|My new red skinny jeans!|
It has been sobering to realize that we have several friends our age who are struggling with serious illnesses. On the other hand, we also have several young friends who are struggling with serious illnesses as well. A spouse of one friend commented that not everyone gets to have 70 years of life.
I don't want to be younger again. And I don't feel that I have to accomplish any great things in the years I may have left. I am glad for what I have been able to do as a teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, musician, friend--many roles. I'm glad for what I can still (there's that word again!) do as a volunteer and to keep our household running.
I try not to think too often about incapaciting conditions for me or for Jim--for a role as an invalid or as a caretaker. But that is out of our control. My very healthy friend who really took care of herself had a stroke. Her stroke is called "cryptogenic" which means no known cause. She is making great progress in rehab, but what a lot of work and effort it takes.
Nevertheless, I am going to try to take care of myself. Here are my resolutions for the year:
1. Walk 30 minutes or more most days. Try for 10,000 steps.
2. Do the stretching and strength exercises prescribed by a physical therapist just this past Monday for some bursitis.
3. Sing a few times every week--at church or at my own piano bench. The singing class at Forever Learning has been fun even if we sound pretty bad! It's not getting easier to sing the high notes--or even above c or d.
4. Learn something new. Yesterday I found a couple of online courses on counterpoint that look promising. Practice new organ music. This morning I tried a Bach trio sonata that was well beyond my abilities!
5. Encourage and support others-- it just takes a little effort. When I do so, I am amazed at the appreciation that comes back to me.
6. Throw away ratty clothes or anything I don't feel really good in. Wear black, white, and bright colors only.
7. Make new friends and keep the old! (the Girl Scout song?) I have begun meeting with a small group of women (two retirees and two professionals) on Friday mornings to share and pray; I have one new walking partner; I have contacted a few friends via email from years ago to make sure they are OK. Not everyone is on Facebook!
8. Look for interesting events at Notre Dame and in the area. An organ lecture-recital on Anton Heiller inspired me; a lecture for ND retirees on "iris recognition" showed me what computers can do; and Monday I hope to go to a presentation at the downtown library by a favorite author, Walter Mosley. Sometimes it is so much easier to stay home and sit on the couch but I rarely regret making the effort to get out and go to a presentation.
We just celebrated my birthday with a very nice meal at The Mark on Eddy Street near Notre Dame. I will celebrate with my sister at lunch tomorrow in South Haven. There is much to be thankful for!