BEUSCHEL: 10 positive things about being 65

Last month, I faced one of those “significant” birthdays. I turned 65.
Dec 19, 2013

As it approached, I was torn between hiding in the closet and turning off all the lights, or looking it straight in the face and accepting another year had passed. I chose the latter. 

I even decided to push the envelope and try to see all the positive things about being 65. So, here’s what I’ve come up with:

First of all, I don’t have to try to know everything. With age comes wisdom, and part of that is knowing that you don’t know everything. I like that. What I don’t know I can Google!

Second, I’ve given up worrying about having gray hair. After going through the growing out stage and the bristly stage, I now have reached the softer, whiter stage — and I’m OK with that. I save time at Meijer by not having to go down the hair color aisle.

Third, I’ve found that people of all ages seem kinder. People open doors for me or say, “Excuse me” or, “Would you like to go ahead of me?” etc.  Maybe the gray hair is the beacon bringing in the kindness and generosity. Whatever it is, these kind gestures warm my heart.

Fourth, I can give up being a fashion diva. Well, I never was a fashion diva, but over the years I have sported the mini-skirts, high heels and tight jeans. As time has gone by, my wardrobe has become more casual, relaxed and comfortable. Now, I’m not so worried about whether my pants are fashionable — because, more importantly, I can still pull them on by myself!

Fifth, I don’t feel compelled to become a tech-savvy person. I love my legal notepads, hardcover books, pencils and paper planner. I can enjoy all these things and don’t have to remember passwords, battery charging and where I put them, or if TSA will let me take them on the plane.

Sixth, I love senior discounts. They’re everywhere. Fast-food places, restaurants, department stores, snow plowing, steam cleaning and window washing all offer senior discounts in their ads. Those extra savings go a long way at the dollar stores with grandchildren. (I’m wondering if gas stations will ever offer discounts to seniors citizens?) There are a lot of us senior boomers out there, so I think this trend will keep going.

Seventh is the fact that I can go to bed whenever I want to. I can stay up late watching some of the programs I’ve recorded, drag myself out of bed in the morning for work and not have to face anyone at breakfast but myself. My husband, who’s already retired, can continue to sleep through my grumbling as I try to get ready for work and never know the difference.

Eighth is not being compelled to have my house look like it's right out of House and Garden magazine. I’m not keeping the Windex people in business any longer and I don’t have one of those high-tech vacuum cleaners either. I’m satisfied with neat and clean rather than glamorous and glittery.

Ninth, I’m perfectly OK with not having any tattoos. Although I’ve already put forth the disclaimer that I’m not a fashion diva, I just don’t think the whole tattoo thing goes well with elastic waist pants and orthopedic shoes. Now, that may not hold some people back, but for me it is where I draw the line.

Tenth is not needing to have perfectly manicured fingernails. Over the years, I have done my fair share of home manicures, but all this nail art is beyond me and my senior budget. 

I did give in one time when my granddaughter wanted to try out her nail art kit and let her paint my nails green with a white "S" (go State!). That is the extent of my doing anything other than clipping my nails to a decent length, keeping them clean and maybe putting a light color nail polish on them for special occasions.

Choosing my attitude about turning 65 has been fun. I’m really not sure what the next significant birthday is, so maybe it will just creep up on me and catch me totally unaware.

When it comes, I hope I can remember what kind of birthday cake I like.  

— By Janice Beuschel, Tribune community columnist

Comments

deuce liti

I wouldn't worry about the tattoo either. No one is ever struggling with life's problems and says', "I know, I'll ask the elderly person with a spider on their face and a snake coiled around their neck for the answer!"

rukidding

Hang in there, yes I know you already are, and have been for awhile; it's all down hill from here. Everything else aside, it's fun to just watch people navigate through life at this point, you've already made it.

LessThanAmused

Oh lord, while I agree 100% with your sentiment here, the dictionary in me just has to ask....."Hang in Their"????

