Today is the final day of September. I cannot allow this month to end without sharing a ‘piece of my mind’ on the subject of aging. Fortunately, I have some firsthand experience on this topic to draw from. So, let us begin!
Memory – Quantity wise, as we age we have more memories, so we can be more selective about which ones we dwell on. 😏 Quality wise, our memory is not as reliable as it once was. This can be good or bad depending on the situation. It is frustrating as we search for our glasses every single morning! It can be a blessing as we can forget people, places, and events that we did not care for in the first place – or even when we forget what we had for supper yesterday. Who cares? That just gives us the option of enjoying the same meal three days in a row. 👍
Finances – There is one financial term that is typically referred to in retirement that drives me batty! ‘Fixed Income’. I am fortunate that my husband still works, we live a very modest lifestyle, and we live in a country that has financial programs to help the aged. I know that there are those who are worse or better off than me in retirement. But seriously, how many people are not living on a ‘Fixed Income’? In all of my years of working, never once did I have the opportunity to demand a pay increase because my utility bills, my cost of food, or because any of my costs increased. Very few employers have an automatic ‘cost of living’ increase built into their wage package. Those that do rarely, if ever, cover the actual increased costs of living, nor do these increases kick in every time a cost increase comes into effect. Many seniors struggle financially, but so do many younger people – many singles, many young people starting out in adulthood, many in low paying positions, many parents providing for families. These people cannot afford to have their taxes hiked to support raising pensions every time there is a cost increase. They, like seniors, are on ‘fixed incomes’ and are struggling to make the same cutbacks that we all are to meet their financial obligations.
Harvest – Yesterday, I posted a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson on my blog. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” I used to think that retirement was the time to reap the rewards of life. I still do, to a point. Going into retirement, many of us have much to show for our working years. Our home is paid off, our relationships are solid, our family is self sufficient, our retirement income is secure. But, there was one thing that I discovered when I retired. I planted a lot of seeds (time, money, effort, love) in my life before retirement – in my kids, my marriage, my grandkids, my career, my home, etc. But, I did not plant a lot of seeds in myself – not in my health, not in my skills or my hobbies, not in considering, much less developing, my own interests. I do not regret any of the seeds that I did plant but when I retired and my family was grown and self-sufficient, I was so excited to be be free! And I was free, sometimes painfully so. It has taken two years – two years of walking, thinking, starting and stopping, but I am finally planting seeds in me. I am so grateful that retirement has given me the time and inclination to do this! It will be interesting to see what I harvest as these next years unfold.
That is about it for my thoughts on retirement. I personally recommend aging and retirement! It is great, even when the struggle is real.
Take care and have a great day💞