Back in the day, I do not remember hearing much about retirement since my parents lived in a small country town. Most folks just worked as they usually did farming, gardening and helping others in what ever way that they could. As they grew older, they usually took care of themselves as usual with the help of neighbors, friends and family. There was not a big discussion regarding retirement or travel. They were grateful to get through each day and spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon sitting under a shade tree telling tales from the past. If they had grown children, most of them had already moved away to the big city to get jobs. Those children would visit them during vacation time, holidays and week ends. The families looked forward to these get together. The elderly never seemed to be alone or without a tale to tell.
Some of the elderly had worked long enough to draw small social security checks while others drew welfare checks. This was before food stamps. On a monthly basis some folks went to near by towns and picked up what was called commodities. The commodities consisted of cheese, canned meat, flour, corn meal, powdered milk and beans. The elderly were poor but proud. They planted gardens, canned foods, and always seemed to have enough to eat plus never hesitated to share what they had with others. This is the way that they lived until it came time for their final resting place. People helped each other and cared.
Today is a lot different than those times many years ago. Some of the younger generation live with their aging parents which have the name called baby boomers. Baby Boomers do a lot of travel, if at all possible, plus work, worry about money, retirement funds, job loss, down sizing, health care, the economy, national disasters, fitness, wrinkles, and the list goes on and on. The elderly are filling nursing homes as the boomers struggle to try to meet demands that face them. Some elderly are trying to age in place. They worry about their boomer kids. They wonder why they do not hear from them or see them like the get together back in the day. Then there are some of the younger generation that very seldom see their parents or grandparents. The excuse is usually the same. There just isn’t enough time, money or whatever.
Stop, I say STOP! Get off the energy drinks and bring back the sun tea. Do away with the texting long enough to give a hug. Stop making excuses! There is one thing that has not changed and that is time. There is still twenty-four hours in every day. Trash the negative. Bring back the value system. Do away with one hundred and sixty television channels and take the time to watch the stars in the sky. Replace worry with gratitude. Put love in the place of hate. Let robots be robots and humans be humans.
Remember this! You can not go back and enjoy that, which you failed to see, touch, hear or missed when it is already gone! Put the color gold back into the golden years. A cloud can only have a silver lining if you choose to see it. Honey is only sweet as you taste it. A smell of a rose can only be enjoyed if you take the time to smell it. It is okay to feel because there will be a day when a feeling will become a cherished memory!
Originally posted 2011-06-14 19:06:56.