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A Day in My Life at 65

December 30, 2016

alarmclockAnother Way for week of December 30, 2016

After a lifetime of setting the alarm at least five mornings a week, with most of the last three years getting up at the ridiculous hour of 3:15 a.m., my husband and I are enjoying not setting the alarm.

Yes, I’m still gainfully employed and do indeed need to get to work by 8 a.m. We just don’t have to set the alarm because after getting up all those years as early as we did, and not sleeping as soundly as we used to, well, the sun or the dog or the cat gets us up if we snooze too long.

So, most days after I get up and let the dog out, I make a small pot of coffee for myself and enjoy hobby writing for my blog, my newspaper column, or the magazine I edit before going to my day job. My husband gets up when he feels like it, having retired earlier this year, (a very good decision, by the way, given his circumstances). He makes his own pot of coffee (I drink decaf and he drinks regular) and he seems to enjoy puttering in the kitchen to fix a little breakfast for himself.

Then three or four days a week, he heads off to the wellness center of a nearby retirement housing complex where he works out doing strengthening exercise in a gym and pool. (I never, ever thought I would write those words about my husband. Yes, I’m very happy he’s working out!) Meanwhile, I get myself ready and head to my job. If I have time before I start work, I take a 20 minute walk; if I can’t squeeze it in then, I try to do so over my lunch time.

After work, I throw together a meal: meat, potatoes or another starch, a vegetable or a salad, and usually, vanilla ice cream for dessert. I would say my cooking is less complicated than it was when we were raising our three daughters. In reality, I often don’t cook more than three nights a week; the other nights we have either leftovers, eat out (fast food or cheap restaurant) and every other week, have a Lions Club meeting with an evening meal. So, the fact that my husband doesn’t cook more than steaks, hamburgers and in the ancient past, barbecue chicken, and now fixes himself lunch and breakfast, my cooking has been cut way back. I do enjoy cooking when I have time; I also dig having company, including our children and grandchildren.

bdaymelodie60thAt 65, I do think more now about the time I have left: will I get another ten, twenty or thirty years? Forty was not a big deal for me, joking even when I got to 50 and 51 that “Fifty-one is practically 50, which is not far from 49, and 49 is not far from 40 which might as well be 39.” Follow that? You could say I was in either in rabid denial, or that I was quite happy in my own skin and comfortable with getting older, or something like that.

But 65? That’s a number to reckon with. If I get to live to be 85, wow, that’s only twenty years away. Twenty years is not that long of time so I’m starting to think, what do I want to still do in the next 20 years? Where do I want to travel while still on this earth, and able? Will I be in heaven or the afterlife in 20 years? Psalm 90: 10 in the King James Version says the days of our years are three score and ten, or perhaps four score (if you remember that a score is 20). So the Bible puts the average life at that time 70 or 80.

Thank the Lord, we don’t get to know these things, or at least most of us don’t. So the important thing is yes, get around to doing the things we really want to do, and try to enjoy each and every day or minute as we live it. Like one of my favorite authors, Thornton Wilder wrote in the play “Our Town,” in lines spoken by Emily, “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

So, that is my goal for the New Year: to spend more time reflecting and expressing what is important to do, and then doing it, as time and funds allow. My husband and I have always dreamed of spending time volunteering for disaster work or other longer term assignments. I hope we can still do that, depending on health.

And even though I’m not retired yet, it sure is nice not to set an alarm. There are too many years of that. Time to celebrate!

For a free booklet, “A Loving Legacy” for families with aging parents to fill out together, email me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or write to Another Way Media, Box 363, Singers Glen, Va. 22850.

 

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books, most recently Whatever Happened to Dinner. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication. 

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8 Comments
  1. I hear joy in accomplishment in this post and relief at a more relaxed lifestyle. After a health scare, my husband is exercising more and at my gentle suggestion (not!) preparing more meals.

    From my perspective, you are very young, Melodie. The best is yet to be!

  2. Yes, feeling joy & relief both! Did your husband have a new health scare??

    I know, young is relative. My sister turned 70 this week and that feels like a really big number too. With “younger” women like Carrie Fisher leaving the scene this week, and a cousin of my husband passing on Dec. 22 at age 59, I feel very fortunate to be doing and feeling as good as I do.

    Happy New Year, Marian.

  3. Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler permalink

    Happy New Year and new era, Melodie. I experience lots of contentment between the changing rhythms of your life. Thank you for your writing.

    • Dolores, it’s been great getting to know you a bit through your comments this year! You are very kind. Yes, it is a new era. Looking out the window of my home office, the woods and hills and pastures are mostly brown, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t life there ready to sprout and bloom again; the period of rest through winter can perhaps speak to me. Blessings to you in the New Year as well.

  4. Athanasia permalink

    I am glad you are enjoying a new slower lifestyle, but I am not sure why someone needs to get up at 3:15 to go to work. What was the reason for that?

    • Good to hear from you again, Athanasia. He had a 50 minute commute, a five to seven minute walk in from the parking lot to his work area, and he needed about 45 minutes for his morning bathroom routine. Plus he didn’t want to drive 65 mph down the road. I would have slept longer if it were me, but that was how he liked to do things. And since it was usually impossible for me to go back to sleep right away, I got up too and started writing. Sometimes I took a nap before I went to work. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Thanks for asking.

      • Athanasia permalink

        Ugh, a 50 minute commute sounds terrible. Not only the time on the way there, but then in order to get home at the end of the day you have to do it all over again!

      • I used to have to drive 60 miles one way for a job in Florida and the commute home always was a time to unwind and process and think. Some use that commute time to listen to books on tape etc. He got used to it. And just a note, he didn’t always have to get up at 3 a.m. for 30 years, but just the last three years. He used to have to get there at 7 a.m., then 6, and then 5. 😦

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