LIFE HAPPENS

Those 'golden years' move like a yo-yo

Gary Mathen
Posted 1/29/18

All my life I’ve heard the term "the golden years," a time when you become old and everyone wants to do everything for you, because they all assume that you can’t take care of yourself.I decided …

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LIFE HAPPENS

Those 'golden years' move like a yo-yo

Posted

All my life I’ve heard the term "the golden years," a time when you become old and everyone wants to do everything for you, because they all assume that you can’t take care of yourself.


I decided to do a little research on the golden years and found at least one definition stating this is a period of time after the age of 65.


Merriam-Webster provides the definition "The advanced years in a lifetime."


The Free Dictionary describes it as, "The time of life after retirement from active work. A period of time during which a person is normally in a particular life state."


Life state? What the heck does that mean?


I remember years ago seeing the movie "On Golden Pond."


For those who haven’t seen the movie or don't remember, it is about a man — played by Henry Fonda — who lives on (where else?) Golden Pond. He has the beginning of Alzheimer’s as he is living out his golden years.


Golden. I always thought that was a prestigious thing.


The credit card companies offer a Gold Mastercard because you have outstanding credit. Delta gives you a Gold Status because of the frequency of your travels with them; and hotels, well, you get the picture.


I was once Platinum Status with both Delta and Marriott. I wonder if there something called "the platinum years."


I think I know where those years will be spent!


A church we attended back in Macon, Ga., several years ago announced that a few of the members of our Sunday school class were old enough to advance to the church's Senior Citizens Group. 


Now pardon me if I am wrong, but isn’t that the last class before Heaven? No thanks. I will stay where I am.


I am going to go out on a limb and tell everyone who reads this column: I am on a fast ride to the age of 65. Yes, this spring, and I made it official today by signing into that large club called Medicare.


That’s right. I will no longer have to fight with doctors, insurance companies or anyone concerning a medical bill. I will simply hand over that little red, white and blue card and smile.


OK, back to those golden years. My understanding of retirement is you now have the time to do what you want to do, no more mundane hours or deadlines to meet. Travel, relax, enjoy what is left of your time.


Back the bus up, my friends. Someone has sent us down a deep, dark alley.


Recently, I visited one of my two best friends, my doctor. My pharmacist is the other one. I advised that sometimes we could meet at my home for a cookout or possibly go to Cracker Barrel, instead of me coming to his place so often.


This is the traveling that takes up most of my time. I am still waiting for those golden years to kick in.


Let's put the joking aside. I have been retired for almost seven years and it has not all been bad. 


I am able to spend time doing what I like to do best, visit my grandchildren, write, play some music and do some real traveling with my life-mate, my wife of 46 years. 


Life has been good and still is, although I tend to move a little slower and ache a little more.


Several years ago I wrote a poem about an old man, and I thought I would share it with you.


You now have me feeling tired. I’m going to take a nap.




'Old Guy'                                                               


When a man gets old 


he has nothing to do


He finds things difficult 


even tying his shoe




He sits in his chair 


and watches TV


wearing thick glasses 


just so he can see 




His hair looks shabby


his clothes are wrinkled


He has difficulty 


when he tries to tinkle 




His children may call him 


each week on Sunday


But the weeks get long and lonesome 


starting on Monday




The calls are good 


their voices sound sweet


Visits aren't often 


but priceless, a treat




Thoughts of his grandchildren 


bring him smiles


He would love to see them 


but can't travel the miles




He tries to be active


 young if he can


But the face in the mirror 


reflects an old man 




He thinks about life 


and where the time went 


He smiles at the memories 


of his days well spent




The times of his youth 


are more than just gone


He now spends his time 


reminiscing alone




He prays that his health 


will stay pretty good


If he can keep up his appetite 


he knows that it should




He moves a lot slower 


more careful these days


Watching each step 


his home is a maze




He fears of the burden 


that he might become


The problems that old age 


can bring on to some




An old man has pride 


but finds he needs help


His independence wanes


with each passing day




His legacy he worries 


will be forgotten too soon


Remembered for a season 


then quietly swept away




His eyes are now weary 


no gleam as before


He just sits in his chair 


and stares at the door




Life has been good 


the pleasures were many


He wouldn’t change them 


for a new shiny penny




The time he has spent 


with loved ones so dear


Makes him happy and sad 


that his time may be near.


———


(About the writer:  Gary Matheny is retired after a long career in the pharmaceutical industry.  Now a Cleveland resident, he is the author of two books: "If The Shoe Fits" and "The Bullet." He also writes a popular blog, "Life Happens." Email him at gary.matheny@yahoo.com and follow him at his website www.garymatheny.net.)




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