Home » Staying Afloat On the Ocean of Life by Dr. Juan Harrison

Staying Afloat On the Ocean of Life by Dr. Juan Harrison

by Contributor

Sometimes it’s comforting to know you’re not alone in your boat on the ocean of life.  For most of us olders in retirement we have similar circumstances facing us.  In the work years it was how much we could make.  In retirement it was how much can we not spend.  Before she retired my wife would say she didn’t want to retire and not be able to go anywhere with her girlfriends; she didn’t want to get stuck at home.  She did quit early to care for her dying mother.  Before long they asked her to sub at school.  During the pandemic she started her own school which helped fill the teacher hole inside of her and replace the money lost on early retirement.  Two days a week helped fill the bill.

Me, I’m glad to stay home since I’ve been away from the house mostly doing two and three jobs.  I did my world travelling as a young man.  I’m happy for a meal in front of the news show with the possibility of dozing off.  I know my wife has a fun time with her friends and needs to prepare for independence when I’m gone.  I don’t like to shop.  I like the cheapest burger at the drive thru and like saving money.  I’m a tired old homebody.  My wife’s a goer.

Each family, each couple, widow or widower, we all want similar things.  We like to have enough income to meet all our obligations and still have a little breathing room in the bank account.  The challenge for most of us is that we’re living on the same money or less in retirement while everything is going up in price.  We need more income or less spending.  Most of us don’t have a lot of cutting room in the budget.  Age issues may limit our ability or desire to find any kind of part- time work, so we sit silently trying to reconcile the issues.

Going up is easy; coming down not so much.  Cutting back on number of times eating out or watching the individual cost of items at the store is no fun.  We’ve worked hard and don’t feel we should have to start playing price policeman in our everyday living.  What happened to the good old days when the dollar stretched further.  You wanna say life’s not fair, but remember that cancer and losing a family member aren’t either.

We live each day hoping it’s only a blip on the radar; our gut says maybe not.  We’ve had a good run of eating out, shopping some, and indulging ourselves occasionally.  Looks like some of that may be coming to a screeching halt.  It’s not fair; we worked hard.  Maybe a glance around town or the world might give us a little more perspective as we see hungry people with little or no prospects.  The half-eaten bowl of chips and hot sauce or cheese dip reminds us that life’s still tolerable here in the good ole US of A.  Start messing with my guacamole and tortilla chips and you’ve got my attention.  Somehow peanut butter and crackers just doesn’t give the same satisfaction.

By Dr. Juan Harrison

 

 

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