Author Topic: Surviving Old-Fartism  (Read 439 times)

Offline Hoofer

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Surviving Old-Fartism
« on: July 24, 2017, 08:49:59 AM »
My brother moved to Florida (God's waiting room, he called it), in the late 1980's.

While there, he observed perfectly healthy people migrating south, and curiously adopting the attitudes of the weak, feeble, sick, aching, mind-numbed, forgetfulness, etc., of others - when there was absolutely nothing wrong with them.  This guy, a retired doctor, Florida resident since, 1985, explained it one day - he said these folks would die prematurely, partly for being medicated for non-illnesses and going seditary in their lifestyle.   He refused to whine and complain, stayed active, engaged, would not excuse himself, and only slowed down at 95 when he got cancer.   He was still batting a tennis ball around with his wife, until she couldn't keep up because she was working on half a lung.

Curiously, none of these folks they encountered, even those who "pretended" to be mentally slowing down - could still get all fired up over politics, economy, environment or international affairs, and carry on a lively, heated & well-reasoned discussion.  ...and then just sort of fall back into the oh-poor-ole-me mode.  In the movie, Second Hand Lions, one of the elderly gentlemen asked, 'why are we doing this garden thing?' was answered with, 'cause that's what people our age do'.  Fortunately they went on to fly an old Bi-plane, and all kinds of crazy things, instead of vegetate.   Point is, the body might not have it all together, but the mind doesn't need to mimic it either.

Your brain is similar to a muscle, and needs 'exercise' too.   Advice from the doctor, he started the day with stretching exercises, said it got the blood circulating & 'woke up' the rest of the body.

He played the piano.   He said playing any musical instrument used a different part of the brain, and the combination of music and physically moving your fingers, feet to rhythm - the coordination of brain & body was foundational.

He drank Tea.  Actually switched from coffee to hot tea, said it helped clear out his throat & sinus.  I agree.

When he couldn't find someone to play tennis, he would go for walks, chatting with the neighbors, and giving the dogs a treat if they were outside.

He went to dinner at a small restaurant, several times a week, met with friends and talk, and talk, and talk.    I met them there, 2.5hrs later, noticed the wait-staff was starting to clean up.  We tipped them well.   They picked days which were slow, so they could stay at a table and talk.... laughter punctuated the conversation, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and sometimes joined in from other tables.
That was part of his mental exercise, which was more than telling stories from their youth.

They had a small TV, but didn't notice the thing wouldn't work after the HDTV change.  They didn't have the converter box.
Either they were creating music, or listening to something on the radio, or carrying on a conversation while reading a book.
Visitors were ALWAYS welcome, when announced of course, and expected to be part of the conversation.
They did not have a computer, until someone feeling sorry for them, gave them one.  Rarely ever used it, just something to store pictures.

If they had a regular schedule, it wasn't posted.  Church of course on Sundays, other than that, I guess they looked out the window, and just sort of winged-it.   When stuck indoors, a hurricane or just bad weather, she would work on a book she was writing, and he would be typing out a submission for a Medical Journal or Readers Digest.  Believe it or not, he'd say, they'll take anything, and occasionally you'd see it a couple of months or years later.  "They're always looking for good writers."

They didn't own a dog or cat.  Horses & ponies, yes, and they fed them until their health began to fail.   They also cleaned the stalls, turned them out in the morning, brought them back in the evening, occasionally rode them.  Horses are quite manageable if you keep the high-protein, sweet feeds away from them.   They had one mare, she was +40, not moving real quick but loved to be groomed, so they did.
For a couple in their later years, only their 'weathered' look betrayed their age.   Reminds me of a guy, Wifey and I met on his 96th birthday.  He was out to check on his dam & mini-hydroelectric plant which supplemented 3 farms besides his own.   He had just bought several hundred acres of timber, and was going to open his 6th saw-mill.  Not a hobby mill, a full-blown, commercial mill, dozen employees, contracts with haulers, timberers, the whole-nine-yards.  He looked 70, and acted like a 35yr old, young and quick wit... back then, I thought I'd be lucky to make it to 42.   He outlived his kids and a couple of wives.

A bunch of guys meet regularly at a local fast food joint, with one thing in common - they love Amateur Radio.  And we hear the same thing, over and over, "There is so much to learn, you can go as far as you want, it never gets boring."  Great hobby for mental exercise, and a little physical if you're building stuff.  Despite their age, these guys are mentally as sharp as a tack till the day they die.

I like ducks.  My best friend walks 1/2 mile to a local park to feed them popcorn... almost daily... with his walker.  Said he can carry more popcorn with the walker, the plastic bags start cutting into his hands after awhile before.  The ducks see him coming, like a Star Wars Imperial Walker, plodding down the sidewalk...  and think it's treat time!  While he's not very mobile, he does complain about the weight gain, water retention in the legs, etc., but is determined to get his legs back.   He's also the funniest guy I know, we've laughed so hard, our guts ache.   It's good to talk to people who have made hilarity a mode of living.

Nobody I know, who is fit, active, and still mentally fully functional is a regular TV watcher.  Most of them will listen to a radio, while they're doing something else.  Universally they agree, TV is the biggest time waster ever invented, maybe Iphones and computers are second.

