Betty Ago: What Do You Do with Your Time?

So, now that you are retired, what do you do with all your time? How many times have you been asked that question? I now respond with humor and tell my questioner, “When I get up in the morning I don’t know, but by the time I go to bed, I am only half done.” However, it does feel like an existential question. If I am no longer in the work force or raising children, or creating great art, etc., then what am I here for?

Some months ago, I encountered a friend here who was quite depressed, a feeling all too familiar to me. She was feeling useless. I must have been in a good mood at the time because I immediately told her that we are a very important part of the economy. We provide Brookdale associates with their jobs and we certainly help to keep doctors working. She stood up taller, smiled and went on her way.

I recalled that conversation recently when I had to go to an appointment with my ophthalmologist. To be totally honest – I hate going. I assure you it is not personal. He is a very nice man.  However, when in his presence I feel powerless to resist his uncomfortable probes. I feel like a victim.  You see, I have always been very squeamish about my eyes. I could never wear contacts. I can’t even look at someone putting in their own contacts or eye drops. Well, I survived the exam but now I have to use eye drops every day. How in the world was I going to do this?

A make-up mirror came to the rescue. It’s the kind that has a scissors-like extension so that I can pull it very close to me. I gently pull down the bottom lid of my left eye, drip a drop in the “cup” and close that eye. Then I repeat the process with my right eye.  I have to do it in that order because I can keep my left eye closed and my right eye open at the same time, but not the reverse. Yes, I can do it myself!

So, what do I do with my time you ask? Cheer a friend, keep doctors in business, figure out how to do something I thought I could never do, and — oh, wait!  The dryer just buzzed and I have to get the shirts out before they wrinkle.

Betty Ago


Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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