"There are many more ways to be attractive than to be beautiful. "
-- William Landay, Mission Flats

Sunday, August 25, 2019

What Are We Doing?

     Blogger Laura Lee Carter asks an interesting question. She first reminds us that we are living much longer than our great-grandparents or even our grandparents. The average life expectancy for a woman born in 1900 was 52 years, for a man just 48. We don't realize how young most of our forebears were when they died.

     But life expectancy has increased some 20 years since the early 1900s. The average 65-year-old American today can expect to survive well past 80. So the question is: What do we do with all this extra time?

     Unfortunately, not all of us use the time constructively. Rates of binge-drinking and suicide are up among the elderly. But most of us have a more positive experience. As Laura says in Boomers: What Are You Doing with All Your Extra Years? we get more involved in everything from cooking and gardening, to meditation and yoga, to all forms of freedom and creativity.

     So what are Baby Boomer bloggers doing these days?

     Rebecca Olkowski with BabyBoomster.com wonders: What happens if you are a woman over 50 and suddenly find yourself single? If you don't have a pile of money, she suggests, you might think about alternative living options. In House Sharing: A Trending Solution for Baby Boomer Women she explores this new trend and concludes that it makes sense for more and more Baby Boomers.

     Carol Cassara at A Healing Spirit is focusing on some other transitions, like job changes, empty nest, divorce, widowhood, retirement. Any life transition can be challenging, she acknowledges, and so in Ways to Make a Transition Work for You she offers four strategies to turn these sometimes difficult moments into opportunities for discovery.

     Jennifer of Unfold and Begin has been thinking about her mother, who as the exception that proves the rule, would be celebrating her 100th birthday if she hadn't passed this past January. In Why Is There Pie in My Creativity Prompt? Jennifer shares one of her Mommyisms that made life with her mother so interesting.

     Kathy Gottberg of SmartLiving 365 is using much of her extra time to travel. She understands that not everyone likes to travel as much as she does, but in A Rightsized Way to Travel she explains how if you do have a desire to travel, yet only seem to find excuses not to do it, then you should consider the benefits of rightsizing -- not just your home, but the rest of your life as well. Rightsizing sometimes involves trade-offs, but the benefits bring opportunities for more freedom and fun, and offer you the time to meditate and relax, exercise and eat healthy, laugh and dance, spend time with friends and the people you love.

More freedom and fun 
     Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting certainly likes to travel. But in Lost Then Found she acknowledges that there can be some bumps in the road. Sometimes our mind and memory play tricks on us. And so she relates how, after coming home from a trip to Scotland, she simply could not locate a key item in her luggage -- an item that she'd placed in a safe and secure place (or so she thought) before she left -- and in so doing demonstrates that Baby Boomers haven't lost their sense of humor.

     Meanwhile, Laurie from Musings, Rants & Scribbles turns her attention to marriage -- or the challenge of living full-time with anyone, I suppose. "Like Sisyphus rolling that rock up the hill, only to have it tumble back down," she says, "my husband and I have been having the same arguments year after year. They've become as predictable as the sun rising, and, although small, these issues never seem to get resolved." And so in Do You and Your Spouse Keep Having the Same Arguments? she confesses: "Here they are in no particular order . . . "

     How can you not want to find out what those arguments are about, in no particular order?

     As for her part, consumer journalist Rita Robison examines How to Reduce the Amount of Plastic You Eat. If you care about the environment, or your health, you should be concerned about the microplastics that are everywhere, including at times even the rainwater, and so Robison offers some tips on how to reduce the amount of plastic you ingest into your body.

     And as a final note, if you care about the environment, you might want to check out the latest recommendations from Energy Star about the settings on your air conditioner. Some people are startled to find that they should be much higher than they think. And if that makes you uncomfortable, well . . . I guess that's what shorts and short-sleeve shirts and percale sheets are for.


Laura Lee Carter said...

Fascinating Tom! Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Tom! Thanks for including my post and for the great diversity of all these blogs. To me, it shows how many of us think about similar topics but have such different approaches to a topic. In fact, you could assign one topic to us all and end up with as many different articles as you do here. Hm...that might be an interesting "prompt" for the future. And yes, it is clear that all of us bloggers are "doing" something that we care about with our extra time! ~Kathy

DUTA said...

Indeed, people live longer nowadays. Here's a tragic aspect of this longevity. Many, too many of them get pre-deceased by one or more of their children (illness, drugs, accidents). That's the greatest tragedy that could happen in one's life!
A neighbor of mine, when she reached the age of 70, said something like this: 'From now on I won't mention myself in my prayer to God, only my children , their health and well-being. If God will decide to give me more years, so be it; I'll see it as a gift from Him, but I, myself won't pray for it anymore'.
She was afraid tragedy might happen to her as it had happened to other people, and she thought that the new prayer could prevent it.

Lizzy D said...

I believe the life expectancy figures are somewhat skewed by the high rates of infant and childhood death, death in childbirth, war, that took the lives of many very people at a very young age. If a person survived that they'd often live well into their 70s and eighties---my grandparents and great grandparents all lived to be 80 plus, my grandma was 96, I have an uncle who is hale and hearty at 96.

I for one see no point in living to a great old age and being a helpless burden for my family to care for if indeed they choose to do so.


Rebecca Olkowski said...

I agree with the firefighter. If your house is 82 it must be on fire. We keep our thermostat at about 72-75. Our dogs don't mind it warmer but 85 would be pretty hot.

Tabor said...

Interesting and I am intrigued by all the links. An afternoon of reading ahead.

David @iretiredyoung said...

Thanks for the list of new reading material. I particularly like Kathy of SmartLiving365's thoughts on rightsizing.

Mage said...

Goodness, thank you.

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Frappier Delphine said...

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