Archives For Maturity Matters

Things we should know as senior citizens

Stuck 1Several things have come together lately that take my focus to the decisions we make in our lives. With that in mind I am going to attempt a series of posts here at RJ’s Corner with the title above.

Every day we make hundreds of choices in our lives.  Many of them are things like what to eat, or when to go to bed.  I think most of us are pretty good at making those daily decisions. But I am convinced that many, including myself, are not so good at some of the higher level ones. We just don’t spend enough time thinking them through before we make our choice.  Being in my seventh decade of life, I have been through a gamut of choices. I will use this wisdom to reflect on how I did in that regard. In this series I hope you get some insight into your own travels and hope that you learn a little from my words.

The title “Don’t Get Stuck” should give you a pretty clear idea of where I imagine I am going with these posts.  The idea is to never think you are stuck with just one thing. There are always choices. Some might require stepping back a few steps to admit that you made a previously unwise choice and then going from there. Some might be having the guts to go forward into an unknown area.  Some might be better for you; some better for others. But, the choice is always yours.

I haven’t completely thought out this series yet so I don’t really know how it will conclude but I do have quite a few titles in mind.  In order to not bore you to death I will likely intersperse this series with my usual stuff.  I hope to learn a few things about myself along the way.  I would love to hear from any of you about possible  topics and also I would love to hear some of your stories in this area.  I very highly encourage you to ring in here.  If you don’t feel comfortable with letting others know who you are email me at rjscorner@live.com or comment as “anonymous”. I will break my rule about accepting those types of comments for this series .

Some of us in our senior years think that our choices in life have pretty much played out. I don’t believe that for a minute.  Some of us think that due to the roads previously chosen some choices are not now possible. I don’t believe that for a minute either. Come back on the days ahead to see where this series goes and help me move it along certain paths.

Be forewarned that I am not a professional in this area.  I am not a self-described lifestyle coach or anything like that.  I am just a simple guy who has made many choices in life; some of them pretty good, some not so good and am willing to share them with you in hopes that you and I  might learn something from them.

Never get stuck in your life thinking that you are out of options.

Living Longer…

August 13, 2013

RIPI have come to a realization lately that these stories of all us old people living longer is a bunch of phooey. Here I am finishing up my second year of being on Medicare and when I read the obituaries in our local small town paper I see lots of people who are much younger than I am. That fact has kind of startled me and warned me that my years on this earth might be shorter than I have planned. You never know.

At our ages if we show up in tomorrow’s obit it probably wouldn’t bring a big surprise to anyone especially to those younger folks who are currently taking over the country.  Some might even be relieved that one less person is on the Social Security entitlement program. But I have been told by all those statisticians that I will live considerably longer than my parents and grandparents due to all the advanced technology and stuff.  I am a planner, I have always been a planner and I am planning on living another dozen years or so but maybe the big guy upstairs has different plans. :)

In reality I think the biggest voice in the “living longer” stuff are the financial planners.  The more they can convince you to put aside and let them manage, the bigger their income. I was told I would require 90% of my pre-retirement income in retirement.  In reality the number is more like 60%, maybe even lower.  I admit that we are living more frugally than before but we are also living more satisfyingly.

In the end (pun intended) we will go when we go. None of us have a big part of that date. Yeah, we can maybe stretch it out a few more months if we spend hours a day at the gym and eat nothing but alfalfa sprouts but who really wants to do that?  I kind of think my DNA and genes have a more prominent role in how long I live.

Like it or not, admit it or not, as we get over a certain age our bodies start to deteriorate. That is just the normal scheme of things. Some like to delay the process with various creams and other snake oil type things. But in reality we all die sooner or later. I think those of us who are reconciled with that fact live a more comfortable and soothing life. Those who battle it to the end are doing just that; battling it to the end. I don’t want to be in that camp. Some day I will wake up to read my obituary in the paper. That is just the way it is……

You Either Write or Live

December 30, 2012

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Cristian MihaiSome time ago I came across a blog from a Romanian blogger named Cristian Mihai that got my attention. On many of his posts he seems much too mature for his twenty-two years.  But then other times he seems to fit right in to that bracket.  He is an ambitious young man who has totally conquered English as his second language. He is also a self-published author.

Below is one of the posts that seems almost profound to me. He is talking about what it means to be a writer:

Source: You either write or live « Cristian Mihai.

You have to take a step back, see things for what they are, and then write about them. You have to become an observer, you have to put your life on hold. You have to spend a lot of time inside your head, a lot of time all by yourself, in your living room, scribbling down one word after another.

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I can only say with 100% certainty how I personally feel about things. I won’t speak for others in that regard. I will admit that as I am getting older I am strangely happier and more settled in my life than I ever have been. This is despite the fact that my body continues to tell me I am over the hill.  When I ran across this article this morning it told me that I am not alone in this regard. Here are some of the words from the source:

Source:  Good news about aging: Get older, feel better, study finds – Vitals.

“We were astounded by how physical disability and self-rated successful aging went in diametrically opposite directions with aging,” Jeste told NBC News.  The results also suggested that the more resilient people are — or able to cope with acute stressors — the better they aged. Conversely, people who reported higher levels of depression were less likely to say they were aging well.

The new results are consistent with previous research that shows that people are depressed in middle age, but then become happier as they get older, Jeste said.  That may be because older folks likely have grappled with the most contentious questions of life — work, family, finances — and come to some resolution.   “As people get older, they are less bothered by negative stimuli,” Jeste said. “You take things in stride. Regret becomes less common.”

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