There are just some things this old boomer would prefer to no longer do . . .

As I was contemplating an uncoming overnight stay away from home the other day, it suddenly struck me that we have become our parents. I remember my parents becoming increasingly reluctant to come to the city to visit me as they got older. Now, I totally get it. There are many things we baby boomers are longer comfortable doing and many other things we find ourselves doing that we never thought we would.

These days it’s early to bed and early to rise get up whenever we damn well feel like it!

In our group of friends, we often joke that we find ourselves going home from a dinner party or other social event at the same time we once departed for a night on the town. Eight-thirty seems to be the sweet spot to say goodnight to our hosts or friends and head home for a final hour of television and a sip of Bailey’s on ice before going to bed. And these days, even going to bed has a totally different connotation than it did all those years ago. You know what I mean.

Another complication that has arisen for our age group, is the reluctance to drive after dark. I clearly remember being astonished and even amused when friends of my parents announced that they didn’t like to drive after dark. Now, thanks to aging eyes, halo vision, cataracts, and various other impairments, we too avoid night driving. Fortunately, we’re making the world a safer place for everyone. You’re welcome!

Traveling has now become an activity that we think twice before undertaking. Thank goodness we already have many wonderful trips under our belt—France, Italy, Las Vegas, England, Spain, and Hawaii—they are all destinations we will probably never visit again. Traveling has become a nightmare, even for the younger generations. Cramped planes, lost luggage, customs and security hassles, flight delays, and three-hour (or more) airport wait times are major deterrents to travel. Spare me.

As we’ve aged, many friends have moved to different towns, cities, or villages which make us reluctant about making the drive to visit them. This is further complicated by Canadian weather which precludes any kind of road trip between November and April. We inevitably defer and prefer to sleep in our own beds at night. Overnights and night driving are breaking up this old gang of mine. Sad indeed.

Visiting out-of-town friends during a Canadian winter can be a life-or-death proposition, so we prefer to stay home.

On the subject of moving out of the city for a quieter, less expensive lifestyle (and cheaper real estate), there are once again a number of factors to be taken into consideration that were never an issue when we were younger. Would our new home be close to hospitals, cancer treatment centers, or specialists? Would we have to commandeer someone to drive us to the city for tests and appointments with medical specialists? With the chronic shortage of doctors in small communities, would we even be able to find a family doctor?

We may not be able to party like we once did but as soon as the DJ starts playing sixties music we hit the dance floor faster than you can say Creedence Clearwater.

One of the more unfortunate consequences of aging is our inability to hold our booze like we once did. One hefty glass of Pinot Grigio is pretty much my limit these days. Otherwise, I start to feel hung-over and properly shitty. Gone are the days when we could sit at the dinner table for hours with friends polishing off bottle after bottle of cheap wine that we were convinced enhanced our personality and our I.Q.

Be still my broken arches!

Our fashion sense has taken a hit as well. Do you know any boomer broad alive today who can still wear stilettos or any kind of high-heel? No one in my circle of friends can maneuver in heels. We’ve opted for industrial strength arch supports, sneakers, Birkies, and cushiony rubber soles all-round. We celebrate and revere our stretch jeans which allow us to look and dress like we’re still somewhat cool but we no longer tuck anything in at the waist, thanks to menopause. Forgiving waistbands are de rigueur.

We’ve decided to forego risky behaviours for activities more in line with simply enjoying ourselves.

Dangerous or risky sports have been replaced by golf, playing cards, yoga, daily walks, and Netflix. Some of my own friends have even given up pickleball after sustaining injuries. No more black diamond ski hills, running marathons, or even running at all. We’re not taking a chance on damaging our replacement hips and knee joints.

All the work involved with large-scale entertaining has been replaced by cocktail hours, small dinners for four or six people, or, better still, meeting at a restaurant for dinner. Leave all the cooking for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners to the younger generation. It’s their turn now.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t view any of these lifestyle changes and considerations in a negative light. Not at all! We’ve chosen comfort over convention; safety over stupidity, practicality over uselessness, and a good life over conformity.

We love sleeping in our own beds each night, slipping into comfortable clothes every day, enjoying our life’s special treats with a degree of sensibility, and most importantly, finally putting ourselves first. After a lifetime of working to keep the wolf away, often at jobs that we found exhausting or unsatisfying, we’ve earned these last few years of doing whatever we like, whenever we like, and with no apologies to anyone for the choices we make. We’re finally our own boss and we like it. These are truly the best years of our lives. Have you made any significant lifestyle changes since retiring?





0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Linda Fox
Linda Fox
8 months ago

What major change have we made since retiring … hmmmmm .. that’s easy. My husband and I don’t go anywhere before noon. We just can’t get it together. Mornings are spent sitting in bed drinking coffee and watching news from around the world. I am not sure how we are going to make our 8:15 am flight to Toronto in July but it’s in the back of my mind (what do they say, you can take the girl out of the office, but you can’t take the office out of the girl). With the help of carry-on only, AirTags and… Read more »