Just when you thought you were ready to retire, you're actually entering a new line of work The Maintenance Business. A non-profit group, of individual contractors, whose primary function is staying alive; as pain-free, stress, guilt and depression free, as age, as possible. It's tough work, and the only reward is, if you do it right, and your lucky, you get to do again tomorrow; As yet there is no instruction manual, or "How To" books, from some on the job training here are a couple of insights
The average Maintenance man is on at least two of the following prescription drugs; a staten for cholesterol, something for arthritis, high or low blood pressure, back, eyes, digestion, and prostate or sleep problems. Then there are the commercials for diseases you're sure you have, and with every new symptom, you do as told and, "Ask your doctor." It adds up to about 10 pills a day: plus vitamins, Metamucil, allergy and digestive aids. Beside the cost, a major concern is scheduling, since most should be taken with meals. The good news is they replace desert, which is great for cholesterol and diabetes. The rest are spread throughout the day, and are taken with a full glass of water, making eight pm the end of the safety zone for those with prostate issues; If you need something to sleep, taken at bedtime, you have created, the perfect storm.
If you're on the job long enough, you'll be faced with the breakdown of some equipment, and the choice to fix, replace, or live with it. The decision rests on the importance of the part and how long you hope to stay in the business. As a result, you will get involved with a series of doctors, since there is now one specializing in each your bodies 289 parts. The one stop GP of your youth is more of a travel agent than a healer, sending you on a never-ending journey to, "the right guy for this". Doctor visit are a big part of your new career, and learning some simple rules will help mentally, if not physically: don't get upset until you have waited at least one hour after your appointment time, get them to handle the insurance and try to get samples of any and all prescription drugs; even if you're not taking them, you probably will, and know someone who is.
Exercise is important for body, but don't waste time remembering how good you used to be (This also pertains to sex).
Two good friends are also needed for your maintenance since three is the perfect number to recall the dates, places, and names that don't really matter, but cause untold concern, just because you can't remember them. Memory will start to go, and for those times, when you wake at 3 a.m., and desperately need to remember the name of a bit player, in a movie you didn't even like. Since it's too late to call the other two-thirds of your recall team, the alphabet is a handy tool. If you run through it a couple of times, and still haven't found the name, you'll probably fall back to sleep in the process.
Naturally your family and possessions have all aged right along with you, and constantly need repairs, and extra care, as does the family pet. You've had him since he was a pup or a kitten so, in animal years he's older than you. Do whatever it takes to keep him going, because given the opportunity; he would do the same for you.
Most important as you enter this next phase of your life, be sure to maintain a sense of humor.
Bill Persky's book My Life Is a Situation Comedy is now available on Amazon.com.