I critique because I care....really.

rukidding

Edited and corrected, thank you ever so much, and have a nice day...

LessThanAmused

So far, so good. I think I'll have a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and ramp things up a bit.

Lanivan

Go wild and have some cream of tomato soup along with that grilled cheese sandwich.

LessThanAmused

Being only a couple years behind Ms. Beuschel, I'm trying to develop my own top 10, from the male perspective, but at the rate I'm going this article will be on page 10 by the time I'm ready to publish.....

Maybe the Trib will let me be a community columnist and share the male perspective on this topic? Probably not as I'm sure my input will be a little more to the dark side. It might work better if I just respond to her bullet points with my own twist on them....that might be funny....or not.

Tri-cities realist

You only live once...

LessThanAmused

So says you....

In my best Vlad drool....links, we need links to prove that this is true and not just a liberal plot to cause apathy and malaise.

Everything is a circle dood...I know I've been here before and my opinion is just as valid as that which you enspouse.

rukidding

Say it isn't so, I don't want to do this again! I am ready for a new adventure.

LessThanAmused

Hahah! Oh, it'll be a new adventure to be sure. Really, think about it, are you done being educated in this world after one year of Kindergarten? or, do you come back the next year for 1st grade and a bit higher level learning experience?

What makes a person think that life and attaining knowledge is a one and done trip?? I've never understood that mindset since I was a very small child (Guess that's why I didn't do so well in Catholic school?). There's so much I haven't had time to learn this time around that what I have learned is almost inconsequential. I'd sure like to return and learn a bit more the next time around.....

Lanivan

I learn a lot from you, LTA, thank you for that. And while I'm at it, I learn a lot from most everybody in this forum (except for you-know-who).

You guys are way more fun than, say, an Elf On the Shelf.

Tri-cities realist

Who is you-know-who? I may be having some brain (gas), I can't think of to whom you are referring. And yes I know I should have deleted the brain (gas) comment, I'm sure some will have a field day with it. But since it is the season of giving...

These Mollom peeps are a hoot, I had to change my words, apparently the word that starts with "flat" and describes posterior gas is too offensive to post here. Really?

Lanivan

He knows who he is.....:-# After accusing me of having my head up my..., perhaps you will get 1st Place. (you and Vlad appear to be fixated on posterior, a#al, and other fundamental states of matter today - we'll blame it on the season...or Obama?)

deuce liti

I'm coming back as a tape worm in a spider monkey.

I spun the 'price is right' wheel of reincarnation too hard. The key is to spin just hard enough to go once around and land on human. Better luck next life.

Goyo

Thanks, Janice! What fun.
.. a few of my own:
1. I'm a "Sir" at the gym and the store-how did that happen?
2. Though I'm a "Technosaurus" I do love Outlook-I don't have to remember anything!
3. I got all my tattoos for free-from a string of surgeons!
My favorite is the one I got as a bonus for having my gall bladder extracted before the days modern surgical techniques. Had my children convinced for years that the gash on my stomach was from fighting pirates.

LessThanAmused

Ha! Great stuff. Now I'm gonna have to do my own top 10. I'll be back later after the honey-do list is taken care of.....

Love the fighting pirates story.

LessThanAmused

Ok, I did this for fun and because I like to write. If you don’t have a sense of humor than stop now and go check out Vlads latest link infested rant.
No disrespect meant to Ms. Beuschel, I’d hope she sees this and gets a chuckle, or maybe two.
============================================
First, knowing everything….

#1 – At this point in my life, I do know everything, just ask me. In my little world I have an answer for everything. Sometime it’s even based on personal experience! If you ask me a question you will get an answer. Maybe not the answer you wanted, or one that makes sense, but if you’re too lazy to Google your question than you’re at my mercy. Bwwa haaa haaa.

