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Mary Ann

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JUST A FEW WEEKS OFF – SIGN UP TO RECEIVE MY NEXT BLOG

 

Pre-surgery medical appointments and tests, organizing my condo, fun lunches with friends, etc., etc., etc. have absorbed my time and writing energy. My pragmatic mind says it’s time to face reality and tell you I won’t be posting my next blog until my recovery allows.

My right hip replacement surgery is scheduled for this Thursday, June 19th, with an estimated recovery period of 6 weeks; hopefully less!

To make sure you know when I’m back in the groove, please enter your email address in the box below my picture on this page; be sure to click on the “Subscribe” button.  

You will receive an automatic notice when I post a new blog. 

My next blog will likely be titled  –   

BOOMERS ARE TRULY THE “HIP” GENERATION!!!

……………Mary Ann

 

OUR BOOMER FASHION HERITAGE

 

My southern paternal grandmother, Lula Belle;

I can see her now, wearing her best cotton house dress and sitting in her favorite wicker rocker with the wide arm rests. That rocker offered an invitation to comfort with pillows dressed in fabric from the quilts and dresses she had created. She was not today’s “ fashionista” but she knew what was right and acceptable. She made sure her family knew what to wear to church, social events and when company came by to visit. Unfortunately, my own mother agreed with her on these points.

Yes, even in the steamy non-air conditioned south of the 50’s and 60’s, there was a dress code.

Men simply wore a suit, dress shirt and tie. A hat was optional.

 

Women, young and old, were expected to:

Number 1            Wear a dress

Number 2            Wear a girdle

Number 3            Wear stockings (hosiery)

Number 4            Wear a full (not half) slip + net crinolines for a full skirt

Number 5            Wear your best shoes

 

Necessary :

A hand held fan (no batteries/you supplied the power) I don’t recall anyone with carpal tunnel issues back then; amazing!  Free fans were readily available at church and often at other events – they served as advertising for local merchants.

Optional :

White gloves, minimal jewelry and/or a hat

Thank heaven my mother relented once we were back in Ohio and allowed me to wear shorts unless we were going somewhere.

 

Oh that’s not all; there were the special rules about white shoes, etc…..

Easter:

White (also black patent leather) shoes/ purses, white dresses,

skirts, slacks, etc. may be worn on Easter until Labor Day.

Memorial Day:

The colors red, white and blue may be worn together from

Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Labor Day:

Put away your white (also black patent leather) shoes

purses , white dresses, slacks, etc. until Easter.

Once I finally had all that memorized, winter white was introduced and I was totally confused.

Imagine my delight about 6 years ago when corporate dress code was changed to allow skirts and dresses without hosiery (pantyhose, etc.). Going barelegged was a cardinal sin for my grandmother and mother. Now, it was OK in my work setting, and acceptable for church and other occasions. Fantastic!

 

Please stop by next weekend to read my latest blog post or simply put your email address in the “Subscribe” section on this page (located under my picture) and you’ll automatically be notified when it’s published……………………Mary Ann

 

My Aunt Anna Marie and Hank Williams

Today, I just want to share a little family story with all of you.

If you’ve viewed the “About” tab on my website, you know I was born in Montgomery, Alabama and grew up moving every 2 ½ years as an Air Force Brat. My parents were born and raised in lower Alabama, referred to in the South as LA.

My mother had 10 brothers and 3 sisters. Trips “down home” to visit were annual when we were stationed in the U.S. During several cross-country military transfer moves, I spent the last months of my school year and most of the summer at my paternal grandparents’ home in Georgiana, Alabama.

By that time, both of my maternal grandparents were gone.   However the family home in McWilliams, Alabama was maintained and we also stayed there. My mother and her siblings often talked about going to school with Hank Williams. They attended the Moore Academy School in Pineapple, Alabama. It was constructed in 1881 as a wooden structure. In 1922 a brick building was erected and still stands today. My mother and her siblings attended a one room school house in McWilliams in their early years and I’m not certain how old they were when they went to the Academy.

