Friday, September 27, 2013

The Week in Reviews: Daytime TV Talk Shows Deconstructed

I have already admitted to my television addiction and I am working on it, I truly am.  Really.  I am.  Believe me?

But I do particularly like talk shows. 

And this isn't just because I am retired now and could spend all day watching the talk shows.  Even when I was working I would tape a select few and enjoy them after hours.

Since it's been a slow week for me for movies, concerts and other pastimes,  I thought I would take a look at the new talk shows and some of the old ones as a public service to you.  I have done extensive research, hours and hours -- so you don't have to.

As a summary, it appears that most of the new shows are adhering to a formula of all or some of these segments:  taking a cue from "The View," panel discussion with or without quasi-celebrities, questions from the audience and takeaways such as nightgown makeovers and healthy food truck choices.  All very important stuff!

 
 
The New Shows


Steve Harvey



Pros
He's a likable, funny guy who appears to be trying to combine Dr. Phil with "Ellen."  He is trying a variety of segments in his show including a panel of "celebrities" to talk about the issues of the day and an "Ask Steve" segment, where audience members ask questions which gives him a chance to be funny, but also to solve their relationship problems and pitch his book

Cons
Not sure I trust a guy who writes a book called "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man."  And he should take a cue from Ellen and do some stand up.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Looks like this one could hang around awhile.




Bethenny



Pros
She is an Ex-housewife (NYC) who shows a vulnerable side (if crying a lot shows vulnerability) that people seem to relate to. Ellen loves her and is producing her show.  (Notice that Ellen and I are on a first name basis).

Cons
As with the Steve Harvey Show, Bethenny has a quasi-celebrity panel discussion (I mean, Lance Bass and Rich Wakile, from Housewives of NJ?), followed by a segment where she takes questions from the audience. She also might play a game with the audience called "Would you ever?" where she asks questions of individual audience members such as "If you were in a dressing room and heard a mother call her daughter fat, would you intervene?"  And then she might end the show by fitting women for bras. Weird. Looks like she hasn't figured out what format works best. It seems to change on a daily basis.  Her enthusiasm for some of the topics and guests seems forced.  And that vulnerability?  I think it masks a person who is hard as nails. But they haul out children and old people so she can show her vulnerable side.  Also no big name celebrities and not on top of what is currently trending. One segment on a 911 operator giving her wedding dress to a distraught bride whose dress was stolen is old news (sorry, I know them all!) Also her voice is shrill and annoying as hell.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I predict this one won't make it despite Ellen's support It's too all over the place and she is just too annoying.




"The Queen Latifa Show"




Pros
This show could take off. Queen (May I call you Queen?) comes off very down to earth and intelligent.  Her format is similar to Ellen's, with a DJ and a variety of guests, heart-warming reunions, cute video segments.

Cons
So far these early shows have quite a bit of butt-kissing and if Ellen is her target, I don't think she can compete, especially without Ellen's humor and if she can't attract the big celebrities.

Rosy the Reviewer says...but, with Queen Latifa's personality alone, this one could go the distance.




The Trisha Goddard Show


Pros
Instead of trying to model herself after "The View" or "Ellen," Trisha is going the Maury and Jerry route, combining DNA testing, shouting, body guards and fist fights.  During my "research," I encountered such titles as "Hot Mess Family Makeovers" and "Your Mother Slept Around --You're Not My Granddaughter" (even I can't make these up!)  At least she doesn't need the big name celebrities.  She's a Brit, which is a welcome change.

Cons
Trisha who? 

Rosy the Reviewer says...Not a good sign when the show can only be found around here at 3am.  That's pushing the "daytime" element a  bit, but if you are an insomniac, could be amusing.  And at least no questions from the audience, panel discussions or low calorie crispy treat recipes.  Just good old-fashioned yelling and punching.
 



Kris Jenner

Pros
Was only on for six episodes

Cons
Was only on for six episodes

Rosy the Reviewer says...was only on for six episodes.




