Tag Archives: quality of life
I’ve always loved music, always amazed that hearing a song from when I was a teenager transports me back mentally and emotionally. I get up and dance – the years dropping away – when I hear one of my old songs. Sometimes I’m truly surprised after I finish and I see an old woman looking back at me in the mirror…
I play some of my favorite songs when I’m playing in my art room. It makes me feel that anything is possible, calming my soul so I can concentrate on enjoying colors and textures and ideas.
Music makes it possible for me to spend time on my elliptical trainer (though I haven’t done that for awhile.) I COULD play music when I’m doing my daily yoga session, but then I would have to wear earphones so I didn’t bother my husband.
My massage therapist plays wonderful background music that helps me relax while she finds all the sore spots and kneads them away.
Lately I’ve been watching and listening to videos on my computer of all the talent contests, delighted when someone’s voice makes me soar.
Music is a quality of life thing. Simply magical.
I think these three photos are priceless. I would love to be one of these people. How rich they are!
“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.
That’s only talking of money, though.
I am rich in SO many other ways –
- My husband loves me. We celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary last June. Neither of us is easy to live with, but we have had the great opportunity to build and share our lives – a priceless treasure. I have to tell you that things get more challenging as we age, but the love that brought us together back in the Dark Ages, when I was 14 and he was 17, remains strong. It’s us against the world. We can still make each other laugh, and he can still melt me into a puddle.
- Although we lost our precious daughter, Jade, when she was two months old to SIDS, we won the lottery on sons. There is no greater joy than to see a child grow up, make their own way, be happy, and still be very, very close, respecting each other as people, enjoying whatever time we can spend together. Our son has chosen to live and work in Thailand. We don’t seem him physically very often because it costs a fortune for all the flights and he spent a full 24 hours getting to us the last time. Happily, he arranged a secure chat program that we use on a daily basis, sharing thoughts, questions, pictures, etc. He also arranged a conference call program where we can see each other and talk and laugh real time. I LOVE seeing his face, his smile.
- My husband and I are retired, so we can spend most of our days as we like – a real quality of life issue. We enjoy new found fun of creating yard art together, plus mailbox decorations, plus stained glass together. We are very different people, not even using the same salt – but we truly enjoy ‘fighting’ over what we want to make next, figuring out how to make it happen, what colors to use. and more.
- I can indulge my love of trying to grow flowers and veggies. I love it when the weather is such that I can spend time outside puttering around, celebrating successes, learning from failures.
- I can lose myself playing in my art room – a chance to try new techniques with a large trash can alongside. :0) I have the luxury of showing the better things on my page on Etsy
- The days aren’t long enough to do all I would like to. I’m constantly deciding what I would like to do next, knowing I’ll run out of time or energy before I want to.
- I have the luxury to wile away time enjoying a new thing – for example, I think I’ve told you that I love finding things on Pinterest. I’m a sucker for clips of America’s (or any other country) Got Talent. Today I found Brian Justin Crum. This man can blow you away with his voice.
I didn’t become unexpectedly rich this week in money – but in all other ways, I’m flying high. :0)
I am in the middle of a re-read of book # 47 (of 51) of the J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) In Death series before diving into the newest one to come out in paperback.
I’m lucky because reading is such a large part of my life.
My parents started teaching me to read when I was very young, exasperated that my mom, dad, and brother were all engrossed in a book, a crossword puzzle, and a comic book while I sat in the middle of the living room bored out of my mind. I looked from one to the other and finally said, in a loud voice, “I wish to HELL I could read!” Instead of beating my rear for the language, my mom got one of my books, sat on the floor with me, and began to change my life.
I became a teacher, earning my Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist, using my guitar to help my sweet students learn phonics so that they had the tools to sound out unfamiliar words on their own. (That, and other things the public school frowned on, led me to start my own reading clinic, teaching students from kindergarten to adults who needed missing parts filled in so they understood what they needed to do to make sense of things.) We never actually made a profit, so I had to move on after 3-1/2 years to make money to help support our family.
After going through the school system myself, and then, particularly while earning my Masters while working full time, I lost my love for reading. I would find myself reading the newspaper, a magazine, or a paperback book as if I would be tested on it when I finished, the tension gathering in my neck and shoulders. It took me awhile, but finally I was able to relax again and simply dive in to learn something new, share someone else’s experience, or just dream.
Now I can’t imagine trying to live without reading. I find it difficult to name something else that changed my life for the better as much. It has saved my sanity – I THINK :0).
I am lucky to have several authors that I consider so wonderful I want to enter the worlds they have created over and over. Each time I do that, I find something I missed or have forgotten that enriches me, deepens my appreciation or understanding, fills my heart again.
I hope that you, too, are surrounded by people who share their expertise and creativity with you through their writing.
I’m feeling good that I am “back in the saddle again” on my efforts to get the lard off and get stronger. I fell off, using everything excuse from the pandemic, to my husband going to the store with me, and back again, but the fact was I had stopped exercising and I had gained some of my lost weight back again.
