by Irwin Lengel
Did you ever sit and wonder, as many of us retirees tend to do, what constitutes a perfect day?
Is it a day without any problems whatsoever?
A day without conflict?
A day without any agenda whatsoever?
A lazy day spent just sitting on the couch watching a movie marathon pushing all thoughts or things that need to be done or should be done aside so that we can just unwind?
These are but a few of the thoughts that cross my mind on occasion the older I get.
Later this year I will turn 78 years old – just two years shy of becoming an octogenarian, you know that person who is from 80 to 89 years of age!
At what point in our lives do we stop worrying about what should be done and begin doing what we want to get done before our clock stops ticking?
Lately, ideas on what to write pop into my head when I am getting up to make that second or third potty call at 2 in the morning. Usually I dismiss the thought, saying to myself that I will remember what it is I want to write about when I get up in the morning. Who am I kidding?
Fact is, some thoughts come back to my memory when I finally do get up but more times than not, they do not come back with the clarity and vividness that they did at 2 in the morning.
As a result, I say to myself: “I wish I would have either gotten up and wrote or I wish I would have at least wrote some of the ideas that were going through my head down in the tablet I keep next to my bed for just such occasions. But I didn’t and thus another good idea goes out the window.
This morning though, I did get up and came to the computer to write about “The Perfect Day!”
According to the Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary, the word ‘perfect’ can be defined in numerous ways. The definition is actually a short paragraph reflecting all the possible definitions attributed to the meaning of the word “perfect.”
Seeing that even the dictionary has a hard time informing us what is actually meant by the word ‘perfect’ how can we be expected to decide what our ‘perfect’ day is? Taking this thought one step further, in addition to wondering what the ‘perfect’ day is, what about ‘the perfect meal,’ ‘the perfect mate,’ ‘the perfect man or woman?’ Or what about the ‘perfect’ rose?
By now, I am sure you have the idea of what it is I am trying to say.
The mere fact that we wake in the morning, are able to stand and go about whatever duties we are accustomed to doing should be some indication that the day is going to be perfect.
As to what it is we are going to do with the day – well, hopefully we are at a point in our life that other than routine maintenance and daily chores to keep one’s house in shape (and remember we should do the same for our bodies as well), we will attempt to do something worthwhile while at the same time have it be something that we thoroughly enjoy doing.
Hopefully as we age, we still keep that little motor going within us – you know, that thing I tend to refer to as my mojo.
Sure, I will admit to having those days where my mojo doesn’t seem to be there but fortunately those days are few and far in between. The fact is, if our mojo is there as we head towards being an octogenarian or whatever age that is coming up – why not use it.
Remember the old adage “Use it or lose it!” Failure to use our mojo on a daily basis is a sure-fire way to become bored and/or depressed and you know where that will lead you to.
One of the things I have found out over the years is that if I follow some sort of routine, the routine itself becomes somewhat of a mojo in and of itself and enables me to constantly challenge myself to continue doing whatever it is that keeps me happy. As long as there is gas in the tank now, why not keep going. And by using the term ‘keep going’ I am referring to continually doing that which keeps us happy.
We are all going to go sometime but why sit around waiting for the inevitable.
One big factor at our age is to keep our sense of humor. Without humor in our lives, we would become depressed and not want to do anything except rot away waiting for that fateful day. Not me!
Oh sure, I do have my bad days as does many of us. But fortunately for me there are more good days than bad days and so I do my best to approach every day with humor making the journey into whatever the next phase of my life is to be a bit easier.
Being married for 55 years is a blessing too as we try to do as much as we can together. Being married this long has its good points. For instance, when one of us is having a bad day, the other one is usually having a good day. We are there for each other and that keeps us grounded.
I can remember one time that I woke up sort of in a downer mood. She could tell something was wrong as soon as I came to the breakfast table. She, herself, had a bad night and said to me: “You cannot be down today – it is my turn today.” With that we both started laughing and before we knew it – we were both making the best of the day.
One of the key things when it comes to having a perfect day is to stay interested in something. Neither of us are much interested in politics although I do keep up with the news via my smart phone.
We have other interests that keep us busy so that we are not just sitting around allowing life to pass us by. I walk, we line dance together, I read, and I keep a journal in addition to writing several blogs on a weekly basis. We make it a point to visit with our children who are at different ends of the country at least once and sometimes twice a year. When the budget allows we do some traveling with friends from within our community. I like to think that our lives are being enriched with all that we do accomplish every day.
So, to me a perfect day would be where at the end of the day, using the words from an old song by Frank Sinatra, I can say: “I Did It My Way!”