Katie



Pros
Katie Couric is very likable and intelligent.  It's like visiting with the girl next door except the girl next door knows people like Robert Deniro.  She tries to do "important" shows with themes such as domestic violence or reincarnation.   She also can get the entire cast of an upcoming movie, if that's your thing.  Big name celebrities are not a problem for her.  It looks like she wants to be the next Oprah. 

Cons
She's a bit too perky.  If I might misquote slightly what Lou Grant said to Mary on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," "I hate perk!"  She also is using that new cliché of questions from the audience, which I find annoying. And Oprah she's not, though her show seems to have more coherence than the other new shows.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Some hits and misses. The Jury is still out on this one.
 
 
 
 
 
The Old Stand-byes
 
 
 
 


Pros
Gives out good health information

Cons
Talks about poop too much

Rosy the Reviewer says...but poop is important.





Dr. Phil



Pros
If Oprah likes him, he's OK with me. He links his shows to current topics in the news and has gotten more "show bizzy," interviewing Nick Carter and other celebs on such topics as addiction in addition to the usual mothers-in-law from hell and horrific neighbors.

Cons
Self serving, smug, overly dramatic and keeps pushing his new book. And what kind of therapist yells at his subjects?

Rosy the Reviewer says...but if Oprah likes him...



The Talk

Pros
A likable group that is growing on me.  Love Sharon Osbourne.

Cons
"The View" wannabees; Don't like Sarah Gilbert.  She reminds me of Debbie Downer.

Rosy the Reviewer says...moving up on "The View," but will never be "The View."



Maury

Pros
You know what you are getting because every show is about the same thing.

Cons
And what you are getting are DNA results to see who is the father of the baby mama's baby - over and over again.

Rosy the Reviewer says...how many times can you hear "You are NOT the father!"





Jerry Springer



Pros
If you like "Fight Club," you might like this

Cons
Breaks all of the rules of "Fight Club."

Rosy the Reviewer asks...why is this show still on?  Who are the people watching this thing?  And why?






Live with Kelly and Michael

Pros
Kelly

Cons
Michael

Rosy the Reviewer says...Where is Regis when you need him? I just don't get this show.  Is it aimed at my age bracket?  Because if so, it's even too old for me, even without Regis.





"The Wendy Williams Show"



Pros
She says whatever she thinks and can be quite outrageous as can her audience during the "Ask Wendy" segment.  They ask her about everything from relationship issues to sex toys.  Her strengths are the dishing and free associating she does about celebrities and her own life at the beginning of the show.  She has an opinion about everything and everyone and is quite humorous in a "New Joisey" sort of way.

Cons
I can't help but be distracted by my thinking she was once a man.  It must be her height. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...She is way over the top but quite humorous. An acquired taste.  Worth it just to hear her say her catch phrase, "How U doin?" 






The Crème de la Crème


The View

Pros
This was the first ensemble talk show and with Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg at the helm, there is more substance here than most.  They are always on top of what is trending now and get all of the big celebs. All the better now that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is gone.

Cons
Joy Behar is gone and unclear how Jenny McCarthy will do (2015 update:  We know she didn't do well and was cut.  Now if they would just get rid of Raven-Simone.)

Rosy the Reviewer says...this is the flagship.





Ellen

 
 


Pros
She channels the old variety talk shows of old, like Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas, and she is funny as hell.  (This is why Ellen and I are on a first name basis. I promised her a good review)

Cons
Not fond of the dancing she does at the beginning of the show

Rosy the Reviewer says...no other talk show like this right now during daytime. Brings back happy memories. 




One final thing about talk shows in general.  This latest craze of running a Twitter feed along the bottom of the screen during the show is so annoying.  I hate it.  Why do these shows think we care what their Twitter followers think?  Most of it is inconsequential crap.

So I hope this helps you make your decision about what talk shows you should watch.

If you care.

Or not.

 
 
What  do you think of the daytime talk shows? 

Any favorites?

 
 
Well that's it for this week.
 


Until next time,
I wish you great happiness.
 
 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Confessions of a TV Addict

Hello, my name is Rosy and I am a TV-aholic.  I am addicted to television.

