I just reread Part 1 of this post, written in June, 2019. That was 2 years ago. It was a nice lookback, and I find myself wanting to reflect again on what I’m choosing these days.
I’m still in the garden. This is my 3rd year. I walk over almost every day, even when I can’t think of anything in particular that needs doing. Something always does. It’s summer, and harvest time, and my basket was too heavy to carry home yesterday. Potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers – all abundant, and heavy!
I chose a few years ago to tell everyone I know that I needed a job. And I got one: driving 3 wonderful kids to school and back, and here and there after school. I’ve seen them growing up, and now the eldest has his own car. The writing’s on the wall: my job is winding down. This summer, while they’re away at camp, I chose to answer an add on Craig’s list looking for musicians to play for the residents at a home for elderly with various stages of dementia. That little gig has turned into a bigger job that fits me perfectly and gives me a place to be creative and get paid for it. When I walk in the door, I feel like I’m joining friends. I miss it when I’m not there. My new boss is giving me freedom to create activities for them, and I have lots of ideas. She gave me the go-ahead to start a strength-training program which I do twice a week, and we have done gardening, dancing, a happy hour, nails and hair cutting, and a vision board along with the weekly singing. She’s happy to have found me, and I’m happy to have found her HOME.
I’m still meeting up with my ACOA step group, although we’ve gone virtual and meet on zoom now. It’s still a satisfying part of my week, and a safe place to talk about the challenges of being an adult child working through the process of reparenting my inner child. That looks like a life-long journey, and it’s never boring.
I’ve chosen to move my car insurance from Geico to Travelers, and found a local agent who I can call whenever I have a question. So much better. I love the upgrade, and I’ve made the choice to join the Intellidrive App program and have my driving monitored for the next 500 miles in order to reduce my premium. This is definitely a case of trying something new.
I decided to join Match.com during Covid to see if I could find anyone out there who wanted to get to know me. That was a novel and sudden inspiration. Now that Covid restrictions have lifted and most of us have been vaccinated, I’ve been hoping to find someone to meet for coffee, dinner, walks along the seaside, holding hands…It’s been over a year, and not a single bite by anyone I was interested in. I can say I’ve tried, and that’s something. I also know that I can trust the timing. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. The point is, I’m not completely happy or fulfilled living alone. There is definitely something missing. Emilie is in Europe now, spending time with her Dad in Belgium, and traveling to France with her cousin’s family. Stories of her activities, and seeing pictures of Jean’s smiling face, I know being with her is a very special thing, and her absence will be felt strongly. She and her partner Alexi have decided to marry, another big choice that we are all feeling inspired and happy about. His parents are arriving at the end of this month to visit, and next year around this time all of both of our families will be gathering to witness and celebrate the union of two of our most precious people.
The next big question for Jean and I, and maybe for Alexi’s parents too: how do we want to spend our final years? What’s most important? What will bring us the most joy? And what can we give to our children while we’re still able? Choices need to be made. And they seem BIG and rather daunting. This is a new time in my life. I turned 70 this April, and starting a job working with very elderly has made me recognize my own aging. At first I was shocked. Wow! I’ve lost three inches in height, and I just noticed that my back has the beginnings of a hunch back like my mom’s. For the first time in my life I’m consciously working on my posture every day. My doctor told me I’ve crossed over from osteopenia to osteoporosis, another wakeup call, and I started lifting weights again, and walking up the 4 flights of stairs in my building a couple of times every day to strengthen my hips and my heart. It’s my intention to get stronger and more confident in my body, not just lie down and die 🙂 I’m sharing my program with those elderly residents at the HOME and that’s helping me too. It’s been nine weeks, and I’m checking off the boxes everyday: Walk, chair stands, toe stands, Arm and leg weights (increasing gradually), stairs, mat stretches, push-ups, and plank. I’m back to needing to take a look again at what I’m eating, and do a little tweaking there in the direction of more healthy. Step by step.
One of my band mates is 70 like me. It feels good to have a fellow from the 1951 club in my life. Most of my friends are either younger, or older. When he forgets something at practice, we laugh and give each other a look. Yes, I understand. Me too 🙂 The music is definitely my favorite way to have fun with other people. I’m getting better at relaxing and letting it all hang out, but it’s a challenge to give up that old need to be in control all the time. I’m choosing forgiving friends.
Many of my current choices revolve around doing what I can to insure I’m as fit and healthy as possible for the sake of the future. This is new. Youth usually doesn’t think that way. We tend to forget about aging until we arrive, and then it is often too late. I’m glad to be suddenly spending time with frail 87 and 93 year olds. They remind me of what I do and don’t want to be like when I get to where they are. I’m doing what I can. It is my intention to ask the universe both within and without to guide me. I’ll keep you posted, dearest.