I recently made the mistake of buying a 10x magnifying mirror. I ask you, what was I thinking? There’s no good reason to buy an item that only magnifies your imperfections while accentuating those you had no idea you even possessed. But did that stop me?Let’s face it – we live in a youth-oriented society. Wrinkles are not appreciated here like in Japan or the Philippines, where those with nooks and crannies are revered for the wisdom that comes with age (accompanied by great storytelling). Nursing homes? What are those? Continue reading
So last Wednesday I’m out of nectarines. Or maybe it was Burrata cheese. The point is, United Market carries the best of both so I made a quick stop. If you’ve never had Burrata before, I ask you, “Why the hell not?!” Simply drain the liquid, slice off a creamy section, drizzle it with olive oil, sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes (if you like to live dangerously) then dollop it on toasted, sliced baguettes rubbed ever so slightly with a clove of garlic. I tell ya, it’s cheese heaven.
Anyway, while I shopped, I found much more I wanted to buy. As usual. To look in my cupboards you’d think I’m housing 4 people here. Hey, I stock up. I’m a stocker. But the thing is, while I roamed the isles, I noticed how crowded the store was for a Wednesday afternoon.
I’ve been coming to this United Market since I was a kid. My mom brought my sister and me with her each week. Vicki and I sat in the cart eating Flicks milk chocolate discs. They were our reward for being tolerable while Mom shopped. Sometimes, when we were exceptionally good, we got Necco Wafers. I don’t recall having the opportunity to enjoy those very often.
Last week I wrote that the older I get, the less I care about how I’m perceived by others. I’m noticing that also goes for voicing my opinion, good bad or ugly. Apparently this whole aging thing has dulled my sense of concern in regard to what slips out of my mouth.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not condoning being rude or hurtful. Not at all. I’m just saying I no longer feel the need to remain silent when something strikes me as wrong, or to temper my response to please someone when I’m asked my opinion and it happens to be different from theirs.
Generally speaking, I think women (more than men) struggle with confronting friends when they have a criticism, even if it’s constructive. My women friends avoid this scenario at all costs because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Continue reading
Let it be known you are reading words written by an old person. At least that’s how our government now defines me since I’ve reached the ripe old age to receive Medicare. Send in the marching band, let the trumpets blare. Yours truly is 65!Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t feel an iota different than I did 10 days ago, back when I was 64. But being long in the tooth does have its perks:
I now notice when one is referred to as ma’am (no longer miss), one receives a different sort of attention. The kind that says, “Do you need help with that, ma’am?” And, “Here, let me do that for you, ma’am.” Turns out they’re happy to help. It’s one of the more pleasant aspects of being on the road to decrepitness.
Just about everyone has an opinion on how people can live to a ripe old age. Old as the hills is often used to describe one well into their 90s. That saying must be getting lots of use these days since people living over 90 are the fastest growing segment of our population, according to a recent 60 Minutes broadcast. Can you believe that? Hard to imagine in 1900 people only lived an average of 49 years. I’d be dust for 9 years already…
Theories abound as to the tricks needed to reach that wrinkly old age where you can get away with just about anything simply because you’re ancient. Personally, I’m looking forward to that part of it, at least.
So the few perks we can look forward to as we inch closer to decaying are things like no longer carrying groceries to the car because some nice young man will help us with that. It’s his pleasure. At least that’s what he’ll tell us.
We will never be without a seat on a bus and I bet we’ll get to move to the front of any line because people will feel bad if we’re standing at the back of one. If we drop something, someone will rush to pick it up. No more unnecessary bending for us.
Ah, the joys of slowly becoming decrepit.
Now don’t get me wrong; getting old is not something to look forward to, but what’s the alternative? When you look at it that way, I say embrace the wrinkles, accept the aching muscles and brittle bones and just go with it. But wait. There’s good news to report on this front.
The 60 Minutes program I mentioned featured the results of a study conducted in the early 1980s with 14,000 seniors living in a retirement community in LA. The study attempted to determine what the seniors did or didn’t do that might eventually contribute to a long life.
Thirty years later they compared data from the original questionnaire to one recently conducted featuring those same seniors who were still alive and kickin’ – many now in their 90s:
And here’s what they found:
1) Doing just 15 minutes of exercise a day is all that’s necessary to maintain good physical health. Up to 45 minutes is optimal but it doesn’t have to be all at once or even aerobic. How sweet is that? Makes me question whether I need to take that hour-long Body Works class at the gym anymore. 2) As we already know, keeping the mind mentally sharp is important to ward off dementia. Join a book club, play board games, make new friends, travel to unfamiliar places…anything to keep those neurons firing so the old noggin’ doesn’t lose more precious brain cells.
3) Vitamins didn’t make a bit of difference. Nil. Nada. None. Most of the 90-plusers didn’t take them. There goes my stash of Cs, Bs, Es and any other letters I have in my medicine cabinet.4) Dessert is our friend. Don’t deprive yourself of sweets. I’ve got this one covered since, lucky for me, I’m not familiar with deprivation where sugar is concerned.5) Those who smoked died earlier. A no-brainer.6) Caffeine is a good thing. Having 1-3 cups a day was better than having more than that or none at all. So glad my espresso machine and I are inseparable.7) Late in life it’s better to weigh more than to weigh less. Those who were average or over-weight outlived those who were underweight. I absolutely LOVE this one, don’t you?8) And perhaps the best news of all? Having 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day (any alcohol) reduced the risk of death by 10-15%. I don’t know about you but that pretty much seals it for me. Vodka martinis and I shall be seeing a lot more of each other.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I think overall the news is pretty promising, don’t you?
It appears if you want to live into your 90s, don’t kill yourself with exercise, do new things you enjoy with people you like, chuck your vitamins, always eat dessert, get your caffeine fix and stock up on the booze.
Who knew getting old could be so much fun?
This week’s blog is dedicated to Dee Dee Dalton, 95-and-three-quarter-year-old mom to my friend Sue. Mrs. D is my inspiration. She’s independent, feisty and engaging. You rock, Mrs. D!
This is a previous post from 2014. What can I say? Life’s been busy of late…