Dear Doug: When to Let Things Go

Creators Syndicate | 5/19/2014, 7:44 a.m.
Q: My wife and I are in our 70s and find ourselves dealing with what we feel is a complicated ...
Doug Mayberry


Q: My wife and I are in our 70s and find ourselves dealing with what we feel is a complicated and stressful lifestyle. We are trying to overcome its challenges, like our frustration at not being able to find our car keys or where we parked our car at the mall. Last month we received a past-due utility bill, which bugged us because we had to pay a late fee. Do you have some simple, helpful suggestions to relieve our aging stress?

A: Hopefully, yes. All of us experience memory lapse on occasion, as do younger individuals.

One of the most common reasons is that we own far too many things and are reluctant to part with them because of fond memories. We no longer use them but don't want to let them go.

There is a time and place to make changes in our lives. Take a serious look at what you own and no longer need or use. Believe the next owner will experience the same happiness and love for these items as you do. If you choose to part with some of your things, you can let your family choose from them, earn some cash by selling them, or donate them to a charity to help others' needs, for which you might even earn a tax write-off.

Surprisingly, many owners are happier after they have let their treasures go, as they're relieved of the responsibility of taking care of them. Regular cleaning, possibly paying insurance, being afraid for their safety, and normal maintenance requires time and depletes your energy.

Giving yourself that extra time offers you a chance for travel, spending more time having fun and spending more time with your grandchildren. The freedom to do things you've always wanted to do is a blessing. No longer will you miss opportunities because possessions are holding you back.

As happy new retirees, my wife and I are in good health, but we are now beginning to experience those creeping-up little feelings and pains that comes with normal aging.

At our last checkup, our doctor said we were a bit overweight, should decrease our alcohol consumption and begin a regular exercise routine. We got the message!

Ease into goals that make exercising fun. Learn techniques from friends or at the gym. Stretch those cold muscles by starting with warm-up exercises, such as walking, which reduce muscle stiffness and help keep joints flexible. These techniques encourage sleep, prevent falls, relieve depression and improve your self-esteem.

We are all on clock, and those who can help us extend that time are our best friends! Don't get caught up with the idea that taking care of your health is not worth the time and effort. We can all use that kind of advice!

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at