Can I Retire?

At my gym* there are a whole load of elderly people…how many exactly I’m not sure – but if I was to estimate I’d say approximately three nursing home’s worth. They’re all quite nice and friendly; I nod – they nod, that sort of thing…or perhaps they say something and I reply with a middle of the road chuckle hoping whatever they said was a joke. In reality they could be saying anything and I wouldn’t have much of a clue; “please help me wipe”, “give me your blood”, “get out of here before I club you to death with this dumbbell”…but despite these possibilities I choose to believe they’re just being nice – I mean most people are most of the time, right?

*N.B. See how I just subtly slipped in that I attend a gym (as of two weeks ago)? Already patting myself on the back in a smug self-congratulatory manner, deluding myself that it’s already working wonders…give it another month and I’ll be eating left over pizza in the morning whilst lounging in stretchy pants – that I can promise. 

Pizza GIF

Anyway being with my beloved silver fox squad every morning has me dwelling on our shockingly finite life (in between sets of course!) The way time seems to fly in a very “errrr what the hell happened?! sort of way…I mean put it this way I feel it was just yesterday that my evenings revolved around riding bikes and throwing rocks at things. But that was actually last week! Crazy, ey?!

I actually recall being envious of my grandfather’s life as a kid…largely because he would rub it in my face:

“oh, what have you been up to? Just school? Sounds fun, not like my boring day; woke up, took the dog for a walk, bacon sandwich, played pool, couple of pints, watched the game, then had a massive dinner. What a terrible life, can’t stand it…wish I was at school…wish I had homework, and exams…” 

Sure ya do Granda, sure ya do. But despite the fact he was just trying to wind me up (and succeeding) – it still made me make parallels which often led to the bold announcement: “I can’t wait to be old.”

Old GIF

Just think…a kid! Wishing away his whole life! I see how misguided such an exclamation was now, but at the time I saw nothing wrong with it at all. In fact I thought the discovery was groundbreaking in some way, so much so I remember rushing to tell my own father my new found goal. He wasn’t too pleased. In fact he thought it was bloody stupid, and there may have been a slap to the back of the head in an attempt to knock some sense into my dumb skull. Well if there wasn’t there should have been. It may have helped, who knows?

Anyway it’s little flashbacks and epiphanies like this that help bring a sort of understanding to life, and with that more clarity. Because the reality is not much has changed as I still compare myself to others (“by this age this comedian was doing this…by this age he had written this…by this age she was starring in this” and so on, and so on)…

And I also still live in different time zones…by which I don’t mean Asia/UK, I mean the past and the future, dwelling on what was, and what will be rather than living in the moment that is actually happening now – the moment that I can actually touch, and can actually shape.

Clay Making GIF

But we should try to fight against limiting ways of thinking like this. 

I mean sure, days spent eating bacon sandwiches and walking the dog sounds great, and I eagerly await that don’t get me wrong – but that doesn’t mean not making the most of each and every day right nowwe can actually make things happen. So let’s at least try.

So yeah, okay I’ll lead by example, I have to go…I’m going to give blood, run a marathon, and finally finish my novel…well if not today then there’s always tomorrow…or the next day…or the next day…or the next…or…

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19 thoughts on “Can I Retire?

  1. While the sun always comes up to welcome a new day; there are times we just don’t want to face it. Learning to embrace is the challenge. Wait until you’re my age and start comparing what others have done with their lives! It never ends.

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    • Yes, there’s a certain resentment to settling…or making do with your lot, or however else people phrase it – it almost feels like a defeat. I suppose you have to put that notion to rest if you really want to be content. I have no idea how to do that though, but you never know may figure it out one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reflection on life. They say the grass is always greener on the other side. It always look like the other guy across is having a better life. Someone once told me, enjoy your everyday life! So i am trying to enjoy everyday and make it count so i can reflect with a smile in my old age. Everyday is a blessing and a gift. Do what you must today and leave the rest for tomorrow.

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  3. Guilty 🙂 I’m a time traveler too, specializing in trips to the past where I can’t change a freaking thing.
    There are a lot of very earnest posts on how to live a better life, yours with your wit and humour , is the only one that doesn’t sound like a lecture.
    Good luck with the new gym routine. May it last longer than mine 🙂

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  4. Like your perspective on aging…when I met my husband, who was older than me, it took me a full three days of talking to my young self, ha ha, into thinking I, (who thought, key word thought, she was in her late 30’s) could possible date a man in his early 60’s….three full days of hemming and hawing at myself…til-poof it dawned on me, I was in my early 50’s…not late 30’s or even in mye 40’s….but I was frign old!!! It was a rough coming to Jesus moment for me, however once I believed it, and owned it, life got better for me….I still look back and shake my head because I was really living in a la la land of age…I love the saying, Live like there’s no tomorrow” and “Live like its your last dance” being in the moment and living life every day with happiness in my heart has made me a better person…its not how much you do in life, but how you do it….and I think your doing it well….Good for you at least your at the gym….I am still on why I shouldn’t go…..

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    • I love those expressions too, I think everyone should bear them in mind especially when they have self doubt. You seem happy at this point, and comfortable in yourself – surely that’s what it is all about!!

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      • I am very happy with where I am at my age…but my health could improve with just a little effort on my part…I have a bad arthritic knee and weight loss could be sooo beneficial sooo that’s where I am….plus I really would like to be around to see grandkids…lol

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  5. I admire your gym efforts, and your appreciation of getting older… I can’t seem to do either. I compare my timeline to others a lot too. At 19 that sound ridiculous (and it is), but gosh, why do accomplishments seem more valuable the younger the person is when they accomplish them? If I’m not willing to work towards a goal that could take decades to complete, then I should probably reconsider my goals. Good read, thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well I was the exact same at 19…if not WORSE! I say it isn’t a terrible thing but you have to limit it, after all motivation isn’t a bad thing at all, but if you compare compare compare you’ll never be happy. Anyway, take care – sure you’ll do just fine!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, John!

    When I encounter ‘the elderly’ at the gym (and ‘ya know there’re all kinds), I inwardly give them a salute just for making it there. 😀

    BTW, I can totally relate to “Sweden ~ Kuaresando – 2013”. LOL’d, too!

    I’m on to “China ~ Qingdao – 2013”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the staff at McMillan read to the patients your adventures out loud at bedtime?

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  7. Bacon is my fav. Never made a sandwich with it though…sounds magnificent.

    Personal time is necessary. Take a mini break to eat bacon and walk dogs if that’s what you want! Brag about two days at the gym, it’s progress, right? Anyway, I hear ya. Ambition is a rough on the ego.

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