Reflecting on this Past Year


…..today I’m officially a senior citizen

There has to be a better designation than senior citizen when you turn 65. I know there are many perks when you reach this age but it also comes with labels such as golden oldie, old fart, grandma, oldster, senior, geezer, geriatric, old-timer and blue hair. Even though I’m a proud grandmother to Winnie I don’t feel old.

 

I look back on this past year and am proud of what I’ve done and happy to have such amazing friends and a wonderful family. I knew that this was the year to retire from teaching. I still loved the job but there were days when I was just plain tired and sometimes I didn’t feel that I fit in anymore. I didn’t want to be one of those crotchety old teachers that criticized younger teachers for doing things differently. ย Sometimes I didn’t like what went on but I wanted to leave on a happy note so I kept quiet for the most part. The only people I would share my views with were people closer to my age and those who were also retiring. I have to admit that some of my favourite teachers were those much younger than me. I loved their humour and zest for life.

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Of course the students are what kept me going as a teacher. They weren’t always easy to teach and over the years the job grew increasingly more difficult but in the end the love and gratitude I received in the form of cards, art work, letters of appreciation and countless hugs made it all worthwhile.

This past year I’ve seen my own children continue to grow into responsible and amazing adults. They are all married now and our one and only grandchild is growing like a weed. She is my pride and joy. ย Last night she kept saying Oma birthday, Oma birthday while rolling around in her crib. She clearly knows everyone in the family now and can say everyone’s name. She picks up at least 10 new words every day and we have to be so careful what we say in front of her.

My retirement is not quite working out the way I thought it would. I was hoping to do more travelling but it is still early days. Last May my father moved into our house. At 90 he’s still very independent but we’re a little worried about leaving him for too long. So far the longest we’ve left him alone is four days. We’re hoping to travel to London, England in November to visit with our son before he leaves to live in New York City in the coming year. Someone recently asked me if Dad was coming with us. We’ve tried to convince him to make at least one more trip to Germany to visit his brother. It looks like that won’t happen for at least another year, God willing, and I’m not sure if a trip to London would be in the cards for him as well. We’ll have to wait and see.

So as I turn 65 today I can honestly say that I’ve had a wonderful life. Now I look forward to my next adventure and hopefully I’ve inherited my father’s genes so that I can enjoy the next 30 years of my life with the same joie de vivre.

27 thoughts on “Reflecting on this Past Year

  1. Happiest Birthday, Carol and best wishes for the next chapter ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t know what it is about the 60s that causes us to become so reflective. I guess it’s exactly because it is a transitional time, not unlike being a teenager and graduating from high school.
    There is a sense of adventure and opportunity ahead, but unlike the teenager who may feel anxiety at the unknown, we *seniors* tend to feel anxiety at the thought of wasted time – that precious commodity.

    Good grief – I’m becoming so philosophical on a Monday morning!! Just enjoy Carol! Embrace it with enthusiasm!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Wonderful words to ponder. I think you’re right about time being a precious commodity and the anxiety of wasting it. Friends tell me that I need to do more for me and just get out and do what I want. I look up to you and love how you get out there and go where you want to go. I’m sure it’s not as simple as that but I envy your drive.

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  2. I totally relate to everything you have said here. I retired from teaching 7 years ago, when my grandson was born, so that I would have time for him. I was exactly your age!! (then, ha ha) It has been grand, but the time has gone so fast. Too fast, two more grand babies after that. I have so many craft supplies I saved to share with them. My dad lived to 91 and my mom to 98, so we will see what happens. Even though it was not easy, these last 8 years with my mom were precious, and yes, travel had to be put on hold during that time.

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    • So glad that you shared your life experiences with me. Funny how similar we are. My father could be with us for a long time. I think that my sisters or daughters may help out for a week at a time so that we can travel a bit or I’ll have to do some travelling on my own and my husband will stay behind.

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  3. Many happy returns, Carole.

    I understand your feelings of not being old. I think being old is often more a state of mind. I remember my mother reaching a certain ages and then suddenly starting to wear matronly clothes. Don’t know whether this was what was available or whether she felt she had reached an age when her usual clothes were no longer appropriate. She never wore trousers, favouring skirts and twinsets (with the mandatory string of pearls). Now I wear what I like, irrespective of whether designed for a youngster or pensioner. New materials and globalisation have meant a much wider selection of clothes and accessories, and phones, tablets and computers keep us more in touch with the world than ever was possible before. Plus online shopping. I’ve just received two gorgeous t-shirts from Germany, on sale so affordable. And I received them faster than goods ordered in this country. All very exciting.

    So never lose your enthusiasm or inquisitiveness, or your desire to travel and experience the new, and continue to believe you are not old.

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    • Thank you Dorothy. We are of like minds. Someone once told me that I wouldn’t have to buy new clothes when I retire. I was appalled because I love shopping and like you I wear what I like and shop everywhere. Great advice that I will definitely follow. Age is only a number and how I act and feel is up to me.

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    • I totally forgot about my birthday season until my daughter suggested that I have a birthday week. My kids couldn’t be with me today and I was a bit sad about that until my daughter suggested that I celebrate all week. I’ll see them on Sunday.

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