Love, Love, Love from Revisionist Retirement!

 

Barclay here —

When our father passed away in 2004 at the age of 95, my brother Charlie wrote an essay entitled,  Love Love Love .

During our father’s final days, conversation was difficult.  Charlie recounts,

 Two weeks before he died, Dad and I had the following

exchange. I said: “I really love you, Daddy.” He said: “Don’t make

me cry.” Neither of us cried. We held hands. “You know, Dad, when

you get to the other side, there might be lots of questions. I hear

that it’s a good idea to say the word ‘love’ a lot.” He squeezed my

hand three times and said:

         “Love. Love. Love.”

This holiday, may we go out of our way to squeeze each other’s hands.  May Love, Love Love pervade our homes, our hearts, our whole beings, as we spend time with family, give and receive offerings, and perhaps honor that empty chair of a loved one passed.

And may this same Love Love Love carry us all into 2020!

 

This is our wish for you and yours.

 

Love, Joy and Barclay

 

Please note that Revisionist Retirement will be taking a brief  blog-cation in January.  But we will pop back into your email before you know it – filled with Love, Love, Love!

Welcome, 2020! Reflections on a Decade Past and the One to Come

Joy here –

The end of a decade!  As we come upon Christmas and Chanukah (this year, a mere 3 days apart), I have to reflect on these last 10 years.  And what a decade it has been.

2010 – A devastating earthquake in Haiti killing 160,000.  The swine flue pandemic.

2011 – A 10-year manhunt ends with Bin Laden being captured and killed.  Japan’s quake and tsunami resulting in disastrous loss of life.

2012 – US toll in Afgan War hits 2000.  Costa Concordia shipwreck.  Newtown, CT takes the lives of 26, including 20 children, the killer taking his own life and that of his mother.

2013 – Boston Marathon bombings.  Verdicts from the George Zimmerman trial and Jodi Arias.  Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and leader of the anti-Apartheid movement dies.

2014 – Republicans take control of the Senate in mid-term elections.  Ebola epidemic becomes global crisis.  A new terrorist group by the name of ISIS emerges.

2015 – China devalues the Renminbi in the wake of an economic slowdown.  Greece denied austerity relief by ED.  Refugee crisis hits Europe with the flood of nearly a million people fleeing war and seeking a new life.

2016 – The US presidential election shocks many people (including myself, a lifelong New Yorker who never expected this TV reality star/real estate tycoon to represent America).  The BREXIT referendum.  The Zika virus spreads through the Americas.

2017 – North Korea launches a ballistic missile over Japan.   Women’s March on Washington becomes one of the largest single day demonstrations in US history.

2018 – Democrats win back the House.  Biggest seat gain since Watergate class of 1974.  Me Too movement goes global in the wake of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein being accused of multiple sexual harassment transgressions.

2019 – Government shutdown becomes the longest in history – 22 days – impasse over Trump border wall.  The college admissions bribery scandal.

 

A momentous decade comes to an end.

 

And we look forward to 2020,  (It has a nice ring to it!  Hey, there’s a TV show named for it!) we hope and pray for the best our country has to offer, as we spread peace and love in our own corners.

 

So….

Happy Chanukah!  Merry Christmas! Or Kwanzaa! Or anything else you might celebrate.  Be merry, joyful, and extend good wishes to strangers and friends alike.

 

Barclay and I thank you for your loyalty and devotion to Revisionist Retirement.  We would be nowhere without you!

 

As always, enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay & Joy

 

 

Please note that Revisionist Retirement will be taking a brief  blog-cation in January.  But we will pop back into your email before you know it – filled with Love, Love, Love!

 

 

Let There be Light: Seasonal Affective Disorder is Real!

You open your blinds to see bare and brown tree limbs twisted as if with arthritis, curling gnarled fingers around the few dead leaves that forgot to let go.  The sky is a gray blanket – an impermeable cloud layer that looks like it’s here to stay. And even with the blinds raised, your bedroom is shadowy and let’s face it, gloomy.  You switch on the bedside lamp but it can’t dispel the grayness or the feeling of vague yet palpable sadness that now seems to loom over you.

What you’re feeling is real and it may be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Those in retirement who lack the daily structure and social mandates of a 9 to 5 job can fall prey to SAD -particularly those living in northern climates.  SAD is not to be taken lightly.

What are the symptoms?

Oversleeping

Sleepiness during the daylight hours

Low energy

Trouble Concentrating

Low to no motivation to exercise

Carbohydrate cravings

Weight gain

Withdrawal from social situations

A depressed mood during specific months

 

Time.com defines SAD as, “a form of depression that typically coincides with the winter months,”   They say, “The possible causes of seasonal depression are manifold, but an absence of sunlight appears to play a role. “We know rates of SAD vary by latitude, so they’re much lower in Florida than in Alaska,” (says Dr. Korb, a UCLA researcher). Just as shift work or traveling to a different time zone can profoundly mess with your body’s natural rhythms, the lack of light in winter may create a “dyssynchrony” in your body’s sleep-wake cycles and internal clocks. This in turn may lead to imbalances in your levels of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters that control your mood, appetite and energy levels.”

Joy here –  When my daughter was in graduate school in London, far away from family and things familiar, she felt out of sorts all winter — depressed, blue, not wanting to do anything social.  She now lives in Amsterdam, yet another dreary city in winter, bitterly cold and dark by 4pm.  The beauty of springtime where tulips burst with vibrant colors is long forgotten, overshadowed by gray skies and a dampness that goes right through your bones.

During her London stay, I bought my daughter a lamp that emits light designed to combat SAD.  Amazon lists no less than 30 different lamps!!  I couldn’t believe it.  They are called “Happy therapy”, ‘Light therapy”, Happylight”, ‘Sun lamp light therapy.” People need sun light; they need to wake up and see blue sky, maybe not every day, but certainly at least a couple times a week.  It affects our moods, our dispositions, our energy levels.

As retirees without the structure we once had, bleak winters, especially post Holidays, are challenging.  If we didn’t have get-up-and-go in the spring or summer, we sure don’t have it in winter!

If you have to stay in a cold climate, help yourself by working on projects, cooking more, making big pots of soup, stews,  casseroles, comfort foods; try your hand at baking, build fires and get cozy; wrap a comfy blanket around yourself, snuggle with someone you love or your cat or dog!

If all else fails, go to a warm climate, even for a long weekend! Sunshine does wonders to lift your spirits and recharge your batteries. Know that this is a very real condition and you need to help yourself get out of it and feel better. Pamper yourself, even if it’s just a facial from your local drug store.

Know that spring will indeed come again.  Even now, those tulips are doing their own light therapy underground, plotting their return when they will  burst forth and lift our collective spirits!

Today’s Takeaway:

-We may be addressing this early with the spirit of Christmas and Chanukah in the air. However, we know that winter is about to set in. We want to prepare because January just plain sucks!  What’s to look forward to after the heightened anticipation of the holiday season?!

-Know that a lot of what we as retirees feel is magnified and it’s okay to feel blue.  The most important thing is to bring yourself out of it and know you are in good company!

As always enjoy the ride!

xox Barclay & Joy