Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oh man, blogging is a chore!

I've been blogging since 2009 -- not here, but in a different site about healthy eating. And I am worn out! There is too much effort for too little reward. Getting old might not be the whole story here. (And by the way, I am now an official f-ing senior citizen, hitting my 65th birthday this month.) It's just... like, why?
Maybe when I stop working, the idea of blogging will regain some appeal. For now, I have little to share.............

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Time, money....and energy

For most of my life, whether I could do something or go somewhere depended on having the time and money for it.
Not there is a third factor: will I have the energy? Not just to do the thing, but to enjoy it. To make whatever it is worth the effort....and the time and money.
I mention this as my husband and I are about to go downtown to an outdoor event in Cincinnati called Lumenocity. It is a beautiful production that combines music, dance and an incredible laser light show. But you have to be there about 5 hours before the thing claim a space....and wait in the sun with thousands of people. Not to mention, you have to park far away and carry all your supplies including chairs.
I think we will be okay, and have a fun time, but it is not easy for us old folks to tolerate the hassles. Or certainly, not as easy as it used to be.
True confession: I've never been a fan of street fairs, festival seating, big crowds, etc. Old age is just bringing out those dislikes and making them harder to ignore.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Don't get fat, but by all means don't get too thin

For quite some time, I've had a BMI that's on the high side of normal. And I've always wanted to be thinner. I've done a good job of maintaining my weight thanks to healthy eating (with some indulgences along the way, to be sure) and very, very assiduous exercise every single day.
Even so, I've longed to weigh 5-10 pounds less than I do.
But over the winter when I was in the hospital twice for a heart issue, two different nurses told me that my weight was perfect.
And I know what they mean -- a thinner body also means a thinner face, and my already prominent wrinkles and sag would just look worse.
So I'm trying to be OK with the weight that I'm at.
She's elegant, but TOO thin

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Seniors"? "Elderly?" Not so much...

Heard a reporter on NPR yesterday talking about the language she and others use to describe people over 60.  Apparently, folks get annoyed by some of the old standard expressions, such as that we are in our "golden years," or that we are now "senior citizens." Just the word seniors by itself isn't much favored, either.
She said that the most neutral, non-annoying expression is now "older people."
They also asked listeners to get in touch if they had any better ideas.
I can't think of anything. Mostly, getting old sucks no matter what you call us.
On the other hand, there are some facets of being past 60 (but not near 70 yet) that aren't too bad. I don't have periods, I don't sweat the small stuff much anymore, I have more money and fewer financial obligations to others, my wisdom factor is higher, I don't worry about my weight and appearance as much as in younger days.....

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Older husband syndrome

My husband is 7 years older than me, in good physical health now, but that won't last forever.
He's also a bit of a hypochondriac who assumes that any ailment is a dire one. I think that's a characteristic more common in men, but he's the only one I've ever been this intimate with for this long (almost 20 years), so that generalization is something of a guess.
My overall health seems really fine, but I have an underlying heart condition that means it all could take a serious turn for the worst in short order.
However, this post is about the back-of-my-mind anxiety that I'll have to be his caregiver in the coming years. I love him, of course, and want to help make his life easier and more comfortable. But I'm not exactly the nursing type, and have had not a moment's training in caring for someone who is chronically ill.
I guess, you get the training you need when the time comes?
At least one of my friends is married to a man 14 years older than she is, and I have an aunt who's been married for 30 years to a man almost 20 years YOUNGER than her. (At least in her case, the physically stronger person -- the younger man -- is likely to become the caregiver to his older wife.)
These age differences don't mean much when you're young or middle aged, but as old age creeps along.....well, it brings a new set of circumstances.
By the way, a recent issue (dated April 7) of New York magazine has some interesting stories and features about being old in New York City. Much if not most of it applies to being old in any city. Or maybe anywhere.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Slacking off

I desperately need to post something here, but it's the end of the academic year and everything piles on at once. I teach in two different departments and thus get double the end-of-year commitments that can't be gotten out of. 
SO while I have thought of many things to write about here.....this is going to be a place-keeper for now.
Topics to come:
--The lessening importance of material things (so why do I still love to shop???)
--The challenge of having an older husband (he's OK so far but there's probably a big care-giving shakeup ahead, someday)
--And that whole loss thing........doesn't go away.

Monday, March 10, 2014

On life, love and loss

The longer I live, the more it seems that life is about loss. Or partly about that, at least. I'm not really old yet, but even in my 60s I'm outliving people that I care about. My father died long ago, when I was still in my 20s, and that loss seems so remote to me now. Plus I wasn't that close with my dad. Much more recently, my best friend's husband died of pancreatic cancer in his 50s, just two years almost to the day after they were married. Then came the death of one of my great loves, a man named Louie who was many years my senior. He was one of a handful of soul-mate lovers (or I thought so at least) in my whole life, and the first to die. He lived in a small town in North Carolina where my parents lived, and to this day when I pass through that town, I miss him so profoundly -- even though I never ran into him for many years after we broke up. There was some comfort in thinking that I might see him again, and we might be able to say a few more things to each other.
Me and my mother, about 2000

The most profound loss however was the death of my mother, two years ago this month. She was the love of my life -- for almost 62 years! I'm not as bereft of her now as I was at first, but there are still times when my mind reels with the knowledge that she is gone from this life forever, and that I have to live the rest of my days without her.

One saving grace -- I'll close with this so as to end on a more hopeful note -- is that I try to replace these thoughts of loss with feelings of gratitude for what I DO have. That is, think about what I have and not what I don't have. When it comes to my mother, I was so blessed to have had first of all a full-time mother (she didn't work outside the home while she raised us), and a woman who was born and bred to be a mom. She did it so well, so lovingly, from the bottom of her heart.

That makes me very rich in love!