Second, grey hair……

#2 – I’ve got grey hair. I’ve had it since just after the first kid was born, 28 years ago, BUT I’ve still got all my hair and I’d much rather have grey hair than NO hair. Looking like Mr. Clean would do absolutely nothing to enhance my old age experience. I don’t get the whole shiny head deal. Do girls really think that’s sexy? I don’t hide my head under a hat either. Did I mention I still have all my hair? :-)

Third, kinder, gentler people…..

#3 – Nothing irritates me quicker than having somebody think I’m not able to fend for myself, or Patronize me. Life will be over when I need to be “looked after”. Don’t open doors for me or be condescending because you think I may be at death’s door any day now and you want, or need, to up your good Karma……if you don’t do it for everyone, don’t do it for me.

Fourth, a fashion diva.

#4 – Well, a fashion diva I’m not, or the male equivalent. I guess that’d be a GQ studmuffin. My entire line of clothing apparel will fit in a decent sized backpack, just in case I need to get out of town quickly and for the last 40+ years the outfit of choice, depending on time of year would be....Spring...a T-shirt, covered by a flannel shirt if it gets below 60. Summer, a T-shirt, or in my younger days, no shirt. Nowadays however neither of us wants to see that much skin so the T-shirt stays on even when it hits the 90’s. Fall, a T-shirt covered by a flannel shirt if it gets below 60. Winter, a T-shirt covered by a sweatshirt and if I leave the house between the start of November and the end of March, a big ole winter coat. Jeans will do for 364 days a year. Shorts are pretty much the same deal as no T-shirt. I did buy a suit once, got married in it the next day and swore I’d never do that again….buy a suit that is…..I think it’s still somewhere in the back of the closet, but I don’t care enough to look. I occasionally wear shoes, but not anymore than absolutely necessary and I’ve even been known to wear socks at times, usually when the wife is out with me in public. She makes me wear them.

Fifth, tech-savvy person..

#5 – As for technology, all things in moderation. You’ll never ever catch me running around with my face stuck in a stupidphone, but I spend some time everyday on my computer doing things I love to do, like graphics design and keeping my photography websites updated with the new stuff. I carry a notepad in my back pocket to write down reminders that my partner says I need to remember. My thought on that is, if it’s that important , I’ll remember without a notepad, but I know how to choose my battles at this point so I write down stuff I won’t forget if it’s important. It does come in handy for grocery lists…..

Sixth, I love senior discounts.

#6 – I’m just getting into the senior discount thing, which is mostly a joke, but hey, I guess if you can save a dime here and a quarter there eventually in the next life you can buy lunch. I’d be happy if I could just get what I pay for!

Seventh, I can go to bed whenever I want to

#7 – According to my better half my sleep habits have always been that of an alien race from a distant sun that’s half owl and half bear. Seriously….in the long days of summer I sleep maybe 4 hours in a 24 hour period. Usually from about 3am till 7ish. I do that without an alarm. That’s not a new development; it’s been that way a loooong time. I will take the occasional 20 minute power nap if I’m sitting still in the sun, but if I’m moving, I stay awake. The winter is a completely different story. In the time of shorter days I may sleep up to 8 or 9 hours a night, plus several naps during the daylight hours, usually as close to a heat source as she’ll let me get. The dogs are in charge of keeping my feet warm.

Eighth is my house looking like it's right out of House and Garden magazine.

#8 – Yeah, what she said. We bought our house as a fixer-upper and one of these days, hopefully while I’m still upright to see it, the fixer-upper phase will come to a close. I’ve spent entirely too much time, effort and money on a pile of sticks that isn’t out in the country, which is where I’m supposed to be. From here on out if it ain’t broke, I ain’t fixing it and if it is broke, I’ll get to it when I’m d*** good and ready.

Ninth, I’m perfectly OK with not having any tattoos.

