RUINED BY RETIREMENT – Marilyn Armstrong

Not all bad dreams are nightmares. I have dreams which are bad because they’re too close to reality for psychic comfort.

First up in last night’s doubleheader, I dreamed I urgently needed a shower. Okay, fine, soon as I get up, I promised my unconscious. Sheesh. It’s not that bad … is it?

The next round of REM sleep informed me I couldn’t fit into my jeans. That got me so upset I vowed if it turned out to be true, I would end it all by jumping head first into the bathtub off my shower chair. If that didn’t work, I’d have to get a new pair of jeans.

I tried waking up, then going back to sleep. Maybe it would shake off the dreams … but it didn’t work.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Leaving me feeling grubby with unbearably tight blue jeans. Was worse yet to come?

I decided not to lie around waiting for an answer I might not like. Dragging my reluctant body from the comfortable bed, I went straight for the dresser and pulled out my jeans. Shucking my nightgown, I stepped into them and discovered — oh joy! — they fit perfectly.

I would have done a victory dance, but I first needed to give cookies to starving puppies, start the coffee, and hit the shower. Today, I’m going to wear those jeans until I remember if I’m just going to sit around the house, I might as well go for something loose and stretchy.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Vanity and fashion have lost their power over me. Instead, it’s easy-to-launder, resistant to dog hair, and comfortable. Every time. I still think about putting on make-up, just to prove I can make myself look nice if I try …  can’t think of a reason. Garry genuinely doesn’t care. Unless someone is taking pictures and I don’t have a camera in front of it, it seems pointless and anyway, I’d only have to wash it off later.

Retirement has ruined me. Yet somehow, I love it. Retirement is good that way.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

41 thoughts on “RUINED BY RETIREMENT – Marilyn Armstrong”

      1. I’m wearing one of the new pair of Yoga Pants you got me. Yes, I’ve become a convert. They are so darn comfortable. You’ve set me free! Gracias, Mi Amor.

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  1. I find this to be so true, and yes I put on my makeup just because I want to see if I still can look nice, clothing has to be comfortable, even blue jeans, I love the boyfriend styles, stretchy and loose anyway. Nothing better than those genie bras, no wires, and slip on sneakers, and let us not forget those active wear pants, like a legging, but a bit more loose and flare legs. T- shirts, V neck T-shirts, long sleeve, short, 3/4 length…that’s all I need to feel comfy, if we need to dress it up, put on some makeup, a little jewelry (earrings) and a scarf, with maybe a jacket, or lite cardigan…so many of those to choose from, and if it’s a bad hair day, or you didn’t need to wash (it is not a must every day) a nice hat, Fedora, baseball cap, even a fancy hairband, I am all set, I look forward to retirement, can’t wait until I change from nursing scrubs and sneakers to sport knit pants and T-shirts, messy hair and no makeup. This will be a big change from my current fashion and beauty habits, such a relief because there is more time to do less, run out to shop, and then do some cooking, and watch TV, read, relax with dog and hubby. Life is good, and so is bare faced and casual.

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    1. I keep being surprised at how BUSY retirement can be. You think you are going to have so much time, but somehow, you don’t. You have more time than you did when you were working, but not nearly as much time as you expected. But you DO get to be comfortable. And you don’t have to set the alarm for five in the morning, either.

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  2. I was like you describe vis a vis ‘fashion’ BEFORE I became disabled. “Retirement” or so I’m told is years off, I’m still “too young to retire.” But loose fitting, casual, and ready to wear (no annoying ironing or cleaning) has always been my preference in clothing. Of course one can’t go to an office that has a dress code looking like that, but I celebrated the acceptance of casual Fridays in the days before I was ‘retired’. These days? If it fits and is reasonably clean, it’s in. T-shirts and jeans are my normal attire. No shoes any more, unless I have to go somewhere. Make up? What’s this make up you speak of? I lost the tolerance (I literally cannot wear eye makeup any more) for that stuff at the time of my ‘retirement’ too, and only wear it if there’s some occasion that’s very very special. Roseacea will cure a person of using makeup. I think I’d have to buy some if I wanted to use it, because all the stuff I had is dried up or out of date. Frankly I wouldn’t go back to my life before ‘retirement’. It’s lovely being able to be oneself, isn’t it?

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    1. I have the theory that once you go elastic, you can’t go back. Everything feels too tight. Garry discovered elastic and he gets quite alarmed at the idea that he might (gasp) need to wear a belt! And this is a man who thought a tee shirt not tucked into your jeans was way too casual. These days, it’s basically pajama bottoms and any top that resists dog hair.

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    1. Leslie, that’s true. After “dressing up” for a friend’s Memorial Service recently, I discovered I need to make a run to thre dry cleaners. Yikes.

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  3. I am in between retirement and not: since my health got very bad ten or so years back when I got electrocuted, and my last fulltime boss passed on in 2012, I work for myself, but make my own schedule, so can have some days packed with clients, and some with not a one, and that is fine. It’d be great if I got more serious about finishing this book I am writing about tarot–

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    1. I was in my early 50s when my health went down hill. It was like dominoes going down. I think I’m actually in better shape NOW than I was 20 years ago. Older and more tired, but I don’t think I’m dying at the moment.

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  4. I spent years in Corporate America wearing shoes that hurt my feet and clothes that were not comfortable. I retired from all that. But, I had a bad dream today while I was awake when I looked down, and realized one of my favorite pairs of jeans had some kind of mark on them. I have to go on line and see if I can order an exact match because once I find a style that works, I usually buy a couple of pairs.

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    1. I think getting the same jeans is like getting that same color eye shadow you’ve always loved. They don’t make them quite like they used to. they are tighter in the wrong places, looser in the wrong places. I once bought two supposedly identical pairs of jeans — one light denim, the other dark.

      They didn’t fit the same way. One pair was MUCH too tight. No two things are exactly the same, even when they are supposed to be. Not even human twins 🙂

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      1. I won’t embrace the loss of income but it has to be. I was going to work another year, but will just have to make it past my birthday in July. Maybe I’ll have time to come to Boston to see the Red Sox play the White Sox or Cubs.

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      1. I’ve had a couple of worries too — nothing life-threatening, but concerning worries nonetheless! Life does that sometimes, and it’s no fun. I hope yours all works out well, and you stop those nightmares! And, btw, my best to Garry with the cochlear implant!

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