You get up achy, stiff and tired. You check the obituary listings to see who's still around. You meet with friends and everyone complains about being ignored by family, former business associates and the few friends who are still around. Your opinions are never taken seriously and you feel your relatives resent you for living too long and spending what would have been their inheritance.
It's time some of us seniors proved to ourselves that we're still vital and productive members of society. Here are 10 commandments:
Get up and force yourself to exercise every morning. Anything you do will make you feel mentally and physically better.
As long as you don't see your own name in the obituary list, you're better off than those in the list, and you can begin to challenge the new day.
Instead of complaining about your family, recall how great they are and what they have accomplished and achieved. You should be proud of them, but more important, they should be proud of you.
Your opinions and viewpoints are important to you and you should not be ashamed to express them regardless of how outlandish. It shows you are thinking and trying to stay up with the world.
Try traveling to see different parts of this country and the world. There are many organizations that cater to seniors, such as Elderhostels, Tauck Tours and Cruises.
Go to movies in the afternoon (popcorn is free on Tuesday). For hearing problems, look for foreign films with English subtitles.
Take chartered bus tours to parks, museums, theaters and casinos. Take very little money to the casinos and always look for the free or inexpensive buffets. The ride is relaxing and the scenery is beautiful.
Check out your library's section of books in large print. The most current fiction and non-fiction are now printed in both regular and large font sizes.
Recognize and accept that you're a senior. When driving your car becomes dangerous, turn in your license and keys before your children start to pressure you.
Always regard yourself as number one. Your children will respect you for your independence.
So get off you duff and live each day to the fullest. Enjoy your wife or husband, find a friend, a partner or, yes even a new spouse to share your life. If you don't have one, keep on looking; it's never too late.
Sue Miller is the author of I'm Tougher Than I Look (Williams Cohen Press, 2006). You can visit her Web site at www.imtougherthanilook.com.