It all started before I was five. 

I know it's difficult to believe, but I am of a generation that can remember not having a television. 

Before we had one, I remember standing on a neighbor's porch, peeking into their living room to get a glimpse of their television.  My grandparents had a television before we did and we would go over there on Friday nights to watch the Friday Night Fights and on Sundays to watch Ed Sullivan.  Friday nights were so boring for me, though, that I would lie on the floor and braid the fringe that hung on the bottom of one of my Grandmother's chairs.  I guess my addiction had not kicked in yet.

When I turned five, my Dad bought us a television.  But it wasn't until I was seven that my addiction really kicked in and that was the year "The Mickey Mouse Club" started. 



I was enthralled.  I was already a Disney fan having seen all of the animated films so animation was my big thrill.  Didn't care for the nature segments much.  But then as I grew older, there was
 

 


"The Hardy Boys," and one of my favorites, "Corky and White Shadow."

"The Mickey Mouse Club" was on every day after school and I couldn't wait to settle in with my peanut butter toast and glass of milk.

As I got older, I graduated to "American Bandstand,"  I Love Lucy, "Bachelor Father," "The Donna Reed Show,"  The Fugitive"  and "Dr. Kildare."  My girlfriends and I would argue over who was the most swoon worthy TV doctor, Richard Chamberlain who played Dr. Kildare



 or Vince Edwards who starred in "that other show, "Ben Casey." 


What do you think?

It was a heated topic. I was firmly in the Richard Chamberlain camp.  I even had a Dr. Kildare pillow case that I practiced kissing on.  

People bonded over TV shows back then.  There were only 3 channels so it was much easier to find someone who was watching the same programs as you.

As a teenager, I fed my musical obsessions with "Shindig!" and "Hullabaloo."  Everyone from the Animals to the Zombies performed on "Shindig!"  That's when my interest in Rock & Roll became firmly entrenched.

My Dad worked extra jobs so wasn't home that much, but we bonded over old movies.  That was the era when the only movies you saw on TV were the ones from the 30's and 40's and they usually played at 11:30pm and 1am.  My Dad and I would sit up late and watch them.  He was a real softie.  If there was a sad scene or one of those really, really happy ones where the separated lovers would find each other again and run into each others' arms, he would get teary, but would always take pains to cover it up by laughing a bit and wiping his eyes with his handkerchief (men used handkerchiefs then too), but pretending he was wiping his forehead.  I remember when a tornado came through, everyone was down in the basement except my Dad and me.  We were watching the movie "My Darling Clementine" on TV.  When the all clear was sounded, I was sent off to bed and never did find out how it ended. 

All of those hours watching old movies with my Dad, not only leave me with wonderful memories of him, but I gained a knowledge of actors and actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood.  I am hard to beat at Trivial Pursuit when it comes to old movies.

In college, my roommate and I would gather with some of the other girls in the dorm to watch "The Monkees" on the communal television.

In my sophomore year, I married and moved to married housing.  After my husband was drafted and sent to Vietnam, my television helped me keep track of the war and what might be happening to my husband.  Hard to believe that every night the war was on the news with pictures of dead bodies and reports of body counts.  We have been at war for years now and we hardly hear about it. 

So the TV was also a companion late at night. 

I would come home from play rehearsals and Johnny Carson would keep me company and help me get over the jitters of sleeping alone.  Since the show was live, I saw some of the great moments:  Don Rickles kissing Frank Sinatra, Ed Ames throwing the tomahawk and hitting the target right in the groin.  An absolutely classic moment.





Johnny was the king of the double take and would really crack up when something spontaneous happened.  And just think of all of the comics he launched.  I saw them all. If Johnny liked you, your career was made. All I have to do is hear "Heeeeeers, Johnny" and many happy memories come back.

Now the late night talk shows don't do it for me, partly because I am not up that late anymore and my latest obsessions are reality TV, everything from the great competitions like "The Amazing Race" and "So You Think You Can Dance" to the more lowbrow "Housewives" franchises and "Dance Moms."

So I admit to my addiction. 