None of them ascribe to similar diets.  That doctor who later died at 97, ate junk food his entire life, never took any vitamins, and warned us, "if you want to get really sick, go to a hospital - they got everything than can kill you there!"   People working there are heros - I never thought of it that way, but, was quick to get the hell outta there after major surgery.

The older they get, the less they like Air Conditioning.   Dries the skin out, morning sore throats, scratching & itching.   90 degrees outside, and they got the windows open.... love just a little more humidity.

"I retired, and I've never been so busy!"   Interesting note, they seem to gravitate to each other.  Busy people are like magnets to busy people.  Seditary people stay home and watch TV, I guess.  I hear these Info commercials on the radio, "I'm living the good life, kicking back" - these mental images of a guy on a lawn chair, sipping a drink with an umbrella in it, being waited on by a scantly clad beach-waitress.   The guys who seem to "make it" into late years, if some hereditary thing doesn't get them, never seem to "retire" or "slow down".  They all seem to be living everywhere other than, "assisted living", "condos", "rentals" & "senior living centers".  There is daily work that needs to be done, grass to be cut, veggies to pick & can, animals to care for - it's like they take on MORE in retirement than they ever had before.   I can't imagine these old farts sitting around a pot-belly stove on a winter day, maybe to suck down a hot cocoa, coffee or tea, wolf down bear-claw, but then their off, kissing or cussing an old tractor for whatever.   "Why don't you buy a new tractor, you can afford it." - "This one is just fine, we've been fighting each other for 40 years, and I think it's finally gonna give in an run for me!"

Just a few thoughts of mine.
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Ms.Independence

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 05:41:09 PM »
Thanks for the great thoughts, especially since hubby and I are getting ready for retirement.  I'm 5 years younger and really struggling with the idea ... guess I need to sip more tea and dust off the old piano!
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

Offline Hoofer

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 05:34:21 AM »
Thanks for the great thoughts, especially since hubby and I are getting ready for retirement.  I'm 5 years younger and really struggling with the idea ... guess I need to sip more tea and dust off the old piano!

IMO, the worst advice a retiree can give/get, "You're retired, you ought to slow down a little."

It should be, "Now that you're retired, you've got time to 'get out there' and do all the stuff you dreamed of since childhood!"

Wifey and I are also "up there in years", but retirement is an impossibility without a huge financial nest egg.... still got too much stuff to do.
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 06:51:16 AM »
IMO, the worst advice a retiree can give/get, "You're retired, you ought to slow down a little."

It should be, "Now that you're retired, you've got time to 'get out there' and do all the stuff you dreamed of since childhood!"

Wifey and I are also "up there in years", but retirement is an impossibility without a huge financial nest egg.... still got too much stuff to do.
My advice to anyone retiring? Find a solid hobby, have meaning in your life that drives you to get out of bed.
I retired more than 15 years ago, thought I had all the time in the world to complete projects, boy was I wrong, if there's something you've been wanting to do, get on it immediately, a routine that doesn't entail some sort of goal, is going to make one lazy.

Those that furrow a straight row, are stuck in a rut, so live life. Oh, and retirement isn't all that great, unless you've been stuck in a job you hate, keep working.
One other thing I noticed, the less one practices their skills, the more apt they are to lose them, so keep on doing what makes you, you.
Koolaid is for kids, TEA is for adults

Offline supsalemgr

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 08:03:39 AM »
I worked with one company for forty-two years and only retired because a package was offered I could not refuse. I wasn't ready to quit working and fortunate another company asked me to help them enter into a new state. I spent five years with them. I had had a conversation earlier with a good friend who told me I would know when it was time to retire. He was so right as the time just came to me. Since then I find I am staying quite busy. I do agree with Solar one should have a purpose, regardless of the purpose. I keep my old business PO box, not because I need it but because it causes me to get out and do something.
"If you can't run with the big dawgs, stay on the porch!"

Offline Solar

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 09:57:43 AM »
I worked with one company for forty-two years and only retired because a package was offered I could not refuse. I wasn't ready to quit working and fortunate another company asked me to help them enter into a new state. I spent five years with them. I had had a conversation earlier with a good friend who told me I would know when it was time to retire. He was so right as the time just came to me. Since then I find I am staying quite busy. I do agree with Solar one should have a purpose, regardless of the purpose. I keep my old business PO box, not because I need it but because it causes me to get out and do something.
Exactly, and as small as this site is in the big scheme of things, it's my purpose and passion and gives me a reason to get up in the mornings.
We all need a purpose in life, it's just simple human nature.
Koolaid is for kids, TEA is for adults

Online walkstall

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 03:41:23 PM »
After 65 years of working.  All I can say is use it or lose it. 
A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.- James Freeman Clarke

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  ~ Ronald Reagan ~

Always remember "Feelings Aren't Facts."

Offline Hoofer

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Re: Surviving Old-Fartism
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 05:27:28 PM »
I'd like to say laughter is the best medicine, but... some of these really old farts & met get a sadistic pleasure (and loads of roaring laughter) out of playing sick pranks on their peers and younger folks.

Nothing quite like hearing your retired neighbor gloating, "Har, har, har!   I got that SOB, boy was he mad, and I'll get his sorry ass again, just you watch!  snicker, snicker, Bruhahahahah!!!!"

..he's on track to live to 100, can't you just sense it?  :thumbdown:
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

 

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