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Baby Boomers Blog on Stage of Life

Share Empty Nest Story and Retirement Stories.  Enter our Baby Boomer Writing Contests...

Stage of Life® is a free writing community for Baby Boomers in the Empty Nest and Retirement stages of life.  Get involved with our educational mission:  Share a life experience about your empty nest experience or retirement planning, explore our retirement and empty nest resources, such as information about the Baby Boomer generation, quotes about Retirement, statistics about Baby Boomers, and more.  Plus, save money with our coupons for Baby Boomers.  Whether you're a retiree (or soon-to-be retiree) or "Empty Nester" - we look forward to reading your essays about and helping you save money during the empty nest and retirement years.

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Recent Writing Contests - Winners

Before you scroll down to read the essays, stories, and blogs being submitted to StageofLife.com, let's celebrate the recent writing contest winners.  We select one essay each month from across all of the non-student life stages to win our monthly blogging contest.  Basically...these winning essays are selected from all of you "grown-ups" out there writing on Stage of Life.
Enter Writing ContestsCURRENT 2014 Writing Contests - All Life Stages - ENTER NOW...


Writing contest winnerFebruary 2014 Writing Contest Winner

Writing Prompt:  "What is the meaning of the Olympic Spirit?
Winning Essay: The Olympic Spirit: Go For the Gold by Aprillw
National Press Release:  Pending


Writing contest winnerJanuary 2014 Writing Contest Winner

Writing Prompt:  "What are your hopes & fears for the new year?"
Winning Essay: Dear Peanut: I hope you never know by Melcol92
National Press Release:  View Stage of Life press release


Writing Contest WinnersPAST CONTEST WINNERS:  Find the list of our writing contest winners on our Writing Contest Winners page.