I know that is the first step in overcoming it.  And I know as a newly retired person, I need to keep that aspect of my life in check. 

But I also have the feeling I am not alone. 

I am always amused by people who say, "I don't watch television," but they seem to know everything that is on! 

Watching television has a certain stigma to it which I think is not well-deserved, unless you are like me - addicted. 

Television is not just entertaining but educational, and as a librarian, I felt it was essential to be on top of popular culture so that if a library customer asked me who was voted out of "Dancing With the Stars" last night, I not only knew what she was talking about but who was voted out!  I found it essential to be aware of what people were watching. 

Well, that's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

If you are starting to wonder if you, too, have a problem with watching too much TV, you might reflect on the following:

Signs you may be watching too much TV


  • When you take leave of people, you say "You're Out! Auf Wiedersehen" and kiss them on both cheeks.

  • You think Downton Abbey is real and you are planning a vacation around going there.

 
Well it's kind of real.


  • You know what "Smize" and "Tooch" mean.

  • You actually enjoy arranging your TIVO Season Passes.

  • You are starting to crave really bloody steaks and notice that it seems to happen after watching "True Blood."

  • You feel like singing a Journey song every time something momentous or emotional happens.

  • As soon as you sit down in a chair in front of the television, your wine guzzling poodle assumes the position for a long nap on your lap.

  • One of your life goals is to meet Phil Keoghan so he can say to you "I'm very sorry to have to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race."

  • You spent the whole weekend watching a "Sister Wives" marathon and are seriously considering plural marriage.

Well, there you have it. 

I have acknowledged my problem and I plan to work on it.  I really do. 

But can I start after "Dancing with the Stars" is over?



If you are not too ashamed to admit you watch television,

what are some of your happy TV memories
or your "addictions?"

Thanks for Reading!
 
See you Friday


For

The Week in Reviews


(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)



 
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer
 



Friday, September 20, 2013

Rosy the Reviewer's Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Wish You Were Here," "The Place Beyond the Pines," "Star Trek: Into Darkness," "Upside Down" and comment on food and fashion.]

NOTE TO MY READERS:  I am going to try a format change.  My very smart daughter, who is also a blogger and whose opinions I respect, suggested I try publishing shorter and/or different posts more often.  So I am going to try to publish my column on Tuesdays and my reviews on Thursday or Friday.  I know I have some readers who particularly like my reviews and I was thinking they were getting lost at the end of my weekly column.  So let me know what you think.  Separate the reviews from the column or go back to the one long post per week that includes everything?  Or separate the blog even more?
You decide.



There is something for everybody this week.  Film lovers, book lovers, foodies and fashionistas!

This week, in addition to my film and book reviews, it's all about one of the best food shows and the proper wardrobe for a Rock & Roll Wife!


***Films (and Books)***



"Wish You Were Here" (2012)



This Australian film follows two couples on a vacation to Cambodia where one of them goes missing.  Beware of the friend whose line of work seems dodgy.

Rosy the Reviewer says...really riveting drama and character study.  A small film that deserves to be seen.
Highly recommended.



"The Place Beyond the Pines" (2012)

 
 
Ryan Gosling's intensity continues to amaze in this story of a trick motorcycle rider who starts robbing banks to support his family and what happens when he encounters a rookie cop.  Lots of big names hereI'm not a huge Bradley Cooper fan.  Not sure why.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...highly engrossing but falls apart a bit at the end. 
Still worth seeing and recommended.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I so wanted to like this film because I had heard it was really good and I do like adventure sci-fi films.  I will say that it was probably quite spectacular to look at on the big screen in 3D but the story just didn't cut it for me.  Sometimes these big epics just get too convoluted. When I have to think "Huh?" through the whole thing, I am distracted.  But there is homage paid to "The Wrath of Khan" and the character interactions are fun, if not sometimes silly.  I will say Chris Pine as Capt. Kirk is a nice looking fellow er, good actor.

Rosy the Reviewer says...you will get the most impact seeing this on the big screen but Star Trek fans will enjoy.




