The urge to purge. That’s what gives me immense pleasure these days. Getting rid of all the old stuff, to prepare for the new that I will infuse into my life. A momentous day includes a trip to the landfill to toss broken appliances, used engine oil, and dead batteries. I love going to the Salvation Army where I’ll bring old clothes, worn household items and no longer needed books. All are relics and artifacts of years past, in the feng sui tradition of clearing space to let in the light of a new day.
Exercise, healthy eating and a variety of potions (which are my secret) keep me alive and kicking as I enter the years that some call “senior.” I realize that I won’t be able to hold aging off indefinitely, but I can probably drag my feet long enough that it will wait for me.
Face it. We’re all looking for the Fountain of Youth. Some of us subject ourselves to botox injections, although personally I’d rather die with my wrinkles than let anyone near my face with a needle. But that’s just me. Perhaps if I were a movie star or some other public figure I’d want my looks to take precedence over my sanity and comfort.
A question of the ages along with “who am I?” and “what does life really mean?” is “Where will I live?” on every baby boomer’s lips regarding retirement destination. The decision translates to one of those milestone moments that we come to expect as the big one that can make or break the rest of our lives. As is true for much that gets touted as the “perfect day” or “happiness for the rest of your life” choosing the perfect retirement location can be filled with hype and hyperbole. And, like anything else, it pays to take advice with one’s own perspective in mind.
I was working in the yard the other day and heard the sounds of children laughing joyfully as they ran through the field, slid down the sliding board, swung high into the sky on a swing. I instinctively connected with their laughter as sounds of freedom.
As adults, we are often bombarded with tasks and responsibilities. In fact, isn’t the hallmark of adulthood being able to honor responsibilities? But, how many are enough? Is there not a point when we should begin to peel back the layers of overwork, before we suffer from heart attack, stroke and other maladies of stress? This, of course, is a hot topic and one which concerns most of us as we try to balance the “must-do’s” with the “wanna-do’s” of life.
Organize. Dispose. Downsize. Reading baby boomer and retirement blogs, I’ve learned that successful aging requires completion of these tasks. Like a test for the successful boomer, if your life is contained in more than one storage unit, you’re not ready to pass the “go” of retirement. Tomes have been written about the importance of shedding unused clothes, yard tools and untouched, I-wonder-what’s-in-there? boxes hidden in dark attic corners. Getting rid of clutter is so ingrained in our mindset that it has evolved into its own verb: decluttering.
Out with the old, in with the new. Another year out, a new one in. How does it go so fast? I recall my 98-year old grandma telling me “The past 50 years of my life just whizzed by.” No way, said I. But, no more. I get it. Time marches, no, races on. This year, I plan to mark the passage of time with smilestones, events that just make me happy.