Category Archives: aging
This amazing lady, Tao Porchon-Lynch, died in February of 2020, living to be 101. One of her mantras: “Know that the joy of living is right inside you.”
I’m not at all sure I want to live to be 101, but I really admire the way she lived life to the fullest, spreading joy and energy to everyone she saw. What a wonderful role model!
The big lessons I’m getting are:
- STAY ACTIVE.
- STAY INVOLVED AND INTERESTED.
- KEEP EXPANDING YOUR LIFE.
Yesterday everyone was at Lunch Bunch. It was really nice. We were celebrating our waitress’ (Mikey’s) birthday. She just beamed at everyone. It was fun reminding her how special she is.
What surprised me was that Kay brought two gifts for ME. When I asked her why, she said, “We forgot your birthday last month, so “Happy Birthday.” Isn’t that nice?
The downside was, that since I had no ‘celebration’ for my birthday this year, I didn’t really have to CLAIM it or BE one year older, in my mind. Now I have to own it.
Kay brought me TWO presents –
Thoughts about aging don’t usually enter my thoughts, unless I’ve overdone out in the yard and my body sounds like popcorn being popped in the microwave and my back is screaming at me, “For G_d’s sake, do your yoga!”
Since none of us can “hope-away aging” – (YET, at least), I have some favorite quotes about the subject, and wanted to share some of them with you –
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
“Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get, the older you want to get.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“We don’t grow older, we grow riper.” ~ Pablo Picasso
“Older people shouldn’t eat health food, they need all the preservatives they can get.” ~ Robert Orben
“Old age is fifteen years older than I am.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
I spent two hours yesterday weeding our rock beds that run along the front and back of the house. I finished, and even my husband was impressed, saying they look, “Great.”
The only problem is that my back is NOT so pleased with my efforts, even though I sat on my garden stool part of the time, used a padded knee pad part of the time, and stood part of the time, trying to vary my position often to avoid problems.
NEXT time I’ll only do the front OR the back, not both in one day.
Maybe I can do TWO sessions of yoga stretching today….
One of the many ‘perks ‘ of getting older is trouble remembering things.
Just this morning I was reading an email from a dear friend who talked about what she was going to cook for dinner. THAT reminded me that I had neglected to take our dinner out of the freezer. I finished answering her email and then found some painted bottles online that were absolutely STUNNING.
I remembered again that I needed to go to the pantry to get our dinner out of the freezer. I got up, stopped in the bathroom, poured water in Amber’s dog bowl and then came back to the computer. I saw that I had forgotten to refill my coffee cup, so I got up and started to go to the kitchen. I stopped, grabbed my wallet and the record of our blood pressure and blood sugar we used this morning to take back to the kitchen. I put them away in the dining area and then came back to the office.
I again saw my coffee cup. I picked it up this time and went to the kitchen, refilled it, and brought it back. Then remembered I was supposed to go get our dinner out of the freezer…
My husband came in and wanted some help. I helped him and then sat back down at the computer. THEN remembered I was supposed to go to the pantry.
I got to the kitchen and couldn’t remember why I went in there. Had to come back to the office and sit down. THEN I remembered.
I actually got our dinners out of the freezer this time. Please shoot me.
hahahahhahahahah. Actually, I’m not stressed, just late today. I just loved the picture above. :0)
I’m having a very late start to blogging today. I had a haircut appointment and errands to do this morning. By the time I got home, it was time for lunch. THEN, after we ate, I got sleepy and took a nap…
We’re having a weird day today.
We were just checking a detail on our investment account and saw that Schwab had generated a corrected tax form for us. We printed it, and then I emailed our CPA that we were having to mail him a correction for our tax stuff.
My husband wanted to check to see if we had gotten a delivery from Fedex or UPS (sometimes left at our mailbox at the bottom of the driveway) and said he would mail the corrected forms when he went. We talked about how it would be mailed, etc.
