My mother, rest her soul, used to say age is just a number. Yet we never knew exactly how old Muriel was until the day she chose to file for social security!
We never spoke about actual ages in my household. We all knew Muriel was quirky, the most wonderful mom in the world, but someone who was a bit wacky, eccentric, unique. (Thank you, Muriel, for providing me with fodder for my writing!)
I come from a long line of ancestors who didn’t discuss age including my grandmother. It’s not anything terrible and if a little white lie makes you feel better and doesn’t hurt anyone in the process, what difference does it make? At least, that’s what I was always told. Mind you, this is the same person that told me it was okay to take a butterscotch candy or peppermint from the bin at Woolworth’s to taste. (Those of you who don’t remember Woolworth’s or The 5 & 10 have no business reading this blog!) That’s what they were there for. Lucky, I didn’t become a kleptomania!
Muriel never looked her age anyway, good genes, so when she filed for social security ( only because my father made her) it was then made known that she was about 6 years older than we had always thought. The funny thing was that Ben, my father, was always advancing his age, so at 82, he was almost 83! He was proud of the age he had lived to and didn’t care about the number or what anyone thought.
So, following in her footsteps and being a bit nutty myself, I always fudged the number. I had a lot of friends who were a good 10 years younger than I so I just considered myself just like them.
My husband being 6 years my senior ( for real) was already retired and waiting for me to join him so we could do the things we had always wanted. So at 62 ½ I decided to leave the workforce. I had worked for 42 years, made the sacrifices, got up to an annoying alarm clock, took Metro North into the City when I definitely wanted to stay home and play. This was my time.
Many of my friends thought I was retiring early, maybe I was 50 something, one of those women whom you’re just not sure about. And it really wasn’t that early, a few years ahead of my actual full retirement age. Who knew they pushed the age up a year for us second wave of Baby Boomers. Sneaky those government folks!
So here I am having achieved that status in life that I had been waiting for and now 5 months later and I’m still reflecting on the decision.
What I am learning is that retirement’s a time of life that requires the right attitude, mental adjustments to freedom and discipline to make everyday meaningful.
A weekend just isn’t the same when everyday is Saturday and Sunday!
. This is a tough one, because I could lie and say age doesn’t matter. It’s just a number. Blah, blah, blah. I will have to come to grips with this slowly, on my own terms. I’ll get there eventually.
. Always look your best. Just because you’re not going to an office environment anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t put some blush on, a pair of earrings, a nice blouse or pants. You are looking good for you! Your harshest critic should also be your best fan!
Enjoy the Ride!
xox Barclay and Joy