In McWilliams, Hank’s Aunt and Uncle owned a small store located near my Grandfather’s Company Store. Their store was like a miniature UDF or 7-11 of today. The one room was about 10×12 with wall mounted shelves of merchandise, a counter with cash register and their beloved Coke machine. That electric Coke machine looked like a small chest type freezer of today, was lined with aluminum and had a big heavy lid. After presenting my nickel at the counter, I’d go over to that magical contraption and open the lid. I loved the way I could, reach down inside and slide the bottle along the metal track until it reached the dispenser lever, then I pull up and it was mine. Then I’d go around to the side of the machine insert the bottle cap under the opener and pull down to pop the lid off. Sometimes glass would come off with the cap and we kids were taught to always look at the bottle lip before drinking; avoiding a cut lip or swallowed glass.

Sorry for rambling; now back to my story. The small town of McWilliams  has a cemetery located behind my Aunt Joyce’s house.   Today it’s surrounded by a chain link fence and back then, it included an old gazebo type structure used by the town for Memorial Day and other special occasions. That’s where my story takes place………

My Aunt Anna Marie (my mother’s sister) was about the same age as Hank. By the time she was a grandmother, she had retired from teaching school in Selma, enjoyed buying all her clothes at the Parisian shop in Montgomery and could melt butter with her sweet nature and southern drawl. She was a precious woman and shared this with me:   “There was a day the town was having a ceremony at the cemetery and I was so happy to be wearing my beautiful new dress. Everyone was there sitting on the wooden benches (under the gazebo roof). Hank and I were about five years old and sitting near each other on an old rickety bench. I felt something wet on my dress and looked over and saw that Hank Williams had wet his pants – that bench was so crooked and slanted, it just came over and got on my dress. I was so mad at him for messing up my new dress! He was the sorriest thing! “

Hope that made you smile, I so enjoy that piece of our family history.

 

                           ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now,

on to the medical information I promised. Long story short, I’m having right hip replacement surgery on June 19th and it will likely involve a six week recovery period.   My plan is to try and keep this weekly blog post up to date. Once I’ve recovered, I’ll share this unexpected experience with you. In the meantime, no worries; I expect to be back on the golf course in August.

Please stop by next Friday for the white shoes, red/white/blue fashion dilemma

……..Mary Ann

 

 

 

The Boomer Sisters Remember Memorial Day

 

I apologize. Two weeks ago I promised you my next post would be about Mary Ann’s Medical Mishap. Since this is Memorial Day Weekend, I thought it best to share the Boomer Sisters’ thoughts now and provide my update next week.

This month, my Boomer Sisters responded to the following questions:

  1.  Does Memorial Day have any special personal significance for you or your family?
  2. Tell me about your favorite or most memorable Memorial Day; it might involve travel, food family reunion, honoring someone special, etc.

 

TINA, Canal Winchester, Ohio………….

  1. When I was little, (1960’s), my parents referred to Memorial Day as Decoration Day. We did just that. We would visit 3 different cemeteries of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. and place flowers on their graves. My parents would tell me stories about them and what it was like when they were growing up. It wasn’t looked upon as a celebration of summer or picnics; it was to remember all those who had passed away.
  2. My mother grew up in a very small rural town in Southeastern Ohio. Everyone knew each other and/or was related. When we would visit the cemetery of my mother’s family on Decoration Day and place flowers on the graves, she knew or was related to just about everyone in that small hillside cemetery. It was like a huge family reunion. Families would pull out chairs and sit in the cemetery and laugh and talk about current events and old times. It was like having a family reunion in the cemetery; including those who had passed away.

 

LANA, Camden, Arkansas…………..

  1. Memorial Day is a time we should remember all the Brave Men and Women who have died so that we can enjoy the Freedom we have today. Being raised Air Force; I appreciate the Dedication of our Military to always be ready to defend this Country.
  2. Normally, we open our pool a week before and usually have our first Swim Day of the Year on Memorial Day. If my family keeps growing, we might have to get a bigger one; it’s 20 x 40 now. With 6 Grands & 7 Greats, it can be very busy!!! They all look forward to that day.

 

JUDY, Lancaster, Ohio…………….