Then I started to work on the computer. I heard the driveway alarm and realized my husband had left. The form was still where I left it, so my husband didn’t take it. Wonder what he’ll think when he gets to the post office. Getting old is SO much fun. I’m glad I don’t have to do it alone.
We’re still eating ‘sicky-food’ around here, at least another day – soup, crackers, eggs, toast. I awoke suddenly last night with my husband being sick. We got his system settled down with Alka Seltzer. I dealt with the aftermath and then couldn’t sleep, so came downstairs and read for quiet awhile. We both slept in this morning a bit. My husband slept through the night and is feeling stronger today, thank goodness, but we’ll be very careful with his food again today, hoping this will be past us soon.
One of the really LARGE perks of being old and retired is that – if you’re up a lot of the night for one reason or another – you can take a nap or two during the day so you’re not TOO much of a zombie. To say we’re grateful for this is a vast understatement.
If my husband’s health improves, we may look for garden plants this week. I’m just ITCHING to throw off the tarps from our raised-bed, square foot garden planters and get some plants growing! If I do, I’ll take some pics to share.
I wish us a calm, quiet day.
I was brought back to reality when we were at the bottom of the driveway (safely, even after having to drive over the ice on the last third of the driveway!) and I was taking the trash bags out of the back of the truck and putting them to one side of the driveway for pickup.
The trash people didn’t pick up the trash last week. I’m not sure what the state of the road was in front of our house, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they couldn’t do the pickup due to the ice storm. Anyway, I noticed we were a bag short from what I put out. I found the bag on its side in the ice and water-filled ditch beside our driveway. An animal had gotten in it, torn it open and had a big time.
When I was younger, I would have just balanced on the edge of the ditch, reached over and pulled what I could out of the water, rebagged it, and would have been done with it.
Reality struck when I TRIED to balance on the edge of the ditch and had trouble. Sanity kicked in, deciding that a spill into the ditch filled with cold water and ice wasn’t worth it.
So, this old lady will put a trash bag and rake or hoe in the back of the truck and I’ll tackle the problem the next time we go down the hill…
HOPEFULLY the trash guys will get the double load of trash now waiting for them.
There is one large perk in getting older that I am cherishing more and more.
I think a lot of people have trouble sleeping as they age. This becomes much less of a problem when you retire and no longer have to show up ready to put in a good day’s work. In fact, it’s life saving.
My husband and I vary all over the block on how we sleep. We have always stayed up late, heading up for bed around 11:30, midnight, or after. Sometimes I have trouble actually GETTING to sleep. Other times I wake up with my hips hurting, or have had a bad dream, or….
I come downstairs and read until I’m sleepy again. We don’t get up until 8am, so this usually isn’t a problem.
Last night I noticed the light was on downstairs and joined my husband about 3am. We read for awhile, and then went up to sleep. I again noticed the light on later, but was too sleepy to join him again. I don’t know what time it was. Then he was up when I woke up again at 7. I got dressed and we started our day.
We will both probably end up asleep in our recliners after lunch.
It’s a really good thing we can plan our day – usually – around how we are feeling. We have times during the day when we feel awake, alert, and energetic, and times we can hardly keep our eyes open. The perk of being able to give in and sleep when you would like is a luxury beyond price.
It may be an odd way to live, but we aren’t bothering anyone else so we’ll take it.
MISTAKE ONE: waiting, rather than living in the moment.
I spent much of my life waiting. I met my husband-to-be when I was 14 and he was 17. When he joined the Marines soon after, he took my heart with him. I waited for him to come home on leave. I waited for letters, checked days off the calendar, dated little because my heart was waiting for him to come home. Then we were in different colleges and I waited for breaks from school so we could be together. Then I waited to finish school so we could marry. I cried when we finished the ceremony and my life could finally begin.
Telling myself that I was missing out on a lot of life didn’t make it past the thought running through my head. My heart was set. I avoided complications, getting close to many people, always choosing the path that would get me where I wanted to go the quickest way possible. I wonder how things might have been different if I had made different choices.
