A Day in the Life of Ageingman

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a lighthearted look at one day in the life of an aging man

Submitted: August 04, 2017

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Submitted: August 04, 2017

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A Day in the Life of Agingman

I woke up this morning in my own bed in my own home. I stretched, looked around, and smiled.  It was going to be a great day. I knew that because I was still alive (it is a private joke among many seniors that any day you wake up is a great day).  I lay in bed for a few minutes trying to organize my thoughts, there was something I was supposed to do today, what was it? Oh, right, go to the mall and buy a birthday present for my wife’s eightieth birthday, then go to the gym. I have to do that before I play pool this evening. It’s going to be a long day. I wash, comb my hair and check my blood sugar, its 84, not bad. I inject my insulin and go to the table for breakfast.

My wife (I don’t know what I did to deserve her) made one of my favorite breakfasts for us this morning, her own recipe for sourdough waffles. While the coffee is brewing I swallow my morning quota of 12 pills (half are for diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems and my missing thyroid. The other half are over the counter vitamins, etc.).  Afterwards, as I’m clearing the table, I reflect for a moment on our fifty three years of marriage. Where did they all go? I still remember the unlikely events that led me to her as clearly as if they had happened yesterday. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the luckiest day of my life.

Well, I’d better move “on the double” as they used to yell at me when I was a private in the Marines.  The first thing I do after breakfast is log on to my computer to pay my bills and check and delete most of my e-mail. Then I check the charges and balances in my bank account against what I have entered into my “Money” program. When everything is balanced I arrange for the bank to send out checks to the accounts that need to be paid.

Now it time to go to the mall, and I hate malls. I was the district manager for twenty years for three stores that were in malls, and I am not sorry to see so many malls going out of business .Their base rents are extravagant, and they charge you additionally with something they call “percentage rent” when you finally start making a profit. I seldom buy things because I don’t like to shop. My idea of a day at the mall is to be in and out in less than fifteen minutes. It doesn’t always work out that way but I try.  Now it’s time for me to hit the freeway because I don’t want to get caught in the rush hour traffic.

California freeways have a notorious reputation, and it is well earned. I’ve been driving many of them for more than fifty years and they haven’t improved much since the day the Hollywood freeway (the world’s largest parking lot) was finished.  Thankfully, I don’t live in Los Angeles anymore, but in relatively sane Riverside county. But we are overcrowded here too.  In my younger, bachelor days, I drove a little British sports car (a Triumph 3) and could weave in and out of traffic at 70 miles an hour or so with ease. Today I will stay in the slow lane and follow the 65 MPH speed limit. My reflexes aren’t as fast as they used to be.

The problem with following the speed limit is that nobody else wants to. Even now, as I approach my off ramp, cars are breezing by me at 80 MPH or faster. I am being tailgated by some “cowboy” in a pickup truck. He is stomping on his horn and making wild gestures.  I try to ignore him. What am I supposed to do, drive on the shoulder so he can pass me? No way! Now he’s cut into traffic in the lane next to me and is rolling his window down. As he goes speeding by his middle finger is in the air waving at me and he yells “GET OFF THE FREEWAY GRANDPA!” The asshole. “GO SWIVE YOURSELF!” I yell back (it’s a real word and It means exactly what you think it means, look it up). It surprising the words you can learn by playing Scrabble against a computer. The screaming doesn’t help either one of us, it is just our way of venting our frustration with the traffic. I anticipate him cutting back in front of me and slow down before he does. Then it’s off the freeway and into the mall (out of the pot and into the frying pan).

I park in a space farthest from the mall entrance. This is partially out of habit, because when you work in a mall you are required to park in the worst areas of the parking lot, but is also because I don’t want people banging their car door against my car, it is beat up enough as it is. Then it is time for my 15 minutes in the mall. I know exactly where I’m going, because I planned this trip thoroughly. There is a store here that is the only one in town that carries the dark European chocolate that my wife likes, and I head right to it. On the way I pass a Victoria’s Secret store. Unfortunately, there’s nothing of interest to me in there. The Waze app on my I phone led me to the entrance nearest to the store I needed, so I was able to get what I wanted and be out of the mall in less than ten minutes. It was definitely going to be a good day. I was able to beat the rush hour traffic on my way home. I changed into my gym clothes and went to the gym. I have a routine I developed over the past seven years, after I retired from my last career as the main banker in a large casino at the age of seventy four (prior careers were chief draftsman for an electronics company, licensed real estate salesman, licensed stock salesman, proprietor of a pack & ship business, and the previously mentioned retails stores I managed for 20 years). In between I wrote a novel (good idea) and self published it (bad idea). I also wrote the thirty or so stories and articles published here on booksie (great idea).

My gym workout starts with fifteen minutes on a treadmill. After a 2 minute warmup, I increase the speed every minute and the incline every two minutes.  When I finish I have doubled my resting heart rate of about 50 to a little over 100. Then it time for the weight machines. I use seven of them, with weights ranging from 15 to 35 pounds, with fifteen reps on each machine. It’s enough to keep me healthy without working up a sweat or getting aches and pains. I leave feeling tired but not exhausted.  It’s a good feeling.

After a light lunch I pick up my I pad and settle into my easy chair and log on to Lumosity.  Having exercised my body it is now time to exercise my brains. The first challenge tests my memory, and I don’t do very well on it. The math challenge is next , and  I am much better at that. The final one tests my ability to multi-task, which I usually do fairly well.

Then it’s time for some fun. I log on to a bridge site where I play bridge with three robots (1 partner and two opponents). I didn’t do very well when I first started, but after learning their bidding system I’ve been able to win some tournaments.  On the two nights that I play pool I use the app I bought to practice on, since I don’t have a pool table.  It is close enough to the real thing to help me.

It is the last week of the summer season for the two pool teams I play on in the APA (American Pool players Association). Today, Monday, I play only 8-ball. On Thursday I play both 8-ball and 9-ball on a different team.  Both teams have had a good season and will be in the playoffs. I am in first place for the MVP award for 8-ball by a mere half of a percentage point, and will have to have a good night to win it. I have a comfortable lead for the MVP in 9-ball, so there is no pressure come Thursday.

It is now almost mid-night and time for me to end the story of my day. I have had some Black Velvet over ice to celebrate my successful evening and make the recorded news I watch go down a little easier. I hope that this story will encourage people about to retire or that already have retired to think about all of the activities that they can still participate in and to be optimistic about the future. I am going to sleep now. I hope that tomorrow will be a great day. If not, I can assure you that I tried to make the most of the great days that I had.


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