Monday, August 19, 2019

Sexagenarian Sign-Off

Haven’t been very good at keeping up the blog. I started late—at 64—and only posted three times, in 2013. So much for stick-to-it-ive-ness. So today I’m getting my last licks in on the brink of leaving the decade behind me.
In the first blog posting, I said turning 50 was easy. Everyone was doing it. But 60 was personal. 70? Impossible.
But let’s not go there yet. Still 69 and still berating myself for not keeping up the blog. Meant to, but life got in the way. And caregiving…

Life: mostly good.  Easy living at the beach. Still walking the streets with Mr. Darcy. Lots of new neighbors and new pups to play with. We lost a few of the old Yappy Hour dogs. So sad…Mr. D still stops, sits and stares when we pass their houses. I wonder—is he expecting to see them, or paying his respects?
He turned 10 this year, and he’s getting gray like his momma. Still walks me, though. Never mastered the Alpha Mom thing.

Caregiving: takes its toll, as many of you know. Lucky that my mom wasn’t sick, even in her 90s. She couldn’t hear or see too well, which limited her mobility and activity. I tried magnifiers, special lights and “TV ears” but she wasn’t interested. She slept a lot, but she never missed a meal…
She passed a few months ago, peacefully, in her sleep, in her own bed, at almost 94.
So, I’m dealing with a major lifestyle readjustment. Not having to be home for her dinner at 4pm, or worrying about her when I go out. Couldn’t call because she had stopped using the phone—unable to hear or see to dial. But I don’t miss her calling me from downstairs—“JUDY!” sounding the alarm—just to ask if it was dinnertime yet.
Not being a caregiver is oddly liberating, however, but also confusing and disorienting…

All in all, a good decade. Septuagenarianism begins next week, and I’m considering some options:

-Another blog? Probably not, since I didn’t keep up with this one.

-Another book? Tentatively titled “Walking Mr. Darcy”, about our adventures over the past decade.

-A road trip? A bunch of friends I haven’t seen for a while up in New England. They haven’t met Mr. D yet and it would be a lovefest.

-A new home? Maybe a place where someone else deals with all the maintenance issues. Or a commune—do they still exist?

-A new man in my life? Only if Mr. Darcy approves.

Whatever. If you have a minute—literally—check out the other three posts here. Especially the Sexagenarian Sing-a-Long. Sing it loud, sing it proud, fellow sexagenarians. I’m going to miss defining myself with that word because it makes me laugh.

Peace & Love, y’all. And, as always, Cheers!

Feel free to contact me via email here

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sexagenarian Sing-along

{To the tune of "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" from The Sound of Music}

Your life, old girl, has been quite a ride
With mem’ries to delight on.
But what’s ahead? Are you full of dread
Thinking this might be your swan song?

Au contraire! old girl, and adieu to blues!
It’s just a new beginning.
Ignore the time and this silly rhyme
There’s plenty for you to groove on…

to groove on…

You are 60 going on 70
Oh what a life you’ve had!
Good times & bad, lovers, husbands & cads
Your history screams, “egads!”

Gone are the old taboos of life
Past errors all grow dim
Finally free to be yourself
To follow any whim

No longer timid, shy or scared
At home within your skin
Granted, it sags a bit these days
Much to your chagrin

Grateful to have such loving friends
For all the things you share
The joys as well as aches and pains
Thank goodness for MediCare

You can replace your worn-out parts
Nip/tuck your eyes and chin
Go to the gym, work out and swim
Oh, to hell with discipline!

You are someone older and wiser
You know what to do
Darling 60 going on 70
Have a drink…
Just have a drink…
Or two

Peace & Love

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What Would Life Be Without Mr. Darcy?

And another thing…

My sixties are best defined by what I consider a miracle. Just a few months before my 60th birthday, Mr. Darcy found me.  His nickname on the rescue site photo was “Cary Grant”, but there he was, not yet six weeks old, looking right at me, his eyes saying come and get me. So I did. My sexagenarian birthday present to myself.

six weeks & so tiny
My corporate working life included a lot of travel, and later as a consultant I continued to pop around the globe.  I was ready to stay home and thought it would be nice to have a man around the house. The 2-legged version wasn’t working out so well.  I’d always wanted my own Mr. Darcy, but Colin Firth, Laurence Olivier and Matthew Macfayden were unavailable.

