Open Thread: Time Bandits

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Sometimes I think aging is like having an unpaid second job.  Being older takes a lot of time.

I used to go to the doctor once a year, maybe even every other year.  I was lucky and rarely got sick.

…if I was a car (hopefully a vintage Ferrari!) with the mileage I have, I’d be in the shop a lot, too!

In the past few years, though, I’ve had surgeries, hospital stays and some really scary close shaves. Now I’ve got a schedule of medical checkups just about every month, and I don’t just have a doctor, I have an entourage. I keep reminding myself, if I was a car (hopefully a vintage Ferrari!) with the mileage I have, I’d be in the shop a lot, too!

Time Bandits

Older people have more to handle. Besides healthcare, there’s Medicare or Medicaid, taxes (oh, those RMD’s!), insurance, finances and investments (watch that retirement nest egg!), retirement planning, estate planning…and of course, technology.

Tech helps, but sometimes adds to the chatter. OMG, 3G is ending. OMG, do I need to use facial recognition tech to file my taxes?  OMG – another update?  Another TOS change? Since seniors are the target of choice for scamsters there’s all that technology and security measures to stay on top of, too.

Then there’s the emails, texts, Facebook notifications and more. It’s not just spammers. I love my friends but I wish they’d get together and decide to stick to one distribution channel!

This “chatter” takes a toll on people’s wellbeing, and is a considerable stressor, as well.  One author calls this accumulation ‘sludge.” Here’s what Cass Sunstein of the Harvard Law School, has said about it.

Time for a Time Out

When it starts to get to me, I know it’s time to step away from the desk, the phone and the gadgets and take a walk. It’s also time for me to get a handle on the “time bandits” and manage my time, priorities and incoming messages better.

In fact, I think that’s a wonderful way to mark Older Americans Month this month: Unplug!!

How about you? What ‘time bandits” irk you the most?  What do you do about them? Let us know in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send  Open Thread suggestions to

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

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