Now I live in the moment, wringing every drop of joy I can out of seeing people I love, talking to those I can’t see as much as I would like, taking the time to soak up beautiful things, celebrating the talent surrounding me – LIVING – rather than waiting.
MISTAKE 2: worrying about things over which I have no control.
This is a gut level reaction. I TRY not to do this, realizing how stupid it is. I do pretty well during the day when I can choose my activities, stay busy, etc., but if I wake in the middle of the night, I get swamped pretty easily. I worry about worst case scenarios, causing myself a lot of pain for no good reason. My head tells me to prepare for things the best way I can, see what actually happens, and then deal with it. My inner child wants to live in ignorant bliss, avoiding the bad situations, seeking hugs and someone to solve the problem about which I’m worrying.
I’m doing pretty well on rectifying my first mistake. The 2nd remains a challenge. 99% of the time my “adult” handles things reasonably well, I think. Now I concentrate on the 1% of the time my inner child comes out.
The three-times-a-week yoga stretches are helping this sweet old lady loosen up. I’ve lost 3 lbs this week, too, so thumbs up. :0)
Speaking of feeling a bit ‘long-in-the-tooth’ lately, three things:
Thing One – when we were looking for a replacement cover for one of our kitchen fluorescent fixtures lately, a kind guy was trying to look it up for me at the service desk at Home Depot. When he told me he couldn’t find the one we needed, I realized that our fixtures are over 30 years old, installed in 1987 when we built the house – and older than the nice guy has been alive!
Thing Two – shortly after my husband and I married, we decided to try building a digital clock, building one with the use of a Heath Kit. (I’m probably showing my age again, but Heath Kits were popular back then for the fun of learning a bit about electronics, and having things you couldn’t afford otherwise.) I learned about circuit boards, learned to look at various parts to install, learned to solder, etc. My husband kept trying to prepare me that the clock would need a lot of trouble-shooting to get it to work and that things almost never worked the first time. Can you imagine his face when it worked perfectly the very first time we plugged it in? :0) We’ve had this clock with us ever since, most recently living in our entertainment center in the living room. We noticed it was losing time – something it has never done. We reset it several times, and it kept gradually going off the right time. I was a bit sad that we need to shop for another clock now, but realized that it lasted over 50 years!
Thing Three – The latest heart throbs are younger than our son….
“The older I get, the more I see there are these crevices in life where things fall in and you just can’t reach them to pull them back out. So you can sit next to them and weep or you can get up and move forward. You have to stop worrying about who’s not here and start worrying about who is.”
— Alex Witchel
Things happen – and more changes in a second than you can believe. Since I’m becoming an heirloom, more happens to the people I love, too.
My friend’s MRI is Monday, where they see how much damage she had from her recent fall. (Nothing broken, thank goodness.) A family member went from the ER to the hospital last night due to trouble breathing. She’s not in pain, thank goodness, but having trouble breathing is scary. My own next test/procedure is the middle of next month. A lot will depend on the results. Another friend texted me to tell me that she and her mom wouldn’t be at Lunch Bunch today. (she was going to a funeral and her mom wasn’t comfortable driving in the rain.) I’ll see what they think of having our Christmas gift exchange next THURSDAY. Fingers crossed.
We repaired a CB Radio antenna wire that the hugely gusty winds we had had snapped off. It runs between our well house and the main house and was hanging down in the yard. So, of COURSE my husband grabbed our tall ladder and wanted to climb to the top of the well house to try to fix it. I helped the best I could, running to the house to get parts, tools, and scrambling up and down the ladder to hand them to him. We got it repaired and back up again. No injuries.
This was topped off by our dog, Amber, coming back covered in ‘that-that-is-not-to-be-named,” and we had to finish off the afternoon by giving her a cold bath in the back yard, something that really got our attention.
Christmas cards feel like hugs. We’ve started hearing from friends and relatives we wish we could see more often. We sent out ours last week, and hope they feel OUR hugs, as well.