"Upside Down"  (2012)



This is one of those films you will either love or hate.  I loved it.  It's a Romeo and Juliet tale about lovers who live in twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions.  The cinematography and set design are works of art.  I just wish Kirstin Dunst would get her teeth fixed.  When she smiles, she looks like a character out of "The Simpsons."  Oh, I know, that's mean.  But as many people say after they have said something mean, "I can't help how I feel."

Rosy the Reviewer says...those who like sci-fi, fantasy and love stories will enjoy despite some plot issues.
 
 


***Books***



"Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin" by Nicole Hardy


A memoir that combines comedy and drama as a young Mormon woman tries to stay true to her religion and remain a virgin until she marries.  Not an easy task when you are well into your 20's.  Imagine.
 
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...a quick read that sheds light on what it is to be a young, attractive single Mormon woman, though it's a bit of a one-trick pony.  Will she or won't she?
If you like humorous memoirs and are curious about the Mormon religion, you will enjoy this.




***Food***

If you are a foodie, you will love this British TV program, "Come Dine with Me."


Four foodies get together each night in each other's homes to eat food prepared by one of the four.  Then they score each other and the winner wins 1000 pound. In addition to watching the food created and the interaction of the guests, which has gotten more and more outrageous over time, the narrator, Dave Lamb, is cheeky and an absolute hoot.  The show is available on YouTube.
I wish they did a version here in the U.S.  There was a rumor that they would but so far haven't seen it. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...a must for foodies and Anglophiles.



But there is a program that airs in the U.S. in various cities called "Check Please," and yours truly got to be on it!

We didn't cook for each other in each other's houses.  We recommended our favorite restaurants and then anonymously dined there.  Then we came together to talk about what we thought. 

Here is my episode. 

So far I don't see that there is another season in the offing, but to show I am in good company, our own President Obama was in the Chicago version of the show (when he was a Senator).  

Here it is.

Check your local PBS station to see if you have this show, "Check Please,"  in your neck of the woods.  If you are really a foodie, you will love it.  It's a lot of fun.
(Here is the main link for "Check Please Northwest" for other episodes). 


Rosy the Reviewer says...WE WANT MORE EPISODES OF CHECK PLEASE NORTHWEST!!!
 
 


***Fashion***

 
 
"Rock & Roll Wives"

 
Now that Hubby is in a band again (did I tell you that's how we met?), I have the added dilemma of looking the part of a proper Rock & Roll Wife.

Do I fit myself out in full R & R regalia?

 
or go for a more sophisticated approach? 
 
 
 
The LBD with touches of denim, bling and the requisite tattoos?
 
 
 
or a more fashion forward approach?
 
 
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...always go for the bling!
 
 
 
 
 
***Fun***
 
 
 
As I mentioned, Hubby plays in a band.
 
 
 
Their gig at Jack Murphy's last Saturday night was lots of fun.  They will be appearing there again on October 5th so if you are in the Seattle area, join us! And feel free to wear your rock & roll finery.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...don't miss the singular singing sensation that is Chuck Brewer and the guitar stylings of Mike Tiano.
 
 
Hope I gave you some ideas for the weekend. 
I wish you all great happiness!
 See you next week!
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Retirement: Is the Honeymoon Over?

Since I have retired, I have been reading other blogs about retirement. And everyone seems so productive and happy.

This week's blog is for those other folks.  Folks like me.

Much like the realization in marriage that the hearts and flowers of first love are being replaced by dirty diapers, arguments about chores and in-laws, it appears my "honeymoon period" of retirement has reached an end. 

It's been almost three months and to be honest, I am in a slump.

As I look back on my earlier posts when I was anticipating this big step, I can see that I was aware of the pitfalls, but there was a real sense of excitement about the freedom I had to look forward to and the opportunities I imaged.

Imagined is a good word and freedom is a double-edged sword.

The first week of retirement was a real period of adjustment. 

I felt guilty.

I felt guilty because I was leaving a good job when I was perfectly capable of continuing.  In my family, you didn't leave a good job if you were able bodied and I am.

