Aging Gracefully, Feistily, and…

I’ve been on the planet for 48 years. My hair is going grey. My face and other parts are sagging. Wrinkles appear with zits on top of them. My hip doesn’t work right.  My feet hurt.  My fingers are stiff.  A while back I had been feeling all of this keenly and knew that I had to change the internalized images I held about aging. Somehow, the sexist, ageist culture had seeped into my deepest sense of what aging means. I was feeling washed up, used up, old, dry, grey.

Of course I know that all of this is an illusion. That it doesn’t matter. That life is impermanent. But I also live in the real world and in the cyber world. The world of lovely young airbrushed images.

In this cyber-real world, what did I do to cheer myself up, to change those internal pictures? Therapy?  Church? Support groups? No, I created a Pinterest page called “Aging Gracefully Feistily and….” Now when I feel that anti-aging voice of internalized oppression creeping into my thoughts, I turn to the internet. Check out my lovely board of feisty, fun, life-loving over 40 women…. They are an inspiration.

 

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Cloudy Day at Oyster Bay

Dog walks in nature are good.  Crazy puppy can be off leash and risk sticking his nose in gopher holes.  Pupper runs and leaps, skips and jumps.The moment I try to photograph the Peregrine Falcon, he flies from his perch.  The thorned pod reminds me that Autumn is here, and the red berries, that Christmas is on the way.

A friend recently lost her pet.  I said, “when Krishna died I was so brokenhearted.  Like he, and only he knew me the best. Deeper than humanity.”

She said, “Right.  You nailed it.”

Got me to thinking about a favorite poem.

WILD GEESE

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

I love the line, “you only have to let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves.”

wasting time, earning health

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photo credit: fabgirl

Ok.  It has been a while.  I’ve been vacationing.  Here’s a photo of Lake Tahoe with fabulous fab girl.  we went a few weeks ago–it’s all a blur now.  It was wonderful.

I’ve just returned from Florida.

I am just now getting into wasting time.  Yesterday I looked at every pair of jeans at the salvation army.  I wasted time on facebook and responded to things from six months ago.  I don’t know what I’ve been doing.  I started low carbing/real fooding (which I already basically did).  I have been watching netflix and hulu.  kicking back basically.  not getting much of anything done.  I have a good tan now, which I guess is okay, just don’t tell any goths or dermatologists.

Sooo…wasting time.  I was so caught up in my own worries, and my teaching career, and what to do about it, that I couldn’t effectively waste time.  I couldn’t really relax.  I’d think, how do these people have the time to facebook or thrift shop?

So what is the health benefit of wasting time?  Okay, this is kind of too personal, but I know my health is returning–and I know because my *&^  drive has returned.  It’s the weirdest thing.  I guess I’m not as old and sick as I thought I was.  Hooray!