My hair will become matted and unruly like a stray dog loping through the streets of Baltimore before I succumb to the ambush of a hair stylist. My nails will curl backward to reach my knuckles before I visit the manicurist. My face will develop craters like the surface of Mars where dune buggies fall into the crevices before I contact my esthetician. Let my shoulders develop lumps like coal from the stress of living before I succumb to the laden touch of a masseuse again. These are people whom I hire to beautify, simplify, liquefy and mollify me, but they just won’t stop talking.
When I got the email announcing “Fall Prevention” I jumped into action, all set for a protest. With so many of our liberties at stake, now they want to take away my favorite season?
I marched into the meeting room ready to chant, armed with an “I love autumn” sign and my protest hat perched menacingly on my head. Imagine my relief when I realized that it was a program to teach adults of a certain age how to avoid falls in their advancing years.
My relief morphed into dismay when I learned that the simple act of remaining upright when a slight wind blows became an issue for me on my last birthday. Each year, more than one in four older adults aged 65 and older will fall.
Ask any expert how to maintain healthy aging and they’ll tell you to eat right and exercise. I’ve read it in books. My general practitioner told me, as did the chiropractor who said I should keep training for a marathon, despite all my aches and pains. I’m not sure that his motive is pure.
So, here I am in a class called Barre Pilates, which would be better named Get Out While You Can Still Walk. I walked in here just fine, but, judging by how my nerve endings are jumping right now, I may be carried out on this beautiful blue yoga mat.
Back when I was growing up, a waif-like model named Twiggy burst onto the scene. A body replete with skin and bones and a short haircut was uncharacteristic of the times, yet as a super-model in England in the 1960’s, her influence on teenaged girls was instantaneous.
Back then, skinny was everything. We equated over-thinness with beauty and health, in priority order. I recall making sure that my hip bones were prominent when I laid on the beach. The more pronounced they were, the more attractive I believed I was.
Having grown up at the ocean, I’ve always been fascinated by the people who cast their lines into the pounding surf.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve envied people who fish. Not for livelihood, but for pleasure. Their signs hanging on the office door when they are on vacation “Gone fishin’” filled me with a quiet sense of envy and sometimes despair that I didn’t pursue a similar activity to fill me with that much enjoyment.
On my morning strolls around the lake the fishermen and women standing by the water’s edge look so peaceful and fulfilled as they cast their line and wait, patiently for a bite. They rummage through their boxes to find just the right bait which they expertly place on their hooks with dexterous fingers. Rain, sun, crowds – none of it seems to matter as they block out the world in anticipation of their catch of the day. I often wonder if they are disappointed if their patience yields no catch or are they satisfied with just being there, united with nature, solitude and anticipation in the sheer bliss of the act of fishing.
I recently returned from a trip to Toulouse, France. Called La Ville Rose (or “Pink City”) for the pink stone used in many of the buildings, Toulouse is a wonderful, human-sized city.
The city of 950,000 is comprised of one-third students (Toulouse is second to Paris in the number of students who live there), one-third employees of Airbus (aeronautics), and one-third residents who just love being there. Toulouse is the 4th largest city in France, trailing Paris, Marseille and Lyon. My husband and I went to visit our grandson who is studying there for the summer. It took a while to make the arrangements, because life kept getting in the way, but I was determined to make this trip and we did! Continue reading “Lessons Learned from a Trip to France”
I was working in the yard the other day and heard the sounds of children laughing joyfully as they ran through the field, slid down the sliding board, swung high into the sky on a swing. I instinctively connected with their laughter as sounds of freedom.
As adults, we are often bombarded with tasks and responsibilities. In fact, isn’t the hallmark of adulthood being able to honor responsibilities? But, how many are enough? Is there not a point when we should begin to peel back the layers of overwork, before we suffer from heart attack, stroke and other maladies of stress? This, of course, is a hot topic and one which concerns most of us as we try to balance the “must-do’s” with the “wanna-do’s” of life.