Old Men and Their Routines
I was talking to a young man the other day who was worried about his father, whom I know, and is in his mid-Seventies. ‘The problem is’, he said, ‘that since Dad retired, he doesn’t have anything to do. He has lost all his routines’.
However, that cannot be true. Everyone has a routine.
Sure, this man’s routine is not the same one he had when he was working, but he does have a routine. Not many people can live without one. It is just that the son does not like his father’s new routine, and I have to agree that there is cause for concern.
Previously, his routines centred around his job, his wife and family and his friends in the pub. That is not atypical of many British men, and probably not only British men.
The problem for my friend was that losing his job, wife and dependent children (because they left home), left a large hole in his life, so he moved to Spain, which also cost him his friends.
However, there is no shortage of pubs on the Costa del Sol, and they filled up the void. My friend’s daily routine is now: get up at ten or eleven; make a light brunch; go to the pub until two sheets to the wind, and then go home to cook and sleep.
Several times, he has come close to burning his apartment down. It is not that he doesn’t have a routine, the problem is that it is a self-destructive one. Again, not uncommon amongst elderly male Brits both at home and abroad.
When you finish work, or your family leaves, you must fill that void with a hobby: the Internet, reading, sport, or something. You cannot take up excessive drinking, just at the time in your life when your body cannot handle alcohol as well as it used to.
The son was right to be concerned, but the reason is not because his father has no routine – everyone has a routine – it is because his father has gotten into a bad routine.
People who expect to enjoy a long retirement need to start planning for it early. I’m not talking about money, you get enough advice about that. You need a replacement for the job, and it has to be enjoyable. Making models (aircraft, boats etc 🙂 ), gardening, the Internet, or whatever, or you will end up a sad case like my mate.
If you know someone in this kind of predicament in Fuengirola or Los Boliches, and think that they could use some help around the home, or even just companionship, check out the Facebook page Fuengirola Home Help Services here:
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All the best,
Podcast: Old Men and Their Routines