Tag Archives: gratitude

Naval Gazing at 60

16 Sep

I solemnly promise this is the final installment of my “turning 60” naval gazing (a reference I should refrain from making since the image of someone contemplating their 60 year old naval is the antithesis of attractive).  Speaking of 60 year old body parts, however, part of my contemplation has revolved around a sense of gratitude for most of mine.   Aging certainly is accompanied by its share of aches and pains.  My constant refrain is, “Aging is not for sissies.”

Six years ago I read a book entitled, Younger Next Year wherein the author, Chris Crowley, maintains the key to turning back our biological clock is exercise.  I was so persuaded by his arguments that, even before finishing the book, I joined the YMCA.   (Didn’t that Village People’s song just pop into your head?)  Six years hence, I do feel stronger and fitter than I did when I turned 50.  While muscle definition has been a bi-product of this process, it wasn’t my first goal.  Flexibility and joint protection were the ultimate goals.  Hopefully that will hold as I crest into my 70s and 80s (optimistic aren’t I?)

I was descending a staircase at a favorite restaurant last weekend and paused to acknowledge my ability to do so.  Scooting quickly across a busy intersection I was struck by the sight of someone in a wheel chair who was not able to move as quickly and ably.  Riding my beloved bicycle to the grocery store made me grateful for my balance and energy level.  I spend so much time multi-tasking and in a state of impatience running hither and yon that I generally fail to appreciate the fact I am capable of executing all these tasks.  My resolution after reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is to begin a gratitude journal in which I write at least one thing I’m grateful for each day.  I’m hoping this will help me practice mindfulness, which just may be the meaning of life.  At the top of my list will be my physical and mental health and fitness.

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A Baby Boomer’s Haven on Boomer Cafe

26 Nov

I’m delighted Boomer Cafe published my story entitled, “Our House is a Very Very Very Fine House….”.  Check it out.

“Our House Is a Very Very Fine House”

19 Nov

My husband and I have been running like crazy people the past two weeks.  Aside from work and family activities, we have been moving our office into our home.  I underestimated what a transition this would be.  My husband confessed to some anxiety about this transition, since for the past 40 years he has arisen each morning, dressed and headed to an office.  Now, considering Jim is 63, its apparent “going to the office” has been the thing he has done more of in his life than literally anything else.

While my husband and I are under going this transition in our lives, a thought popped into my head-  So is my house!  I have lived in my house for 30 years this fall.  I say this with a tad bit of chagrin as I fear being regarded as “old lady” on my street, much as I viewed a few of my neighbors the day I moved on to Choctaw Trail.  I was pregnant with my son, who is now in his final year of a Ph.D. program and engaged to be married.

Perhaps I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, even sentimental as I ponder my home and all it has housed in the last 30 years.  It has…

-Welcomed home a new baby

-Cared for my dying mother

-Welcomed my husband and his son, absorbing their belongings and all the emotions accompanying the blending of families

-Endured the joys and tribulations of teenagers transitioning into adults

-Transformed into a kind of commune last year during a sabbatical taken my grad student son, his fiancé, and Labradoodle

And now it is absorbing the relics of yet another transition (desks, awards, office supplies…) as we move toward working “virtually” in our new home offices.  As I approach this Thanksgiving, I’m realizing one of the things I feel grateful for is my home.  My home, its roof and walls, has provided shelter and sanctuary to my family and me.  People often tell me my house looks like a folk art museum with all the color and funky art adorning its walls.  But a quality I think I value the most is my home’s elasticity, as it has expanded and contracted welcoming and saying farewell to the various stages of our lives.

Thankful at Thanksgiving

29 Nov

I spent the week before Halloween carving pumpkins with my adult children. These fall fruits gave us a contemptuous cat, glimmering ghosts and a Buffalo Bills football mascot. Our driveway was alight with jack-o-lantern luminaries.

This weekend, for the first time in six years, we hosted Thanksgiving in our home. Twenty-three of my favorite people joined us for a day of games, gorging, and grace. Preceding this day, my kids and I shopped for colorful tableware, and spent hours sculpting pumpkins and pilgrim hatted turkeys which served as place setting holders. I don’t think I can remember having more fun anticipating a holiday.

My daughter, son and his girlfriend are here for a few more days over the Thanksgiving holiday. My Tracy set up our Christmas village and funky ceramic nativity scene to the tune of Kenny G’s Christmas album. This will be the first time in many years my kids are home long enough to pile into the SUV for our annual pilgrimage in search of the perfect Frasier fir. My husband and I are typically the two responsible for performing these holiday functions.

The cycle of life dictates that our kids grow up, leave home, and develop their own traditions and rituals. My son is headed to make his way in Chicago; my daughter has been a resident of Baltimore for seven years. This Thanksgiving, my heart has been filled with gratitude at this increasingly rare opportunity to share in these holiday rituals with the people I love most in the world.