A very bug-like phase of life

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell

Any former English Majors out there who remember Franz Kafka’s famous short story Metamorphosis? You know, the one where he wakes up as a cockroach. That’s how getting old felt to me. Very sudden and scary beyond belief. Sure there were signs – my gray hair, plenty of wrinkles, and that incessant AARP card they kept mailing me. But by the time I hit 60, there was no denying I was getting to be, gulp, a senior. I went through all those grief stages that I can’t remember, and finally just before my 63rd birthday this last June, I accepted the current status of my life: old, and getting older daily.

Now this is not to say I am going gentle into that goodnight. In fact, participating in life is what this blog is all about. I want to make the most of the time I have left on this planet, and I am creating this blog to help me make good on that promise. Unfortunately, I won’t be living the lush and lavish life I always imagined. Job lay-offs and divorce took their toll, and so here I sit living on a fixed income with a mortgage that I don’t expect to pay off in my lifetime. But there is plenty of good too: a wonderful husband (of only 3 years), 2 great dogs, our own home in lovely Bend, Oregon. I have grown children, step-children, siblings, grand-children and friends, all of whom I love dearly and feel blessed to have in my life. And except for possessing some rather flimsy bones, I am wonderfully healthy.

One of the reasons I am feeling so smarty pants healthy is that I recently shed 23 lbs. To fill you in on the last 50 years, I have been gaining and losing these same 20-some odd pounds since I was a teenager. I decided this time I was going to lose them for good, and I was determined to do it sensibly. Which I did. These days I am learning to maintain, which is a whole process that I always skipped before, thus my yo-yo history. You know, the old “keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll keep getting the results you’ve always gotten” thingy. But no more. I’ll let you in on how I lost the weight and the program I am using to keep it off, right here in this blog. Probably next entry.

I am planning to post weekly. My husband, Tom, is a web designer, and I am counting on him to help keep me on deadline (are you reading this Tom?). I am committing to a year of self-improvement, and chronicling my efforts right here. Each month will have a theme. Some months will be all introspective and even a bit woo-woo, like how I will attempt to awaken my sleeping spirituality. Others will be more down and dirty, like venturing under my kitchen sink to clean out the grubbiness, which makes me a little queasy just to think about.

I have found since retiring almost two years ago that I have a tendency to think “why bother?” I am never going to get to go to Italy, so who cares if the dogs have turned our backyard into a wasteland. The answer I came up with is that I am still alive, and therefore want to make the most of what I have and become the best version of myself that I can be. I guess we humans never stop wanting to learn and grow. So, here I go.  Stay tuned.

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35 Comments on "A very bug-like phase of life"

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Pam
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Totally can relate and love your blog so far! Can’t wait for the next issue!

Sonja
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What makes you so sure you will never go to Italy? Just saying…..

Lisa
Guest

Looking forward to reading your posts, Jen. I’m new to maintenance, too. Yay for us!

Nancy Wolf
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I can relate! I will await your next installment. Thanks for sharing!

Kay Purvis
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Looking forward to reading you blog! I’m from the BLE world and you peaked my interest!

Cathy
Guest

Yeah…you never know…you just might make it to Italy!

Dinah Davis
Guest

Great blog! I got laid off last August, and it’s taken me months to begin to come to grips with “forced” retirement. I admit I’m flailing a bit…struggling to maintain fitness routines, dealing with minor (but VERY annoying) health issues and battling depression.
It’s a huge change and nobody helps you along. Thanks for expressing what we’re all thinking.

Martina
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Love this blog Jen, thank you! xox

Bridget Hill
Guest

What a great start, Jen. I will be visiting Bend again soon – 2 wonderful sets of friends have moved there recently. Let’s try for a meet and greet. Love your commitment.

Donna chafin
Guest

I look forward to your next blog BUT I’m having a really difficult time reading the fine print! If you are directing this toward us “boomers” you may want to go to a larger and DARKER print. I’m 74 and just recently completed a BLE boot camp! I’m also on a really really limited income…thank goodness susan offered a scholarship! Best of luck on your blog!

Laura Tuiaea
Guest

Great blog idea! I enjoy reading it already.

Valerie
Guest

Okay Jen I can totally relate to everything you are saying! I can’t wait for the next one!

Beverly Jones
Guest

Great read

Terry Nunez
Guest

Will keep reading your blogs for great retirement advise as I will be retiring in october!

Kim
Guest

Nice blog. I’m into this next phase of life too and will enjoy reading these.

Karla
Guest

Great writing Jen! I myself love being retired, but then I was’nt a copyright like you, but worked in Child Welfare…….. Not so much fun! Keep growing and learning, you’re an insperation!

Wanda
Guest

I am going to love reading this each week Jen. I need this for inspiration. I am in the same place.

Linda
Guest

Love the blog, we have so much in common w retirement, finances, ble. Is there a way to get a subscription?❤️❤️❤️

Diane
Guest

Hi Jen! Love your idea to chronicle your year. I suggest checking out Dr Christiane Northrup’s book and YT video called Ageless Goddess. She helps reframe how to live and thrive vs accepting society’s view of aging!

Gail
Guest

Great read – I am along for the ride my dear…can hardly wait to see this blog unfold!! Being 63 and still working…a bit of envy here, birthday buddy!!
xoxo

Susan Stein
Guest
Yes, I also want to read these! I’m now 64, and likewise don’t know how it happened! And I feel some real remorse over the things that I never managed to accomplish. A bit of “job dislocation” (aka unemployment) also left me and DH with less for retirement than we thought we’d have. But, unfortunately, I am not being successful with the BLE-one difference between us. Since you’re a writer you’ll be able to give voice to what I’m also living through, so I can’t wait to read your missives! Let me add one parallel observation: a few years ago… Read more »
Sandy
Guest

I’ll be following you. 64 on Saturday and going strong!

Jacke
Guest

I relate. I’ll be following you.

Jane Bluestein
Guest
First off, I LOVE the name of your site. My denial is apparently strong enough to have not noticed that I’ve been (and have been becoming) a senior citizen—gag!—for years. It was like I just woke up one day and realized I just couldn’t maintain the pace I’d been keeping. Second, I congratulate you on your good health and the changes you’ve made in your life, this blog included. I wish you continued success and much happiness, and appreciate the mirror you’ve provided for those of us at a certain age whose reality has finally caught up with them. Not… Read more »
Jan Herman
Guest

Great read sooo glad you sing my song !!!! We are all in this together !

Nora Lisius
Guest

Ah, yes, Gregor Samsa. I think of him often, old English major that I am. 🙂 I’m looking forward to following your journey through the year.

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