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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: What do you do all day?

Posted on 04 April 2019 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



There are some people I know who unintentionally sound rude in simply expressing their curiosity when they ask, “What do you do all day?” Actually, I interpret that as a coded unstated question which, in reality, goes like this, “So, old lady, what’s it like to live alone?”

My answer: “Oh Baby! For me, it’s the last phase-of-life dream – being responsible to no one, a reward for all those, yes, mostly wonderful years of being what my family needed me to be but, to be frank, was not always the real me. Now, I am able to navigate from day to day, my journey of choice, while wallowing in long delicious silences as well as whatever sounds I consciously seek.

First, as always, I need to acknowledge that I am lucky, lucky, lucky to be in relatively good health — able to drive, walk (not so well), see and hear (could be better, but…), read (with a magnifying glass), think, feel, muse, ponder, explore, converse and use, with some ease, computer and smart phone.

So, “what do I do all day?” I am out of bed any time between 6 and 8 a.m., and then washed, showered, exercised (daily), dressed and en route to the kitchen, during which lightning-quick time, I alight on my choice of breakfast . Not one to fall into habit, my need for variety sometimes causes the (minor) stress of decision making – as in, what to eat for breakfast, despite that my singular most important mantra is “avoid stress.”

If it’s Sunday, I bike and then read the New York Times, which could account for a major part of the day. Other days, I have the following options (some more chosen commitments than options): prepare for or facilitate a Memoir Writing Class (since the year 2000), co-facilitate a therapeutic support group, go to the Boca Downtown library where, after doing my business, I often just sit on the outdoor swing in the community garden and study the variety of growing veggies, putter around in my own teeny tiny garden caring for the “real” growth and admiring the fake ones that make me smile, invite company for a meal (I love to create my own recipes, which I can never duplicate), keep in touch with friends and family by phone, text, e-mail or snail mail or actual eyeball to eyeball and touch depending on their advanced or laggard ability to communicate and their geographical location. I walk for about 20 minutes in my apartment on a straight path while watching TV or outdoors around a local lake, write a poem, or check out a newly discovered website or TED talk, spend time with Google and Amazon, direct “Alexa” to play music of my current mood while I listen quietly and think great thoughts, the latter sometimes even without the music, plus the usual mandated chores which keep my house tidy the way I like it. I love to wander in Publix and Dollar stores, beach and pool, of course. [I watch] very limited TV, even as I am addicted to “news” (whatever that is, these days), but that’s a whole separate column. I take occasional local three to five day runaways with friends, exploring the glorious diversity of our state. And, as self appointed president of the “Nap Society,” I indulge frequently and highly regard it as a life extending activity.

It’s a good life and I love living it.

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