Friday, January 30, 2015

The Hard Work of Aging

I have a very fitness conscience daughter.   She sends me daily emails about healthy aging  because she loves me and wants me to be healthy.  (And she wants me to live independently and not with her when I’m older).  I enjoy the little inspirational quotes and the advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  They come daily with different writers giving  different advice. But it just dawned on me that this is stuff they recommend you do every single day.  Every. Single. Day.  All of it. So I put together this summary list of recommendations from just the last two weeks to get a sense of what a day should look like:

  • 10 to 15 minute of meditation
  • a 5 to 10 minute inversion poses
  • 30 minute aerobic exercise
  • 8 to 10 hours sleep
  • laugh
  • weight lifting
  • volunteer and give back
  • balance exercises
  • yoga and flexibility exercises
  • brain games
  • social interaction
  • 200 orgasms a year
  • practice daily gratitude

I am assuming that this advice is targeted for folks who have fully retired and have at least 60 hours a day to accomplish all these essential tasks to guarantee those healthy golden years.  Because I don’t know about you, but if I do attempt a 10 minute inversion pose, it is going to take me at least 20 minutes to get back up off the floor and another 30 minutes to complain about it.

And notice there is no time built in for personal hygiene or even eating.  Although there are a significant amount of emails about eating healthy and detox diets and the importance of green smoothies.  I guess you squeeze those in between the 6 hours needed at the gym and collecting canned goods for the food drive.

200 orgasms a year?  This is obviously not a daily task but if you do the math, that is 4 orgasms a week.  Maybe I could do that when I was 20.   Maybe.  (My memory is a little faulty and I obviously need more brain games.)   I know a woman who complains that sex with her husband only lasts 7 minutes.  (She times it!)   If sex lasted only 7 minutes for us then maybe I would have time for sex 4 times a week, maybe in between dinner with friends and yoga class.  But for us, sex requires a lot of time.  A lot. These days we need to be well rested to begin with (otherwise we just fall asleep before anything really gets going) , and then there’s all that “wait my leg is getting a cramp”  and “remember to be careful of my shoulder” stuff.   All the work-arounds and modifications require time.  Sometimes we need to take a break in the middle and just rest awhile.  And then we need a lot of sleep afterward so we don’t start anything if we need to be up early.  


I am not finding this aging thing easy.  Not easy on the body and not easy on the spirit.   But, as people say, it is better than the alternative.  Truth be told,  I am very grateful to wake up in the morning.   And when the doctor gives me clearance, I will joyfully (with some a lot of complaining) try to fulfill the advice of my daily email and walk and lift and bend and stretch and give and make love and think and play.   But I may have to give up my part time work hours to fit it all in.  Aging healthy is very, very hard work.  I need a nap just thinking about it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Full of Grace - Code Blue

Code Blue is an emergency shelter serving homeless people in my area for when extreme winter weather hits.  And where I live, it hits often.

Recently a woman who runs an art gallery nearby asked artists to submit a piece of art focusing on the color of blue as a fundraiser for the Code Blue shelter.   There was a two week deadline.  As the newspapers reported “the response was amazing. More than 100 people submitted projects to the gallery.”  

On Saturday I attended the opening at the invitation of one of the artists.   There was no charge, but visitors were encouraged to bring a donation to help homeless persons like thermal clothing, sweatshirts, sweatpants and/or cleaning supplies.  The organizers had set up an 8 ft. table to accept donations and after the first half hour the table was no longer visible and the organizers were scrambling to find space to store all the donations. The coffee can for monetary gifts was overstuffed and someone was searching for something larger to use.  I was unable to stay very long because the galleries were so crowded that claustrophobic me had to get some air.  The response really was overwhelming.

These days we seem to be barraged with truly horrific news, day in and day out.  There are times when I wonder if humanity will survive another generation.  How can people be so cruel one another? It can, and sometimes does, drag me into a deep depression. 

Which I why I am so grateful that there are so many more people who (unfortunately) you rarely hear about, that organize events like these, who give more than they can afford to others, who share their time and their talents to help people they will never meet and who will never be able to thank them.  

These people restore my faith in humanity.
Love is powerful and love is strong.  Love wins.   

I was thrilled to meet a photographer, Jacqueline Donnelly.   This was her submission, one of my favorite places to backpack to and sleep under the stars. I am very grateful there are still protected places like this that restore my soul.

Friday, January 23, 2015

January blah

I am having a little trouble getting out of first gear.


I was going to write a post about what I learned in 2014, which was mostly about being humbled.  I didn’t get around to writing it.

And then I was going to write about my plans, intentions and resolutions for 2015.  That didn’t happen either. Apparently I am not quite ready for 2015.  Maybe soon.

I did take an awesome Italian pastry cooking class with my oldest daughter.  Most of it was way beyond my skill level but I did make these.


And then I spent a week with both my daughters in a place where the grass was still green and the temps were at least 60 degrees warmer than home.   I was still recuperating from the ruptured appendix so I required a lot of rest.  I slept a lot.   I began to feel old and sorry for myself.

I came home and my surgery got delayed because I developed a wicked cold and cough.  I started getting a little depressed about it because I just want all this medical stuff to be over and I still have two more surgeries after this.  

Then finally I had my decrepit appendix removed.  The surgery was easy, the anesthesia was a bitch.   It felt like triggering while being held under water.  And I have since been struggling to snap myself out of that fog.  

I have an undefined sadness that I can’t seem to shake.  Probably made more difficult because I can’t do anything physical while I’m recuperating.  I’m not even allowed to take a sauna for 4 weeks! So I sit.  Or nap.  

And then once I feel better I will need another surgery which will knock me down again.  


Then I remembered that writing here helps me get through the doldrums.   

Sorry this is one long, sad, whining, complaining post.

I feel better already : )