Aging Gracefully into 62, Part 2 – Returning to Work as a Senior
The logistics, physically and emotionally, of returning to work as a senior. Commuting, snacks, sleep, and more.
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Returning to Work as a Senior
Other “Aging Gracefully” Related Links
Aging Gracefully into 62, Part 3 – Breathing, the Nano Stretch with Mucho Effect (in progress)
Returning to Work as a Senior
It’s not that, when I was younger, these things I’ve had to deal with on returning to work didn’t matter or happen or exist, it’s just that, after an extended time of not working full time, and being older, there’s things to remember, and things to work out.
Whether one is returning to full time work of necessity or desire, and whether for a set temporary time (such as in my case) or for an indeterminate amount of time, things come up that frankly I hadn’t thought much of when I was in the midst of a lifetime of full time working.
In no particular order, these are some of the things I hadn’t expected to have to deal with, and how I adjusted to them.
There’s no surprise secrets I believe.
It’s just many of the things I hadn’t needed to pay much attention to in quite awhile.
And honestly, when I did work full time, I didn’t pay much attention to all this then. I was like a fish in water, totally unaware of the currents all around me…
Diversify your lunch.
Provide a variety of snacks for yourself.
I especially konk-out (run out of steam) mid-afternoon, 2ish, and have found certain fruit and other snacks to be a great pick me up.
Choose food with its sugar embedded in its fiber over a liquid alternative if you can.
Not that I’d eat all that at once, though at one time I might have!
Oh, the plant is optional, but is great visual food. 😉 Sheila reminded me, that decorative plant do feed us, with oxygen!
Eat alone sometimes. Join folks another time.
Take a small piece out into the sunlight and eat it outside.
Try different things. It’s ok to repeat something you really like as long as you like.
Food should be healthy, but also should be fun. 😉
Move. Get up, sit down, stretch.
Use your other hand to work the computer mouse.
Stand on tip-toes at the copier. If your doctor says it’s ok, arch your back against your chair back, or rotate your neck and head gently.
You’re working hard, it’s natural to need to stretch!
Use the stairs if practical. Walk around the building.
If someone looks at you funny because the first few steps you take after getting up off your chair are sluggish, jokingly tell them you’re getting old(er), but gonna keep moving.
People will understand. There are some nice things about getting old(er). 😉
Expectations are more relaxed. Enjoyable. Doable.
Bathroom Breaks and Other Such Things
Seniors as a group are among the most dependable workers an employer can have. And we may seem slower (and are in some things 😉 ) but there’s good reasons for that, and good trade-offs from that.
In exchange, leeway usually needs to be made for us needing things more usual for our age.
Going to the bathroom. Needing more sips of water. More (good) snacks. Pacing.
When I have a new person watching over my work, I try to always let them know I’ll be taking frequent bathroom breaks. Don’t suffer for needing to do something that is natural.
I found this well put thought on a site page at Home Care Assistance via my google search above:
“Bathroom breaks are a must of seniors. Depending on the way in which you are traveling, allow a number of breaks. However, restricting the amount of fluid intake is not the answer to decreasing their number of bathroom breaks. Doing this can cause a urinary tract infection.” (emphasis mine)
As we age, our thirst sensors are not what they used to be. 😉 We should sip regularly. 😉
Again, let people around you at work that need to know, know.
If you haven’t driven today’s roads in awhile, be prepared for people who think they’re driving bumper cars, people who swear they have no problem texting (head down of course) and navigating a two ton vehicle beside you, and people think they’re leaving late is justification for you to know they need to get by, now. 😉
Trains and buses can quickly become an alternative transportation choice under these circumstances!
Even here in Austin, which doesn’t even have an adequate freeway system (vs Houston, Dallas, etc), now has a pretty decent commuter train, and is developing something they call a MetroRapid system for 2014.
I hear of some folks carpooling successfully.
Anything that cuts the stress of driving in endless daily traffic is worth checking out.
I’ve taken the rail here in Austin a few times, and enjoy the time to read, look out the window, daydream, and let my body relax.
Try some things out, see what works.
ps – I gave up a long ago dream of riding a motorcycle or scooter to work. 😉
Lack of Free Time
If you haven’t worked full time in awhile, the gutting of your free time, and your exhaustion after work, will shock you.
Be prepared to choose what you will have time to do, what means most for you to be still be able to do, and what you need to do.
Experiment for the answer.
It took me two and a half weeks to figure out what time to get up that allowed me to function at a full time job at the level I could be both proud of, and comfortable with.
Then another week to realize what time I needed to go to sleep to make all that happen from that end of the day. 😉
Some things will have to be let go.
Most things you’ll be able to get back to when there’s more time.
And some things, don’t kid yourself, will forever drift away for another time…
This is really much harder than people younger would think it is for a senior. But a more restricted energy base to work from, and a longer recovery (sleep and rest) time needed, means being called at eight in the evening to go do a fun thing until ten or eleven that night, probably means either saying no, or suffering really badly for it the next day.
Tell them the truth. You’re getting old(er). And smile.
They’ll understand. Sorta. 😉
Cut yourself short here at your own probable intense discomfort.
Sleep is the secret weapon of babies and older folk. 😉
Sleep is not an option. It’s a necessity.
Who knows, you might wake up in a yoga pose. 😉
And with that I leave you for my own rest. Thank you much. Good night all. 😉
Before I return to my full time temp job that resumes next week, I’ll be doing one more fitness slanted posts before also returning to my Paris Photo series.
I still have 4 1/2 weeks of photos detailing our recent stay in Paris.
But I wanted to finish this short three post set before my time is more constrained again.
Luckily I enjoy my full time temp work. And it’s seasonal. So like the trees and squirrels, I know I’ll get my time to spread my branches and scamper along tree tops soon enough again. 😉
namaste´- con dios – god be with you
INTEGRATING YOGA FITNESS AND THE ARTS
- Paris in 5 1/2 Weeks : Photos # 8 – At the Eiffel Tower (Day 7, 2 of 2) (felipeadanlerma.com)
- Oprah Discusses Joys of Getting Older + 5 Other Celebs Who Are Aging Gracefully (myhoustonmajic.com)
- The Indie Spotlight : “The Old American Artist, a Love Story” (felipeadanlerma.com)
- PhotoPoem: “Passages in Moments”