ( until I started getting some form of arthritis ( don't know what kind because so far I am handling it homeopathically). I do take medication for hypertension. Have had double sciatica for about a year now. Too old for a chiropractor and do not wish to go the surgery route. Being a follower of the organic way and naturopathic way I use heat, cold and massage to keep on "truckin" My tummy decided some time back that it wanted to eat differently than I did--so I have to watch what I consume. I believe they call it IBS because they don't know what it is.
I have a fairly nice size family- spread all over like most folks. I keep in touch mainly by text ( hip granny ( : I live alone in the same house that my husband and I raised our family in. Only difference is he is no longer here and I handle it all! I love to garden and that is my passion. I cook , clean and care for my little Yorkie companion. Sometimes my body hurts a lot but I feel so grateful to be here at all ( most of my friends have long since departed this world) I do stay home a lot but stay very busy with computer, cell, TV, house, garden, dog and trying to keep up with my health. I traveled when I was young with hubby and worked outside of the home after the kids were grown. Yes, I get lonely ( my kids keep in touch but all have their own lives to keep afloat) I keep hoping I will meet someone very nice and perhaps they would like to share the rest of my life with me ( maybe even a gal pal) Then, I wonder, after 14 years of living alone--am I too set in my ways?????? For those of you who celebrate Easter I wish you a happy one and God bless us each and every one! The best to you Ronnie.

My long epistle timed out....to be brief, I get tired more easily at the age of 79...I am fortunate to only need a Prolia injection for osteoporosis every 6 months, and now have eye pressures under control with the 2 Xen glaucoma stents....and will start the numbing gel prescribed for my painful arthritic thumbs.

My artwork was chosen to be on display at my Alma mater which was a thrill. I made myself enter an assemblage again because I am old, I guess to prove that I still have the chops, also I am competitive by nature, growing up in a family of 4 girls, maybe contributed. I take an art class but am now on a break for the summer as it got to be "work".

My bone doctor read my wellness report and pronounced me "Healthy as a horse" Friday when I saw him about getting tests and scheduling my hip replacement. I do hope I sail through that one. My husband and I still enjoy traveling and hiking together on Sundays.

I do what many of us do, relax in A.M., take a nap, read my novels, volunteer 1 hour a week tutoring in a literacy program at the library, going out for dinner and a movie several times a month with gal pals, cooking dinner, pulling a few weeds, cutting bouquets of flowers, vacuuming the cat hair, and allergens once a week.; having the cleaning ladies each 2 weeks certainly helps, as well as the gardener who works once a month.

I am grateful everyday for our good health.

I am 88, and have heard that old age is not for sissies. I am ashamed that I am such a sissy. I live with chronic pain, the result of having careened into a steel door several years ago.

A heart monitor, worn for a month, suggested that another serious fall was most probably related to my heart stopping for a bit. That particular day, I had wondered how on earth I found myself on the floor stuck between 3 pieces of wooden furniture .

The steel door episode ? Who knows ? A pesky heart, or a problem with balance ?

At any rate, I know full well that sitting for hours with my pain is not smart. Thinking of the mind-body connection, my mind says : Get up and move around. My body answers : No.
I am lonely, with 4 of our 5 "adult children" living their busy lives out of state. Several forms of incontinence keep me from leaving the house much. I often read that we, the aging, have a need for socialization ........ yep, I know that !! Television is a diversion but, these days, interruptions with D.C. Breaking News is......well, you know where I'm going with that. I spend too many hours fearing for my children and grand-children.
Thank you for listening. I've dared post what I do most days. After listening here to you (all), I find some comfort in venting and finding I am not alone. In closing (with apologies for my "comments") I promise myself to embrace your examples of strength and push myself to do more while I can.

Mary McCarthy, your patience in waiting almost 3 hours for your doctor really impresses me!
I never wait more than 30 minutes past an appointment time unless someone has told me there is a huge emergency and to please hang on because someone will definitely see me in another hour or so. Doctors are so arrogant and unthinking, and I have unfortunately come across several in the course of my life who make a practice of double-booking. I take my business elsewhere if there is not mutual respect in any relationship.

Just maintaining my body has gotten to be more of a pain in the neck! Pills, pain patches for arthritis, cream for dry skin, pads for the occasional dribble on myself, blah blah blah. I've broken down and gotten a nice woman to clean the house once a month, because I just don't want to any more. I've never been one of those people who "like to stay busy". I like to day dream, follow up random trains of thought, read poems and so on.

And I congratulate myself all the time that I am now old and have only a limited number of years left to watch the water rise and the microbes to evolve. So the answer to what I do al day is: whatever I want to!

I keep readin' about al you 70 and 80 year olds in the comments -- look what we did while we were in our 70's and 80's -- the wife and I at ages 61 & 65 drove into Mexico and stayed (San Miguel de Allende) for 24 years. Came back for health reasons but docs made us well. Been bloggin' since mid-2016 -- published close to 300 of 'em and so that takes up a lot of the time. We have HBO, Netflix and Amazon Prime to fill in the gaps and the wife goes to exercise/yoga. Yep, I'm 94+ and she's 90+ -- two nonagenarians not wastin' any time. Heck, we got a life to lead!!

Oh Ronni, it takes me about three goes with a rest between to get clean sheets on the bed. Making it isn't too bad since I quit tucking in everything on the bottom. The source of this problem is COPD (no I didn't smoke) and a wonky back. My guess the COPD is the result of growing with two parents who did smoke (yes, Mom it was your fault), and more dirty air since then.

