I Fear Retirement

Spring Break brings me a sense of peace, quiet, and the organization and rotation of clothes (love a good closet), and silence. This brings me joy, a needed recharge, and since I am nearing the end of my career, it causes me great concern as to what’s in my future retirement plans. Long ago, in my fantasy phase, We would hop on a cruise and do the world. Yes, with the hubs. “We” would go from port to port in utter class and see the world. I priced that. Not happening. But a yearly big trip can be organized and afforded. Yes, it can. One trip a year. Just one. A cruise maybe two, Denmark, Ireland, Fiji, Australia, Philippines, Japan, Germany. Italy, and a revisit to France and England. I love to go see, go explore, and go experience other cultures. So does the hubs, he just does not like the planning or spending. But we deserve a yearly exploration. Well, that is two weeks out of the year including packing. Now what. Truly, I draw a blank. Golf? Bad back. But I do like the fact that it takes all day. Again, bad back. Not an option. Besides, had a tantrum on a course with the hubs and picked up the ball, clubs, and chucked them. They did not go far. But it felt good. We went home, clubs in tow. My hubs won’t golf with me anymore.

Volunteering. Possible but when I cross the finish line of teaching, my giving myself for free, is over. But it’s not out of my possible options. Not sure who wants a retired teacher but someone might, or in reality, I might need them more. The fear of boredom is quite real and with golf out, traveling limited, grocery shopping with my husband out, way out. Have you seen those cute couples who banter about what cut of beef they want and actually enjoy the grocery experience? We are not them.

We are building a dream home up north and have another down south. Very south. Will we spend time there? Yes. But both places are in gorgeous areas with an abundance of quiet. I like a balance. Less and less as the years go on, but purpose and a little noise in life is needed. Teach online? Get my restorative yoga certification, open a Montessori school or a yoga studio in Neebish Island? Just continue my essays and complete the book? Or just waking up everyday to a new adventure and let the day unfold…Nah. structure is needed. Heck, I even ask to go to the bathroom and always will, so while retirement scares me the options are amazing.

The Suit

Water is not my thing, even as a child. Ironically, I grew up in a desert with a pool in every home. My fear is directly due to the many drowning reports on the nightly news. The newscasters believe they are doing a service (and they are) but after fifty years of hearing the scary statistics, the only service they did for me was don’t get in the water, no matter how bloody hot you feel, at this moment. I can swim. Yes. The local nightly news taught me I had to learn. So I did. But as the years passed I became a pool lounger at an expert level. Dip a toe. Saunter to the chair. Order a drink, and repeat. The view brings me great peace as does the hotel service and bubbly. Oddly, I love to sail and passed my initial certification, but I don’t plan on captaining a boat. I am a lounger with an occasional standing moment at the helm and a bit of the bubbly. The boating love came after convincing myself that I am not in the water and technically I am correct. Being in requires a bathing suit or the current choices of ether small squares of material or big dresses that my grandmother wore when I grew up, which I can’t accept and thus going in the water or even pool lounging has been a big NO for years. Menopause has changed my overall look without my changing my diet or exercise. I could exist on air and I would still have rolls upon rolls in areas that were once flat.  So a bathing suit, has not been on my body, for a very long time. Through the years of heat, mental fog aka the beginning of this stage that never ends, I coped. I hid. I survived. Just a phase. We traveled in the winter to non-beachy areas. Accidental but freeing. London in November. Gorgeous rain and cold. Thankfully this meant turtlenecks, sensible pants, boots, large coats, and scarves. Turkey, obviously covered. In Paris, I was so busy looking Parisian and seeing everything that I could, no suit was necessary. I could hide my changes and frankly just accepted my new life. The last time I wore a suit in public, was twenty years ago in Spain, and twenty pounds ago. The hormonal overdrive phase of life has hit. I will be sixty in six weeks. Which should explain everything without getting technical. My acceptance of a new life stage has now turned to frustration and a daily dose of exasperation in the dressing moments. My body screams practical pull-ons and tunics and my head says hell no. Not yet or ever. Truth be told I have a few outfits that fit this category. They make me happy, in a comfortable way, but they always remind me of my grandmothers polyester granimals that fit her every physical need and frankly she always looked great, but I am not ready. The sixty year old woman does not really fit anywhere in the mainstream fashion industry. But we are having our moments in chain boutique shopping experiences, and while some great stuff can be found, we all come out looking the same which alerts others to the questioning of our desire for the AARP discount of the day. I digress. Back to the newest stressor. The need for a suit.

I am taking my grandnugget to a water park. Yes, not just a pool, but a park of people all in drippy stages of dress or undress with slides, arcades, and characters roaming the property. The nugget has been taking lessons and this is my treat. Now, this grandparent will do anything, but my hubs won’t. He won’t do the character related themed areas and this park fits that category. However, he has committed to Lego Land. It’s a lego thing for him. So that is a go. Disney. That’s on me, but I have a plan. We just don’t mention it until he is at least five years of age, maybe six. Back to the drippy park. After my commitment to what will be a great day. I went through my suits. I have two. Both seem small and lack the fabric I desire. All I can imagine is my very white body shuffling from one area to the next while toting all our necessities. In the pool bag, gone long ago. Luckily they are fancy neoprene now with stylish colors and options. This I can get into but the suit. Nope.

Thankfully, I love to research, and if beach bags have gone all neoprene like and fancy, perhaps the suit has more options than small triangles or massive printed dresses. Why loud prints? Is the dress not bold enough? A man must have created this horror with the mindset of, it will be easy to spot grandma in this checkered number. Within minutes of googling conservative suits, nicer than menopausal mama, I came upon a new trend, swimming leggings. Yup. They are made out of special material that dries quickly just like a regular suit with the special plus of covering, squeezing, and looking relatively sleek. Obviously, this is not a look for the lounging tanner. This legging idea (came through the swimming community) is practical for the swimming grandma desiring to swim with grandchildren and fighting the midst of unwanted body transformations. Rather than, running away from the day, or feeling less than in front of the skinny set or anyone under fourty. It will allow me to feel confident as I stroll the park without being worried about my size and the suit. That’s priceless.

Lands End seems to have the best choices, but also Target, Amazon, and even Walmart are in the game. Note: this is a non-sponsored post.

https://www.landsend.com/shop/womens-swim-shorts-leggings-swimsuit-cover-ups-swimsuits/S-xfh-xez-y5c-xhf-y9k-xec

The Many Faces of 58…

This year I struggled with a number. It is my beginning to a new decade. I took less pictures. I thought way too much about my looks. And probably smiled less. However, my smile quota is higher than the average persons smile quota. But less is less. I am a happy person but the number 58 brought me down. So, with a new year and an honest discussion on aging, with a friend. I realized how stupid I sound about this wrinkly stuff. So, eff 58, 59, 60, and beyond. I finally am ok with my age. Took me long enough. As you read this don’t do what I did. Embrace your age. Now. Don’t hide or shoot botulism into your face. Or do the biggie. You know. The lift. To be honest, I would do my neck. But turtlenecks and scarves work. A bit. Frankly, I am just scared. So natural it is. Back to you…Just accept, age naturally, and move on. Even in a world where everyone looks fake, filtered, and frankly perfect on social media. Keep it real. Now, during this process of accepting your number, social media will screw with your reality and the acceptance of your aging process. Hang in there. It is akin to growing out your grey hair. The mess passes into silver wonder. Trust me.

Really, trust me on the grey stuff!