We signed up for the South Beach Diet Plan, deciding we would try that for two months to get back on track. It was the closest to our keto eating plan and would remind us how we are supposed to be eating, hopefully giving us a boost. The second month’s order should arrive any day now. It’s a good thing. We are down to meat sticks and some shakes, so I am DIYing a lot now.
To date – since my lardiest – I have lost 36.6 pounds and 40.45 inches. I’m working my way back down to where I was before, and I feel really happy about that.
My exercise regimen – motivated by gold stars on my desk calendar – is helping me feel stronger, a bit more energetic, and definitely looser and more flexible.
I’m trying to do my elliptical in the mornings, since my trainer is in the garage. I won’t get it done in the morning today, but I can do it when I get back from errands. I started a couple of weeks ago, at 10 minutes. I’m doing 20 each day now.
I am doing about half an hour of yoga stretches plus abdominal exercises each afternoon. I have no clue why I tend to ‘hunch up’ during the day, but I’m almost looking forward to my yoga sessions now, where the first thing is to lie flat on my back, trying to get my back muscles to relax. Thankfully, this is accomplished more quickly now and I am seeing progress in my ability to push a bit farther into the positions, breathing into them. I feel relaxed when I finish, and pleased with my efforts.
By the end of this next month on South Beach, my husband will have probably met his weight goal. I would like to lose another 30 pounds. I am seeing progress on both the scales and the tape measure, plus I feel more in control.
Tomorrow I will finish three weeks of doing a 30-minute-or-so session daily. I think it was last year when I discovered SixtyandMe.com That led to me finding and ordering the “Gentle Yoga” DVD with Cat Kabira teaching basic stretching techniques for ‘mature’ women – even though who had never tried yoga before. I wasn’t interested in trying to fold myself into a paper airplane or tie myself up into a pretzel shape, but I WAS stiff, sore, and feeling pretty brittle. I worked through it, and then decided to simply do the poses that seemed to help me the most rather than having to find time to play the DVD. Cat stressed that it was the PROGRESS that mattered – not whether you actually aced the pose to PERFECTION. I did well for awhile, and then just quietly stopped doing it. My reasons are stupidity and lack of sufficient motivation.
Three weeks ago, when we had decided to do the South Beach Diet plan in order to ‘reboot’ our efforts to commit to the keto eating plan, relearn ‘portions,’ smarter choices, etc., I also decided that I would get back into my yoga.
After three weeks, I am starting to feel some progress! I am 73 and RELAXING is a difficult thing to do. Just lying down flat on your back on the mat doesn’t sound like much. It IS – when several areas in your back are clenching. After a minute or so of CONSCIOUS focus on relaxing and breathing, the discomfort and clenching goes away. I am also seeing progress in several of the stretching positions. One came just yesterday. I’m lying on my back with my arms on the floor above my head. I pull up my right leg, bend the knee, lay my leg to my right side. I can DO that on my left. On my RIGHT, that was really uncomfortable. I’ve been doing it anyway daily for 3 weeks, breathing into it and not pushing myself, just breathing into the discomfort and trying to relax. Yesterday I was able to let the leg down almost completely onto the floor without pain! HOORAY!!!!!! I feel better when I finish my stretches, so that’s a wonderful thing, too. Even my husband is trying to encourage me, asking me if I’m going to ‘yoge’ today.
I’m giving myself a gold star for every practice. Likewise on my elliptical trainer session in the garage. I’m going for stars 11 and 12 for the week today.
Music is a quality of life thing. I have seen the faces of people I love when one of their favorite songs plays. They are transported back to a time of wonderful memories. They smile. Their eyes get dreamy. And the feelings simply spill out. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve seen people in nursing homes ‘come alive’ when their favorite music is played. The years fall off. Their eyes are animated. Some will actually get up and dance. Those who cannot still ‘bop’ in their chairs.
Music is a miracle.
I create ‘mini-concerts’ via YouTube when I have the time, giving myself a needed rest and relaxation. I choose one musician I love and play a medley of greatest hits, or combine several. By the time I am finished, I feel renewed, ready to tackle whatever awaits.
We are rich when we can ‘teleport’ to when we were teenagers. or escape via the lyrics of a beautiful song, or bop along with favorite tunes that DEMAND you get up and shake whatever you have. (I’m glad no one can see me do this, too!)
How lucky we are to have so many talented people who give us joy!
Our son lives and works in Thailand. He has recently rented a house out in the country there, wanting privacy to be able to play his music without bothering anyone or always having to have earphones on.
He sent me a pic of his new music room –
He has two guitars – they are still in the living room, he says. He also plays the drums and a bit of keyboard. (You can see it there if you look carefully.) His big thing now is recording every day sounds and incorporating them in various fashions, repetitions, etc., to music he composes. He can build the music to his heart’s content, adding track after track to enrich the sound. He says I probably won’t be a fan of his new stuff. :0)
Being old and traditional, I love to hear him play one or more of the instruments, playing something he composed, or singing a cover of a song he likes. I’m happy that he now is starting to feel free to experiment and play in his music room, creating something he likes. He is thinking about starting a YouTube channel.
I can’t wait.
