The Golden Years


Am I in the Golden Years now that I am71? The person who thought up that term must have been young and wishing for the time they could retire or they were out of their mind. It is time for a reality check about retirement years being the Golden Years.

The statement; growing old gracefully is also a misnomer. There is no such thing as growing old gracefully especially after we reach 60. By the time I turned 60 my joints were already barking with arthritis, and there is nothing golden about that. The joints make it hard to do things you’ve always done easily.

Now that I am 71 my joints are hurting even more. 40 years plus of hairdressing didn’t help because you use and abuse every one of your joints doing that job. It is a profession you should do no longer than 20-25 years and then find something that allows you to sit to give the body a chance to rejuvenate. I chose to keep working at the job I loved twice as long as I should have.

So what is the reason they call the age of retirement the Golden Years? Are they golden because you don’t have to work and can do what you want to do? I am not sure about that. By the time you are retirement age you might not able to do what you want to do, like travel.

I would love to see some of the 50 states but not sure the joints will allow it now. I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon…….but my fear of heights would probably stop me from getting close enough to the rim to actually see the full scale of how deep or beautiful it is. And riding the horses to the bottom is a definite NO.

The glass platform you can walk on to look down or look over the edge would not be for me. The fear of height would stop me from getting out on it. Let alone looking over the edge or down through the floor.

From what I have seen on TV of the glass viewing platform that hangs out over the edge of the rim, I wouldn’t get 4 feet out onto the glass. Okay, I wouldn’t make it two steps onto the glass floor. By the time I got that far I would be on my hands and knees or would have a death grip on the railing. Someone would have to pry my fingers loose from the rail and drag me back to solid ground.

One thing that is Golden about being retirement age is being able to speak your mind. I think most people just take what someone with white hair says with a grain of salt. (A good reason to keep wearing my white wig.) So you can be a little outrageous and they just chalk it up to your age.

The best thing about retirement or the Golden years; you don’t have to get up at a set time to get ready for work. Well, that is if your body or brain will let you sleep later. After 40 plus years of getting up at 6:00 or 6:30 every morning to be at work by 7:30 or 8:00 it is impossible to turn off the internal alarm clock. At least I haven’t been able to.

I have been retired for about 5 years now and I still don’t have the hang of sleeping late. I still wake up at 6:30 and then can’t go back to sleep. Maybe it’s the joints that set off my alarm clock, but whatever it is I wish there was a switch to turn it off. Since I don’t usually have a schedule to keep it would be nice to just turn off the internal alarm.

Now that I am retired I can read, color, work on my stories for the paper, or watch TV in the afternoons. But since I wake up early every morning I find my self dropping off to sleep in the recliner. It sure is irritating to wake up in the chair with the book I’m reading still in my hands but not open to the same page I was reading when I dropped off to sleep. I have to reread quite a few pages to find my place.

I sometimes fall asleep in the evening during a program on TV that I really wanted to watch or in the middle of my Yankee games that I watch on MLB. That really torques me off to miss some of the game when my age takes its toll again and puts me to sleep. Thankfully I can back up the game and see what has happened, but if I see the score when I woke up, there is no reason to go back.

I have a word of warning to the young who are looking forward to retirement. You will have the time to do what you want to do but your body probably won’t comply with your wishes. So enjoy traveling and doing your favorite things while you are young, because there is nothing golden about the golden years. To contact Sandy: [email protected]


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