Empty Nest & Retirement Stories

When I retired in my early 50's, I moved to southwest Florida for the warm weather and available outdoor activities. Once I settled in I immediately noticed seniors in groups of two, three, and four or more running, walking and bicycling throughout the day, and I may that these activities were not your leisurely stroll. Most were in a full on cardio sweat, no matter what activity they were engaged in. They all wore brightly colored clothing along with their matching running...
The style in which you live is constantly in flux as you age. Obviously your bedroom as a young adult was different from what it looked like when you were a teenager. As people marry, pursue careers, have children, the style of living that works for them will also morph and change to fit their new needs and socioeconomic status. That living style undergoes a final change as people retire and choose how they wish to live the rest of their life.[b]Moving to a senior neighbo...
ON BEING SCHIZOPHRENICBy Margery WakefieldMy eyes are different from your eyes. No problem.I weigh more than you do. No problem.You are taller than I am. No problem.My brain is different from your brain. BIG problem, especially if I happen to have schizophrenia, which I do. Because I am schizophrenic, I can be fired from my job, thought of as a deranged killer, called names like “nuts,” “psycho,” “fruitcake,” “wacko,” “crazy,” “weirdo,” loony,” and many othe...
March Madness: Grumpy Old Men My friend Danny will be happy. Danny was probably born grumpy. He is a pessimist who claims to be depressed even when he sleeps. He has a scowl permanently imprinted on his face. And whenever I try to press optimism on him, he gives me his best evil eye and reminds me of what he has so often said: Simply, pessimists were disappointed less often because they didn’t expect much. Optimists, on the other hand, those with happy expectations...
“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports; the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Jim McKay, Sportscaster As the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games begin, that introduction to ABC Wild World of Sports from 1978 keeps ringing in my head. Very few of us will ever experience the thrill of victory in the form of an Olympic medal, but most of us can relate to the agony of defeat. In 1962, my mother decided to treat my sibling...
After our brief first meeting, my future husband phoned for a date, offering:…wert thou as farAs that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,I would adventure for such merchandise.That was a pretty good line to try on an English major; not as prosaic as saying that his sister-in-law’s sister was my neighbor. A favorite stanza he had learned as a child was:[i]Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind...
It's 2014 and time for your yearly update. I think you'd be happy to know that all your old friends are doing quite well. Eternity is still chugging along (rather swimmingly last time I checked). She is still the same thoughtless girl you knew, never stopping or turning no matter how many men plead with her to reconsider. Death is still the kindly gentleman you used to love to walk with. I go on walks with him often. Sometimes he'll even bring out that rusty char...
Any minute now, we'll be buying a new car. How exciting! Pay a fortune for something that depreciates 100 percent before you get it home, unless it’s a very short drive. OK, so maybe it’s not that exciting. Memorable? I can't remember buying my first car.Motorcycle or Car?I was a grad student working at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, needing transportation. Heriberto, a co-worker, offered to loan or sell me his Harley Davidson motorcycle. As an ...
I am researching unique places to retire. They usually do not have elaborate chandeliers. The people who live there are liberal-minded, caring human beings who enjoy walking and hiking and used to go camping and maybe still do. The place is probably rather small and environmentally somewhat remote. I mean, not in the middle of NYC (a joke).Maybe the people like to play scrabble of a somewhat advanced type.They have good senses of humor. These characteristics also apply to tho...
My mantra has been “somebody, let me outta here” and after twenty years that somebody was me. A journey filled with the domino effect of medical issues that led to brain surgery, wheelchairs, walkers, canes and handicap stickers. Of course we cannot forget all the normal stresses in life, even my soul was on spiritual life support. Like everyone else who finds themselves in a world of chaos and mayhem, a personal choice is made…to live or give up and die. I choose to live and...
Teaching in an elementary school is the perfect place to witness a definite lack of civility. It's also the perfect place to begin to understand why civility is dead or dying. I suppose one could blame it on technology or social media or reality television or even the idea that civility is an antiquated idea that has no place in today's progressive society. But I believe it has more to do with poor parenting. I see students walking around school dressed in self importance s...
The psychology behind this question is far too complicated to thoroughly explore in the word requirement. Age, level of intelligence, home environment, socio/economic background, ethnicity, geography and religion are just a few of the factors that contribute to an individual's perception of manners. What my parents taught and expected of me in terms of manners is entirely different from what I taught and expect of my child. I was born into a southern household in the...
A friend of mine chooses a word each year that she can relate to as a guiding light of sorts. Last year she inspired me to do likewise. My thinking is that one word, thoughtfully selected could promote change, as well or possibly better, than a long list of New Year Resolutions. Last year I wanted to do more than resolve to change; I wanted to "define" a singular focus that would guide me to change. So, I searched for one tidy, little word that would sum up my hopes and ...
Not that long ago, while transferring bags from shopping cart to car trunk, I realized I had forgotten to buy bread. I reentered the market, grabbed the forgotten item and, when checking out, did something I hadn’t done anywhere in a very long time: I paid with cash. Fortunately, the cashier knew exactly what to do with the five-dollar bill I tendered. She handed me the bagged loaf and, after consulting the cash register, two one-dollar bills and coins. At home, when I re...
Energy, invincibility, and the spirit of adventure are descriptive words that one visualizes of college graduates. It is exciting to be a 61 year old college graduate with the energy, renewed sense of invincibility that interconnects with the spirit of adventure. It has been an eye opening journey having been exposed to the social media, diverse technology, and critical thinking or lack of. The stability of society is based on shared core values. We baby-boomers had t...