  1. We had many in our family serve in the armed forces over the years. And many are no longer with us due to natural causes, thank goodness. They served our country and were able to come home safely, unharmed and lived full and happy lives afterwards. We hold their memories close to our hearts for the services they provided overseas in keeping us safe and free.
  2. Memorial Day was always a wonderful family holiday and one of the first BBQ’s to kick off the Summer Season. It still holds that same significance. It gives us a time of great “pause” to reflect on all those old photos and great conversations and memories. It brings us older family members closer to our younger family members. I am so grateful for that opportunity to share those stories. Happy Memorial Day to all!

 

JUDI, Blairsville, Georgia………….

  1. Being from a military background and a strong background in military life, it means EVERYTHING……..honoring everyone that fought in ALL our wars abroad and at home, especially today with Iraq, Afghanistan and all current upheaval in our world. We will (with time) continue to send our limited Armed Forces to war to help protect these countries that don’t “give a rats” about us! Sad how the world has changed!
  2. Always on or close to an Air Force Base, except where I live now, it’s always been about honoring our military forces with recognition of some soft and of course, a parade! They ALL were meaningful! Times have changed and you hope and pray that the young people will recognize the sacrifice our military made for safety and freedom around the globe…..…………..I doubt it sometimes!

 

DIANE, Green Bay, Wisconsin……….

  1. When I was young, our small town of Freedom, Wisconsin would have a carnival every Memorial Day; a tradition for 40+ years. They would hire a carnival company to come in for the weekend and there were lots of rides, games, music and food. They would start with an Honor Guard and all VFW members marching to the cemetery for a ceremony honoring all the fallen soldiers, and ended with TAPS. On Sunday morning there would be a parade with floats made by 4-H Clubs, businesses, school kids, etc. along with the high school marching band. When I reached age 18 (and drinking was legal then), the weekend would involve me tending bar or frying hamburgers. It was a huge event and took many volunteers to pull it off.   Even though it was work, it was fun because you felt you were contributing to the fundraising for the Volunteer Fire Department and the VFW. And, you were working with friends you loved.
  2. There isn’t one that stands out. But a ‘memorable’ one may be the one where I threw up at the end of the Tilt-a-Whirl ride with my boyfriend. At age 13, I remember thinking it was the end of the world. Oh my……..if life’s problems were really only that traumatic. LOL

 

CHERYL, Dublin, Ohio………………..

  1. It was always Decoration Day in my family. Grandma Huston would go out to her cutting garden and select glads, lilies and ferns. She had wicker containers in which she made lovely arrangements. I hated going to the cemetery and still do. But as a child, I got in the car for the trek.
  2. The best for me was going to the Sunbury Cemetery to hear my son, Brad, play taps for the VFW’s ceremony each year. As an aside: the way I keep Memorial Day and Labor Day straight is when you got out of school in May it was memorable and September was back to school and that meant labor!

 

What a joy to share these snippets of life from these wonderful women! Please come by next Friday and I’ll have that update for you along with summer white vs. winter white and other seasonal fashion concerns………………………..Mary Ann

Is Vacation still Vacation when you’re retired?

 

After seven months of retirement, I’m required to seriously ponder the day and date each morning. Weekdays and weekends seem to merge, Friday no longer carries that “whew………… “ feeling . It’s downright embarrassing to admit “day relapse” in conversations, especially with my daughters. Other retired seniors know exactly what I’m talking about because we discuss this new condition frequently. Good heavens, how bad will this become in our 80’s?

The calendar on my smart phone (it’s an iPhone 3, so I’m not sure if it’s still considered smart), is handy. I now have the ability to confirm a meeting date while having a phone conversation at the same time; without disconnecting the other person!   I also keep a Franklin-Covey paper appointment planner. Keeping the two in sync is essential and I usually spend a little time on Sunday evening comparing them for the upcoming week’s schedule. Using only one calendar would simplify my life. However, I’m a paper junkie and need that back-up. These tools are essential in a retiree’s life in order to stay on the same page with those still working.

