Monday, August 17, 2015

Still getting used to this retirement thing

I've been retired for a little more than a year now, and my new lifestyle is still evolving. A few activities have fallen by the wayside completely (Wild Walkers), some are worth doing but not so often (volunteering at Salomon Farm), some I want to do more (senior yoga and golf), and there are yet more things to try (memoir writing, shibori). I'm still knitting and gardening, cooking less, reading more, and grandma'ing as needed.

I've read several columns lately that could have been written by me. One celebrates the idea of being "too old for this", and by "this", the author means things like feeling insecure about one's looks or worrying about other people's opinions. Another is by Gina Barreca, who is cultivating the art of not caring about things like fashion (comfort trumps beauty), toned arms, and symmetrical eyebrows. I haven't cared about a lot of these for a long time, but something clicks once one reaches a certain, ahem, maturity that solidifies all this not-caring. It's very liberating.

So now I wear skirts that don't hide my varicose veins (they stop at the knee instead of descending toward my ankles, thus avoiding the member-of-an-evangelical-cult look), am growing my hair out (tough right now in the heat and humidity of August), and I talk back to my doctor. I still pluck chin hairs but am more lackadaisical about hair that grows elsewhere on my body. I would still like to lose 30+ pounds, but (Whole30 or not) I'm not giving up the occasional dish of ice cream or bottle of beer to do so.

I am also abandoning attempts to like activities or support causes that don't really interest or move me. It isn't that these things are not worthy; I'd simply rather focus my energies and money elsewhere, guilt free. Life is too short for "shoulds".

Life is also too short for fear. I hope I do not turn into one of those oldsters who is afraid all the time. Not that I don't nurse my share of fears, irrational and otherwise, but I don't want them to rule my life. At least, not yet.

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