Thursday, January 19, 2017

One Old Crone's Plan for a Long Life...

Look at this--me with my beautiful daughter
about 10 years ago... What a difference
between then and now...
Yup, that would be me--I think at sixty-one I am in that category--oone of the old crones.  I never thought I 'd get here, but there you go.  One day after another and all of a sudden that face I kept complaining about really looks old now-- crows feet, age spots and all--I guess I was looking pretty good back in my twenties and thirties, and yes, even my forties and fifties.  Oh.  But then menopause hit.  Whole new story. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  Everything changes after menopause.  You totally loose all elasticity in your skin, you suddenly look in the mirror and realize you are looking at your mother.

Am I old now that I am sixty-one years old?   I can't even get my thoughts around that number.  Sometimes I have to think about what I am looking at when clothes shopping and remind my self that I am really too old to wear something.  Not that I am too heavy... but that my flabby arms and wrinkly legs are not going to look good in it!  I still feel like a 30-something.  I talk to women in my exercise class and I think we are the same age... until they make a comment about getting up at night with the baby... oh... right.  My baby is twenty-six.

Maybe my attitude is the one that will help me achieve my goal of living to be 125 years old.  Lots of people are living to be 100 these days... so I figure by the time I hit 90, medical technology ought to have advanced enough to keep me going until 125.

Herring Gull I painted this spring
I just have too much to do to die any sooner.  I started water color painting this year--what fun.  Who knew I would have any aptitude for water color?

I am writing more.  I still want to learn to speak Chinese and how to play the piano.  And so much more!  Now that I am not working, I have so much more time on my hands to do the things I have wanted to do.  I think I need at least 40 or 50 more years to get it all done!

And maybe this is the attitude of a long-lifer... being interested in life... interested in learning... I saw a video of a 100 year old woman selling something beside the road. (Yes, it was a third world country)  She did this to make enough money to live on --at 100 years old.  Obviously not American culture.  Don't get your panties in a twist now, I love America and am thankful to live here, but you have to agree it is not part of our culture to continue supporting oneself after 60 or 70 years.  We all expect to retire and live the life of Riley. (whoever that is...)

But what is retirement but another stage in life.  We had the childhood stage, where someone took care of us, and the college/young adult stage where we learned about ourselves and who we were, and then the working/growing a family stage where our attention was mostly on family and work... and then comes retirement.

That much anticipated, all encompassing, I can't wait for it state of.... what?  So many of us live our lives looking forward to the day when we can retire, that we miss much of the wonderful life we are actually in, .  Hmmmm.   Seems to me there is a problem here.  A serious problem.

...not to say we shouldn't plan for our retirement--or course we should.  But part of that plan needs to include what we are going to do when we retire.  Sitting and watching TV will either get old real fast or kill you.  Same for facebook.  We need to have a plan for exercise, of our body and our mind.  I truly feel that learning new things is critical to a long life.  You all have seen people who can barely walk, who are not interested in much of anything besides what's on TV,   They are dying a long, slow death-- and maybe not so long.

With all there is to do in the world... I can't fathom not finding new things to do.  A friend recounted a phrase a woman had said to her--"You have to retire TO something, not from something"  Good advice.   Now that we are old enough to not care what others think of us--go for it!  Pick up a new sport, try out a new art form, dance, write, golf, collect stamps--it doesn't matter what as long as you find it engaging.

 I could have ended up painting like a five year old (and trust me, some of my flowers look like a five year old painted them) but I still would be having fun!  And I am having fun--most of my paintings I would not put out for the public to see, but I don't care.  It's the process that I enjoy.

So my plan for a long life--learn more things--  Exercise my mind and my body more.  (Dance classes in my future.)

...And use more exclamation points!  --Live life as an exclamation point!  This old crone is embracing this stage of life--saggy skin and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me and my sister-in-law Jeannie, celebrating a successful day
 of shopping in the keys with our favorite beverage
--a glass of wine of course!  BTW... this is sans makeup 
as I don't bother with it down here in the Keys... 
...and that is a whole other soap box I will get on next time...
Stay tuned...

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