Time


Falling Leaves
summer’s end,
it’s the changing time,
the spinning of the earth,
the movement of planets:
like the river,
time flows on,
carrying the fall leaves,
shaping the crystals of winter,
signaling the time for the snow to fall:
days and nights,
nights and days:
time is a train,
traveling to destinations
near and far,
to places unknown.

Designing a Retirement Plan that Works

Retirement presents many challenges. It is an ending but also a beginning. Many are relieved that working life is over: others are anxious about what they will do. There are some universal issues around retirement, but the process varies from person to person.


Everyone has to design their own retirement plan. For some of us, this is easy, but for others, not so much. Here are some issues to think about as retirement approaches.

1. Think hard about what you like to do. Retirement doesn’t work well if you do what you think you should do. Sometimes, it is not easy to figure out and may take trial and error.

2. Work at retirement. Create structure. Don’t waste time.

3. Try to get good at things. Whether cooking, golfing, traveling, or gardening, study and improve. Being competent makes any endeavor more fun.

4. If you value relationships, get social. Take the initiative. Time is limited, and you have an opportunity. Don’t wait for your phone to ring. Reach out!

5. Retirement brings freedom. Don’t worry about what others think. The canvas is empty. Paint away.

6. If you want to try new things, do it now. Learn and grow.

7. Take some time to assess your past life and put it in perspective. Acceptance that you did the best you could brings peace and makes it easier to move on. Think of your working life as an athletic contest. The game was played. It is over, and you are free to move on to other endeavors.

8. Try to stay as healthy as possible. Illness compromises retirement.

9. As aging makes one activity difficult or impossible, move on to another activity. Find things that are fun and do them. If you can’t play tennis, play pickleball.

10. Remember that we can all keep growing and learning. You really can teach old dogs new tricks.

Not What I Had in Mind!

I tell everyone I won the lottery ONCE. The date was June 30, 2019; it was my official retirement date from 29 years of working at a middle school in a suburban town in Massachusetts . I was 65 and had planned for this day for many years. I retired when I planned to and was mentally and physically ready. Who knew that we would be facing a pandemic a mere nine months later? I won the lottery by leaving the profession when teaching was still in a regular school environment. I regularly check in with my colleagues, and I am unsure I can do what they are still doing two years later. So yes, I won a different kind of lottery!

I had nine months of traveling bliss following my retirement date. The next month while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, I met a man through mutual friends who would eventually become my boyfriend. (That story may be another article! Ha!). After that were trips to Boston, Colorado, Disney World, San Diego, Arizona, and a repeat weekend in Boston; at that weekend getaway at a hotel, I learned about an outbreak of COVID-19 discovered at another nearby hotel. The convention at that hotel where I was staying was cut short, and you know the rest.  

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Potatoes Antonio

Here is a recipe for spicy Italian potatoes that are wonderful for dinner and then heated up in the morning and served with eggs and bacon.

Bake in the microwave the number of potatoes you need.

Sautee in a frying pan thinly sliced bell peppers and yellow onions.

Cook them in olive oil.

When the potatoes are ready, cut them up into bite-size pieces. Mix them up in a bowl and add the cooked peppers and onions. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt, and seasoned salt. Add olive oil and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar. 

Heat the mixture in a large frying pan when ready to serve. 

Older Adults with ADHD

I felt fortunate to have had the chance to interview Dr. Kathleen Nadeau on May 3, 2022 as a tease prior to the release of her book in September, “Still Distracted After All These Years,” where she reported the results of interviews of older adult individuals with ADHD and their functioning in later life.  My interview questions presented below were based on Dr. Nadeau’s presentations and writings as well as highlights of her findings from her interviews for her book. 

Dr. Quinn’s interview of Dr. Nadeau is presented in two parts over the next two issues of Age in Action.

Katherine Quinn, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She is a Past President and Fellow of SDPA. She was also previously Editor of the San Diego Psychologist.

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A Good Walk

Drive to the Lumberyard Center in Encinitas, having left another car in Del Mar on Highway 101. From Encinitas, walk south along the ocean. In 7.5 miles, you will reach your destination in Del Mar. Have lunch and bask in a job well done. The walk features excellent views, occasional dolphins, happy bikers and walkers, funky shops, and California sunshine.

Seniors Beware!

Gyms and trainers are positive resources at any age. Activity fosters health. Keep active and live longer. Who can argue with these ideas?

Older people need to watch out for young personal trainers who bring a boot camp attitude to sessions. Personal trainers are not physical therapists who must earn a doctor of physical therapy degree and pass a state licensure exam. I have had several friends who suffered injuries during sessions with overzealous trainers.

It is good to discuss goals and methods before beginning sessions with a trainer. Stay in control of the process. It is your health that is at stake!!

May 2022

Sabbaticalized

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Annie Lamott

The idea of taking a “sabbatical” had been rattling around in my brain for many years but took root as COVID began to impact the big world and my small private practice in it. There were multiple challenging adaptations and pivots, so many of us experienced during these last few years, including shifting to telehealth, pandemic anxiety, the intensity of cultural fear and anger, and managing the increasing surge of new and former patients requesting therapy. Managing an already full private practice, waiting list, and fielding calls from new and former patients was overwhelming. Finding referrals was challenging. Saying “no” to former patients I had worked with at various times during their lifecycle was painful and unexpected. The sheer amounts of calls, emails, and texts were a bit much for my pre-digital-age brain. My eyes and neck were Zoom fatigued.  

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