Why I haven't written in weeks - been having too much fun!

by Irwin Lengel
(Lakeland, FL)

Well, it has been awhile since I added anything to this blog. That is because we tend to keep ourselves so busy. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t because we don’t want to tell ourselves we are getting old.

The more active we are, the less time we have to feel old. It is now 4:15 AM in the morning when all good people should be sleeping. But, pain in my left hand woke me and since I had my usual 5-6 hours of sleep by this time, I got up and started writing (something that I don’t do as often as I would like to).

After taking some medication for the pain in my hand (no doubt an ache or pain from arthritis as my body is prone to that and it has been found in several places throughout my body), I decided to go back to bed. Sleep, however, did not come. What did come was the rush of thoughts that flowed through my head as I lay there trying to go back to sleep.

Thoughts about our recent trip to Connecticut and Pennsylvania (the reason I have been away from the keyboard). You see, we have been away celebrating a wedding (our granddaughter recently got married) and during this same trip, we took time to see my kid brothers and sisters whom we usually get to see once or twice a year. The wedding was beautiful and everything went as planned. We hope they enjoy their lives together and spend as many years together as we have. This May we start our 50th year together. This past visit was somewhat different in that we were able to spend a select few hours with each of my brothers and sisters. Normally it is five minutes here and ten minutes there. But this time, we did it differently. We tried to make it a point to stop by and visit each one individually and in the process spent some quality time with them. In addition, the last night of our trip, everyone came to my brother’s house for a homemade chicken pot pie dinner. We took pictures and had a fabulous time. No, I don’t have the pictures to show yet as they are in my wife’s camera. Shame on me!

As I thought about the trip and the many conversations I had with my siblings, my mind wandered to the life we are living here – just the two of us. I tried to compare the life we are living to the lives they are living back in PA.

Times are different when you do not have the sunshine we have in FL. For instance, we do not even think of a time when we will have to find something to keep us occupied inside the house because of the weather (too cold or miserable).

My sister and her husband, for example, work on picture puzzles, usually 1000 pieces or more during the cold and nasty winter months. They spend hours working on the puzzle keeping them both occupied and their minds active.

My twin brother (yes there are actually two of us) is a fanatic (his words – not mine) for numbers. He keeps his mind active by developing and using his own spreadsheets keeping track of household expenses and the like. As he told us during the time we spent with him, if asked, he could probably – with a little bit of work – tell you how much he paid for his electric bill incurred over thirty-five years ago and then compare same with the cost of electric today.

Another brother loves to sit and work at his computers all day long although failing eyesight apparently has limited him in that endeavor so he may have to find another hobby to keep himself active. A younger sister occupies her time with a Pet-sitting business she is trying to get off the ground. Another brother spends his time working around their new home keeping it well landscaped as well as working on other household projects.

What this tells me is that, all of us, no matter what our health is, what the weather is outside, how we feel meaning up or down, or whatever, have a choice. Sit back and vegetate as we grow old and just wait for the grim reaper – or – keep our minds and bodies active so that we continue to live long and fruitful lives.

When we were leaving to head home this time, it seemed unusual to say – see you all in 2013. Yet that is how long before we plan on making another trip up north. How much will they change between now and then? Who knows? But, it will be interesting to see and it gives us something to look forward to as well.

But, now that we are back home, we find ourselves looking to become more active. The first week back is the hardest in that we had to unload the car, put everything back in the place it was prior to the trip. Find room for whatever we brought back with us. And then there is our becoming active within the community again as well. Plus there is always our line dancing...

In other words, we are trying to work our way back into the routine we find both comfortable yet fulfilling for this time in our lives.

I, myself, am back to teaching as well as writing the next article for the newsletter I am assistant editor of. In addition, I am also attempting something new by learning how to become what is called a “Contract Author”. I will have to get back to you on that one as I am finding that the work can be a bit more demanding than my teaching role which I enjoy considerably.

The time spent teaching works well with my lifestyle and that of the many other escapades we become involved with as we move into our sunset years. Whereas, I am not too sure I would have the same freedom and adaptability to do that which we want to do in our retirement years should I pursue this on a more active basis. The jury is still out on this one!

One thing both my wife and I know is that we hope to get back in the routine of line dancing as that is our special time together. Line dancing also fulfills so many other needs (socialization, exercise, and fun) at this point in our lives. All of which are needed for a happy, productive, and most rewarding retirement.

So, that is what we have been up to this past month. What have you been doing and how are you planning to spend the balance of your spring vacation?

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