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Old 01-02-2008, 07:58 AM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141


Originally Posted by Jersey Devil View Post
Do you know how many 100 year old patients I've attended? I'm sure you can't imagine the torturous existence they endured. Having been there and dealt with it, I have the benefit of experience. Oat Bran, water, tooth brushing et al won't help you.
One could argue that you have seen a biased sample because the healthy elderly are not going to be under your care.

I had a great uncle who lived to be 6 weeks shy of 105. Except for losing some hearing and sight, his mind was sharp and he was able to enjoy life. At the very end, he took a fall and died of a stroke shortly after. You don't have to end up in a nursing home drugged to a stupor, in pain, and have no mind, etc.

I've always thought that my life objective is not to live "forever" necessarily, but to live the years I get in a healthy enough shape to enjoy life. So long as I have my wits and can read, life will still have it's joys. I expect to have a long and healthy retirement. I've got a good chance for it and a great deal of my health is under my control.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:35 AM
Location: SF Bay Area
1,423 posts, read 2,431,231 times
Reputation: 1776
Life is what you make of it and this goes for retirement, too! I retired 1-1/2 years ago and have a BIG list of hobbies and interests that I’d like to pursue that I still haven’t had a chance to get to….there just isn’t enough time in a day/week/month! I make my priorities (of what I want to do) and do what I want. Life is flexible and wonderful . Boredom doesn’t exist in my world!

You know, you said it yourself….sitting at home watching tv, sleeping and just playing on the internet for 4 days isn’t your cup of tea (it’s not mine, either!). You need to get out and do things or work on hobbies at home which you enjoy! Or maybe you're one of those people who really does enjoy working .

I have my indoor hobbies (scrapbooking, reading, cross stitching, photographing my cat , playing on the computer, cooking) and my outdoor hobbies (walking, hiking through local trails, swimming, gardening, golf). In the spring I'll be taking beginner guitar lessons. Eventually I plan to learn how to play the piano, too! Life is exciting with so many opportunities .
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:46 AM
Location: Branson Area
880 posts, read 2,585,494 times
Reputation: 710
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
I just spent 4 days over Chirstmas at home doing nothing and I was BORED outta my head! There just was not enough to watch on TV and, as you can tell, I spent a hell of a lotta time farting around on line. The rest of the time I just slept. I just could not imagine spending all my days like this. I would go crazy! I have to get out and do things!

You don't actually think that "retirement" is sitting around sleeping and watching TV do you? I would be bored stiff doing nothing. But I love not working (that thing called retirement). But I certainly don't watch TV all day. There are chores (yep...still need to be done), going to the gym, training the puppy, pursuing cooking classes and practicing what I learn. There is hiking for that perfect place to take a photo. There is RV travel around the country visiting history museums and historical sites. There are fish to be caught, lakes to be boated, and gardens to be tended. There are projects to be planned, started, and finished. There are friends to visit, sights to be seen, and the list goes on and on. I'm a leading edge babyboomer and don't know a single retired person who spends their days sleeping and watching TV. Now I'm not going to tell you that there aren't days that are a little slow, but there were when I worked too....but now I can control what I do with those days.

Perhaps retirement isn't for you..it's not for everyone. Some people haven't developed hobbies, interests, that they would like to pursue further if they had more time. Some people connect their image or selfworth with their jobs. Working until you drop is good from some people. Some of us, however, want to enrich our lives in ways we can't do when we work 10-12 hours a day.

My husband, who is an engineer by past occupation, loves retirement and doesn't think there are enough hours in the day. He is busy from the time he gets up to the time he finally comes in to eat dinner. Even then, he is doing something...computer work (not forums), designing his next project, woodworking, doing puzzles, etc.

Last edited by mrschilicook; 01-02-2008 at 11:55 AM.. Reason: direct answer
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:21 PM
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,081 posts, read 12,974,472 times
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I agree, there is not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

I get up every morning at 6:15, feed the cats, have a bowl of cereal with fruit and milk, and two cups of coffee.

After that, the rest of the day is wide open.

Even if I never get around to doing anything except eating lunch, watching the noon news, and taking a nap it's always a good productive day.

