If you’re still at an age where you’re working full time, you probably haven’t thought much about retirement. Unless, of course, you’re miserably unhappy at your current job. Or you’re close to retirement age and you’re just counting down the days or years till you can sit home and collect Social Security.
In today’s society, with people living longer lives, there’s a strange new phenomenon whereby as soon as someone retires, they immediately look for part-time work. I guess, for some people, the idea of relaxing and enjoying your ‘golden years’ is unheard of and, after all, why would someone want to spend all their time at home… with their loving spouse or, perhaps, traveling the world together??
In my opinion, some people just aren’t capable of being happy and others are only so when ‘they’ are the most important person in their life!
Did you know that when you live with your parents, later in life, you actually start to lose large pieces of your mind on a daily basis? It’s not like when you temporarily lose your keys or forget someone’s phone number. Or when you sit in traffic because it was decided that rush hour was a convenient time to pave the road or there’s an accident on the other side of the divider and all the drivers in front of you decide to look and take photos and you think, “there are two hours of my life I’ll never get back.”
No, this is something entirely different.
When my Dad – who has very limited sight and even more limited acceptance of that fact – insists on pouring his own drink and I then spend my few free moments of the day cleaning up the spills that could have been avoided if he would have just allowed me the privilege of doing it for him in the first place… there goes one piece of your mind.
Then when my Mom thinks she is saving 15 cents (yes, cents) by using a coupon from one particular store that is miles away from where I’m doing their regular shopping – resulting in my having to spend a half hour more of my valuable time, traveling in the car (not to mention about 10x as much in gas as the coupon is worth) – just so I can buy that item that she didn’t really even need but had a coupon for… there goes another piece of mind.
And, finally, when I spill some yogurt down the front of my new shirt (because I’m so tired from running around doing errands and fixing things around the house) and I realize I’ve witnessed this same scene before but, instead of me, it was with the very people I’m usually helping clean up after – that’s when it occurs to you that it’s not a piece of mind you’ve lost but your peace of mindfulness!*
*Don’t sweat the small stuff… Listen to your heart… Take time for yourself… Set clear boundaries… Give yourself the gift of forgiveness… Go ahead and vent… Remain calm… Make the best of a bad situation… Don’t take it all so seriously… Treasure the journey… And when all else fails – LAUGH!
As a parent myself I understand the need to know, at all times, that your children are safe. To that end, I always hope (ok, full disclosure… I demand) that my sons let me know when they arrive home from vacation or from a long car trip or even from visiting me.*
Just because your babies leave the nest and have their own lives, doesn’t mean you ever stop worrying about them. It’s a natural feeling – whether they’re off to college or on a business trip or visiting friends and family for the holidays.*
In my case, I’m in my 50’s and I’m living with my parents. You’d think the neuroses (I mean the loving care) would lessen – when I’m only traveling to a nearby town to work for a few hours and then returning home. Alas… NO. Even then I’m expected to call when I arrive safely at my destination and then announce myself upon my arrival home in one piece.
Truth be told, it’s nice to know someone cares about me that much. It would, however, be a lot less of a burden if my parents could understand the concept of simple texting. But that’s just not the case. Instead, it’s a classic case of Once A Parent, Always A Parent!
*Hint, Hint! 😉
NOTE: I dedicate this post to my parents, Carol and Philip, on the occasion of their 59th wedding anniversary. LOVE YOU!