Retirement: Over-Indulgences that Lead to Habits

Retirement: Over-Indulgences that Lead to Habits

My husband and I have a sweet 110+ pound Labrador Retriever.  When our dog, Ranger, developed a little ear infection, I took him to his veterinarian. The vet gave me a prescription for Ranger’s ear infection and a strong recommendation to quit overfeeding him.

All I feed the dog is one cup of “fat dog” kibbles twice a day. Of course, I put a small amount of chicken breast on top of his food for flavor. I also feed him green beans for snacks—oh, and I do give him dog chews and dog treats after we take walks. And maybe I do give him scraps from my plate at times. At the same time, my husband is slipping the dog some food under the table and giving him treats whenever he takes him for a ride in the truck or takes him for a walk.

Over time, our little indulgences have added up. After a quick analysis of how we contributed to the dog’s weight gain, we made some adjustments (including more walks each day) that will eventually lead to the desired weight loss.

Over-Indulging May Feel Like Freedom, But…

Especially while our normal activities are restricted during the pandemic, it is easy to not only over-indulge the dog but ourselves as well. It probably doesn’t hurt to have a little treat once-in-a-while or maybe watch a bit more television on occasion. Maybe an occasional online impulse purchase isn’t out-of-line either—especially since we can’t go anywhere.  I suppose it’s okay to allow ourselves to get a bit lax about our normal routines—after all, the pandemic isn’t going to last forever. But it’s those small indulgences we’ve got to watch.

Doing whatever we want may feel like a sweet piece of freedom while under what sometimes feels like house arrest. However, if those small indulgences become habits, then we’re not going to live the life we really want. We could end up hurting our health, wasting our resources, and feeling purposeless and unfulfilled.

A Rehearsal for Retirement

I imagine for many, the restrictions our current pandemic has imposed could be considered a rehearsal for retirement. When you’re retired, you’ve got to develop your own structure, manage your time, and be your own personal motivator. It isn’t easy. It takes discipline.

Periodically, I have to assess my values and consider what is most important to me. Then I have to take a hard look at my behaviors.  If I spend more time relaxing or indulging myself than doing the things I know bring meaning and purpose to my life, then I have to make adjustments. I know that if I want to live my best life now and in the future, I need to be diligent.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Cindy Eastman

    Yes I can relate to this so much. My vet told me to stop over feeding my dog in very stringent terms. I did as I was told and my dog is at a better weight. Now I need to apply that discipline to myself. No excuses but this Covid crisis is getting me down and creating additional challenges for me.

    1. Paula Usrey

      Thanks, Cindy. It helps to know it’s not just me:)

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