Thursday, June 3, 2021

That's How It Goes...Retirement Life



Arizona Park Model

Shanghai China

My husband and I have been retired for 24 year...I know, how did that happen. For the last 16 years I have been writing about our life. All of those posts have been about travel, books, family and retirement. The first three are what we do. The last, RETIREMENT, is about our lifestyle. I have been selling "Retiring in Style", you know, living well no matter what you have or where you live. If you haven't bought in to the concept, you really should. Life is good.

Have things changed a lot? In 24 years? You can bet your life it has. In past posts I have written about stages of retirement and all that involves. From the first day my husband and I have been working through it. Thankfully, change is in our DNA.

It has been said that retirement is the third act of life and, if you desire, you can choose to find a new career or learn new things. That is so true but it isn't the big picture, the one that shows the patterns that older human beings follow in their old age.

I am sure that some anthropologist has written a thesis on this subject. I am just that person that lives out here in life, walking around with my feet on the ground. All I can speak to is what has happen in our stylish retirement.

In the very beginning, was filled with our children and grandchildren and all that a grandchild demands. 

We moved from one side of our state to the other so we could be closer to our family. That is I wanted...I am still not so sure that my husband wanted that but still...we settled for what we could do. It was good.

The adjustment to retirement didn't come easy. We were restless and bickered constantly. The rainbow that hung over our parade also had some pretty cloudy days. We just hung on for dear life.

When we did travel, I could hardly wait to get back home and my husband kept saying that he could stay gone forever. He waited until I worked out a way to stay away. 

I convinced myself that it was best for our children and their children. Phrases like "I let they learn to fly on their own." came out of my mouth. The truth is all three of our children are well educated and I think they did not regret it when we left town.  It was a good break for us all. At least, that is the way I would have felt at their age. 

Actually, as we grew older our income increased. Medicare and Social Security coupled with a very good retirement plan worked. We saved when we could, did without when we needed to and as we aged, our needs changed. 

We discovered the RV lifestyle and owned several different types. A resort for RVs became our winter home and we gradually turned into experienced snowbirds.

Life in a resort is very like going to college. A feeling of youthfulness returns. Because or our life choices, I really had never experienced being a young adult. I went directly from my home to being a wife and mother (with a college education thrown in). Life was busy and fill with responsibility.

When we were in the resort I just went back to those youth filled days and got it out of my system. We made friends, golfed, partied and danced (a lot). It was so much fun and I think we both have happy memories of those day.

THEN something was like growing up for me. My husband and I both knew that the resort lifestyle had worn itself out and we need to move on.

We had owned RVs and later a park model that we restored. We saw that, unlike what we had expected at our age (80 and 76), we were still very much alive and healthy. Work actually made us happy and improved our health. We moved out of the resort and bought a townhouse. 

After restoring the small townhouse, we sold it for a profit and bought a 4 bedroom home on a golf course. 

We actually have come full circle. An original dream was to have space so our children and grandchildren could spend time with us in the desert. Finally, we can have the whole family come to play with us.

Lately I have begun writing about that 4th act of life where age sneaks up on you. This stage is not a repeat of the other three at all. I don't know if I can explain. I am content to be where I am no matter where that is. I no longer yearn for things like I once did. I am quieter and softer than I was when I was younger. We are very lucky to be here to enjoy it all and are grateful each and every day. 

And, I like it a lot!

Thank you for reading and come back soon.

Let me is your life unfolding?


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1 comment:

  1. Hi Barbara -- I'm new to your blog and found this post very helpful because you're answering questions that I'd definitely ask you if we met. I've always wondered what the RV resort lifestyle is like and haven't heard much about the 3rd and 4th acts of life, so your insight is so valuable. Thank you for sharing it!


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