Saturday, September 29, 2012

Retirement Issues — The Retirement 10

You’ve probably heard of “the Freshman 10” — the ten pounds many freshmen gain when they go off to college. Well, I’ve discovered that there’s a “Retirement 10.” In fact, there are quite a few retirement tens.

In the year or so since I retired, I gained 10 pounds. I’m now at my highest weight ever. Directly related to the weight gain, my waist seems to have expanded about 10 inches. OK. Not all the time. But on certain days, after certain meals… I know—TMI.

I doubt the fact that I now need 10 hours of sleep to feel rested, instead of the eight or nine I used to need, is connected to my poundage. I’ve heard reports that not getting enough sleep can lead to increases in weight, but I’ve never heard the opposite.

Some of the other tens I’ve noticed: it takes me 10 minutes longer to do my floor exercises every morning (and it’s the same number of reps), and 10 minutes longer to put on my walking shoes (even when I use the long-handled shoe horn). Adjusting those laces and tying them takes forever. I think that’s because I have a lot more midsection in the way. Velcro is starting to look very appealing.

I’ve counted 10 times as many goat hairs on my chin and 10 times as many liver spots on my face and hands. It also seems that I need to dye my roots about every 10 days, instead of every three or four weeks. My gray shows up so much faster now that I’m retired. I bruise about 10 times as easily, too. That’s probably because I bump into things 10 times as often. I'm 10 pounds wider, after all.

Some things are going in the opposite direction, but are still reflected in tens. I shrank about 1/10 of an inch this past year. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a downward spiral. My attention span is also shrinking; it’s now down to about 10 minutes. That’s probably on a downward spiral as well.

The scariest ten of all, especially when I think about the stereotype of older women: I feel I would need at least 10 cats to get my daily quota of hugs before they become antsy. Having just two of them leaves me sadly wanting.

Every time I pass the kitten adoption area in Petco, it’s harder and harder to keep walking to the natural litter section. (They put that in the back, so you have to pass all the kitty condos, too.) Then I lift up that 20 pound bag and think: “Eh. Two cats are plenty.”

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