December 4, 2022 · 8:05 am
To say that I have been busy over the last few years would be a huge understatement.
Buying a house, selling a house, packing, moving, unpacking, tying up loose ends before retiring, all while a worldwide pandemic was raging was tough.
When I retired, the first few months were spent clearing what I call “the backlog of backlogs”, tending to appointments and in-person shopping that I could not complete during the pandemic restrictions.
It was only after rejigging my retirement routine a few dozen times that I finally found time to catch my breath. That was when clarity started setting in.
I started noticing the finer details of the flora and fauna around our rural property. I found that my ability to remember names, dates and details was improving. Ideas for my writing would actually stick around for a while and not go “poof” if I didn’t write them down immediately.
But one day, after my morning shower, as I was applying my anti-perspirant, my new-found clarity turned to horror when I noticed the tissue in the triceps area flopping around. When did that happen? Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, stories
Tagged as age, aging, arms, commitment, exercise, fitness, flabby, gym, habits, muscle, muscles, program, sport, sports, time, tone, working out, workout
April 18, 2021 · 9:32 am
You would think that I would have been over the moon with delight about purchasing a new iPad. I wasn’t. In fact, I was annoyed at having to accept defeat.
My previous iPad was purchased in 2012, and throughout its nine years with me, it has been the source of countless hours of information, education and entertainment. It has also been an indispensable work tool in the development and maintenance of the blog that you are reading now.
With my iPad, I’ve sent hundreds of emails, listened to hours of music and read several books. I’ve binge watched shows on it when I wasn’t feeling well. I’ve passed time with it in airports (long before Covid-19 came along).
To me, the iPad was probably one of the best inventions ever, combining so many devices in one, enabling me to travel lighter, especially when I commuted to work by bus. My bad back appreciated this device many times over.
You would think that I could accept that a nine year run with any technological tool is an amazing feat these days, but there is a bit of a stubborn streak within me that just couldn’t bring myself to make that admission. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, pop culture
Tagged as accessibility, affordability, age, applications, apps, computers, dependability, hardware, longevity, obsolete, operating system, premature, software, sustainability, tablets, technology, updates, won't update
January 24, 2021 · 9:02 am
When I turned 55 last fall, I admit that I had a bit of a “life flashing before my eyes” experience. It wasn’t because I was having a near-death experience or anything like that, it was just the inevitable reminiscing that takes place around a major milestone, much like we do at New Year.
In that same train of thought, last month, I chose the date I will be retiring (in late spring), another pretty big life event. Since then, the subconscious walks down memory lane are hitting me faster than I can keep up with them which in turn, had me contemplating how we perceive time.
In chatting with family and friends (remotely, of course) over the holidays, I was reassured to hear that I am not alone in how my perception of time sometimes seems a little out of step with the clock and the calendar.
There is no doubt in my mind that I am indeed 55 years old and that I have offered up 33 years of my life to the public service, but in some ways it just doesn’t feel that way.
Deep down, I still feel like the same guy that I always was. But before I can allow myself to get too cocky about it, arthritis pops up to remind me that I am not as young as I think I am… that, and the fact that it takes an afternoon nap and copious amounts of caffeine to be able to watch Saturday Night Live (live) these days.
While my childhood seems like a distant place in time, sometimes feeling like it was hundreds of years ago, other life events seem significantly closer.
It really doesn’t seem that long ago that I was nearing the end of my university years, completely sick of studying, exams and homework, and itching to get on with my life. I vividly remember the hope for that “big break” into the working world. These are the scenes that seem to be replaying a lot in my head at the moment. Continue reading →
June 23, 2019 · 11:10 am
NOTE: This blog post is not intended as medical advice, nor do I represent myself as a medical professional. Please consult your doctor or health care professional if you feel pain, fatigue or discomfort when practicing any sport.
It is a blow to the ego to know that in 2014 I was able to run 21 kilometres as I prepared for a half-marathon, yet in the years that followed my distances kept getting shorter and shorter.
In those years, I was frustrated with myself when instead of shaving seconds from my personal bests, the durations of my runs were steadily getting longer. I often asked myself if this was what it meant to be over 50.
For someone who isn’t a jealous person by nature, I admit I felt envy in seeing my Facebook friends sharing their athletic accomplishments and their new personal bests.
For someone who was an active participant in a running club, I felt like I was letting down the team when I just couldn’t keep up… or even to make it out to a get together because I was too embarrassed to admit I had slowed down so much, compared to what I was able to do.
