Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

When you think about retirement and “the golden years,” you probably think it means free time. After decades of deadlines, you can do what you want, when you want. Time to travel, time to sleep, time to be with friends. 

It doesn’t usually work out that way. As a start, though I’m not sure why, the minute you retire, you’re incredibly busy. Nature abhors a vacuum and your days fill up. Life becomes unexpected.

You will wonder how you ever had time to work a full-time job.

Old Number 2 -1


Your friends get old and some move away. With luck, you’ve got friends and family near enough to visit easily. It’s a gift. But you can’t count on having the old gang in the neighborhood.

Enter email, Skype and social networking. I don’t care who invented the Internet. I’m just glad it exists.


If you are one of the lucky ones who have money and time, you may not have the energy or emotional fortitude to deal with the vicissitudes of modern travel. To put it succinctly, modern travel sucks. It’s not elegant or romantic. It’s hard work for which you pay.

On local roads ...

Travel used to be fun when I was young, but it’s been less fun with each passing year. Now, air travel’s a disgrace. Airports and security turn vacations into stress tests, nightmares in which strangers paw you and security personnel dismantle your luggage. There’s no choice if you’re want to go long distances or cross oceans; you have to fly. Good luck with that.

I love flying. If I had a private jet and could skip the airport, I’d travel. Silly me. If I had that kind of money, a lot of things would be different. Like pretty much everything. Never mind. Forget I said anything.


Retirement means a fixed income. Your “salary” stays the same forever, while prices don’t. It takes a while to come to grips with this. After you retire, you will never get a raise. Or a Christmas bonus.

You will never have more buying power than you do today. Time erodes the value of pensions. Younger people don’t get it, but they will someday. Their time will come and they won’t like it. No one does.

On the up side, you will find stuff to do that doesn’t cost much money. Museums and other public venues have senior rates the same as kid prices. Movie theaters have cheap afternoon rates as well as special showings of classic movies. Senior discounts are a big perk.

Never forget to take your senior discount! It’s the least they can for you do after all your years of hard work.


Most people don’t have as many problems as I do, but everyone has some physical issues. Old bodies wear out. Things hurt. Reflexes slow down. You aren’t as strong as you were. You tire more quickly. If you fall, you don’t bounce. You go splat.

It’s normal, but aggravating. If you’re smart, you adapt. Enjoy what your body can do and don’t waste your life fighting to be what you were — while missing the fun of being what you are.


Buck up buckaroos. Getting older isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. Consider the alternative.

You will have fun. You will adapt, accept limitations and enjoy life differently. Keeping an open mind helps. A sense of humor helps more.


The golden-est part of the golden years is not working.

Not working is absolutely, unequivocally a most excellent thing. If only they would just keep sending checks. I don’t miss working, not for a minute, but I miss getting paid.

Our skills are better than ever. Creative artists and people in any field for which mental rather than physical prowess is required, get another chance. We blog, do charity work. Write books, take pictures, sculpt, paint. Design things. Create magnificent gardens. We are treasure troves of experience and knowledge should anyone choose to ask.


I’ve had a lot of fun recently. I’ve written stuff I like, taken pictures with which I’m pleased. Spent time with friends I love. Laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed.

Now I have to go get my heart rebuilt. Drat. It’s always something.

Other entries:

  1. Social Media has changed me | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  2. Golden Years | Icezine
  3. Counting The Scars/ Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: The Golden Years | Mirth and Motivation
  5. Fearless Youth | the intrinsickness
  6. Golden Years | mnemosynesandlethe
  7. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | MythRider
  8. i am always looking | y
  9. nobody has said if | y
  10. Age is Just a Number | Random Words
  11. The Age of a New Season | Mary J Melange
  12. Stories From My Mind
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  14. We’re Still Aging! | theeyelife
  15. Age isn’t defined by a number (unless you’re a minor…). | …Properly Ridiculous…
  16. Working Girl | Never Stationary
  17. Golden Years (DPChallenge) | Between Madness & Euphoria
  18. “Unforgotten” | Cosmic Heroism
  19. And Here We Are, Stuck Moving Forward | A Cool Glass of Lemonade
  20. Age is Just a Number –  Ha! Age is a Bunch of Numbers! | Once Upon Your Prime. . .

Categories: Anecdote, Humor, Life, Retirement, Travel, Wit

Tags: , , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Great post. Uplifting and strengthening. More power to you! ;-D


    • Thanks. I just wanted to say that with all its challenges, older has its perks too.


      • Such a pleasure to read plus it’s not a point of view that often gets written about. Good call!!


        • No one asks us about life. Young folks think they will be young forever and can’t imagine time will have its way with them. I think that’s why there’s such an insane focus on “living healthy,” as if by doing it, one can keep age and death at bay. It doesn’t work that way. If living healthy means you extract all the things you enjoy and replace them with things you think are “good for you” (but are no fun at all), what’s the point of living longer, if indeed it really makes anyone live longer — which I doubt. But we were no different when young. It seems that every generation has to learn the truth for themselves.


  2. I LOVE this piece, Marilyn – great stuff! xxx


  3. Sure they are golden. Golden for the doctors, surgeons, dentists, pharmacies, hip and knee replacement companies and insurance companies. Yup sure gotta love those damn golden years. Screw that! LOLOL I wonder who came up with that description of growing old? What a jerk! LOLOL


    • I’m guessing a young person because this is more like the tin years. Or maybe platinum, like hip replacements.


      • Actually “Lead” is the proper metal.., now I finally understand the saying “get the lead out”.

        …And it’s true about being busy and wondering how I ever held a full time job. I’m busier than ever now. It seems once it was known I had retired, only from the university, old and new clients have come out of the woodwork to book me for sessions.., go figure. It’s nice to be wanted and thought of as “still useful” 😉


        • Retired = re-tired. I wrote my book when I was retired. Then I ran my online antique shop. Now I blog and take pictures and there’s never enough time. I have never had spare time … but time is much more flexible. I don’t let myself get crazy about time… but right now, time feels like it’s on steroids!



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