I came from a family that not only valued work, but enjoyed it.  My Dad was like those Jamaican characters on "Saturday Night Live."  He always had at least four jobs.  He had his regular 8-5 job, and then he might be working nights managing a bowling alley, weekends at a men's clothing store, and playing in a dance band. 

He also wanted to be a cowboy.


I sometimes think my Dad's underlying motivation for working all of those jobs was to avoid my mother, but he also liked having that money to fund his many interests.  He gave my mother his 8-5 pay check to cover the household expenses, and then he worked those other jobs to finance his passions: cars, guns, model trains, the trumpets that would help him play like Doc Severinsen

In retirement, he continued to work - at a bakery, in the band, managing an apartment building.  He loved the apartment management job.  He would chuckle and say he could do that job "as long as I can sit up and take nourishment."  The little old ladies living there loved my Dad, too, if you know what I mean, always finding little jobs for him to do like opening a jar for them or moving furniture.  And he was still doing that and playing in that band into his 80's.

My mother was a housewife, but she, too, made extra money by taking in ironing and babysitting the neighborhood children.  She actually liked to iron.  I think it was a combination of pride in her work - and she ironed to perfection - and a little voyeurism checking out other people's clothes.  I will never forget that she ironed downstairs in the basement with nothing to look at except out the little basement window.  No music, no television.  She liked having her own money and that was probably a reaction to my Dad's overspending.

 
 


My grandmother taught music in the high school for over 25 years and gave private lessons well after she retired.

 

 

So I came from a long line of hard-working people and inherited a good work ethic from people who actually liked to work.  I was rarely ever late for work, despite the fact that I despise getting up in the morning.  I rarely took a sick day, though I allowed myself one "mental health day" per year, and I always wanted to feel I was accomplishing something.

But after that first week of retirement I actually got over feeling guilty, and I really started to enjoy it.  I mean, who wouldn't enjoy sleeping in, looking like a slob most of the time and watching television or reading all day? I started thinking, hey, I can do this. 

But you can only do that for so long. 

In my earlier blogs, when I first started chronically this new life called Retirement, I gave myself some good advice.  Unfortunately, I have had  difficulty taking it. I wrote that my job was "me," but I am discovering that I am boring, lack motivation and can go days without ever leaving the house.

The reality of my situation and how I am handling it has finally set in.  Those three essential items to a happy retirement - structure, purpose and community - have so far eluded me and have me worried.

Though I started out by planning my days, from getting up late to Happy Hour with Hubby, and my weeks to include "special days," something is missing.

I recently whined to my son that I was feeling a little depressed about things and he responded, "Do what makes you happy."  But what if you are not sure what that is or if you come to the scary realization that what makes you happy is watching Lifetime Movies and drinking wine with my wine-guzzling poodle?
 
We might not like getting up in the morning to go to work, but at least once we get there, we are afforded the opportunities to make a difference in the world. 

What happens when you don't have to be anywhere?

So despite my good intentions, some days you would have to use a can opener to pry me out of here.  I worry my body will be found in a pile of 1990's power suits screaming "Where will I wear these?" 

Speaking of my clothes, I feel sad when I look at my three closets of clothes and boxes and boxes of shoes.  I will probably never wear most of them again, now that I don't have to get dressed up for work.  I mostly wear work-out clothes in the sometimes pathetic hope that I will actually work out or leisure wear (no, I didn't say leisure suits).  And don't say give them to charity.  I could maybe part with some of them, but I am not just a wearer of clothes.  I am a collector.  Alright, a hoarder, but I feel I have a personal relationship with many of my items.  And to give them all away somehow symbolizes that I have no need to look great anymore, that I really will never wear them again.   I'm just not ready for that yet.

There is a common saying that I hear over and over again. 

People will say to me, "Boy, I bet you are busier than you have ever been." Busy, yes. I can be busy.  But are we retirees kidding ourselves? 

Is the price of freedom a lack of true achievement and a life of busy work?

I can be busy. 

