Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's in a Number?

On St. Patrick's Day 2010 I turn 65 and become a certifiable, card carrying senior citizen. Excuse Me? What was that?

In 19 ought 80 something I took my first trip to Hawaii to celebrate my birthday with friends in Waimanalo. When my then boyfriend, now husband of 23 years, picked me up at the airport he had placed a bumper sticker on my Subaru that caught the essense of it all.

"I may be getting older but I refuse to grow up"

I've always had a positive attitude. I think it's a combination of genes, the love and support of my parents and their willingness, hesitant as they were at times, to let me be a free spirit. I actually turned out to be quite a responsible individual with a career that spanned 33 years as a financial manager. Now retired I get to follow my dreams and creative muses as a designer, photographer, writer and explorer of blue highways.

Aging: The truth is nobody gets it until they get here. It's not a thing to be feared but rather relished, flaunted and celebrated. Who cares what anyone else thinks? You've earned the right to not act your age or behave according to someone elses expectations!
Attitude is everything: I may be 65 according to the calendar, but I am ever 27 at heart, albeit with a few more sound effects.
Aha Moment: Nobody is going to take care of this body but me. I now work out regularly. It's always more fun if you have a partner in crime so my husband is also along for the ride. We're in better shape now than when we were at 40.

Don't put it off until tomorrow: Life is short and there are so many things to see and do and experience.
Find your passions and get on with it: Explore your local parks, take up line dancing, learn photography, start a hobby business, put that scrapbook together, walk the Pacific Trail, or maybe explore the country in an RV.
Start giving back: Mentor a child, volunteer your time, work in a community garden, or donate what you can to causes you believe in.
Save a life and adopt a pet: Rescue a puppy or a kitten, or an older dog or cat from your local Humane Society. It's a known fact that a pet can improve your health and longevity.
Make a difference in someone's day: You know what I mean, little random acts of kindness like smiling at a stranger and saying good morning, thanking a soldier or police officer for their service, or opening a door for someone. 
Look around and really see: The spider web with dew on it, wild mustard in a field, a bluebird on the fence, or small child stomping in puddles. There is so much to be thankful for and much of it is right in front of our eyes if we take the time to look.
Laugh at yourself: From an old  birthday card I keep framed on the kitchen counter "Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused". Here's to being a little old lady in tennis shoes with an attitude. Now go play outside....

Photo Ages: 25, 37, 47, 64