Healthy Aging (1st installment)

(Note: This first installment of Healthy Aging is being posted under Poetry, Quotes, and This ‘n That*. Future ones, depending on the topic, may be in another category. For example, a book review on aging will be under Reviews.)

There are 12 candles on the cake. I interpret them as representing each month of the year, like a countdown.

Today, June 2nd, 2014, is my half-birthday. Ok, Ok, you are probably smiling and saying, “What is a half-birthday?” Chronologically, it is obviously the halfway point between my last birthday and my next birthday, December 2nd. But I do not celebrate it as such; instead, I use my half-birthday as a marker of whether I have or have not accomplished any of the goals I listed last December and whether or not these goals are still viable. If not, discard them; if still good, will I reach the goal(s) before December?

My goals were modest: stay healthy, lose the 7 or 8 pounds I gained after menopause more than 15 years ago, begin a book celebrating clotheslines as art, move to California to be near my children, continue blogging, and clear the clutter of my files.

Have I accomplished them? Well, I am always working on staying healthy, so that is an ongoing goal. As Katherine Hepburn once said when asked how she felt, her answer was something like, “Fine, if you don’t ask for details.” So health is a priority and I will discuss that further in a future posting.

Have I lost the weight I gained after menopause? No. But when I looked at my naked self in the mirror this morning while getting dressed, I decided, that for “an old broad” in my mid-seventies I look fine, not great, but fine. I have stopped obsessing about my body and treat it more lovingly, thinner or not. I exercise regularly, watch my diet, and wear clothes that favor my good body parts and de-accentuate my not-so-good parts.

As for my book on clotheslines, I wrote out a plan and posted it above my printer, on pink paper, so I notice it every day. On my Home Page yesterday, I put out a call for clothesline pictures and stories and already had one or two responses. So now my job is to start reading about the history of laundry and find a publisher. (Anyone in the publishing field reading this who thinks laundry as art is a good topic for a book, please contact me at menupause.info@gmail.com.)

Moving to California is a biggy, because my husband Alan has deep roots in Philadelphia. But he has agreed to look, so I have a map of California open on the floor under our bedroom window and a list of adult, independent living communities next to it. Coincidentally, I sat next to a real estate agent on the garden tour of Rutgers at my college reunion Friday and plan to email her today for a California contact, which she said she had. (She was using her iPhone as we were driven to the gardens. She was from the class 10 years before mine, so was I impressed! ) The Universe is listening to me!

As for my blogging, I still want to write for nothing. Ha! My website is my personal pleasure palace and at the same time I am reaching out to others concerned about their health and the health of Mother Earth. I may add a store so people can buy the items I feature that I have used and endorse, but that money would only go to pay for keeping the website going, since I do have a webmaster and have to pay for my domain and domain name yearly.

Finally, my cluttered files (and bookcase). This is a big stumbling block for me. I always think there is something lurking in my files that I will need, but some of them have not been touched since I started Menupause 8 years ago and are probably molding, so my goal for December 2nd, 2014 is to make a large dent in reducing my files to half. There, I said it! Now I have to do it!

As I honor my half birthday, think about your next half birthday. I even send my daughter-in-law half birthday cards that I create, sometimes with the letters cut in half or the card cut in half. It’s a little joke between us, because her half birthday is on Cinco de Mayo, which is easy to remember, since cinco is 5 in Spanish.

Half birthdays are important to me and I hope that by sharing why on this posting, you will think about celebrating your half-birthday, especially as you grow older. Time is not on our side, so use it well, whether you are working or working toward retirement, moving or staying where you are, staying active or just contemplating the Universe in your rocking chair. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings. No matter what you are doing, remember to stay authentic and Be Who You Are.

This is one of the flowering plants I saw on my tour of Rutgers University Gardens. The colors were striking. Be a flower and blossom!

P.S. My daughter just sent me a link from the UK on embracing your age. About 1 minute. Very powerful.  *Also moved this to Leftovers/Feedback/Miscellaneous

4 Responses to “Healthy Aging (1st installment)”

  1. Sylvia Says:

    ES…. Thank you for this very thoughtful piece. And….. H.p.y B.r.h.a.!! (I promise to finish those words on Dec 2)! Great big hugs…. sylvia

  2. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Hi! I just added a link to a short video about again that Eileen sent. Watch it if you can. Call me! ellensue
    P.S. I love the half birthday greeting!

  3. Mary-Lou Meyers Says:

    This is not my half birthday as June 14th (Flag Day) is my true birthday as well as my brother’s, who is
    three years older than I to the day. Wonderful Planning Mother! One patriotic birthday for two children. I embrace your positive attitude, your determination and drive to accomplish what you set forth. My immediate goal is to send my book length poetry book to a publisher, but before I can do that, I need a new computer. I believe clothes lines are both pragmatic and symbolic as you expose all your clothes to the outside world, you don’t confine them to the dryer, and you embrace the sun which impregnates them with its bold enterprise, and the soft scent of whatever is blooming there. I long for a simpler life for me, one not filled with as many responsibilities but I don’t think I would give up hanging clothes out nor my poetry morningsnot my walks around the pond.

  4. Paula Says:

    Happy 1/2 Birthday! I have to say that when it is August 10th, I have always thought that I was half
    way to my next “whole” birthday. These halves are going quicker. Enjoy the celebratory day!

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