I have traded in missing what I used to have for getting creative about using what I have left. Adapt, adapt, adapt. Yes, I nap more, at 76 I could only walk 1/4 of a block without stopping only to discover at 77 I could walk much further if I just SLOWED down. Many of the things mentioned above are all too familiar, pill boxes, the large number of things I have to swallow, spray and rub on before even considering going out of the house and all done at a slower pace. More doctor appointments than I care for. Still I am with grandkids two days a week, take an occasional class, and sometimes volunteer at a local museum. I miss other people at times but sometimes I find I see no one for two days and haven't even noticed. I read a lot, love film, especially Asian films and fantasy, I'm a big Marvel fan which entertains the grandkids too and my sons. I still go fishing with my son. I draw, play on the internet. I am always tired, and never feel exactly well but I'm still standing, driving and living. So far so good.

As usual, I'm late to the party and others have already said much of what I would say--probably more eloquently, too. I'm 82. What can I say? I don't much like it, but it is what it is. . .Longevity is for sure a mixed bag, and my body isn't all that keen about hitting 90, or even 85!

Old age has caught up with me I've come to recognize. Working 'til age 79 this ol' body has begun to curtail my activities these 3 or 4 years later. I hadn't imagined this happening until maybe when I reached 90 years. (Hang in there, Darlene!) . My physical activities for even daily routines have been annoyingly, to put it mildly, curtailed. Will begin P.T. soon for rejuvenation.

Probably seeds planted here at TGB and by Ronni beginning in 2006, mixed with ideas when caring for my mother years before that, then thinking about what my husband's and my needs might someday be, or one or the other of us was left alone, all germinated to culminate in a group I started last year -- "Thriving In Place" at our local Sr. Center, for those of us choosing to live in place, independently, rather than entering retirement communities, etc.

We're a real mix of those living alone in their single-family residences to those in apts./condos, etc., some caregivers of a loved one, all sorts of independent living situations. Primarily, only those in the single-family home setting are currently actively participating. Our group is free though our city also offers an over ten years old fee-based group that can be joined providing village-type support with which we coordinate. I intentionally facilitate only hour-an-a-half sessions monthly with attendees needing to provide content based on their needs, experiences, wants and other.

Probably one of the primary aggravations for me has been the unpredictability of how I may feel any given day, and on occasion, even within a day. Adjusting to this is more problematic for me than it would have been when i was younger.

Currently, I'm recognizing a need to obtain some housekeeping assistance as its all getting ahead of me. A long-overdue need to "right-size" and refurbish my home interior looms over me. Soon the house exterior may require attention. My adult children and families live across the country. They are caring and solicitous, long wanting me to move closer to one or the other but live states away from each other. I really do not want to move back to cold winter snow country. Should I ever become confined to indoors, then I guess it wouldn't matter. I still drive but have thought it not wise to take the long trips alone I would so enjoy.

I do my own grocery shopping, probably eat a lot more fresh prepared meals, carry-out and drive-thru food than I ever did. For fun after retiring I've been allowing my now grey/white (hairdresser says blond) hair to grow. I continue after thirty plus years my regular appointments there -- but now only for a shampoo where we discuss only topics of little or no consequence in the scheme of life (they get upset otherwise).

Have a limited to non-existent local social network I've not reconstructed since all my friends either died, moved away or both. I have frequent phone or net contact with my children, also with dear long-time friends, a younger couple (but they're old now, too) that occasionally visit, but currently I no longer visit there; occasional interaction with immediate neighbors.

You're doing marvelously well, Ronni, so stick with it. We just enjoy each day, or whatever portion of it we can, or maybe it will be the next day. Living in the moment is what we've been supposed to be doing everyday through life -- takes on real meaning now.

I am mostly living on thin ice with severe COPD and from time to time I miss my younger healthier self.I console myself saying I have wisdom,depth ,gravitas and so on.Then, I turn around and turn my Oxygen concentrator on.Chronic illness and old age -double whammy indeed but you learn to survive and live at the same time.
Take care Ronnie and happy Easter.

So far am in good health, but life can throw a sucker punch at anyone, any time.

So I do my homework.

Pilates, line dance, walk, cycling group 45k a week. Gardening.

Volunteer one morning a week.

Help my senior mom.

DH and I go to plays, musicals, comedy fest.

We have learned to travel light.

I write everywhere.

Paper and pen always in my bag.

Take care of house.

Hang out with friends.

Treasure retirement.

Tuesday, April 16th.
After reading your blog for a while, I decided to do one of my own. You've been my inspiration! My blog, "for SENIORS only" will cover topics of interest to seniors 65+. I plan to kick it off next week, God willing. Thanks again for your perseverance. By the way I'm only 88.

John Leslie

Thanks for a brilliant answer to that stupid question.

When asked that, I listed a number of things, gardening was one. They,then asked , but then what as if gardening should take 5 minutes out of the day. I had already listed about 10 other things.

Joared, I worked until I was 78 so we're probably about the same age. It sounds like the years have caught up with both of us. Surprise! Like you, I wasn't expecting that to happen until I was at least 85--or, preferably, not at all since I fully expected to be 6 ft. under before it did. Except for a lifelong back problem (including 3 surgeries, the last of which, in 1963, was successful), I've always been pretty healthy.

That said, however, I seriously don't think my body was engineered to last longer than 80 years. I don't like not knowing whether I will feel half-way decent on any given day, especially since physical pain is now hanging around on a daily basis. I'm more limited in what I can do which goes against the grain for sure (I'm already doing P/T but that doesn't work as well as it used to.) My husband has the aging thing down better than I do. At 89, he's approaching Darlene's league.

I am always late to the party. Just now finding your blog because I am reading "next avenue" and somehow found your blog. If you were diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer two years ago and have had whipple surgery do you actually have PNET's ( Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer) which is different than Pancreatic Cancer? Enjoy your blog.

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