With all that in mind, let’s talk about vacation. When I was working, vacations were few and far between; it was difficult to be absent from the demands of my job for more than a day or two. Employees today seem reluctant to use the time they’ve earned. Today, people worry about their jobs being at risk.  As a result, many companies are embracing a “use it or lose it” policy around accumulated vacation time to encourage that R & R (rest and relaxation) we all crave.

As a retiree, I check my calendar each evening to determine the need to set my alarm for the next morning.  Don’t be too envious, my internal alarm seldom let’s me sleep past 7:30am. Also, even those open calendar days include the routine chores of life. Fortunately, I’m blessed with a wonderful option. Since I no longer have an employer, I can decide to lounge on the porch, watch the hummingbirds and do those things tomorrow.

My observation is yes, retirees do still enjoy their vacations. Travel removes us from those daily routine tasks we eventually must take care of and allows us to focus on new adventures and open our minds to new possibilities.

Please join me next Friday for Mary Ann’s Medical Mishap…………..Mary Ann

 

 

 

In Honor of Mother’s Day

 

I wrote this poem on February 18, 2006, as it was the only way I could find to express my emotions.  Until now, I’ve only shared it with my immediate family.  In honor of Mother’s Day and my Mom’s birthday, May 5th, I share it with you……………..

 

Two Months Ago Today

 

Two months ago today, I knew my heart was broken,

My Mother was forever gone from this world,

The dreaded time had arrived, I was alone,

A fatherless and motherless child without siblings.

 

The void felt like outer space, endless and dark,

Every day since, so many questions unanswered,

My mind in constant motion, the movie plays on,

Even on my busiest days, it is the background,

Medical issues second-guessed, questioning

My abilities as her daughter to honor her wishes,

Knowing God chose the time, not me

I can’t stop the replay.

 

How can it hurt this much at my age, almost 60?

Doesn’t the world prepare us for these things?

Am I not blessed with wonderful supportive family and friends?

Don’t I have compassionate, thoughtful girlfriends?

Why then this ache deep in my heart? – physical sadness,

Who else shares all my memories? no one

Small, vulnerable, empty, where did my confidence go?

 

I dig deep, immersed in my faith and acknowledging future reunion,

Comfort comes from conversations with God and his Word.

Comfort comes from God through others – hugs, phone calls, cards, concern and love.

Time is a gift and I must use it more wisely, always impacting others in a positive way,

Contributing to humanity in the only way I know how,

By honoring the talents God gave me.

I hear her voice admonish me, “And remember to feed the birds, they’re helpless”.

 

Thank you,  and please stop by next Friday for a new blog post………..Mary Ann

 

 

 

Boomer Sisters’ Travel Memories

A few weeks ago, I asked my Boomer Sisters the following questions:

  1.  Where did you go on the first trip you can remember?
  2. Other than technology, how is travel different today?
  3. Tell me about the trip of your dreams!

Their responses follow and are in alphabetical order by name; I hope you take a few minutes to read each one, including Tina’s at the end. As you get to know them, you’ll understand why these dear women are my “sisters”…..……………..

 

Cheryl – Dublin, Ohio

  1. The first time I went alone was to my grandmother’s home in the country. It was like a breath of fresh air! Literally! I came from the south end of Columbus and only breathed air from Buckeye Steele Casting smokestacks. I was only 10. Lungs like a coal miner!
  2. I (we) choose the destination, plan the details and save the money. The former is more difficult than the latter.
  3. One of my dream trips is to see Machu Pichu (want to see it, not spell it). And, to continue the trip in the entire South American continent. Still saving on that one!!

Connie – Canal Winchester, Ohio

  1. West Virginia to visit grandparents
  2. More crowded; lots of confusion and anxiety due to terrorism concerns
  3. Australia! Loved doing walkabouts in Sydney; the opera house tour; shopping at the open market; but most of all the Irish Pub and weekend street fair. Comparing the emotional stimulation to my first visit to Walt Disney World with a friend; equal!

