2017-09-27 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

Count yourself lucky if you’ve reached retirement years, and you have friends who’ve reached them with you. My friends and I have reached these so-called “golden years,” but none of us has retired, with one exception. In our 20s, 30s, and 40s I think all of us thought we’d one day actually retire. So far though, none of us have slipped into that death trap----the rocking chair. I’ve come to the conclusion that I might never retire in the traditional sense.

I have retired, though, from inactivity, boredom, and caring what most other people think. Not the “not caring” what others think as in “I’ll drink too much if I want to,” or” I’ll be rude and insensitive if I want to be,” or being foolish with my money. I don’t have enough of that to be foolish with anyway.

I’ve started an exercise routine, mainly stretches and stationary bike riding. I began these almost a year ago and I’ve replaced bacon, egg, and cheese and a Coke with yogurt, fruit, and water.

I read somewhere that those who begin lifestyle changes that around 60% relapse, or completely quit, returning to their previous sedentary ways. Or, they practice them so seldom, there’s no real benefit. And, they wrote that to avoid being in the 60% quitters you needed to have one big motivating factor to keep you moving. My motivation is that I want to live long enough to see my granddaughter graduate from college, and then graduate school, and be happy in her chosen career, be happily married, have her first child and later grandchild, and ……Living to one hundred ten years old should do it.

Sliding into my late 60s has made me want to explore how others are living interesting, active, and productive lives, even into their 90s. Of course there’s good genetics. That’s a huge trophy if you’re fortunate enough to be blessed with that winning ticket in your life-lottery. And it’s your good fortune if you never draw the diabetes card, heart problem card, cancer card, or the Alzheimer’s card. Of course, you do have some control in not drawing these cards. Until recently I ignored this fact, depending too heavily on luck.

If you haven’t read Joyce Hodges Hite’s book about her and second husband, Jim Hite’s life together, then you should buy it. The title is “We’re Going The wrong Way Again, Jim.” A few of Jim’s Millen News columns are included. He wrote in one of his columns, “There is a mighty difference in existing and living. We’re not here to take up space, but to fill it with what’s good, what is just, what will make it better for generations to come, always keeping our eyes on the prize.”

I found one disagreement with Joyce’s writing though, and it’s splashed in big letters on the book’s cover. She should replace the word “Wrong” with the word “Right.”

Thanks, Joyce, for your book and setting an example for what “keep moving” means, literally and figuratively.

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