Finding ways to revive the spirit

Published 11:17 pm Sunday, July 28, 2013

I’ve made up my mind. Tomorrow I’m getting up early and escaping from home for the day! Where am I going? I don’t know! I’m just going somewhere, anywhere! Just going!

After thinking about it, escape may be a pretty strong word. After a few years of getting adjusted to retirement, most times I really like being at home. However, home chores and staying so close to home so much of the time gets common. I like a little change in my life. I even like a little adventure sometimes. Just a little, mind you — nothing too exciting.

As I planned retirement years ago, I thought I would be able to sleep late and just loll around in my pajamas in the morning. That’s the dream a lot of people have about retirement. It is really hard to change so many years of rising early in the morning. Your body is long programmed to get up, get ready and go.

Lots of mornings, especially after a sleepless night, I feel like I could sleep late, bring a cup of coffee back to bed and watch TV for a couple hours. The problem: I have two little ladies named Sassy and Lola who are programmed to wake up about 6-6:30 a.m. and are ready to go outside.

I suppose it’s my fault. I started letting them go out with me to walk around 7-7:30 and they get me up in plenty of time. They sit on the patio and wait for me to go on my walk. When we get back, they are ready for food. And so my day begins. Luckily I can sip coffee while I’m walking.

So where do most retired people usually go? And how do they spend their time? I’ve been listening to a good many people of late.

I have friends who help take care of grandchildren while their parents work. These are usually the younger retirees who still have young grandchildren. They are most often the ones with lots of energy left who plan fun things in retirement.

Many are able to get away before the usual 60-65 retirement age and can enjoy many years of a great life doing what they haven’t had time to do during their working years, including traveling. Some become volunteers and live a life of lasting fulfillment.

Some say their days are planned in advance. The chores don’t go away. There is still house cleaning and cooking, washing and ironing, yard work and such mundane things as getting the car serviced and keeping things running. Impacting all this is the fact that as aging advances, we can’t do anything as speedily as a few years earlier. So it takes longer to get anything done.

For older retirees, since we don’t go as much, there are fewer clothes to buy, wash or iron. We have most everything we need, so we don’t have to shop as much — unless we really want to.

There are doctor appointments on a fairly regular schedule. By the time you consult your regular doctor and various other specialists including the dentist, you spent a lot of time just keeping a schedule. Then there are the runs to the store and the bank and various other places.

Talking to another retired couple the other day, I invited them to visit us and the reply was, “It seems like we don’t do anything anymore but go to the doctor, have tests run and go to the funeral home.”

Planning for emergencies can take on a new meaning at this time of life and retirees start watching their spending as they estimate just how many years they might have left and how long their savings will last. There are sickness and health problems as wear and tear take their toll on our bodies.

Thinking about all this can cause depression for many who can’t see anything better in the future.

Before I get to that point, while I am able, I’ve decided. Tomorrow I am getting up and going somewhere — anywhere! Not far, just somewhere different. I may go the next day too!

I’ve found it’s a good way to revive the spirit.

Retired Lifestyle Editor Bob Ann Breland, a resident of Pine, writes a weekly column and may be contacted at bobann_b@ yahoo. com.