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Saturday, January 10, 2015

What chapter are you on?

(our granddaughter Jasmine, Hubby and me at Redfish)


Forget what you heard or read about retirement.
Forget what your idea of a perfect retirement is.
Forget the cruises, the cottage by the sea, the ideal life you thought you wanted in retirement.
What you need is to be among young people for the rest of your life.

There. That's the secret to old people's happiness. Keep yourself available to young people and your life continues to be fun, unpredictable, full of pleasant surprises, and most of all, engaging and distracting. If you have to spend all your disposable income to stay close to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, you will not regret it.

You'll need more distractions as you grow weak, infirm, grumpy.

Distracting? Yes! Young people are spontaneous dis- tractors. They will jump up and start dancing, or break into a song, drive off to the supermarket to pick up ingredients for ice cream at the drop of a pin. Young people will distract you from what worries you the rest of the time. With them around, you only see the arc of their lives, the future still unfolding with millions of possibilities, rather than the way your knees send shooting pains every time you sit on the toilet seat.

You'll need to see how your money can improve your grands' future.

Really? Can't you just spend it? No. Your doctor, pharmacies and clinics have you tied down already. You might have some fun at the mall. But since you have no more room in your house for extra anything, what's the use? You could go out to dinner every night. Yes. But you are diabetic, and eating out caused you to become so. Now, you have to settle for salads and fish at most places, with no extra salt or butter or anything. You should have gone out to dinner in your twenties, and then to the gym. But you had neither the money, nor the time to do either of these.

You need to live a year full of possibilities.

How? You may not see much in the way of possibilities for yourself, except perhaps needing new reading glasses, replacing that bridge in your mouth, and getting the local handyman clean the gutters at the end of winter. All routine events. But see life that your grandchild in college is living, and your memories of those days remind you to go shopping and pack up a care package for the youngster. You would have loved getting those extra socks in winter; jars of peanut butter; even a special delivery of pizza during final weeks.

Life will teach your grands many lessons.

But you, and only you can teach him/her that family remains close through thick and thin. That distances don't count any more. That mistakes help your footing. That knowledge is lost if not applied. That everything we do, and say, and convey through small gestures, everything adds up to create our soul, to give us patterns and attitudes and desires that help us thrive under all circumstances that will appear in our travels through life.


24 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles...so important to have all generations in our life...it does build in hte lives of the next generation...as much as they give to you as well...

Z said...

You're so right, Rosaria, of course. My grandchildren are still small, aged between 9 and 3, but they and their parents keep me going since my husband died last year.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Wise words. We plan to stay near our children -- and to wolunteer with young people also. My grandparents were very important to me. My parents were very important to my kids. I hope to be the same.

joeh said...

You are so right, old people make you older, you need to hang with young people!

#1Nana said...

That's exactly how I feel about my granddaughters. We are already planning for when they come stay with us next summer. The spouse started building them a playhouse (which will be a lawn mower garage when they leave.) They keep us active and make us laugh and force us to learn new things. I'm looking forward to my visit to Texas at their spring break.

fiftyodd said...

We've just retired and moved an hour away from them all - just the right distance. They descend on us at week-ends and we actually see more of them all. I have to admit my husband is more important to me than anyone and I like spending time with people older than me so I can be grateful for my relatively good health. Of course, it's great to be welcomed with great joy when the grandkids see us.

Becky Jerdee said...

This is a fabulous piece full of truth and beauty, Rosaria!!! You just made my day!!!

Helen said...

... and of course the very reason I moved to Bend! Which reminds me to mail a care package to granddaughter in Lake Tahoe and to deliver a package to grandson who is now sharing a house with two eighteen year olds ~~ when Carl and I return home at January's end! Happy Sunday.

ellen abbott said...

I totally agree. my daughter and her family lived next door to us in the city, up until we sold the city property this past summer. our house was always open to the grands, in fact they considered our house theirs as well and would visit nearly every day unless they had too much homework or weren't feeling well. now we live in the country, an hour away, but they still want to come for weekends and holidays and summer visits and they are all teens now. and yes, they keep me young with their activities.

Hilary said...

You're such a wise woman. All of this is so true.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

So true, every word of it.
Sam

the walking man said...

I have been a more or less of a recluse/isolationist most of my life. My grandchildren have my number as do my children, but it seems we all like that I stay out of their way.

As I have said on my own blog many times that when the winds come and erase my footprints from the sands of time, I will have no regrets for the way I have lived my life, no unspoken apologies nor not given forgiveness.



Amanda Summer said...

Superb advice. I'm not blessed with grandchildren yet but with a daughter just married I hope to see them on the horizon in a few years.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. love these thoughts - we all need to keep 'alive' interesting and generally happy ... mixing with cheerful, fun people ... cheers Hilary

yaya said...

I think the fact that my Mom is surrounded by family and lots of gand and great grands that keep her busy, is why she remains sharp and motivated to do what she can each day. I hope to follow your good advice and her example as time goes on!

Retired English Teacher said...

You are so right on. I had the daughter and the granddaughter her weekend before last. It was lovely to just poach some eggs, peel some cuties, make some toast and just eat together. I need youth around me. Turns out they need a bit of down time with grandma too. My daughter said it was like going to a spa to be here. For me, it was like being at the fountain of youth.

I must get that package of to #1 grandson away at his first year of college. Thanks for affirming how important such packages can be during those college years.

A Cuban In London said...

Very wise words. That's why I always return to your blog. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Many good points. Young people and also staying busy and connected in general is surely the way to stay healthy and active. Good blog.

Friko said...

Yes, by all means have the young around if they can bear the boring old you. but the young are often irritating, boring because of their limited experience (yes, they too) and they know it all.

Perhaps yours love you and adore you, in which case you are very lucky. Perhaps you spent your life as a close family, but nowadays most people live far apart and distance rarely makes the heart grow fonder.

Rob-bear said...

That's all pretty true, Rosaria.

The young people in my life would generally fall into the category of "activists." But then, I was involved in student politics when I was in university. So I don't suppose I've moved too far, at least in one sense.

And as you have noted, the "golden age" is when you give your gold to the doctors and the like. Only in limited amounts, and with reluctance.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Boodhooram Ignoramus said...

Old and young mix is ideal for company, Ignoramus believes.

Maggie May said...

Yes...... you're right about the grandchildren being a distraction from the aches and pains!
A wise post!
Maggie x

Velva said...

Surrounded by family as we age is extra special! Surrounded by our grandchildren even more so-

Velva

dianefaith said...

I absolutely agree. We moved 6 months ago to be nearer our 7-year old grandson. He is running us ragged but we are the better for it.