Posted tagged ‘feeling older’

Playing Favorites 6/24/2022

June 24, 2022

turnIt has been 5 weeks since my birthday.   It was a wonderful birthday … followed by what can best be described as a shit-storm.   Sorry if my choice of words offends you.   On the evening of my birthday, our son texted me with some legal issues he needed help with.  Never good.  The next day, my daughter told me they are moving to Texas, which is really hard to take, since to my recollection their promise not to leave Utah was one of the reasons we moved here.  The sense of betrayal that brings has been keeping me awake nights.  Then, we both came down with COVID.   A trip last weekend to Virginia to attend the Bar Mitvah of the son of our dearest friends left us exhausted but probably kept me sane.   It was a joyful occasion but seeing them surrounded by their kids and grandkids was also a reminder that ours would be moving away.  So, the last time I posted Playing Favorites, the song of the day was the saddest song I know, Shattered by Linda Ronstadt. (more…)

The COVID Club

June 6, 2022

Clipboard01Wednesday I woke up with an annoyingly persistent cough, the kind of cough I’d probably had hundreds of times in my 78 years and thought, Shoot, I must be getting a cold.   But that was before the arrival of COVID 19.  As a senior with several medical issues, I tested myself one of the COVID self-test kits President Biden sent (for free, imagine that).  In case you haven’t seen one of these, it looks like a pregnancy test.  I was neither infected with COVID or pregnant.  After 24 hours of worsening symptoms, I tried again and tested solid positive.  Welcome to The COVID Club.  I received a club T-shirt in the mail from Biden and a card from Trump that said, See? I told you it wouldn’t kill you!  DONATE NOW TO STOP THE STEAL! (more…)

Playing Favorites 5/27/2022

May 27, 2022

greyghostIt has been a long week, a descent from a very happy birthday through the news that my daughter’s family will be moving away to my own futile attempt to avoid the sadness through denial, anger and bargaining (see Navigating Grief).  Last night I sent my son-in-law and daughter a note, telling them I was trying to accept their decision.   The very act of doing so stoked my anger again but this morning, I feel different.   I think am ready for the Grey Ghost of depression to wring the tears out of me and guide me to acceptance.

If you knew me personally, it wouldn’t surprise that I carry on my music devices a Heartbreakers playlist of sad songs to help this reluctant crier bring the tears.  All beautiful sad songs.   But which one gets to be the Favorite played today.  Easy.  Shattered  Beautiful melody written by Jimmy Webb.   It is remarkable how many songs by Webb grace my music files.  The most perfect pop female voice in my generation (perhaps any), Linda Ronstadt.   And the lyrics …

Shattered
Like a windowpane
Broken by a stone
Each tiny piece of me lies alone

They would rip the heart out of the Gray Ghost himself, if he had one.

Enjoy … or have a good cry … whichever suits your day.

Playing Favorites (5/20/1944)

May 20, 2022

wpid-happy_birthday_to_you.jpgNo, that’s not a typo in the title.  In spite of my advanced age, I know what year it is (2021, right?).  But I was born on this date in 1944, making this my 78th birthday (2022-1944=78.  See?  I is still good at math).  So the question of the moment is what a music loving septuagenarian music lover will play on his birthday.  The obvious (if not original) choice is the classic Happy Birthday we been forced to sing since we were kids.  My favorite version:

Happy birthday to you,
You belong in a zoo.
You look like a monkey,
And you act like one too.

Cute but hardly appropriate … monkeys rarely life beyond forty.   Or, I could find a page like 33 Best Birthday Songs Of All Time and choose one of the dozens of birthday songs that were recorded by various artists.   I could reach back to my youth and choose The Crests Sixteen Candles, but that would be about 55 candles short (see?  I is still good at math).  Besides, the song is about heartbreak and I am a happy old goat today.   I could choose Happy Birthday songs by The Beatles or Stevie Wonder, but as much as I love both artists, their birthday songs feel like half-hearted efforts.   I could go modern with 2 Chainz – Birthday Song featuring Kanye West and the lovely lyric, All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.  Not a freaking chance … we’re talking music here.  And it’s crap like that that makes me feel even older.

So, I’ll pick a birthday song with a brain by one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who tells a story in every song.   In her Happy Birthday song, Carly talks about all the things growing old has cost her, including caffeine and dessert.  It’s a great birthday song, but it’s also a reminder of all the things you have to do make it to your seventies.  And appropriately enough, she’s also a septuagenarian.  Be sure to listen to the lyrics (or read them here).

Useta

May 19, 2022

happy_birthday_to_youLooking back a bit on the eve of my 78th birthday …

I useta get up the day after a marathon with legs so sore I could hardly walk.  Now I don’t need the marathon.

I useta think my wife was lucky to have me.   Now I know that I’m the lucky one and that spending fifty years with her is the best thing in my life.

I useta solve complex mathematical and statistical problems.   Now I do Wordle and figure out how to fix the shutters in our office.

I useta ride a bike fifty miles a week.  Now I ride a stationary bike that goes nowhere for 30 minutes.

I useta think that people were basically good.   Now I look around at what’s going on in the world and I’m not so sure. That makes me very sad.