I volunteer at the Senior Center, I have joined a book club, I go to the gym, I cook, work on my blog, meditate, attend the theatre and concerts, eat out at great restaurants, read, watch movies, but does all of that take the place of my work accomplishments?  Am I going to live out my days by keeping busy but not making a difference in anyone's lives or in the world?

Something is missing.

When you have been a high achiever all of your life, it's not easy to see accomplishment in the little things.  How does going to the gym every day (which I haven't yet managed) compete as an achievement against helping people achieve U.S. citizenship?  How does finally cleaning out all of the kitchen cabinets measure up to teaching computer skills to unemployed older workers who need these skills for the first time to get a job?  Is learning to meditate as important as learning how to use Twitter to market my library?

So finding meaning and purpose in retirement have become my next big challenges. 

And challenges they are.  I don't have some of the built-in structure that many retirees have.

I don't have the benefit of family to give me purpose and community.  Both of my adult children live hundreds and thousands of miles away and likewise my grandchildren, so I can't help with their care or participate in their upbringing.

And then there is the specter of increasing isolation. Ten years ago, in midlife, we made a bold move and moved from a town where we had lived for 30 years to a place where we knew no one. In so doing, I discovered that it's not difficult meeting new people but turning those encounters into more meaningful relationships is not something that is as easy to do as it was when I was in my 20's and 30's. Hubby works at home so neither of us now has the benefit of work relationships.  If I was lonely, I knew I would go to work each day, interact with my co-workers and get the occasional compliment from a library customer who appreciated what I did.
 
I know, I know.  Rosy, if you want meaning, get out there and feed the homeless or become a Big Sister or adopt an orphan.  But the problem is that I am not motivated to do that. 

I have found that in retirement, when presented with total freedom and "all of the time in the world," motivation becomes more difficult.

At least when you are working, you have the external motivation that you need to get up and go to work and once there, meaningful opportunities present themselves.

 As I said earlier, my Dad seemed to enjoy retirement, though he came from the generation that had to retire from the company at 65.  But he had those jobs and he also had his religion.  There wasn't a night when he wouldn't be up late doing his "lesson," part of the Christian Science routine.  No matter how late he had worked at the bakery, he would be at the dining room table with his Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."  He was also writing a dictionary using Christian Science to change negative definitions into positive ones.  I know, kind of nutty, but he thought he was going to change the world.  And that's all that mattered - what HE thought. And that is probably what sustained him in retirement.

But in the end, what do you do when you have all of the time in the world?  How do you not waste it all?  So how do I get that sense of achievement and purpose back?

My mind often wanders to becoming a nun.  I think of Audrey Hepburn in "A Nun's Story," and think of how noble I would be, not to mention not having to worry about what to wear each day.  But I'm not Catholic and my age would probably be an issue. 

Seriously, I accept that I might just be in a slump now as it sinks in that I have this vast freedom after 40+ years chasing a career, one that provided structure, routine, schedules, purpose and community.

Geez, the more I think about it, if I hadn't had a career I might have ended up one of those homeless people myself, swigging fine wine from a bottle in a brown paper bag trailed by that wine-guzzling poodle.

So I guess what I need to work on now is balance -
 
 
 
a balance between my tendency to want to stay home and watch TV or read - both solitary pursuits - with my desire to still be relevant in a world that does not hold age in high regard.  I need to give myself some time and some slack. Just as in your work life, some days are productive, some not, and it's important not to panic.  There will be good days and not so good days.

And if worse comes to worst, I can always get a job at Macy's. 
It would be satisfying to help people look fabulous!

I know I am not alone in these feelings

If any of you are in the same boat, I would like to hear from you!

NOTE TO MY READERS:  I am going to try a format change.  My very smart daughter, who is also a blogger and whose opinions I respect, suggested I try publishing shorter and/or different posts more often.  So I am going to try to publish my column on Tuesdays and my reviews on Thursday or Friday.  I know I have some readers who particularly like my reviews and I was thinking they were getting lost at the end of my weekly column.  So let me know what you think.  Separate the reviews from the column or go back to the one long post per week that includes everything?  Or separate the blog even more? You decide.