Lunch Bunch began over 17 years ago. We meet every Friday to share lunch, laughs, and news. The core group is Linda, Kay, and me. We have other wonderful people join us from time to time as they can, but the core is the basis.
This is Linda.
“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.” – Swedish Proverb
This is Kay.
“When you cherish the value of the gift of FRIENDSHIP, it can never be lost, for what you always carry in your hearts is yours to keep forever and your friends’ too!”
This is Bud, Linda’s Husband – an honorary Lunch Bunch member.
“A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway.” – Fr. Jerome Cummings
And this is my husband, another honorary Lunch Bunch member. (He refused to cooperate with my taking his picture.)
“Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.” – Anonymous
We are now eating at a picnic table in the parking lot of the restaurant, rather than inside, due to the pandemic. Our wonderful waitress/friends, Susan and Mikey come outside to take our orders and bring our food, chatting for a minute, even though they are really busy. We are very grateful to be able to once again share what is happening in our lives.
“The best things in life are never rationed. Friendship, loyalty, love, do not require coupons.”
Our day started with our semi-annual dental cleaning. Not really the way I would CHOOSE to spend the morning of my actual birthday, but it’s important and was right down the road from Red Lobster, where we enjoyed my birthday lunch together today. The good news is – no oral cancer (my mom died of this) and no cavities or problems. The surprising news – the bill I thought was fully paid for my husband’s implant in November and crown in February was NOT paid in full – only the first part. So today was much more expensive than we thought it would be. It’s paid now, so that is behind us.
Driving out of the parking lot proved to be quite hair-raising. My husband almost pulled out in front of a car that was almost right upon us. We both managed to avoid the problem, but it really got our attention. WHEW!
Lunch at Red Lobster was glorious. We both enjoyed the special biscuits they’re famous for. I had lobster tail and broccoli. My husband had fish and chips. He had an apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. I had chocolate ‘wave’ cake.
“When I grow up I want to be an old woman.” — Michelle Shocked
“Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.” — Brian Rathbone
I brought home a biscuit plus most of the cake to enjoy later. I DO enjoy a birthday marathon…
“It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there.” — John O-Donohue
We had left the house at 10:00. We didn’t get home until almost 3:00. We were both pooped, so I texted our good friends that we weren’t going to go bowling tonight. I sat down with a cup of coffee in my chair in the living room. The next thing I knew, it was 5:00.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”~ Sophia Loren
We will eat some dinner in a few minutes, but I have had a truly wonderful celebration of another year added to my tally.
“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” — Criss Jami
Today was spring-like, but grim and gray. When I walked around in the yard though, after we got home from errands, I couldn’t help but grab my camera and try to capture the richness of our yard right now.
There is still the hole in the middle of the yard where we had to dig up a large part of it to find the leaking water pipe. I told you we managed to roll the rock over the edge of the world, but the hole remains. It now has some dark potting soil, but it’s still an eyesore and will be until we are confident the mower won’t sink down into the hole, and the grass once again covers the area. Even with that, the daffodils take my breath away.
Each year I did up some of the bulbs and plant them in another spot. I’ve done this for several years now, so clumps of daffodils are blooming all over the front yard and we now have a couple of clumps in the back. (The one above is “Debbye” in full bloom now.)
Big happy daffodils in several different shades of yellow and styles, all living together. Long stalks heavy greenery, bringing up my spirits.
These are beside the well house. We have dug them up twice, thinking we got them all, and yet they continue to bloom year after year.
I truly can’t imagine my life without reading.
I feel very lucky because once I finally got my Master’s Degree, I lost my enjoyment of reading. I had to read so many things that I found dry, useless, and a total waste of time that I would do almost anything before I sat down to read something. And when I did – even if it was the newspaper or the crossword puzzle, I tensed up, reading as if I would have to spit it back out, word for word, for a test. It was actually about a year before I finally read for the simple pleasure it should be.
Right now I am re-reading several Nora Roberts books. I’m fascinated by her creativity and ability to write in different styles. There are the romances, which I love, where I can dive in and get lost, enjoying the wonderful characters, situation, and dialogue, knowing that somehow things will work out. There are the series, where there are 3 or 4 books that together tell a larger story. She has unique stand-alone books. I’m reading one called Shelter In Place, which is the story of a mass shooting and the lives affected by it. Her In Death series, writing under the pen name of J.D. Robb, is a stunning series of 50 books now in which Eve Dallas is a police detective, dealing with the horror and grittiness of New York in the future, yet providing a cast of characters I would truly love to actually know. All of these are simply reading for pleasure.
I have a nice collection now of keto recipe books, allowing me to cook some delicious meals while I try to lose my lard. In combination with these, Suzanne Ryan’s keto website, and the Cronometer website where I list what I’ve eaten and my exercise, I have access to motivation, recipes, and record-keeping which – unless I eat stuff I shouldn’t, will help me be as healthy as possible.
Art books are a constant delight. I love to grab one, being awestruck by the talent shown, along with details of how I might improve my skills. I combine this with wonderful videos on YouTube and find my spirits soaring.
When I finish re-reading my collection of Nora Roberts books, I’ll change and start re-reading my collection of Robert B. Parker books….