When someone would ask “How is the running going?” after years of saying I was sidelined due to injury, it felt like I was making excuses when my body just wouldn’t cooperate, no matter how many times I tried. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, Running
Tagged as age, band, connective, decline, fascia, fasciitis, iliotibial, injury, IT band, plantar, runner, running, shins, shins splints, slower, tissue, training
October 22, 2017 · 11:14 am
A couple of years ago, I wrote about my love-hate relationship with my iron in a tribute to my Dad and his crisp office shirts.
In that same train of thought, when growing up in the 1970’s, while in school in the 1980’s, and when launching my career in the 1990’s, the expectation was to have clean, neat and crisp clothes anytime I set foot outside the house, because “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Even if we look back at pictures from that era and question the wisdom of some of our fashion choices, neat and tidy clothing were a common denominator.
My parents’ suit-and-tie generation set the bar pretty high, even for a child. Clothes were meant to be worn gently, and maintained carefully to keep looking new as long as possible. The rotation generally went like this: every September, we got me new school clothes and the previous year’s school clothes (if I hadn’t outgrown them yet) became the “play clothes”, for wearing as soon as I got home from school. When a new batch of school clothes came in, a batch of gently-used play clothes would go to charity.
Along the way, a little nick in clothing meant taking out the needle and thread and try to make an invisible repair to restore it to its original beauty. And if invisible mending wasn’t successful, it went into the donation box.
That’s just the way I was brainwashed… I mean, brought up. It wasn’t just my parents’ generation that instilled this way of thinking, but it was my grandparents’ generation too who declared open war on wrinkles and holes long before I was born. And just think of the staff on Downtown Abbey and how many items they’ve darned and mended through their six seasons.
About 10 years ago, I let myself get talked into buying a distressed pair of brand name jeans with a few strategically-placed pulled threads. I can’t tell you what a struggle it was each time to convince myself to wear them and that I supposedly looked like a cool, edgy, fashion-forward 40 year old. I may have looked it, but I certainly didn’t feel it. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour
Tagged as age, age appropriate, apparel, art, blue jeans, clothes, clothing, demand, designer, designers, distressed, evolution, fashion, funny, generation gap, generations, history, holes, humor, humour, jeans, looks, men's fashion, mending, pendulum, retail, ripped, rips, self-expression, shopping, sociology, sophisticated, style, tears, wardrobe, women's fashion
August 6, 2017 · 8:56 am
Do you remember those childhood days when adding “… and a half” to our age was of critical importance? I was watching a TV show recently where they interviewed a young star who was asked how old he was. When he added “…and a half” it took me back. Waaaay back!
I can’t remember exactly when I started, but I recall adding “… and a half” to my age since the beginning of the school years when fractions were first introduced. “What a great invention!” I thought.
When I place myself back in childhood, I remember always being one of the shortest kids in my group of friends and when grown-ups would be guessing my age, they were always on the younger side.
While I’d like to think I’ve acquired better social skills since then, at the time, I did not hesitate in correcting those crazy grown-ups by telling them exactly how old I was. It seemed like adding “…and a half” proved them even more wrong.
In my 20’s, as my career was just starting, those halves would still show up from time to time in response to how many years I had been in the work force or how many years I lived in that first apartment, but the halves started losing their importance and fading from vocabulary. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Misc blogs
Tagged as "and a half", age, comedy, conversation, essay, essays, funny stories, funny story, half, half piece, half slice, half-empty, half-full, halves, humor, humour, idiom, idioms, vocabulary, years
July 31, 2016 · 10:35 am
It didn’t seem that long ago that it didn’t matter what day of the week it was, I could put in a full day at school or work, do something during the evening, even if it meant hanging out with friends until after midnight, and still get up the next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to grab the bull by the horns, to turn over a new leaf, and to move mountains.
I realize that the responsibilities of being an adult do consume a fair bit of time and energy. However, my responsibilities at work translate to food on the table, my mortgage and bills are covered and that I have the means to enjoy fun experiences in my down time.
But lately, a typical Friday night consists of picking up my groceries on the way home, then a reasonable facsimile of a meal for dinner, a glass of wine, watch the news, maybe one prime time show and then I am pretty much ready to call it a night.
When it comes to going out, there have been times that on the way back after an eventful evening, I see carloads of folks half my age headed in the opposite direction on their way out to party. Then I wonder what went wrong. That used to be me… “Where did my get up and go” go?
Worse yet is to wake up one morning and to be hit with the old familiar feeling: every classic symptom of a hangover. Then in thinking back, realizing that the night before was an evening on the couch with the cat, a ginger ale and Netflix. Sigh!