I useta be an engineer who thought he was meant to be a writer.   Now I am a writer who useta engineer.

I useta do triathlons … swim, bike and run.   Now do the old guy triathlon … I walk on the track at the gym, ride the stationary bike and shower.

I useta be a liberal.  Then I was a moderate.   Then a conservative.  Now I’m not so sure I want to be associated with any of them.

I useta think that 78 sounded very old.   Now I know I wasn’t wrong.

I useta know the words to virtually every song I loved.   Now I still do but I can’t always remember who sang them.

It useta make me sad that no one seemed to feel music like I do.    Now I know it is a gift that brings me untold joy and connects me to the Infinite.

I useta think I’d never move to Utah.   Now I am happily living there, ten minutes from my grandkids with a view of the mountains.

I useta be a seeker.   I still am and will be to the day I die.   I’m OK with that.

New Tricks

May 18, 2022

old dogWe have all heard the old saying You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and speaking as an old dog, I can testify that it is often true.   We old dogs do like things our way.  Mostly.  But every once in a while, life intervenes in a way that breaks through our old doggedness and makes us change.  As I mention a while back in my post, PT, I have been subjecting myself to Physical Therapy in an attempt to reduce nerve pain radiating from my back into my legs.  In the first three weeks it has been unclear whether the assortment of massages, stretches and exercises prescribed by my physical therapist have helped, made the pain worse, or simply moved it around in this old body.  If it were you going through this course of PT, I’d be telling you it takes time to work, but this is my body … and I want to feel better now.   My therapist is understanding and tries to keep my spirits up with jokes like What is the difference between a physical therapist and a terrorist?   You can’t negotiate with a physical therapist.   Funny and true but not helpful. (more…)

PT

April 28, 2022

PTIf you have lived into your seventies and managed to avoid back issues, you are indeed lucky.  From the number of seniors I know … myself included … who deal with pain from various back ailments, it seems clear that although we may have evolved to live our lives upright our long life expectancy is too much for our backs.  I have been lucky nonetheless because my pains have been manageable, that is, I can navigate my life as it is in my seventies without too much trouble.   Lately, though, the pains in my legs have gotten worse, limiting how far I can walk and making my Thursday morning shift of cat care at Best Friends Animal Society a reach for this old body.   So, I went to see my Doc, Dr. Preston Wilson (or is it Wilson Preston?) and asked what my next step might be.  He said, Well, I could send you for an MRI but no matter what it shows, your insurance will insist that you try PT.  So you might as well try it first.  So, last week I put on my loose fitting clothes suitable for exercise and made my way to the local Physical Therapy Center. (more…)

MyTube

April 18, 2022

radio

If you’ve been coming around here for a while, you know I am a music lover (there are 88 posts under the category, music).  I have often said that we live in a marvelous time to be music lovers.  My old-fashioned stereo now lives in my office, ready to play any of the hundreds of CDs and small collection of LPs that I kept when we moved to Utah (I sold most my record collection before moving, keeping mostly the classical recordings).  Amazon Alexa sits on the shelf in the office and at my bedside, ready to play music on request.   Digital media allows me to carry my entire music collection (some ripped from CDs or from vinyl) with me whether on my cell phone or on my portable high-resolution player that delivers near audiophile sound.   Streaming media and the ubiquitous availability of wi-fi gives me access to practically any song by any artist anywhere through resources like Prime Music, Spotify and Sirius XM.  Wherever I am I can listen on high quality portable speakers, my Bose noise cancelling headphones, Bluetooth earbuds or high-resolution wired earbuds.  In my car, I can access Pandora, Sirius XM or play my music from my phone via Bluetooth.   It is pretty remarkable when you consider what I had in my teenage years, like my not-so-portable radio at the top of the page. (more…)

Playing Favorites 2

April 15, 2022

music notesI have loved a lot of music in my 77 years.   The truth is, the number of new pieces I fall in love with has dwindled over the years and my new music loves are often jazz or country.  Current modern popular music seems simplistic and boring, except for hip-hop and rap, which offends my ears.  I remember what my Mom and Dad thought about the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, and how I promised myself that I would always stay up with new music.  Here I am, not so much, mostly stuck in the 60 and 70s.  My tastes are fairly eclectic … classical, jazz, country and rock … but the rock n roll of the 60s and 70s gives me the most joy and provides most of my pop favorites. (more…)

The Gym

February 26, 2022

My Dad was thin for his entire life even though he ate pretty much whatever he wanted.  My Mom struggled with her weight continually.   Through high school and college, I was trim and muscular, if I do say so myself, even though I ate (as my mom would say) like a horse.  Watching me as I lifeguarded at the local beach, our next-door neighbor once remarked that the more clothes I took off the better I looked (Embarrassing but flattering to a 16-year-old).   I assumed, therefore, I had my Dad’s metabolism.  I was wrong.   Once I was married and working, I began to gain weight.   When we drove to our new home in California, my wife Muri snapped a photo of me sitting on the hood of our car in the middle of the desert.   I was wearing a bright purple shirt and I looked like a giant grape.  Thus began a lifetime of working out to keep my weight down. (more…)