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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Nora LisiusJan HermanJen ToddJane BluesteinJacke Recent comment authors
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Pam
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Pam

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

Sonja
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Sonja

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

Lisa
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Lisa

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

Nancy Wolf
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Nancy Wolf

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

Kay Purvis
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Kay Purvis

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

Cathy
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Cathy

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

Dinah Davis
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Dinah Davis

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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Martina

Love this blog Jen, thank you! xox

Bridget Hill
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Bridget Hill

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
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Donna chafin

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
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Laura Tuiaea

Great blog idea! I enjoy reading it already.

Valerie
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Valerie

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

Beverly Jones
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Beverly Jones

Great read

Terry Nunez
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Terry Nunez

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

Kim
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Kim

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

Karla
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Karla

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
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Wanda

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

Linda
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Linda

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

Diane
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Diane

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
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Gail

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
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Susan Stein

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
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Sandy

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

Jacke
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Jacke

I relate. I’ll be following you.

Jane Bluestein
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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
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Jan Herman

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

Nora Lisius
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Nora Lisius

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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