It should come as no surprise that my running joke about having a caffeine I.V. through the day seems to come up more and more often these days. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Inspiring
Tagged as 50+, age, aging, baby boomers, balance, boomer, clubbing, comedy, energy, extrovert, fatigue, friends, funny, getting older, going out, humor, humour, inspiration, introvert, mellow, mellowing, middle age, observational humour, partying, passion, retirement, wisdom, work life
July 22, 2016 · 7:12 pm
Salut tout le monde! Désolé si je n’écris pas plus souvent en français, mais j’avoue qu’en expression écrite, les mots me viennent plus facilement en anglais.
Cette fois, il me fallait absolument composer ce blogue en français parce que le sujet en question n’est pas commun au niveau de la langue anglaise. C’est la question de s’habituer à se faire appeler « vous ».
La première fois dont je me souviens m’être fait appeler « vous » c’était lors de mon premier vol Air Canada de Ottawa à Rouyn-Noranda en 1972. Une agente de bord bien charmante m’avait demandé ce que « vous voulez pour boire ». Quel honneur!
Franchement, il est bien possible m’avoir fait vouvoyer avant, mais c’était cette expérience très chic, sur un avion, qui a sans doute amplifié l’expérience et le souvenir pour un p’tit garçon de 7 ans comme moi. Ça m’avait vraiment chatouillé et marqué.
Au fil des années, on m’appelait « vous » de temps en temps, surtout dans le domaine du service à la clientèle. C’était bien respectueux. Ça faisait chaud au cœur. Le fait que c’était seulement à l’occasion le rendait encore plus spécial.
Mais dernièrement, « à l’occasion » est devenu une mensualité, qui est ensuite devenu hebdomadaire, et hélas, depuis que j’ai acquis mes 50 ans, ça fait presque partie de mon quotidien. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour
Tagged as age, blogue, français, générosité, gentillesse, humour, politesse, respect, tutoyer, vous, vouvoyer
February 14, 2016 · 12:48 pm
When I was told to make a wish before blowing out the candles on the cake for my 50th birthday, I have to admit that nothing ran through my mind at the time. I am very lucky in so many respects and have so much for which to be grateful. What could I possibly wish for that I did not have already?
The answer came a few days later: longer arms!
When it comes to my eyesight, here is the long and the short of it: while I can really see fine (without glasses) for a three to four foot radius, anything beyond that, I turn into Mr. Magoo and require glasses. This has been the case since around Grade 10, and with the exception of a token increase in my glasses prescription every few years, there has not been much change there.
The winds of change started blowing about 6 years ago, as the gap between my short range and long range vision started getting wider. My ophthalmologist couldn’t have been sweeter or more sensitive in gently discussing the “B” word (…bifocals) or the “P” word (…progressives) without ever shocking me into realizing that I wasn’t 21 anymore. She dropped hints and explained the options, never forcing the issue on me and she always concluded our little chat about the facts of life with, “You’ll know when it is a problem and you need that correction.”
Up until now, it really has not been a bother. If I wanted to read, or do something on the iPad or iPhone, I would usually just flip my glasses up on top of my head and do what I needed, and flip the glasses back down onto my nose when I was done.
Also, because the frames on my last few pair of glasses were a bit smaller, I got used to cheating a little and just looking down, below the frame. It worked, especially for quick little things like signing a document or looking at the time.
However, last year, Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour
Tagged as age, aging, anecdotes, bifocals, eyes, glasses, humour, lenses, observational, perspective, progressives
December 5, 2015 · 9:26 am
A few weeks ago, I was listening to the 6:00 news when my ears pricked up on a story about an “elderly” woman who was in a serious car accident. The report went on to talk about “the 72-year-old woman”. My first reaction of course was compassion and sympathy for the poor lady and her family, but my second reaction was: “Hold the presses! Since when is 72 elderly?”
I would not be a gentleman if I openly divulged my mother’s age to explain why this resonated so strongly, but let’s just say, I’m 50… you can do the math.
When Mom and I chatted that evening, she started talking about a news item that hit close to home and I completed her sentence with, “…about the ‘elderly’ 72 year old?” She said yes.
Later that evening, I wondered why that choice of words in particular elicited a reaction from both of us. I checked a few online dictionaries for a textbook definition of elderly and to my surprise, the consensus seems to read that it is the time after middle age but without any further elaboration.
This came as a relief because most of the septuagenarians I know are looking pretty darn chipper, enjoying a great quality of life and living longer, healthier lives.
I was also reassured that it was not just us who had an inkling that the word elderly seemed a tad inappropriate when I read a great NPR article by Linton Weeks called “An Age-Old Problem: ‘Who Is Elderly’?”
Mr. Weeks traces back the roots of the word to the 10th century, as suggested by the Oxford English Dictionary and defined as ‘in a wider sense, a predecessor, one who lived in former days’.” For centuries, the term elder commanded respect and reverence for their knowledge and wisdom.
But I think Mr. Weeks hits the nail on the head Continue reading →