I firmly believe that the less a person does, the less they can do. I think all systems need regular use. In other words, life is not about doing as little as possible.
From Harvard Health comes four tips to a happier and healthier retirement:
Forge a new social network.
I am struggling with the first tip since the move to Arizona. The damn virus shut down all car events for over a year and, to be honest, I don’t know if one can really create true friendships at such venues. We are cordial with our neighbors, but since most of them have children under age 18 living at home, creating friendships is difficult for a childless couple like us.
Carolyn Dean, MD says this, “If you think that retirement is the time to put your feet up or to stay home and watch TV, everything will go downhill. You need to exercise your mind and strengthen your body. As the body slows, so does the mind.” Numerous studies have found that physical activity, such as resistance training and cardiovascular exercise, supports cognitive functioning in older adults.
I am physically active, but still think I am suffering from cognitive decline. Of course, I have no idea if it would be even worse without regular exercise.
I have written many times that I struggle because I am not enjoying the level of engagement I had in my 20+ years in baseball. This blog is important to me because it encourages creativity and allows me to interact with people with whom I would not interact otherwise.
Any thoughts from those of you who are retired will be much appreciated.
In a comment dialogue with David Banner (not his real name), I asked if he thought that many people who attend medical school are motivated by potential earnings above all else. In a text, he replied,
“Re: your question about motivation I would say no. In college I had the choice to go to business school or medical school. The money on Wall Street was and is better. But volunteering in the Shock Trauma Unit before my senior year convinced me to go to med school. What you have to do to make money as a doc these days is not worth the aggravation of med school residency/fellowship then trying to get a decent job post training. It’s the thrill of the chase.”
I suspect many reasons exist that motivate people to attend medical school (or law school). I asked the question because my impression, incorrect though it may be, is that fewer med school grads go into general practice than in the past but instead gravitate towards higher paying specialties. Of course, the debt burden acquired in med school might play a role in that as well.
In this post from Why Evolution Is True the author shares his idea about how to get more people to get vaccinated against the damn virus. He proposes more “horror” stories in PSAs.
In this post from the same blog the author offers books to counter the out-of-control idea of “
wokeness.” Many liberals will be offended, but this blog is written by a liberal. I guess not all political “ideologues” have gone off the deep end, yet.
In this recent post, Latest Automotive Obsession, I wrote about my strong desire for a 1942 DeSoto. Well, on this day in 1928 Chrysler introduced the DeSoto make as a 1929 model year car. DeSoto sold more than 81,000 units in its first year, a record that (supposedly) stood until the Ford Falcon in 1960. I’ve read that in many places, but think that the Studebaker Lark–an all new model–sold more than 130,000 units in its debut year of 1959. Maybe it’s true that history is written by the victors, not the vanquished. Anyway, from Wikimedia, a picture of a 1929 DeSoto Model K Six Sedan:
The make was severely hurt by the 1957-58 economic recession with 1958 sales being 60% lower than those of the previous year. While other makes recovered when the economy did, DeSoto did not. Chrysler’s mishandling of DeSoto’s market niche and competition in the price class from other companies were probably the largest factors. Once the rumors surfaced about DeSoto being discontinued, they became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The make was discontinued in November, 1960 just weeks after the 1961 models were introduced. Only 3,034 ’61s were manufactured.
DeSoto built just over 2,000,000 cars during its existence. While that pales in comparison to other makes, even defunct ones like Oldsmobile (which built 35,000,000 cars), DeSoto should be remembered for its place in Chrysler and US automotive history.
