Retirement Living. The Gist of Things.

J. Harris

Photo by Max Harlynking on Unsplash

Ravings about retirement. On the other side of 55.

Life is not a bowl of cherries no matter who you are or how much you have.

I have seen a few things at my age. Some thoughts I totally disagree with:

One is society thinks that since you are of a certain age you cannot do anything anymore and you are now worthless. That hurts in a very deep way.

You have given most of your life to societies’ needs and worked every day to pay taxes so that society can continue and now you don’t belong anymore?

Everyone under 55 should stop the madness and start listening, looking and understanding that “we have seen a few things” and “know a few things about life and how it works.” We know more about the fundamentals that built the world. You are reaping the benefits of our hard work.

One of the fundamentals of life is respect. Animals have to respect their elders or they are clobbered, shunned from the family unit and they starve and die. I think we can learn a lot from watching animals and how they live.

Two, yes all the new technology that is coming about faster than ever and yes, we can learn it as well as you. It gets easier and easier to use anyway and more logical.

You can always take the time to teach us even if we are not fast enough for you. We may not come across it as much as you do but we, I say we of a certain age (over 55), can still learn, do and grow.

Retirement age, whatever that is, doesn’t mean our brain, body and life has suddenly disappeared and died and become nonexistent. We have feelings and frustrations, hopes and dreams, (yes we still have dreams) as you do.

Having society say that at a certain age you are worthless doesn’t do a bit of good to help our self-esteem. (Yes, that still exists as well.)

I don’t know if you know this but there are many homeless elderly people on the street. If you want proof come to South Florida to see them sit in their wheelchairs or stand with their canes in the traffic medians with signs begging for a dime. That is so undignified and sorrowful. Shame, shame!

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” Wow, no truer words have ever been written and we learned this when we were babies. No one stopped to explain it to us though.
Life is an illusion filled with universal and scientific rules and regulations.

That is why life is so solid. Look deeper at daily life. Don’t use people use things. People are sentient beings dealing with all that is as you are.

I know you would rather not say hello to older folks because you don’t have the time or you don’t have the interest. But I will tell you one thing; they really appreciate it when someone acknowledges them and tells them to have a good day.

You might even get a hug or a pat on the back for it. That will help them feel less invisible. They don’t have kids at home anymore and no one comes to visit. They are lonely and want some love.

Don’t go to extremes and treat them like you’re their “mother” either. Gets on my nerves.

I know there are some people that are very obstinate and hard to get along with. Stay away from them.

They are the ones that have agreed that life is hard. They are so old life isn’t getting easier. They think, they’re in pain and they're going to die soon anyway, so what’s the difference if I treat you badly. Who cares?!

I know and have dealt with these people as well.

I volunteered at a senior center for about a year and I ran into all kinds. Some people are really sweet. Some are really smart, some are patient, and some are mean “as a whip.” Why?

Some say things like, “I ain’t gettin’ any younger here” if you don’t get to them when they want you to and they have to wait. As a “senior” person myself I think they have had a bad life and are still fighting to survive whichever way they can.

They are afraid they are getting ripped off or scammed and they are not getting enough attention so it’s okay to be mean and loud. Walk away and go your own way and leave them because they have made up their minds. Bless their little hearts.

People still have to make a living after they are forced out of their job called “aged out.” It’s not right this happens. Shame, shame!

Not everyone has retirement income from pensions, etc. Some have had to use their payout to help family members or use it to move to Florida and pay other expenses that are last minute. Some are left with only Social Security income that will never cover everything.

If you live in South Florida you cannot find a one bedroom apartment for under $1,000 a month. If you only receive $1,200 or so a month after Medicare deductions there is not a lot left. You have to eat.

There are places that will get you set up to live there. You have to turn over your income check to them so they can care for you and pay your expenses. Some folks are being ripped off but that is another story. It’s called ‘independent living.’

You can get back to working as a senior person. I recently saw a “Ted” talk and this guy started a business at 68. It is thriving and has hired a lot of people.

Anything can happen. Don’t listen to the bull hockey they try to sell you. You are as good as you ever were.

Hey. I just found the love of my life this past year and we are doing great. Love in your sixties. Another topic for people to look down on and make you uncomfortable about. It is no one’s business. Do what you want!

So here are all my rants and raves! I hope I haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings but given them a new perspective from on the other side of 55.

Jo Ann Harris is an author, parent, book devotee, writer, copywriter, and film fanatic. She is an autodidact who learns about everything and rows her own boat. She grew up and worked in Atlanta, Georgia and lived there sixty years. She writes articles about love, hope, personal life stories, advice and poems. She is a published author with an article in Woman’s World magazine in October, 2017.

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I usually write about a lot of subject matter from my own personal life to animal behavior. Everything in between. I have been writing for over two years but have always been a writer and avid reader. I lived in Atlanta, GA for sixty years then moved to South Florida and it was a huge change for me. I write truth as I see it in hopes it will help others.

Plantation, FL

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