I’M NOT GOING DOWN EASY, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

It was one if those cocktail parties where half a dozen men stood together talking about sports and politics, and the spouses were congregated on the other side of the room talking about Nietzsche or Bloomingdales or maybe even the men. One of the guys said,

 “We’re moving. Just sold our place and have an accepted offer on a new place.”

“Downsizing?” one guy said, taking a sip of Cabernet.

“Nah. Actually the new house is bigger.”

“Bigger? Why? You’re 70 aren’t you?”

“I am.”

“So why bigger?

“Why not?”

“You have a lot of money?”


“But aren’t you preparing for retirement? What if you get sick?”

“What if I don’t get sick and live 25 years? I don’t want to go down easy. I want to live, really live.”

“Oh,” the other guy said with a contemplative expression on his lined face.”

Shouldn’t we all live life to the fullest and have the right to make our own rules?

Wasn’t it Ibsen who said, ‘the majority is always wrong’. It’s the people who come up with ideas that no one else ever thought of that are often the most successful. I’m talking not only about financial success, but more importantly, emotional happiness.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you’re relegated to the trash heap. It just means that you’re getting older. There’s a real opportunity to put whatever wisdom you’ve accumulated into action.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist.

12 thoughts on “I’M NOT GOING DOWN EASY, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. Art, I, too, enjoy the common sense, thoughtful, comments and suggestions you make! I love to say “I agree with the psychiatrist”. So I’m either crazy or wise. I know, crazy is not a professional term and I mean it only as an expression of not being totally immersed in what ‘everyone’ thinks. So two comments…yes, downsizing is for the birds: a little nest, no room to putz or putter? No, don’t do it. We have two offices (no, don’t want to work next to each other) in our roomy house and have bedrooms for all the family to visit. I would never want to be the most uncomfortable sleeper if I had to give up the best room. Scenario would be: “here’s your toast, when are you leaving?” So I strive to make all bedrooms equal. That means we can sleep in any room we want—sort of like camping in our own house. And it is possible to get rid of clutter, easy…just don’t let it accumulate.
    Live ‘retirement’ to the fullest…have, do whatever you want.
    Wheat Belly…yes…a great account of why the world is obese. It is easy to give up wheat and gluten…easy! Just do it! And it can help a lot of aches and pains go away. Really. It saddens me to see so many professionals falling into the obesity pot themselves. Sad. It’s all about too much food, too much wheat, too much.
    Yes, I want to read your forthcoming book—hmmm, in a strip bar? New hobby? Psychological thrillers are usually fascinating.
    Cheers, Wil.


  2. Just what I need right now! We’re getting ready to buy our retirement home, moving closer to grandkids. Hubby would be happy with a recliner and a cardboard box, maybe a bed and TV. But I need a music room, a sewing room, an offiice, a guest room, etc. I’ll show him your view and reinforce for him that we’re not dead, just old.


  3. Actually it was Ibsen and the full quote is, “The majority is always wrong; the minority is rarely right.” But I totally disagree. The majority can right or wrong; the same is true for the minority 🙂


  4. Thank you for a great blog today. I really needed this, today, my 72nd birthday. I plan on
    beginning my Bucket List with driving a race car, a lifelong dream. Will be booking my starting
    time very soon.


  5. LOL. My husband and I live in a 6 bedroom house, and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked if we’d thought about downsizing. Hasn’t even occurred to us. We are happy. We’ve recently converted out deck into a fully screened outdoor area. We’re too ‘old’ to swat bugs – should have thought of this long ago 🙂


  6. Amen to that!
    For me, the fun part of getting older (aside from the discount perks) is trying to make life simpler not more complicated, getting rid of clutter (both physical and emotional) and doing something enjoyable each day and YES, making my own rules more and more!


  7. Hi, Art.   I have to say that I’m sort of disappointed.  You have all this specialized knowledge as a psychiatrist, yet write a column which anyone could come up with.  Why?  Why wouldn’t you present a fascinating case study, or better still, lend us your psychiatric knowledge about issuse like autism, schizophrenia, etc.?   I’m really confused.   Carson

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    1. Carson, if Art used his expertise and experience for these columns, we all would have to submit our personal problems so he could analyze us…wouldn’t be fun at all. As a professional in the health and wellness field, I know the case studies can be daunting..to relive, review, continually work with the problems is a real job. Seems like Art has found a way to display his joy for life after years of dealing with the dysfunctional. Most dysfunctional people would be so much better if they could just adopt some practical habits and philosophies that Art offers.
      Save the real stuff for the medical journals…most folks read these blogs for light conversation.


  8. Hi Art! Have you read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. Profound book. My wife of 44 years and I both shed weight fast and we do not miss the wheat. Getting OLDER in too many cases involves getting fat and lazy. Now at 66, my gal and I remain active. We hike miles every week togetheer. I swim laps 3 – 4 days per week. She works out 3 – 4 days per week. She is now at her PSU weight of 105# and I am down to 180#. We bound out of bed now in the morning. The genetically modified wheat (Thanks Monsanto and other AGRA BIZ KIDS) has converted most folks into a heavier version of themselves. The impact of less mobility degrades the quality of life really fast. Dad lived to 88. I plan a long runway full of Porsche convertibles and another 50 trips to Europe. Keep up the good work Art.


    1. Hi Carson; Sorry you’re disappointed. The mind of this psychiatrist is filled with all sorts of thoughts and ideas. One of my major interests is writing fiction and just observing the human condition. I fear that you may continue to be disappointed in my choice of topics. In fact, when my next book, Skin Dance, comes out in about a month, you may really lose interest. It’s about a psychiatrist who winds up in a strip bar and needs to use all his psychological skills to protect himself and his family from a psychotic killer. Best wishes, Art


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