Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meditation for Seniors

Today I began an online course in Meditation.  I used to meditate from time to time, but never became proficient, if there is such a thing, nor was I ever consistent.  I used to "drift off" while sitting in the hot tub or spa at the gym and called that my meditation.  I also tended to fall asleep quickly.

Fifteen years ago, I attended some group meditation sessions, but the other participants were pretty religious and frequently started "communicating" with entities from "the other side" so I kinda lost interest in their group.

My first lesson today was mostly history and theory of the benefits of meditating along with an explanation of what goes on in each part of the brain and how meditation can affect that.

I am paying for this course so that is additional incentive to stick with it and see if I can become a healthier person through meditation.  I will never be a Tibetan Monk but I might meditate in a robe.

I will keep you up to date.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Avoid the Flu and Baby It's Cold Outside

Oh, Baby!  Is it ever cold this morning!   Four degrees above zero F.  I think this may be the coldest morning since last winter.  I supposedly live in the Montana "Banana Belt" but every winter seems to be harder for me to endure.  

I guess my current biggest concern is the Flu Season, with Seniors being hit the hardest of all cohort groups.  I bought a fingernail brush yesterday. Washing my hands, especially the fingernail area, is at least one proactive step that I can take to avoid the Flu.  
I did get a Flu shot, as usual, and I don't go anywhere around small children.  I avoid crowds and the Mall.  I think my greatest vulnerability is while eating in a restaurant.  In a restaurant we never know how many sick people have touched the menus.  We don't know if our cooks or server is sick, or has been, or will be.  
People can infect others 24 hours before they themselves show any symptoms, and of course, even after one has endured the Flu, he or she can still infect others.  So restaurants are dangerous sources of viruses and bacteria.  I can't wear sterilized gloves or a face mask in a restaurant, so it is best to avoid them. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ten Clues That It is Time to Retire

I can tell you that I have retired twice.  First from the U.S. Navy after 24 years, and then from a city government job where I spent 11 years.

My time in the service was just okay.  I never felt like I completely fit in, but I was very successful.  I did not make friends easily and always concentrated on my work, often to the detriment of my family and personal affairs.  My goal was to get as much rank as I could by the time I retired in order to maximize my retirement pay.

When I didn't care enough to keep up with all the changes that were happening in the Navy, the rules, the technology, and the paperwork, I knew it was time to retire. I got tired of the job and badly needed a change of scenery, of responsibility and of people.  When the day came that I thought I could live on my retirement, I "put in my papers."

Now my job with city government came about by accident.  I was working "temporary" jobs and was sent out for an assignment with the city that lasted three months at forty hours a week.  By the time that assignment was over, I had "fit in" with the people and the routines.  The processes were similar to the Navy, but without the rank formalities.  There was less paperwork and fewer rules. The pay and benefits were pretty decent compared to the local economy, so I applied for a permanent position and was hired.  The best part of the job was that I had absolutely no supervisory duties.  Unlike the Navy, nobody worked for me.  I wasn't responsible for how others did their jobs. I was pretty content.   After eleven years I reached age 60 and decided it was again time to retire.  The age of 60 was when I was allowed to immediately begin drawing my retirement pay, so that was when I knew it was time to retire.

Ten "clues" that it might be time to retire (based on a lot of my own experiences in other jobs too).

1.  You decline to attend training that is offered because it is optional.
2.  You rarely have anything to offer at staff meetings.
3.  Supervisors begin to ignore you.
4.  Subordinates begin to circumvent you.
5.  You feel like your are intentionally being "left out of the loop."
6.  The quirks of fellow workers become irritations.
7.  You can't imagine spending time with co-workers away from the job too.
8.  You turn down invitations to after-hour drinks or group lunches with co-workers.
9.  Co-workers don't invite you to their home social events, and you prefer it that way.
10. You detect that co-workers stop talking when you approach.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Grandchildren Milestones and Achievements

As I age, the activities and accomplishments of my children and grandchildren  become more and more important to me.  When they were so little and wide-eyed, I took great pleasure in their joy too.  Perhaps I was recalling my own milestones, and perhaps, vicariously, re-living one of my own special moments as I watched them enjoy theirs.

Recently, however, more and more of their milestones have served to open my eyes to the facts of life.  I am getting pretty darn old.  When a GRANDCHILD celebrates a first driver's license, or their 21st birthday, (!!!) my jaw just drops.  My two daughters "celebrated" turning 40!  And next month my son-in-law will be 50!  I have to spell that out:  FIFTY!  How can that be?  Holy Cow Man!

Now my spouse and I are drawing Social Security and I have a MEDICARE card.

I recently attended my own Mother's birthday when she reached 85.  She says to me:
 "Now you and I are more or less in the same generation, right?  Both drawing Social Security and both hard of hearing."

 Well, I heard that well enough. Thankfully, my own middle-aged kids weren't around to share that moment.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just Broke Another Tooth. What is Going On?

Do our teeth age as we do?  Becoming frail and fragile and brittle?  Tonight I was eating soft licorice and suddenly, "CRACK!" I bit on something hard and I knew, of course, that I had broken another tooth.  The very same thing has happened to me before, and I was eating something chewy, not hard.

Every time this happens, and this is about the fourth or fifth time (see I have lost count for God's sake), I head to the dentist with a semi-emergency and either get a filling or a crown.  This time about 1/4 of the tooth broke off, and there was already a filling, so the tooth was weakened, I guess.  I have more crowns than real teeth now.  Expensive too, as well as being a constant reminder of how it feels to grow older by the day.

I can't think of any pictures of this that anyone would want to see. I'm just afraid the dentist will one day tell me it is time for dentures.  That would be a real kick in the teeth.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How Tall Were You at Your Tallest?

I stared dumbly at the doctor.  "How tall WAS I?  I am 5 foot, eleven......and a half," I added.

"Sorry, but gravity always has its way," replied the doc. I have lost height, and no amount of hanging upside down on one of those inverted gravity tables will stretch me out another inch.

My first suit, in 1967, was a 38 Tall.   Today I am a 44 Regular.  I don't know which of those numbers distresses me more, the increase in my girth or the shrinkage in height.  Why do men age as we do?  With more hair in some places and less in others, with ears that just hang lower and lower, and other things.

I wish the term, "Fat Cat" only referred to the size of my savings account, and not to my ass.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to the Grandpa New Years

For over 60 years, staying awake until Midnight on New Year's Eve was absolutely essential.  To kiss the girl friend or spouse, to dance the midnight dance, to hear and see the fireworks.    Well, my spouse and I saw in the new year of 2013 by falling asleep on the couch.  Her at 8:30 (must have been the wine at dinner) and me at 10:30 (that's just my regular bedtime)  So I say "Well and Good."  Welcome to the Grandpa and Grandma years.

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