Empty Calendar Syndrome? Time to Draw up Your Bucket list?

I’m just stunned as I write this. It’s a Friday, and Monday will be my official retirement date. This is not a surprise — I gave my notice (as academics do) almost 11 months ago. But I just opened my calendar to the coming month and what did I see?

Absolutely nothing.

It really gave me a chill — which is bewildering. Because, duh! That’s what retirement is, right? No job. No meetings. No assignments. Just — to quote some of my retired friends — complete freedom. Continue reading “Empty Calendar Syndrome? Time to Draw up Your Bucket list?”

Letting Go of Your Job

LettingGo_shutterstock_1430480705It turns out that deciding to retire from a job is a very different thing from actually doing it. No matter that you know it’s time to move on. No matter that you’re ready for something new. Those last couple of months before you’re gone carry a number of shocks.

As a university professor, I expect to miss the interactions with colleagues. I know I’ll miss getting to know and advise each new group of students. What I didn’t expect were the assumptions my ego made about influencing the future — until this last month exposed them to me. Continue reading “Letting Go of Your Job”

Dental Emergencies(?) During COVID-19

We’re all human, which means we can’t expect perfection. But… who decides what is a “dental emergency” and what isn’t? And how can I appeal those decisions?

tooth pulled out_shutterstock_90060997Those of us who teach at Pennsylvania universities have been practicing social distancing for almost 6 weeks now. For myself, that means I order & pay for my groceries online once every couple of weeks, then park outside the store while someone puts the bags into my open trunk. My daily trips to the post office are now once a week — complete with gloves and mask. My one big risk is going through a Starbucks or Panera drive-thru once or twice a week when I’m desperate for something I haven’t had to cook myself.

So you can imagine my dismay when a tooth started causing problems. Continue reading “Dental Emergencies(?) During COVID-19”

Waaaayyy too much time on my hands(!)

I’m one of the lucky ones who still has a job, in my case teaching marketing to college students — now entirely online. But we’re going into the second month of staying at home way too much for my sanity.

Probably like you, I’ve spent too much time thinking, worrying & obsessing about health, politics and world peace. To get away from the angst, I’ve lately been reduced to re-reading the thousands-of-pages-long Diana Gabaldon Outlander books. Which I love, don’t get me wrong. But how many times can one re-read these books without feeling you’re burning through your life?

Hair — frivolous AND constructive?

Looking for something both frivolous AND constructive, I decided to focus on my hair. Continue reading “Waaaayyy too much time on my hands(!)”

Living Alone in Coronavirus-ville

If you’re a senior, you are much more likely to die if you get Coronavirus. According to Stat, analyzing the 72,314 Chinese who first contracted the disease, the fatality rates by age are:

  • 2.3% — average of all confirmed cases
  • 0.2% ages 10-39
  • 0.4% ages 40-49
  • 1.3% ages 50-59
  • 14.8% ages 80+

So… given the risks, many seniors are self-isolating, myself included. Fortunately I’m able, as our university has cancelled Face-to-Face instruction for this month. Likely it will remain in effect the rest of this school semester.

The problem with self-isolating when you live alone Continue reading “Living Alone in Coronavirus-ville”

Should senior citizens start dropping acid? Some new studies say “yes”

Hippie_acid_shutterstock_1121041799Recent studies by leading organizations are finding psilocybin mushrooms lower rates of psychological distress, help overcome alcoholism, and show lasting beneficial effects to ease anxiety in cancer and/or terminal patients. Who knew??

Three leading organizations — Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and Harvard Medical School have recently researched the effects of LSD to ease anxiety in cancer and/or terminal patients.

Continue reading “Should senior citizens start dropping acid? Some new studies say “yes””

Your goal for 2019 — compete at the Senior Olympics!

Olympics1_shutterstock_266028119No, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Even if you were never an athlete before, you can train and compete against others your age and gender (from 50-90+).

I’m planning to do it — so join me! Here’s how to pick a sport, get the qualifying numbers, find a trainer, and…

  • Improve your health through training
  • Experience the joys of competition — and achieving a goal

Continue reading “Your goal for 2019 — compete at the Senior Olympics!”

Rational Suicide vs. Forced Intolerable Life

DeathPills_shutterstock_1209313996Some psychologists/psychiatrists are just beginning to discuss the idea of rational suicide. That a person forced to live an intolerable life — with absolutely no chance of improvement — might rationally wish to end it. Journal articles are being written, and there’s even an academic book – Rational Suicide in the Elderly — Clinical, Ethical, and Sociocultural Aspects published in 2017.

However… this idea is far from being accepted. In fact, just voicing to your physician that you might consider suicide in the future — even if you state you are not considering it now — could be enough to find yourself involuntarily committed to a mental ward. At the very least, you are likely to be referred for psychiatric evaluation. And once you’ve been evaluated, that will become a permanent part of your medical record — which could color how hospitals/physicians see future actions of yours. Continue reading “Rational Suicide vs. Forced Intolerable Life”

What happened to mom ain’t gonna happen to me!

About 2 years before her death, my mother fell. She lived alone in her house with one phone — up on her desk in the kitchen. And though she didn’t break a bone, she still was not able to get back up and/or reach her phone.

She sat on the floor for two days before a neighbor knocked on her door and she was able to call out to her. Those two days gave her a bed sore on her behind, which never went away. If you know a nurse — ask them about bed sores. Not getting a bed sore will become one of your most desired goals in life! Continue reading “What happened to mom ain’t gonna happen to me!”