Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Own your age...you worked hard for it!

World's greatest gift bag...
I'm two weeks into Being Seventy. Turns out that once I got used to the sound of it, things are not all that different from being 69, or even 68.

This past weekend I heard an NPR interview with Philip Roth, in which they implied that it was surprising that he continued to turn out novels in his 70s. He said he hadn't seen any reason to stop. His statement, as I recall, was, "I still had energy, and nothing had changed. I was eating the same breakfast cereal." Roth turned 80 last week, and he said he has slowed down. He naps every day--after he goes for a long swim.

This brings us to one thing I've learned lately. If you want to be healthy and active at 70 or 80, you'd better start working on it a lot earlier. Had I been strength training in my 50s, I probably wouldn't have fallen three times in my 60s. Had I built and sustained my stamina, I might have recovered more readily when I did break my leg. Surely it would have been easier to return to the fun activities that keep us healthy and alive.

But I'm not dwelling on that. I'm doing my tap routines several times a week, and I'm gently stretching for flexibility. I found my dumbbells, and I'm setting up a schedule. I will walk outdoors in a week or two, when the dratted ice melts from our treacherous sidewalks. In another month I should be able to work in the garden, or at least at its edges--always a favorite workout. We are seeing the sun for more hours in the day, and on those days when it chooses to shine, I salute and celebrate it.

and gifts that go with Being Hot. :)
Here's something else I've learned. If you are dreading a birthday, celebrate the heck out of it. Get your friends and family together, maybe several times over the course of a week, talk about life (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and see if you don't find yourself celebrating who you are. Part of that, of course, is being whatever age you are. The sooner you own it, the happier you'll be.

I can tell from your blog posts that most of my readers already knew that. I did, too, but aging brings all kinds of changes and I suspect some of them will be equally hard to embrace. As the saying goes, growing old is not for cowards!


P.S. The gift bag plays "Ring of Fire" when you open it. The perfect gift from my brother Al and sister-in-law Lynn!

11 comments:

Teresa Evangeline said...

Oh, I love your image of "gifts that go with Being Hot." Wonderful! I am about to turn 60. And for the first time in my life, I'm sort of not happy with that. I still see myself as late 20's and I don't mind being 60, I just don't Feel 60. Not in the least. You're probably thinking, "Poor Baby," Huh? lol Nancy, I love your attitude toward life and have learned so much from it. I thank you for being such a good elder. lol.

Red Shoes said...

I love this post!!!

Very positive!

Very forward looking!!!

Got get 'em!!!!!!

~shoes~

Far Side of Fifty said...

It sounds like you are embracing the 70's with grace. It is always good to look forward instead of backwards. I love that you had multiple celebrations:)

Terra said...

The gift bag that plays Ring of Fire is fabulous, I will look for one to give to a gal friend. I am almost your age and glad to hear the view still looks good. I exercise 3 times a week at a health club, so we are on the same page with exercising.

Lo said...

Congrats, dear on your age and your attitude. What foolish weight we put on a number.....you are still here and going forward....that is all that matters.

And I am 86, dammit....who is going to argue with me?

Linda Myers said...

This year I'll be old enough for Medicare. It feels very weird. My body is beginning to acquire signs of age, and I have my share of senior moments. But I'm still very engaged in life, very curious, always wanting to learn. I hope I'll be doing that when I'm REALLY old!

Pauline Persing said...

I hope you have someone near like our neighbor across the street. She will turn 92 in July. This past year she has had a hip replacement and then, a few months later, a heart attack. She has been back to her volunteer job at the local hospital for several months and has also taken short trips with the Senior Citizens since then. Yesterday she shoveled the snow off her driveway.

Grandmother said...

Whenever you put exercise and strength training in place is the right time as our bodies profit from both at any age. Besides you can't should've done it earlier now! Keep tapping, Nancy, and make it a great year!

DJan said...

I have a 73-year-old friend (one of the Trailblazers) who goes square dancing once a week and tap dances on top of that. She is a strong hiker and is in love with the world. Her husband died a few years ago and she has remade her life. An inspiration! And being a few months older than you, I will test the waters and let you know how it is! :-)

Retired English Teacher said...

I agree with you on owning your age. That is how we successfully and realistically age well. Aging has its downsides, but I'll take it over the alternative.

I love your advice to celebrate the heck out of a dreaded birthday. You go girl. I'm loving your approach.

Jeanie said...

You are doing tap? HOW COOL IS THat?! I love tap and even did a little a million years ago. Now there is too much of me to really get me off the ground. But I love it.

You're right about starting now. I'm trying to slowly get myself back to where I SHOULD be (which is even further than I'd settle for!)

So, your birthday was on March 11 -- I'm seeing it on the post below and I'm so sorry I missed it. But I hope you are still celebrating, because I believe you should celebrate any birthday for as long as you can. I send warm belted birthday greetings and let the celebration continue!

I have missed more of your blog than I wish. But I'm getting back in the groove. Many happy wishes!

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