The day I adopted Mr. Darcy was one of the happiest, and scariest, days of my life. So handsome, but so little and fluffy and helpless and totally dependent—on me. It was like bringing a baby home from the hospital and saying “Now what?” At least I don’t have to send him to college. I calmly (and assertively, since I was practicing my “Alpha Mom” voice) explained that we were both new at this, and we’d have to figure it out together.

Four years later and it’s still a love-fest.  And here’s what I know so far:

If you plan on getting a dog in your sixties, and you’re a confirmed couch potato, get a cute little lap dog. Preferably one that’s already house-trained.  Do not get a border collie who needs to run—a lot—and who’s also smarter than you are.

On the other hand, if you enjoy brisk walks, want to stay in shape, and meet your neighbors, he’s the dog for you. Mr. Darcy quickly became a neighborhood favorite, and after four years of walking the streets, every outing is like walking into Cheers—everybody knows his name. Not mine. Without him, I enjoy anonymity.
...and Suzy's deck
We love Yappy Hour...

Without Mr. D, would I have enjoyed playful runs on the beach, beautiful pre-dawn moonlit skies, majestic swans on a canal dock, and romps in the snow? Would Darcy and his best friends run and wrestle while their humans sip wine at “Yappy Hour” every day? I’m not kidding—in my sixties I have literally “gone to the dogs”.

With Darcy, I am exploring the world anew, like a child, with wonderment. A few years ago, I underwent EMDR therapy (fascinating, but totally off-subject). I tended to see in images, and what I saw was a little lagoon of intense deep, dark blue, with ripples moving ever-so-slowly in concentric circles. When I looked deeper, I felt I was seeing and feeling love through Darcy’s eyes and it was pure joy.

Without Mr. D would I have written Fifty Shades of Grrrr on my Long Beach Patch blog? (Check it out, it’s funny.) Would I have bought a Shop-Vac for shedding hair? 

Colin Firth has nothin' on my guy

Would I have installed doggie doors everywhere and call my upstairs porch the “poop deck”? 

This unconditional love thing is amazing. In your sixties or at any age.
Peace & Love

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sixty Going on Seventy

Fifty was easy. Everybody was doing it. Hitting the half-century mark was universally and emphatically celebrated. Almost 80 million baby boomers (including the President) were turning 50 at the rate of 10,000 per day. Remember “50 is the new 30”? A new millennium was on the horizon. I felt young and vital and threw a big party to celebrate my own half-century on this planet.

Sixty? Not so much. Sixty was different. It was personal. I was going to start this blog at 60 but figured I’d take a little time to get the feel of this new decade. Know what? You can’t take a little time, because it rushes by way too fast and it’s gone. [One day I said to myself: “I’m forty!” By the time I recovered from the shock of that discovery, I had reached fifty. –Simone de Beauvoir]

Sixty-four is imminent. If I wait any longer to start this blog, I’ll have to call it “Septuagenarian”—which simply doesn’t have the same appeal.

And saying “sexagenarian” makes me laugh.

I’m finally getting the hang of this new decade. Older & wiser? Not so sure. Please keep in mind that this is a rant, written by a sexagenarian, so forgive me any lapses (we will never say “senior moment” here).

I hope you’ll join me in exploring this strange and daunting decade.

One thing I know so far:

If you tell someone your age and they say, “No way!”, it might feed your ego, but don’t believe them. You look your age. Or maybe you look great for your age. It’s just that 60 looks younger these days. If they’re really young, 60 is so ancient that if you’re walking, talking and breathing, they’re rendered speechless.

I recently saw a talk show segment where they compared the grannies and nannies of early TV to stars of a certain age today. For example, remember Aunt Bee from the Andy Griffith Show? Frances Bavier was fifty-eight when she played that role! Seeing her next to current photos of Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, both sexagenarians, illustrates the point brilliantly. [Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now. –Bob Dylan]

Check out pictures of your parents when they were your age, or younger, and it’s obvious that the face of aging has changed. There was a lot of money to be made from keeping our huge generation happily youthful and healthy. Remember saying “better living through chemistry”? [What a drag it is getting old. –Mick Jagger & Keith Richards]

I’m not in sexagenarian denial. Fact is, I simply can’t believe that I can possibly be over sixty, let alone almost 64. The peace sign is over fifty, the millennium is already 13 years behind us, and Woodstock was way back in 1969. Were you there? I was. Do I want to go back? No, once was more than enough. Several years ago, in an event attempting to mimic Woodstock, one group mistakenly decorated their van with the Mercedes logo…

If it feels good, do it. The mantra of a generation. This feels good. I’ll do it again next week.
Peace & Love