Enjoyed this? Share it, and attribute it. Copyright 2014, Bubby Joys and Oys, M. Hendeles
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Change #1: My parents’ house emptied over time, filling up only on Holidays with oodles of children and grandchildren, only to be re-emptied after the Holidays, with the toys placed neatly back in the basement.
Change #2: My parents covered every last inch of their grand piano surface with photos of the grandchildren and later on, the great grandchildren.
Change #3: My parents “de-child proofed” their home, meaning that their not-so-soft-edged coffee table was once again prominently displayed on their hardwood flooring. Only when the oodles of children arrived for the Holidays did this coffee table get pushed to the side of the room to make way for the children to play freely with the blocks, Lego bricks and other toys.
Change #4: My parents subscribed to the AARP organization – a membership or organization that has a magazine, and provides benefits for middle aged people and beyond.
According to their mission statement, AARP or American Association of Retired Persons, founded in 1958, is a “a nonprofit, …. organization for people age 50 and over … dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age.”
Okay, I get the part about enhancing our lives as we age. Fine.
But, what in the world is a “retired person?” I know a “retired worker” is someone (above age 65 usually) who retires from working at a paid job.
But a “retired person?” Huh? Do people retire as human beings? Do we no longer exist in our capacity as people, and move on to another stage of “persons who are retired?”
Retired. Does that mean someone who goes to sleep for the night? For the remainder of his life?
Does a retired person mean someone who is a senior or elderly person?
Is a retired person someone whose brain has God forbid retired from use?
One reason I’m so hung up over this term is that a few weeks ago I subscribed to this organization. I got a letter in the mail about it, and how I could get certain benefits, so I figured why not?
I paid my $16.00 and forgot about it. Then, the day after our youngest son left for an East Coast “Yeshiva” (Jewish post-high school), I got the card in the mail.
Now that I’m an honored member of this Club, I’d like to know more about its title, its benefits and what it means for me.
Benefits of Membership into The Club:
On the one hand, I’m happy that now we have some extra benefits. AARP gives good deals and discounts on gas, hotels, life insurance, medical insurance, movies and many more.
But I’m also somewhat fixated on that phrase “retired persons.” Trying to be positive and upbeat, I shared our new membership acceptance with my husband.
He took a look at the shiny new red and white card and scoffed, “Oh – they’re just a bunch of liberals!”
I said, “Liberal, shmiberals. We can get discounts at the movies!”
While he put the card in his wallet, he commented, “tell me more…”
“Read the thick packet that came in the mail.”
“Who has time to read all that?”
And so our conversation went. And then I wondered if retired person means “one who retires from pleasant conversation.”
So we’re not so old, right?
I browsed through a recent issue of the magazine. Many of the topics covered seem relevant to younger persons, or un-retired persons. Topics such as nutrition, health, relationships. These were covered in this Retired Person’s Magazine and I felt reassured that I am still an active member of the Club of Persons – retired or un-retired.
Bottom Line for Us:
Bottom line is we are not cancelling our membership. For now, our respective cards sit in our wallet together with the AAA card, driver’s license and some credit cards.
You never know, we may just pull it out when we go on vacation to a hotel.
That is, if we remember that it’s in our wallets.
Tags: AARP, adapting to old age, elderly people, empty nest syndrome, old age, psychological adjustment to aging, retired people, senior citizens