Monday, July 29, 2019

Retirement and Me

I am officially "retired" from paying day jobs.

At 61 I was working part-time at an assisted living facility as the Program Director. I really liked that job. I helped people every day and I was always learning something new.

For example, I learned how to set a banquet table (thanks Val!), how to conduct a book club and Bible study (thanks Carol and Martin!), and how to announce Bingo numbers without getting distracted (thanks Boogy!).

However, some of my duties were becoming boring, like making popcorn for afternoon movie time. And I was growing weary of folding and lifting wheelchairs into vehicles.

Someone mentioned to me that I could actually '"retire" at age 62 – that is, receive Social Security benefits. I don't recall exactly, but this person might have been one of the residents at the center, probably hoping, after another botched batch of popcorn, that I'd move on.

Anyway, a wee bit of investigation later, I discovered that:
1. I could begin receiving Social Security benefits at 62, and
2. The monthly amount I would receive at 62 was a few dollars less than what I would receive if I waited until 65, and
3. The monthly amount I would receive was equal to my salary at my part-time day job.


Quick calculations!

I could receive retirement payments at 62 and quit my day job, and stay home to do what I really love.

Down side?

Well, sure, if I stayed at work and received those payments, I'd make twice as much to take home. If I continued working and waited until I was 65, I'd fill my pockets with even more money.

What would you decide? Would that change for you at a different age?

If you read the first post in my blog, you know I'm 65. What do you think I decided?

Stop by next Monday to find out. Meantime, whatever your age, have a lovely, kindly week!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Why the Title? Why "Silvering"?

Wrinkles, creaking joints, inability to recall simple words, and especially gray hair, are all signs of growing old. Of ageing.
In our culture, growing old has a bad rep, and gray hair is the symbol.
Consider the articles in the news about the "graying" of America. They aren't referring to our fingernails, although fingernails and toenails can get gnarled with age. And they aren't referring to changes in our skin. Can you imagine articles about the "wrinkling" of America?
They are referring to hair color. When humans age, our hair changes color.
Personally, I always thought it would be great to get a change of hair color without having to work at it. Imagine that at twenty or thirty, our hair becomes purple or blue. In our fifties our hair becomes red or green. In our sixties and seventies, our hair becomes white.
That already happens. Our hair naturally becomes a different color as we grow into our fifth, sixth and seventh decades. Gradually, our original hairs are replaced by white hairs. This process makes our hair appear gray-colored for several years.
I love that my hair will one day be white – a blank slate, a new canvas, a crisp new snowfall. I could do so much with white hair!

[ These photos are multiplying and I can't stop them! ARGH!]
I particularly like the black with a white fringe in the front. Well … but the pastels on flowing curls is nice. What do you think?
Lately, when I see women whose hair color is changing, I've noticed that the hair strands glimmer, as though they are teeny, tiny wires. They aren't actually dull gray, like iron or pewter. The hair may look that way, at that moment, but it is changing, strand by strand,  to a bright and glimmering color.
The color is silver.
Wouldn't you rather have silver hair than gray hair?
Silver is a color of jewelry, of strong swords and daggers, of 25 years of commitment. It's a precious metal, but common, unlike gold. Common folk throughout history could own something made of silver. Sure it required polishing, but the gleam has always been worth it.

I don't want to my hair to turn to gray, and I'm convinced that no one else's turns gray. It turns silver.
We are not graying here in America, or all over the world, we are silvering.
This blog is about my own silvering; my growth into the last three decades of my life. Join me for the journey: good and bad, ugly and beautiful.