Ring, ring. Ring, ring. “Hello? Oh, hey! How was your trip?”“Who is it?” I asked my mother.“It’s grandma. She and Georg just got back from their cruise. Where did you go again, Mom?” “They went to Hawaii. You want to talk to them?”I nodded and she handed me the phone, “Hey Grandma!”My grandparents were always traveling. In the winter, when it was too cold for them to come up and see the family in PA, they would travel to exotic locations such as Hawaii, Alaska, Australi...
Too much stuff?As most American prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season and in some cases it has already begun with early bird sales being offered at the major retailers around the nation, most people should consider the issue of do I have too much stuff?I am guessing that 90% of the people shopping use possibly only 10-30% of the clothing in their closet to include shoes. With most Americans working 5-days a week and spending the weekends at various leisure act...
Here's my story:On November 12 at 7pm, my 95 year old mother became dazed and unresponsive. My sister, and mother's caretaker, immediately called an ambulance and had my mother taken to the hospital.After being examined, the Doctor informed my sister that my mother had a stroke and to prepare the family for the worst. Tearfully, my sister began calling our family one by one. When I received the bad news, I felt completely useless, because unlike my New York family,...
Let me take you out of your worldand put you in another space.A place where you will see new things,hear new sounds,smell new smells.Your eyes may not believe what they see;some you will like,some you won't some you may not understand--no matter.Now you must return to your world.Perhaps you will become awareof new sights, sounds, smells.It is all tucked away where some day you may need it;wait and see._____________[i]Thelma, the author of...
“Do not leave him alone,” the doctors say.That bound mein an unusual way.I thought of family,I thought of friends,some near,many far away.The situation’s impossible,I inwardly cried.Nothing to doeven if I tried.Then it started.The phone rang,a voice said“I’m coming todayin time for dinner.I’ll just stay the night,leave early next day.”Our time was shortso we spoke onlyof important things,but our visit was richwith thoughts we shared.And so it continu...
Back in the 1930s, our family was financially ruined after the tragedy of a series of lengthy illnesses. In the 1940s, my master's thesis dealt with health care and all of the lawsuits against the newly born Blue Cross. At the time, it was a small group plan, paid for by each individual; but it was not without critics and was sued by many large companies. In fact, many people thought that $10 per year was too expensive. I have forgotten the negative complaints about Social ...
At our independent living facility, it is protocol to address residents by their full names (e.g., Mrs. or Mr. Brown), but the help is addressed by first names only. In addition, when an aide brings a resident to the dining room, the aide must leave and go back to the resident’s room until she is called. That aide acts as an escort for activities and, after each, must also wait to be called. The other day, I gave a lecture to the residents on a book I authored, [i]My Life...
We were ready for retirement! We had three financial planners (yes, three...hedging our bets you see) tell us we had plenty of money. We had lots of things to do. Me, gardening, gourd art, growing food, painting, reading, writing and 6 grandkids. Martin, bicycling, motorcycling, gourd art, photography, helping me with the six acres and ditto on the 6 grandkids. We were both accomplished cooks who like trying new dishes. We were set!Then the announcement was made by ...
In the movie Steel Magnolias, Julia Roberts' character Shelby plays a young wife living with diabetes. In a very moving speech, she tries to convince her mother (Sally Field) that having a baby would make her happy. One line in that memorable speech strikes a chord as Shelby laments, "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." It made for a very dramatic pause in the scene, but my question is, "who said it has to be one or the oth...
I want you to knowthat I can give younothing,for anything that I could give youwould not satisfy you for long.But to you,to whom I can give nothing,I would give everythingif it were possible.You have my permissionto take from meanything you like--my thoughts,my visions, my dreams,my creativenessand any practical gifts I have.Now the burdenis on me. I must treasure and nurturemy giftsso that you will have somethingto take from me....
I was given a laptop by my children for Christmas 2 years and I wanted to christen it with a quick thank you letter. That letter turned out to be one that my son recently sent back to me. He had saved it 2 years ago and while recently clearing out his e-files, he came across it again. He sent it back to me with a note that brought a tear to my eyes...And the letter goes:Words can't express my amazement of you two. You are so grown up, so insightful, and so beautiful men...
Do you feel like you are always talking yourself out of success or accomplishments? As soon as you start to set goals for yourself, do you suddenly have nagging thoughts about how you aren't up to the task or how you simply aren't qualified to carry it through?If you have ever experienced either situation, you need to change the way you respond to your inner dialogue. I call it those "voices in your head." Isn't there a country song about hearing voices? I guess it goe...
Thanks to Don Henley, the title of this story was very easy. I thought I knew what love was, what did I know...When you get to be my age, divorced, grown children, no grandkids yet, you think you know exactly what love is. You fool yourself into thinking you know what to look for, what to avoid, and what to jump up and grab if it comes within reaching distance. I thought I knew.I've been divorced for 3 years, and although I went from parents house to college dorm to marr...
Tennis season begins in five weeks and as Captain of two teams I am obligated to the job until April. I don't mind the work, in fact I welcome it, but it is a commitment that can potentially disrupt my peaceful life. Organizing players and substitutes, attending practices and matches, recording scores and constantly communicating with team members, league representatives and the club pro adds a whole new dimension to my otherwise balanced retirement. As Charity Director ...
I know you have a touch-tone phoneso that will make it easier.Do you remember the gift I sent you? You haven't replied--did you mean to? If you received it and it was in good shape. PRESS I If you thought: I don't know what I'll do with it. I don't know where to put it.Why did she send it to me anyway? PRESS 2 If you thought: it's not my taste and doesn't fit with anything I have. PRESS 3 If you thought: I am not sure what it is,so how can I say "Thank you"...

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StageofLife.com is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

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