Posted tagged ‘feeling older’

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…)

Really? Really.

June 8, 2021

coronaFor years, I started the day reading the online news.  Yes, I was interested in what was going on in the world.  But the fun part was looking for blog-post material, things that my inner curmudgeon could sink his literary teeth into.   People found his satirical takes on the news funny and so did I.   Ah, but that was before The Donald and The Coronavirus.  There is still plenty of news to write about but I find it scary.   The headline that caught our eye this morning was Joints for Jab?  Washington OKs free pot as vaccine incentive.   Yes, folks, licensed marijuana stores in the State of Washington are also giving COVID-19 shots, and yes folks, the state has authorized them to give away one free joint for using their service. (more…)

Continuing Education

June 2, 2021

curmudgeonIf you’ve read the opening post on Oldereyes – Bud’s Blog, you know I offer you the opportunity to choose how you would describe me after reading a post: Sage, Curmudgeon or Fool.   I believe that sometimes I have the wisdom to be a Sage, although no one has ever called me one, and I try hard not to be a Fool.  But I am convinced that being a curmudgeon …  an ill-tempered old person full of stubborn ideas or opinions … is the natural state of the aging male.  I do my best to keep my curmudgeon Inner but as I curmudge about more things, that gets harder and … I swear … after a half century of marriage, my wife can read my mind anyway.  One  of the things I’ve gotten more curmudgeonly about is television.   There used to be shows my wife Muri and I watched together.  MASH. Taxi. Hill Street Blues.  I miss those times but if I try to watch her shows with her these days, my Inner Curmudgeon fights his way out and makes snide comments, and eventually, she sends me away. (more…)

Small Things

May 29, 2021

crows2Last night, I set out on my walk later than usual, needing about 4000 steps to reach the daily quota dictated by my Fitbit.   It was springtime warm and  to be honest, these old legs didn’t want to go.  Often when I need motivation to walk … and perhaps something upbeat to give me a brisk rhythm to walk to … I put on my Uplifting Tunes playlist, which is an assortment of favorites like Moondance, Rise, and Dance with Me.  Guaranteed to lift your spirits.   But my legs said, Put that crap on and we will go on strike.  So instead, I put on Linda Ronstadt’s Hasten Down the Wind, a beautiful mix of mostly slower songs better matched to my mood and my condition.   And how can you go wrong with Linda, on of the most incredible voices of my lifetime? (more…)

Pair of Sevens

May 20, 2021

wpid-happy_birthday_to_you.jpgToday is my 77th birthday.   A pair of sevens, not even good enough to open in a poker game.  This has been one hell of a year and I’ve groused about it plenty on these pages.   I have posted on my birthday almost every year since I started my blog in 2009.  The fellow at the left has, by the way, been part of almost every birthday post.  I thought it would be fun to revisit 22 years of birthdays to see if we can find any trends.

On May 2009 I posted Turning Sixty-Five.  I had spent a number of years managing my Dad’s Medicare, and now I had my own.  I did not handle that well but you’d never know it from my post, which talked about my Best Day, the day my wife Muri and I got pinned in college.   The next year, I posted Sixty-Freakin’-Six in which I observed that In the last year, a lot has happened, some of it magic and some of it tragic … and some of it just life on life’s terms.   And now, I’m Sixty-Freakin’-Six.   But I’m loved.   Alive.   In 2011, I posted some history, things that happened the day I was born, May 20, 1944.  In (more…)

On Sadness

May 8, 2021

poemsI try to read one poem from Garrison Keillor’s poetry collection, Good Poems, every morning.  I open at random to a page and start reading.  I admit, at least half, I don’t get, nor do I know why they are good poems.    But this morning I opened to John Updike’s poem, Dogs Death and found myself crying.  It is an incredibly sad piece about a rescued dog that has an undetected illness.  Beyond the sadness of the poem, it reminded me of losing my beloved Tuxedo cat, Claude, to cancer 2 years ago.  But when I was still crying 5 minutes later, I knew I was about to relearn a lesson that I’ve relearned many times before:  If I continually stuff feelings of sadness, they will come out as anger or disinterest in life or in isolation.  And eventually find their way out as sorrow, triggered by some totally unrelated (and probably minor) sad something.  An old friend and psychologist once told me that the reason we like sad songs is that they allow us to indirectly process sadness we can’t (or won’t) deal with directly.  Obviously, sad poems work, too. (more…)

Monday (Smiles)

May 4, 2021

Back when I was a regular blogger, posting every day, I had a theme for each day of the week.   I don’t know where I found thee inspiration to post every day back then  … and I certainly don’t have it now.  My theme for Mondays was Monday Smiles, the idea being that starting the week with something to smile about would be good to keep my dark side at bay.  There are almost 300 Monday Smiles posts (here) but I haven’t posted one since 2015.   This Monday did not start with smiles.   I didn’t sleep well and awoke with aches from some gardening I did Sunday.   I was grumpy, a state that seems to be more common first thing in the morning as I traverse my seventies.   As I said in my last post, High Maintenance, it takes considerable effort to be the kind of old soul I hoped I’d be.  When my usual Morning Practice failed to lift my spirits, I suggested to my wife, Muri. that we drive down to the South Jordan River Trail, a lovely little spot that has be come our enclave.  Still, no Monday Smiles. (more…)