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8 thoughts on “Words For Wednesday”
My wife and I are in our mid-seventies and therefore, retired. Where we live the social network is difficult because of limited neighbors. Attending church regularly was our social network until we had to curtail that effort due to serious back problems for my wife that forced us to limit our travel on the horrible Tucson city streets. Our current social activities include keeping our three grandchildren one day a week and on Sundays for Children’s Church. Starting tomorrow, they will arrive school days on the bus after school. The play part for me is a daily 1.5 mile walk in the neighborhood and for my wife it is walking laps within the house “racetrack” and when the weather is hot enough, laps in our pool. Being creative is not hard for us as we both have projects that keep our minds active. Mine are working on my truck project, woodworking and cooking. Keep learning is also not hard. I have to provide the lessons for the children’s Sunday lessons and working the word search puzzles with them keeps my mind active and continues to train my brain. Chess is a mentally challenging game we use to slow down the grandchildren and for me to exercise my brain. I use the chess board I made in high school and a classic set of wood chess pieces from India. I also search out classic matches from the grandmasters and work them out on my board. Trivia: Humphrey Bogart was a very serious chess player throughout his life, having earned money as an older teen in New York City. John Wayne was also a chess player.
What are some of the other readers’ ways of having a healthy retirement? I’m curious?
Many thanks for sharing, Philip. Sounds like you have successfully avoided the “lazy” retirement path that so many fall into. You have prospered because of it and almost will certainly continue to do so.
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I don’t doubt that money is a great motivator for choice of which field a medical student will take. I had poor hand to eye coordination, so surgery was out; it did not help that during a procedure I told a surgeon who was pimping me after I had been up all night helping out with gun shot patients that “I did not know the answer and I did not care.” I got a gentleman’s C.
I always wanted to be a primary care doctor like Marcus Welby, M.D. who would make house calls and get pies and chickens from my patients. I was disheartened when I saw one of my surgeon friends got a Patek Phillipe from one of his.
With one in five docs having symptoms of burn out, and a divorce/suicide rate higher than the general population, the money ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Good luck with finding your tribe. It is always hard, especially if you are not working and you move during a pandemic.
Thanks, Doc. Like everything else, being a physician is a trade-off. The money can be excellent and so can the job satisfaction, but for many the stress level is off the charts.
The older one gets, the harder it is to find new friends. For me, that’s magnified by moving 2,000+ miles away from the previous venue. I still have some hope that cars will be the ticket to a satisfactory social life.
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I’m not retired, probably never will completely, even though I’m at an age when many ARE retiring. In conversations with my dad, now retired for 20 years, the biggest issue is the social network with folks his age as most, well, die off or have medical issues that keep them at home. Like yourself, he lives in a neighborhood that is almost completely people 20-50 years younger than he is, so he doesn’t interact with them much. He used to spend 3-4 nights a week going to “honky tonks” as he enjoyed the country style dancing. Most of them have closed, or turned into dive bars (he is a life long teetotaler), so that activity is gone. He isn’t religious so a church function doesn’t interest him. These days, he plays golf a couple times a week but other that that mainly stays home and plays on the internet.
My hope is that he keeps his wits, so far so good, and doesn’t have to end up in an assisted living home as I’m sure that would kill him in a short period of time.
Many thanks for sharing, DDM. Golf a couple of days a week is a lot better than never getting out and being active.
David Banner (not his real name) can correct me if I’m wrong, but I am 99% sure I have read from reliable sources that a dirty little secret of nursing homes/assisted living facilities is that once a person enters such a place their life expectancy is basically cut in half. More and more people are, indeed, “aging in place.” Yes, I know for some that isn’t possible, but ending up “in a home” shouldn’t be inevitable, IMO.
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Upon leaving my relatively sedentary job and retiring, I vowed to be more active. I try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, six days a week (unless we are traveling). I try to keep mentally sharp with blogging and photography.
Lately, I’ve had some medical issues that, at 72 years old, are not entirely unexpected. Even so, they haven’t yet stopped my activities, though my exercise isn’t as strenuous as it was prior to the pandemic shutdown of gyms.
When wintering in Arizona, we found ourselves out of a social network, and I concur that it’s harder in our later years to find new friends. Early on, we joined a hiking club and have found several new friends that we miss dearly when we leave Arizona each winter.
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Thanks for sharing, JS. Hope your recent medical issues are not serious.
It sounds as though you have a good approach to retirement. It takes work, though, and some people think retirement means doing nothing.
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