Posted tagged ‘feeling older’

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…)

Mindful … or Not

February 25, 2022

meditationI have flirted with meditation for roughly 50 years.   It started with Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the Maharishi in the 70s.   I remember attending classes with a room full of perpetually smiling disciples explaining how easy it was compared to other forms of meditation, and how quickly I could feel the wonderful results if I was just willing to do it for 15-20 minutes twice a day.   I stuck with it religiously (if you’ll pardon the expression) for about a year.   It indeed made me less anxious and easier to get along with, although I never found the amazing changes talked about on the TM website.  After that, my meditation was more sporadic and I tried other techniques, such as guided meditation and meditation to music.  When I started work the 12 Steps, I sought through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God per the advice of Step 11.  Many people working the steps say prayer is how we talk to God and meditation is how God answers.  I have never heard from God during meditation, but it certainly makes me feel better and probably more receptive to things spiritual.   Still, consistently meditating has been a challenge for me because my too busy mind really hates to lose the thinking time, in spite of the benefits of meditation. (more…)

Retired

February 22, 2022

retiredOn the last day of December 2021, I retired.   There was no retirement dinner, no gold watch, just an emailed letter to my business partner stating that I was retiring and the business was now his.  We really hadn’t had any business since early in the year … my only responsibilities had been maintaining contact with certain websites that allowed us to work for the government.   So, there is really no change in my days to mark the occasion.    But even at 77 years old, it feels odd.   For over thirty years, I have written in a journal most morning, a remnant of something Julia Cameron called Morning Pages in her book, The Artist’s Way.  It was part of a plan to bring out my Inner Artist, and indeed it did.   I took classes in creative writing, published a short story and wrote a novel (unpublished).   I began painting and photography.   I started this blog that has over 2000 posts on it and another to display my art.  At the end of my pages each morning, I would write four letters (M for Mystic, A for Artist, S for Scientist and E for entrepreneur).  In a small attempt to keep some balance in my life, I would order the letters to correspond to the extent that my previous day was occupied with each of the four.   For example, S, A, M, E would mean that most of my time was spent on Science and Art, while spirituality and business were less important. (more…)

Tapestry

November 2, 2021

tapestryAs I get older (and older!), I find myself more philosophical, thinking about the nature of things and what, if anything, it all means.  Friends who seem to have found faith, or at least a view of life that works for them, say I am an over-thinker.  I plead guilty.  I am a very lucky man, happily married for over 50 years, living in a beautiful community in Utah, financially secure and ten minutes from my grandkids.  But at seventy-seven, it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are substantially fewer years ahead than behind.  Friends suffer senior maladies and sometimes leave this life.   My maladies are relatively minor but bothersome and its easy to imagine that my latest ache or pain will usher in my turn for something serious.   Friends tell me God’s in Charge.  I believe that … but why does God make life so difficult sometimes and require that we say good bye to those that we love?    Other friends say Nothing is Good or Bad.  It is what we think about it that makes it seem good or bad, a notion borrowed from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Sorry.  I can’t buy that losing a friend … or contracting a nasty illness … is neutral, nor is it Good Appearing Bad. (more…)

Lost and Found

September 16, 2021

forgetAs far back as I can remember, I have been a little absent-minded.   I remember when I was in junior high coming home from fishing in Pirot’s Pond with a baitfish still on the hook.  I put away my tackle box and stood the fishing rod … kelly still hanging on the hook … in the corner of the closet.  At that point, my Mom called, Buddy, come here a minute.  Off I went to see what she wanted, making a mental note to come back and get rid of the bait.   As so often happens, I lost my mental note until a week later, when Mom detected a putrid smell coming from my closet.  She was not happy.   Once I was driving, a favorite trick was locking the keys in the car … once, when I was in graduate school and late for a class, I locked the keys in with the car still running.  By the way do you know an ignisecond* is?  It is the instant of time between the time you close the car door and your brain screams, The keys are in the ignition !!!  For those of you of a certain age, you will know this is a sniglet. (more…)