Sunday, February 19, 2017

Getting Older... Hmmm...

Hi Everybody! How’s it going today?  

To be honest, things have been a bit strange around here lately. I’ve been thinking more and more often about how it feels to be getting older. Now, when I say ‘getting older’ I don’t mean the way it feels to go from age 15 to 16, when you feel that awesome sense of anticipation because you’ll soon be able to drive. Or the feeling you have when you’re turning 21, and finally going to bars and buying your first legal drink. I’m not even talking about going from age 39 to 40, which many people dread because it sounds so “ooooooold.” ;)  No… Age fifty is far behind me, and I’m solidly 55; and at 55, I’m seeing some significant changes in the ways we live our lives. Allow me to explain…

First of all, Todd’s and my conversations are beginning to revolve more around retiring from employment than about working at the actual employment itself. We’ve started taking a much sharper view of our finances, and examining what and how much we save today, may benefit us someday down the road. For us, it’s no longer about making mortgage payments or running up sky-high credit card balances, as much as it is about 401K’s and mutual funds. I don’t know… Sometimes I love that we’re in this new phase of life. I mean, there’s certainly nothing wrong with it, and it’s certainly not a bad place to be. It’s just kind of… ‘different’ from absolutely everything we’ve done up to this point in life. 

It’s weird too because crazy health issues start seeping into everyday conversations. A dinner doesn’t go by when one of us isn’t explaining that “This hurts,” or “That aches,” or “I think it’s a little better than it was yesterday,” or “Maybe we should call the doctor about that tomorrow… ” You name it, and a couple in their 50’s probably discusses it. For my older friends and readers out there, I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about. I remember when my own mom started saying things like I’m saying. One of her common sayings was, “It takes me twice as long to accomplish half as much.” It’s just so different. I mean, there were days, years ago, that all we discussed was soccer or baseball schedules, school concerts, babysitting jobs, and “Who’s going to walk the dog today?” When did everything suddenly become about our backs and shoulders and eyes and other odd items that shall remain nameless... you get the picture.  

I was talking with my daughter on the phone recently, and I told her I was feeling a little bit melancholy. She pointed out how many funerals I attend, and I hadn’t even really considered that as a reason for my malaise. She’s right. Todd and I really do attend a lot of funerals. I attend even more than he does because sometimes they’re scheduled in the middle of a work day. Since I have more flexibility with my time, I’ll often go alone; but if it's on a weekend, we tend to go together. I bet we attended at least twelve in 2016. I know this isn’t that unusual. We’re at the age when this starts to happen. We try to get to as many as possible to show respect. It makes sense. Why, I remember when my own parents began this phase in their relationship. I was in my 20’s at the time, and it felt like every time we spoke on the phone, they were stopping at a funeral home for a neighbor, friend, or relative. They’d often just matter-of-factly work it into their busy days. “We have a few errands to run, we’ll swing over to the visitation for “Delores,” and then we’ll stop and grab a burger before we head home.” Their casual tone felt so strange to me; but dang…! Here we are now, too!   

Anyway, Megan told me to write a blog post about it, and I hesitated, hemmed, and hawed. She told me, “Mom, people like it when you write about real, everyday struggles. Most people are probably going through a lot of what you are. I think it would be good for you to get it out. Write it down!”

She’s so precious – I tell my kids all of the time to “Write it down!” and now she’s telling me the same thing. Which brings me to a whole ‘nother topic: Have your kids become your teacher yet? They really are smart sometimes, aren’t they? Perhaps that’s a topic for another day… ;)   

Anyway, I really appreciated my daughter’s take on this and for advising me to write this post. I pray that my readers understand what I’m trying to convey. Between the retirement talk, the health stuff, and the funerals, I also need to say that I’m extremely grateful to God to be healthy enough to discuss retirement, health, and funerals - both in my real life as well as right here on my blog, with you all.  

As always, thanks for reading!  

Until we meet again…  

Katie Kolberg Memmel is the author of two books: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference,” and “Silly Stories and Sentimental Stuff.” Both are available through Amazon as an electronic and paperback version. For more information about Katie and her writing, visit her website:         
#GettingOlder  #Retirement  #AdultKids 

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