Diane – Green Bay, Wisconsin

  1. My first trip I remember is when we went “up north” (if you were from Wisconsin, you’d know what that means) …….I can remember sitting on a lard pail in the front seat of our 1948 white Ford between my Mom and Dad.
  2. When I think of travel now compared to when I was young, the greatest difference is the convenience of getting someplace hundreds and thousands of miles away so quickly is fabulous….even though going through the TSA process of airports today is less than desirable.
  3. I think I have been on two trips of my dreams. I’ve had the fabulous experience of going to Hawaii (five different islands; Maul and Kauai are my favorites for different reasons) and Alaska more than once. I could write pages and pages about both but unfortunately I don’t have the time right now because I’m at work, my hair is a little on fire, and the extinguisher isn’t close.

Jane – Blacklick, Ohio

  1. My first trip I remember would’ve been flying to Washington D.C. with my family in the spring of 1961. We have home movies of the motorcade coming out the black gates in front of the White House and also my siblings and I coming down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I can remember the plane ride and feeling so happy about going someplace.
  2. Travel is much more common and crowded. I don’t have a lot of experience with travel and can only imagine that service to the traveler has changed in many ways. Things like hospitality, civility and personal service would have suffered as a casualty of technology.
  3. I’d like to go to Ireland with family and see the way real people live in villages. No touristy stuff…would like to stay in B & B’s, go to the pubs and see where my ancestors once lived.

Judy – Lancaster, Ohio

  1. I was very young and we traveled by car to Canada. It was quite an event and I learned to speak a few French words.
  2. It takes a complete day, to go and then return, out of your planned calendar days if you travel by air, so it is almost as enjoyable to just drive to your destination.
  3. I so enjoy time with my sisters. We would love to go on an East Coast Cruise that would include Martha’s Vineyard. That is a dream I would love to come true within the next couple of years.

Lana – Camden, Arkansas

  1. The first trip I can remember is when my family went to live in Frankfurt, Germany. My Dad was Air Force and was stationed at Rhine Main AFB. This was prior to moving to Ohio.
  2. Faster, more expensive, but this allows for Technology; so I don’t have a good answer.
  3. I have been lucky to travel most of my life. I have been on 2 Cruises, Florida several times, but the trip of my dreams was when my Son and his family took my husband, me and our Great granddaughter to Maui 2 years ago. I had always wanted to go and prayed I’d go before I was too old to snorkel!!! It was everything and more than I thought it would be.

Rita – Reynoldsburg, Ohio

  1.  The first trip I can remember is when I went to the New York World’s Fair in 1965.
  2. Other than technology changing in airline travel, I think it’s especially different with heightened security since 9/11.
  3. My dream trip would be to return to Italy, this time with my husband and two sons. I would love to show them where my parents grew up and where I spent two summers.

Sonna – Marysville, Ohio

  1. A family road trip to the Toledo Zoo when I was about seven. It took forever in Dad’s 1949, 2-door Ford Sedan, with NO radio!
  2. I don’t know if the airline seats are getting smaller or my rear is getting wider, or maybe both, but long distance air travel is becoming very uncomfortable.
  3. White beach, blue water, golden sunsets anywhere my heart takes me.

Sylvia – Columbus, Ohio

  1.  It would be when my mother, sister and aunt took me to Fort Lauderdale, FL to visit relatives. I was around 10 and it was such a big deal when I got to swim in a motel swimming pool and I stayed in that pool all day long for three days. We also went to a restaurant that served spectacular ice desserts.
  2. When I was in college and flew to New York to visit my sister, travelers dressed up. I planned my outfit e.g. shoes, purse, colors matching, etc. It was a big deal. Now it’s jeans, flip flops, etc. Of course, all the hassle associated with security at airports.
  3. I would like to go on a trip and attend cooking classes in a beautiful setting e.g. ocean side or a mountain retreat or Tuscany. Visit local villages or towns, eat where locals eat. Lisetn to live music at night in the open air.

Tina – Pickerington, Ohio

  1. Camping at Rocky Fork State Park
  2. More people are traveling; it’s like herding cattle through the venues or events.
  3. My dream trip was Hawaii (my honeymoon). Beautiful sunsets and beaches, the warm breeze against my skin, exotic plants and trees, a variety of culture and very little clothing.