#9 – If I were to share my thoughts on the stupidity of tattoos I’d probably alienate 2/3rds of the population under 40. Ahhh, what do I care? It shows a real lack of foresight and planning for the future to mark up the only body you have with a bunch of ugly, poorly drawn scribbles. I realize I’m not of that generation, but if your 20 now, chances are you’re going to change your outlook on life between now and the time you hit 60 and you’re gonna look even stupider with that big ugly thing on your neck at 60 than you do now, as hard as that is to believe…..my oldest daughter has a couple tattoos, but she’s in the Army, if that’s an excuse…I just figured it was her way to get back at me for punishing her at 4 for coloring all over the newly painted walls in the living room with her crayons.
If you want to express a sentiment or tell a story using your body, learn to dance, or buy yourself a T-shirt that expresses your point of view. You can take those off at the end of the day and put on a different one the next day, that says something different, but still relevant. Who wants to look at the same ugly cave painting on your back, or your arm, or your forehead, for the next 50 years? Is it going to help you meet the mate of your dreams? Good lord I hope not...aim higher, please. Don’t ask me what I think about nose rings or other stupid jewelry either……..I don’t even wear a watch or wedding ring.

Tenth is not needing to have perfectly manicured fingernails.

#10 – Yeah, I got nothing for this last one. I make no apology for the fact I’ve chewed my fingernails at times as a way to deal with stress. I’ve noticed I don’t do that so much these days so maybe retirement does have some positive attributes. I do trim the dog’s toenails, as needed, but I do that with a special tool designed for the job, not my teeth.

Choosing my attitude about turning 65 has been fun. I’m really not sure what the next significant birthday is, so maybe it will just creep up on me and catch me totally unaware.

Yeah, like a runaway truck. My dear lady, I’d suggest that once you hit 65, or even 60 for that matter, that every birthday is significant. According to my doctor I’ll be lucky to see 65 so I’m gonna enjoy the h*** out of the next couple. They will be significant, or else! Even more so if I can manage to hit 66.

When it comes, I hope I can remember what kind of birthday cake I like.

Yeah, I’ve worried about this issue too…..I’m thinking maybe a small tattoo on my left foot, out by my toes so I can see it, that says “chocolate”. That should do it!

Lanivan

Bravo! I suggest you talk to Mark Brooky about writing a column....although you will have to provide your name, which shouldn't be a problem since I feel that I know you already, or at least how and when you wear T-shirts and socks. Speaking of T-shirts, I've never before enjoyed reading about when one wears them as much as I did in your "column".

Do this again!

LessThanAmused

Thanks for taking the time to read all that and the compliment.

I had decided not to do it until the granddaughter woke up about midnight crying and wanted to hang out with the old man on the couch for awhile. So, while she watched BubbleGuppies I decided to play with the concept. There was so much there I didn't write, but it's probably too long already for most people. Editing your own work is tough.

Tri-cities realist

Well done LTA. I know I probably shouldn't, but I can't help but wonder what you wear on the 365th day, if you don't wear jeans? I was hoping maybe it was a suit for Christmas, but since you don't seem like the church going type, I fear it may be your birthday suit. Please prove me wrong! I liked your list though, creativity you do not lack (nor common sense).

LessThanAmused

Give that man a cigar! I spend the entire 365th day in my cave, stark raving naked, dancing to my tribal drum tapes. Now, try to get that image out of your head! :-)

Thanks for reading all that and the compliments.

Oh and I have a birthday coming up here in about a week or so, assuming I make it (thanks doc)....so if your riding around town next week, keep an ear out for those tribal drums.
I'm already looking forward to birthday dinner at Los Amigos and a big, fat, heart attack inducing Chocolate cake, even if I have to make it myself!

Tri-cities realist

I used to like tribal drums, now when I hear them I will have an image I wish I could forget. But I guess I asked for it. Happy early Birthday!

LessThanAmused

Thanks.

Would it make it less disturbing if I wore a thong?

WalmartWolverine

You are not even close to judgment day. Turning 70 is probably the most significant day in your life (wear that suit again). For what reason, who knows? It just happens. Then there’s 75. After that, you are on your own.

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