I’ll be really glad when Mother Nature decides which season we’re having. We MAY get another 3 inches of rain between now and tomorrow morning. Severe weather chances are low, though, and I’m really grateful for that.
I’m trying to immerse myself in my book and in listening to YouTube videos to keep any bad thoughts in the back part of my mind, happy that we are snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug here. :0)
“Trigger” was ridden by Rogers in every one of his motion pictures, finding his own fame in the process. After Trigger died at age 33, his hide was stretched over a plaster likeness and put on display, also reared on two legs, inside the museum. He was mounted, then, not stuffed.
I bring this up because, when my husband and I talk of end of life issues, my husband always says he wants me to have HIM ‘stuffed like Trigger and mounted in the living room.’ That would be a form of immortality – I guess – a way to feel as if your life had made a difference to someone.
Some people will be remembered by some special talent – their singing, dancing, writing, creating, building, teaching, entertaining….
Most of us won’t do anything so wonderful that we’ll be remembered by the world for something we have contributed, but that’s okay. If we are remembered from time to time by someone we touched in some way, that’s immortality too.
I think of all the people who have made my life wonderful – my family, my friends, strangers who have taken the time to be extra kind, people I’ve never met, but who have made my heart sing with joy through their talent, who have made me laugh so hard I have trouble catching my breath.
Little means more than living on in someone’s memory and heart.
Thankfully, keeping moving and doing afternoon yoga stretches are mitigating a lot of mine.
I discovered Cat Kabira and her “Gentle Yoga” DVD several years ago now. I can’t say enough about her.
One of my pet peeves now is people on TV referring to the ‘elderly,’ and then clarifying the insult, adding “people over 65.” How insulting is THAT!
“Old age is always 15 years older than I am.” ~ (attribution disputed)
I don’t think of myself as a hostile person, but I do NOT consider myself ‘elderly,’ and will probably NEVER accept it. People also say that “you’re as old as you feel.” Though some days I feel at LEAST 108, most of the time I feel pretty good. :0)
So I will continue to do my yoga for old broads stretches, try to lose the lard, keep trying to learn new things, and enjoy my life – while trying NOT to bite someone in the leg who calls me ‘elderly.’
We went to bed at around our normal time – about midnight. We were both up again, downstairs reading at about 1am.
That is the worst time for me to NOT eat. I could eat a house at that hour. I found this cartoon yesterday and thought if our fridge were like this, it would help a lot. It would remind me that I’m not REALLY hungry at that hour, just needing comfort, and maybe some water, as well as my book…
I woke up crackling and popping this morning. Even my husband heard it!
I will do a longer yoga practice this afternoon to see if I can improve things. That and W-D40….
My husband found an image of Wonder Wart-Hog, one of his favorite comic book characters from his childhood, and wants us to do another mailbox decoration. “Wonder Wart-Hog (the “Hog of Steel”) is an underground comic book character, a porcine parody of Superman, created by Gilbert Shelton and first published in 1962.” (Wikipedia)
He worked on the computer much of the afternoon, coming up with a program he hopes will work as it should to translate the image to the computer out in the shop and allow us to use a computer-guided torch to cut the image out of sheet metal. Then he’ll make an attachment that allows us to bolt the decoration to our mailbox, welding it to the sheet metal. We’ll use an overhead projector to mark the key areas of the bare sheet metal front and back. Finally, I’ll paint both sides of the piece plus the attachment. I’ll post a picture when it’s finished. :0)
Right now we have Godzilla on the mailbox. We’ll be exchanging it for Fritz the Cat in another week.
We’re having nice weather here in Arkansas today. I’m planning to spend some time in the yard again today, pulling out spent plants, trimming, pruning, etc. I’m concentrating on not overdoing it, since the people on TV keep insisting on calling me ‘the elderly’ when they’re talking about Covid and vaccinations. GRRRR!
I would like to remind them –
So we will run an errand or two and then I’ll spend several sessions in the yard today – resting in-between – and see how much good I can do out there. :0)
Have a wonderful day!