 

Thank you Boomer Sisters for making this week’s blog a breeze!

Please stop by next Friday. I’ll be sharing a heartfelt Mother’s Day poem…………..Mary Ann

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Lane or Why Did I Come to the Basement?

Trying to remember a name or detail can be so frustrating……..

When I can’t remember a name, I recite the alphabet in my mind attempting to “jog” my memory; sometimes it works.  As we age, memory recall becomes more of a problem.

I wholly enjoy the memory analogy used by an instructor for the Certified Senior Advisor program in one of his lectures.  Picture a great library of books containing the information you have stored in your brain.  There’s a specific librarian assigned to you and it’s her job to find the detail you are trying to recall.

 In your younger years, your librarian is also young……..

and very quick with locating that information. For example if you’re trying to recall a particular date, she immediately says, “That date is 1955”.

As you age, she also ages; and your speed of mental processing declines.  In your 60’s, that librarian isn’t as quick as she used to be; she’s wearing orthopedic shoes, rolled down hosiery and walking with a slight limp from her arthritis.  When you try to recall that date, she says, “Oh yes, I think it might be in Section 222, let me check”; and she goes in search of the answer.  It may take several hours before she returns with the correct response.

The good news is……..

Seniors are able to process information about as well as younger adults, if given adequate time.

So when you’re standing at the foot of the basement stairs saying, “Why did I come down here?” you need to be patient and wait for your librarian to return with the answer.  Or, just keep a notepad by the basement door.

Today there are many resources to improve your memory……

You can subscribe to a website for a fee and access interactive fun games designed to improve your mind. The internet is loaded with memory information.

I am enjoying a book, Brain Power by Laureli Blyth, which offers practical ways to boost your memory, creativity and thinking capacity.  Don’t get too excited, I’m only on page 6.

Social interaction is good for all of us in so many ways, including our memory.  Pay a visit to your local Senior Center and check out their activities calendar. They offer all sorts of options for a minimal fee and usually have a helpful new member orientation program. There are several in my area and I am having difficulty choosing only one.  Since the annual dues cost around $20, I may join two and double my fun.  Keep your mind engaged with communication and your personal memory librarian will get a workout with the names of all your new friends.

Stop by next Friday for my Boomer Sisters’ input on travel……Mary Ann

 

Adapting to Your Retirement Budget

Financial advisors talk about wants vs. needs and we say, ya, ya, ya…….while we’re still earning a regular income.  Though the budget may be tight, we can make adjustments when that next paycheck is in the bank.  Early in retirement, we often adopt the same attitude; just substituting our savings for that paycheck.  About 3 – 6 months into retirement you realize this isn’t a realistic way to live and your savings may be in jeopardy.

So, you face budget reality and realize you’ll need to cut your expenses or find a job.  Before you dust off that resume, let’s talk about those wants and needs.  We’re likely on the same page with needs such as mortgage/rent, utilities, taxes, medical insurance, transportation and food.  Our list becomes subjective when we move to gym membership, golf, salon & spa services, gifts for grandchildren, lunch with friends, travel, etc.

 I wrestled with hair and nail salon expenses……..

and opted to drop my monthly nail appointment; not the periodic pedicure (easily justified as a Senior with difficulty reaching my toes).  That alone saved me enough to cover the dog groomer; and I was proud of my frugal decision.

Let me share a warning about those Acrylic nails, which always look so nice.  They require an hour each month in the salon and usually no maintenance between appointments.  What I didn’t know is how painful they are to remove.  After soaking your fingers in a special solution, a professional can lift and remove the acrylic from the nail bed.  They usually leave a bit on the tips which will diminish as the nails grow and are filed. That’s how mine were removed with minimal discomfort.   As the day wore on, I noticed increased sensitivity in all the nail bed areas.  When I applied the clear, and very expensive, nail strengthener purchased from the salon, I almost fainted from the pain.  That first week I couldn’t sleep without pain medication. This gradually disappeared as the new nail beds thickened, about three months later.   After that agonizing frugal move, I made the decision to retain my hair salon appointments!