Sometimes it's enough just knowing that my life consists of infinite possibilities and opportunities that I would not have if I was not retired, regardless of whether not I actually get around to doing them.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:26 PM
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
1,812 posts, read 3,282,937 times
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Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Basically the human body is designed to work. It is designed to work by day and sleep by night. You have to remember that we humans came about thousands of years ago and we have only been "modern" for a very short amount of the time we have been here. The very concept or idea of "retirement" is really less than 100 years old. Much the same with electric light which fools the human body's natural clock. We have not evolved nearly as fast as technology has. So when one retires, unless he finds something meanningful to occupy his "work hours", my feeling is that it cannot be good for his body and mind.
I believe that the human body is designed to perform rather different activities than what passes for work these days. We evolved as hunter/gatherers. This would, I imagine, involve being outside, walking a lot, picking berries, chucking spears at Bambi, climbing a few trees maybe. Not exactly the modern American workplace, eh? We didn't evolve to sit on our asses in front of computers in windowless cubicles. I don't think that's good for the body or mind, either.

I once read that medieval peasants had more free time than the average American wage-slave. So this notion of not knowing what to do with yourself if you're not working is kind of a modern malaise, too. I'm sure that our ancestors were able to entertain themselves when they weren't working.
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:54 PM
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes + some
2,885 posts, read 1,512,671 times
Reputation: 346
Most of my retiree friends say they are busier than they were when they were working. There are tons of over-50s activities - so many that you are sure to find some you enjoy - some that might not come to mind now. And you can pick your pace. For me, that is the greatest luxury.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:00 PM
11,256 posts, read 43,411,891 times
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Retirement for us is looming ahead as a shift of focus and priorities ... not having a "job" to report to for a paycheck ... but so many more things to do with our farm and ranch activities.

The closer we get to "retirement", the less time we have each day to do all the things we've chosen to do with our businesses and leisure travel and outdoor activities.

I've still got 6 car restoration projects lined up, a classic plane sitting in pieces in a hangar to restore, 4 motorcycles to restore, and 6 wooden sailboats to maintain/repair and sail. Just ordered a 12' strip-planked wooden sailing dory kit, which I want to try on some of the rough waters around here. I just pulled my '78 Alfa spider out of a snowdrift and pushed it into my workshop ... with luck, it will be on the road again this summer with a fresh motor, new paint and interior, and some performance mods ....

My wife's got so many livestock projects, spinning projects, weaving projects ... that I can't even keep track of her studio and projects anymore. I just know when she's scheduled us to fairs, farmer's markets, craft show/sales, or livestock buying trips/auctions.

We try to trail ride our horses through the nicer months now, and we still enjoy tent camping in the wilderness off our horses. Don't get to do as many trips as we used to do, but that's OK.

We've got neighbors in their 90's still running their farms and ranches. One elderly lady, the matriarch of her family's hay business, put up 90,000 bales of hay herself this last cutting (the third cutting for them in this last year's production). Her grandson hooked up the tractor to the equipment, made sure all was field ready ... and she did all the rest herself, cutting, raking, baling. Grandson did the field retrieval and stacking of all the cut, which totaled about 200,000 bales on all their property. But 92 year old Granny was not going to sit idly by and not do her share .... she came in and helped do the cooking for her family and crew after she did her field work.

My local hero is Cole Kugel ... who passed away recently at age 105 years. He celebrated his 100th birthday by flying one of his planes, which he'd had for many years. Had his house at his airstrip, and was a local flying legend ....

Other buddies around here have their houses along another private grass airstrip that they share. All have hangars, and restoration projects ongoing at each. You can tell which hangar everybody is going to be in each day ... that's the one with a thin trace of smoke coming out of the chimney stack from the woodstove this time of year. The coffee pot's on, the hangar is warm ... and there's an interesting bit of aviation history going back together before you. The guys work most of they day, sometimes get their flying aircraft out and head out for a lunch somewhere ... and generally put one plane a year back into flying condition, ready to head out to the shows and summertime meets, or visiting grandkids or great-grandkids. It takes a lot of hours to strip a fabric and wooden airplane to it's core, repair all the wood structure, and then recover the fabric over the whole thing ... the guys all help each other with these major projects, and their work is pure artistry. They take a lot of pride in helping each other out ....

They're all slowing down physically, but mentally they're all sharp as can be and optomistic about tomorrow's projects. No time for feeling sorry for themselves, or sitting around being bored to death.

So, that's the key. Find the things in life you can be passionate about and that you can do ... and then aggressively seek out the ways to do them.
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