I’m 64 on my way to 65. Looking forward to Medicare and Social Security. I’m not planning to retire yet, but I’m slowly easing towards it. I’m in relatively good health. I am still a workaholic and always have projects going on, but I’ve substantially shifted gears. I work whatever hours I wish, usually early in the morning or late at night. I do the same with writing and recording class videos. Most of my deadlines these days are self-imposed.
I’ve worked remotely from home since 2015. Between 2015-2020, I also continued to maintain a small base of massage clients, which I let go when COVID started. Although I still have my massage license and plan to keep it for a few more years, I don’t intend to ever go back to regular practice. I have one client that I’ve seen almost daily for close to a year; she’s 39 and in a wheelchair due to an aneurysm and two strokes. She lives close by so I drop in most days for 20-30 minutes and do range of motion exercises with her and a little bit of “feel-good” massage. It feeds my soul and hopefully does some good for her. I get occasional messages from people on social media wanting to book massage with me, and so far, I’ve declined to take on any further clients. I don’t really foresee that changing.
I have a sign on my front porch that says, “Let’s Stay Home.” That’s my attitude these days. I have accepted a teaching gig at the Texas AMTA meeting in April, also one at NC AMTA in April, and I will of course be at the World Massage Festival as usual this year and hopefully for as long as it lasts. I will probably go down to FSMTA, also in July, since my brothers live nearby and I usually combine that with a visit to them. I am volunteering with FSMTB this year and will probably have to make a trip or two for them, but I plan to never have another schedule that requires frequent trips away from home…because I want to be at home.
For years, I was out playing music on weekends, and that’s over, too. My picking and grinning takes place on the porch, or at an occasional jam session on the mountaintop with my friends in good weather. I’m past the point of waiting until 9pm to start playing and not crawling home until the wee hours of the morning. Neither my husband nor I like to drive at night, and we don’t drink and drive, so we’ve turned into two old coots who don’t get out much. We’ve been to a few concerts in the past couple of years, but Robert Plant, Jason Isbell, or Billy Strings is going to have to appear in my back yard for me to consider going to another one. Not only has the price of tickets become ridiculous, but I also don’t like paying $12 for a beer just because I’m a captive audience. It’s insane. I’ll stay home and watch YouTube and spend $12 for a 6-pack of Guinness.
I haven’t turned into a hermit. I haven’t developed agoraphobia. I still enjoy meeting up with old friends and making new ones at conventions and teaching and attending CE classes. But my priorities have changed. When I was 24, I would have thought the world was coming to an end if I wasn’t out having a wild time on the weekends. At 64, I appreciate the heck out of being home and having a slow dance on the porch with my husband, and sipping on some cherry bounce. It’s a good life. So yeah, let’s stay home.