Sports activities can vary in cost……..

from free walking/hiking to other options such as golf.  Many golfers find a part-time job at their favorite course and receive free golf in exchange.  Others may want to beat the summer heat by just practicing at the driving range in the evening.  It’s less expensive, cooler and can eliminate some of the regulation golf course frustration.  You still wear your golf clothes and shoes, use all your clubs, and there’s usually a practice putting green included.  New golf centers, totally devoted to practice, often include small courses for your short game and seem to be the sport’s latest attraction.

My friend, Linda, found a way to travel and get paid at the same time………

She began as a part-time guide for a bus tour company specializing in school trips to Washington and Williamsburg.  Her schedule was flexible, there were parents along who were responsible for the kids safety; she absolutely loved the trips.  Later, she became a tour director on one of those glass top trains in Alaska.  It was only a 3 month commitment and the company provided her with a salary and housing. She also mentioned the tips she received from the travelers were very generous.  Linda is a widowed retired teacher and she found both opportunities online; they were part of a Cruise program.

As you talk with other Seniors, they will often share their bargain finds and budget tips.  I always say I spent the first 50 years of my life acquiring “things” and now I’m trying to downsize and simplify my lifestyle.  We really don’t need as much when we retire, especially when we focus on using what we already have.

Stop by next Friday for my blog on Memory Lane or Why did I come to the basement?

……….Mary Ann

 

 

 

 

EMBRACING YOUR SENIOR IDENTITY

Letting go of your career identity can be surprisingly difficult.

Labels, such as friend, mom, dad, wife, husband, sister, and brother, are yours for a lifetime.  Identities such as Employee, Manager, Vice-President, Associate, Administrator, Co-worker, etc., usually end with your retirement.

Once retired, you may find yourself wanting to explain what you did and who you were.  This is referred to as the Denial Phase.  I’ve discovered in my life as a Retired Senior, new contacts are not particularly interested in my past career.  The Social Security office worker only sees the retired me.  In six months of retirement, I’ve evolved from introducing myself as a Retired Sales Manager to just saying, “Hi, I’m Mary Ann”.   Though it’s painful, I’m learning to let go.

As time passes,

even smoke and mirrors from the make-up counter no longer conceal our age.  I’ve already encountered an unsettling phenomenon.  Occasionally, I seem to become invisible.  This has occurred during conversations when I’m the Senior at the table and again when waiting in a service line.   That leads us to the next phase called the Anger Phase…..”What’s with these people, how can they ignore me and wait on that other younger person, I was here first. “ or, “I just asked that question and they totally ignored me. Why is he being acknowledged?”

Then we begin the Bargaining Phase….”Well, I’ll just go have my hair colored again and stop dressing like my mother.  Then I’ll be recognized as worthwhile. “That may make you feel better; and depending on the hair color, it could turn a few heads.  Unfortunately, time takes its toll on our appearance and even when we put forth our best effort, they still know we’re Seniors.

“What a total bummer.  No one cares what I’ve done in my life.  All people see is the outside and have no idea what I’ve been through. “ ………………the Depression Phase.  Hopefully, this one passes quickly.  If not, talk with Seniors you admire and ask for their guidance and support.

Finally,

the Acceptance Phase slips in one morning.  You look in the mirror saying;

  • You know, I’m incredibly lucky to feel so good today.
  • I’m going to use what I have to look my best.
  • My friends, family and pets appreciate me.
  • I can feel confident and good about the wisdom and knowledge I’ve retained over the years.  I will assume an Attitude of Gratitude!
  • Today, if I encounter indifference, I’ll offer kindness and patience in return because I’m an accomplished Senior and proud of it!

By now, these phases may seem familiar.  Actually, they are the Phases of Grief.  I chose this analogy because, for many of us, there is a grieving process in leaving a career behind and embracing your next chapter.   After a day at the zoo with her Senior group, I remember my Mom saying she was tired from pushing an old lady around in a wheelchair all day (my mom was 80).  I’m not sure she ever made it past the Denial Phase.

Stop by next Friday for my blog on embracing your retirement budget..……………..Mary Ann