My Gadgets, Myself

I love my cellphone or hate it, depending on the day and the circumstance. My iPhone 6 comes with a battery I must soon replace. It seems to operate on its own speed in its own time and I just can’t rely on it for accuracy any more. But, venturing into the Apple store is one of my least favorite undertakings, so I try to find other more creative ways to encourage my phone’s performance.

In a very short period of time, we have become dependent on ubiquitous gadgets and systems that can improve our lives, entertain us, or drive us crazy. I will admit a wistfulness for days without the all-consuming web of data, especially during moments when my bank’s website states “system down” just when I’m desperate to find out exactly how much is in my account. Or, how about those times being immobilized at an airport during a “system failure?”

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What I Miss in Retirement

I consider myself something of a retirement maven, having left my full-time career almost 15 years ago. On paper and in practice, it would appear that I have followed all advice in my preparation for a worry-free future. My financial advisor gave me the thumbs up, I mended any social rifts and I have maintained a grueling schedule of doctor’s appointments in the interest of remaining healthy. Over time, I have gradually eased into a “life is good” lifestyle, and I thank all those retirement gurus who helped me get here.

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Crunching Numbers

Despite what the numbers might say on my birth certificate, the Grim Reaper was not invited to my birthday party. I’m sure he thinks that 65 candles are a fire hazard way beyond my lung capacity. What he didn’t know was that I’d been training for this Medicare showdown since I turned 60.

The last time I passed that milestone birthday, I decided that, I’d get awesome, not old. Having wasted most of my life learning how to be a grownup, I wondered how one becomes awesome.

My answer was to create my 60+ year old self into an improved version of me. I would go toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye against aging. It was going to take all my body parts working together to tame this thing. Turning back the clock may not be possible, but slowing down its forward movement was doable.

Fitness magazines touted exercise as a possibility toward graceful aging. As if on cue, Melanie, my 25-year old daughter-in-law, invited me to hot yoga.

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It’s Not Just Lunch

Breakfast of champions. Wheaties. When I was growing up, a noteworthy achievement was acknowledged by: “You must have eaten your Wheaties today!” It seemed to mean that success could be attributable to the breakfast cereal I ate. The good people at General Foods were savvy marketers so the breakfast of champions was well-ingrained in my psyche.wheaties

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Bed Side Manner and Other Matters

There are some things you just don’t want to hear or see from the person who holds your health in his or her hands. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your doctor, dentist or lab tech. Sometimes I think these folks have no idea how much power they wield or how in their hands I am like putty.  Their unknowing smirk, crossed eyes or “uh oh” can take on Mount Vesuvius-sized implications when emitted at an inopportune time.


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This Must Be What Dried Paint Sounds Like

Ah, I recall the days when my husband and I shared everything. I couldn’t wait to get home after a long day apart and spill out every detail of each moment. Problems with coworkers, bosses and traffic melted away when I shared my travails with him. We hung onto each other’s words, inhaling each inflection, intonation and  enunciation. Everything else was just noise – cacophony, discord, sound pollution. After 33 years of marriage, perhaps it’s unreasonable to expect that he will still glom on my every word. Maybe there is some comfort in the knowledge that my voice is such a part of everyday life that it blends into the background of our time together. Yes, just like the mellow sound of smooth jazz or the rhythmic whirring of an overhead fan. Or, like dried paint on a wall.

dried paint

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Good for the Gander, but My Goose Is Cooked

My husband and I have changed some of our lifestyle habits for health reasons – his. He developed a serious illness, so we changed our diet to cut out salt. He developed back problems, so we bought an extra firm mattress to support his spine while he slumbers. He developed knee issues, so we changed our exercise routine to limit the pounding on his joints. His health improved, and mine hit the skids. Our lifestyle changes were good for the gander, but my goose is cooked!


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