Just between you and me, I’ve secretly been worried that my significant other and I will get on each other’s nerves after I retire. I wasn’t planning on sharing this with anyone until last week.
A couple of years ago I realized how easily I could become an ‘invisible’ elder if I allowed that to happen.
While on break from my classes, I took advantage of a free flu shot offered through the college where I teach. When I popped into the small conference room crammed with colleagues and nervous laughter, a young 20-something woman handed me a form that I completed and returned.
As a former non-profit director, I used to help raise money for teaching and learning. One of our most successful fund-raising campaigns was a donor wall. Those who contributed a certain amount would forever have their names inscribed on a beautiful wall visible in the community.
When I was young, one of my mother’s favorite television programs was I Love Lucy. In this sitcom, actress Lucille Ball played the role of a scheming housewife who often used tears to soften her husband when he confronted her ‘childish’ behaviors. Not surprisingly, my own mother behaved in similar ways.
Last year, one of my sons bought me an Amazon Echo Dot for my birthday. A couple of decades ago, I would never have imagined having a virtual assistant that knows my name and can play my favorite music on command.
What now seems like a lifetime ago, I was a volunteer for a homeless shelter located in a questionable area in downtown Portland, Oregon. Recognizing the possibility that I could get robbed, it was my naïve habit to put my purse in the trunk of the car before leaving home.
Last year, I met with two of my retired friends for a Saturday afternoon glass of wine. Both had retired within the previous two years.
I once had a speech student who argued that drivers over 60 were putting everyone else on the road at risk. He then proposed that any ‘old’ person over 60 should be forced to reapply for their driver’s license and have additional restrictions on where ‘old’ people could drive if they earned a new license.