High Maintenance

April 25, 2021

Over the almost 77 years of my life, I have discovered that I am High Maintenance. Like an old car, I need regular care if I am to keep running.  But instead of oil changes, spark plugs and the occasional lube job, I need maintenance to keep me from turning into one of the grouchy old curmudgeons I swore I’d never be.   Fortunately, I am mostly High-Self Maintenance. Unlike our vehicles, I can change my own oil and give myself a tune-up, figuratively thinking (sounds a little dirty, doesn’t it?). As to whether my wife Muri thinks I’m high maintenance, you’ll have to ask her.  But here’s the thing … just because I know I’m High Maintenance doesn’t mean I always do it.   My personality (and my ego) really like to be spontaneous (sometimes known as undisciplined). Therefore, just as the maintenance manual in my car’s glove box reminds me when service is required, I have a self-maintenance manual to remind me to take care of myself. In keeping with being a modern old goat, my maintenance manual is stored in my phone. It is stored in a cool little app known as Daily Checklist in which I can check off each item as it is completed.   Every day at midnight it resets, but keeps track of how regularly I do each item.  No pesty reminders or notifications … just a helpful guide that I can look in on periodically.  So, what is in my maintenance manual, you might ask.  Well there are 5 categories.

The first is what I call Morning Practice, a list of things I try to do every morning: Morning Pages, two pages of stream-of-consciousness journalling;  prayer; a gratitude listreading from several inspiring daily readers; and meditation.  Meditation is my challenge … it lubricates my life like nothing else but doing nothing for 15 minutes challenges my personality. 

The second is Social.  In this year of the COVID, isolation can turn me bitter so I need to:  talk to someone (besides my wife and my cat and more than just hello).   This year that has usually meant phone calls or zoom meetings); and write or text someone (I have several prolific e-mail pals).  

The next is CreativeWrite something (usually, on this blog);  Draw or paint something; Photography (often birds); and the catch all, Create something (some days that is a computer program).  I would subtitle the Creative category Feed My Soul.

Then there’s Spiritual, a tricky category for a spiritual but not religious curmudgeon:  Pray; Read something spiritualdo something that touches your soul (usually involves nature or music); and accept something that’s hard.  I could write a whole post on this category and probably will.

Finally, there’s ServiceChores; Take a Contrary Action (do the opposite of one of your bad habits);  Do something for someone (and preferably don’t get found out);  Contribute to something; and Tell someone you love them.

Do I do it all every day?  Nope.  Every other day?  NO!  Do you think I’m Obsessive-Compulsive?  But if I do some of it each day, it keeps me on the rails.   And that’s what making it through your seventies happily is all about.   Do you have a self-maintenance list, either written down or in your head?


March 25, 2021

curmudgeonThis has been a difficult year: my wife’s breast cancer, COVID and the isolation that it brought, adapting to life in new place away from old friends in our 70s.   Both my wife Muri and I agree that this year has aged us more than a year.  I won’t make a guess about how many years it has aged us but I do know I entered the year a fairly content seventy-five year old and find myself, at the year’s end much more of a curmudgeon than I care to be.   One of the things that has made the year livable was living near my daughter, Amy, her husband, Lars and our grandchildren, Reed, Maddux and Savy.  We have not lived near family in many, many years and beyond the comfort of knowing they are nearby, we had the joy of seeing them, albeit less than we’d have liked because of COVID.   Of course attending the grandkids activities is wonderful (Reed swimming and water polo, Maddux soccer and Savy dance) but just hanging out together, talking or playing games is special, too.  And we are lucky that we are not only relatives to our daughter and her husband, we are friends.  One of the things we have missed due to COVID is going out to dinner with just the adults, where we could talk (and laugh about) adult things. (more…)

Sentimental Old Fools

January 19, 2021

My Dad was not a sentimental man.   Don’t get me wrong … he was a loving husband and father and his love of family showed through in everything he did.   But he wasn’t given to nostalgia or romanticizing about his past.   I don’t remember his crying over memories, good or bad while I was growing up.  That changed as he rolled into his mid-seventies, the very territory I am exploring right now.  He would tear up at the memory of my Mom, who’d passed some years ago.  He’d choke up thinking about his children taking care of him as he aged or when someone said something nice about him.  At one point, my sister and I found a Veteran’s Aid program that allowed him to stay in his assisted living home.  At first he said he didn’t want a handout but when I told him he’d earned it through his military service in Italy during World War II, he cried. (more…)