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.
Spring has sprung. The buttery yellow daffodils sway in the breeze while the red-breasted robin beckons from the trees. Mother Nature has pulled out all the stops once again as the drab grey winter gives way to the spectacular performance that is the pleasant prelude to summer.
The scene inside my house, while not as hueful as outside, is no less daunting. Each year the ritual is the same – swap winter wardrobe for a summer one. Scarves, hats and gloves find their way into my grandmother’s old black steamship trunk, a fitting color for the deadness that has prevailed over these last few dull months. Sweaters the color of mud find their way to the bottom of the pile. Coats lined with fleece have no place in the exuberance that is now June’s finery. Boots, socks, wool pants that have honorably performed their job of keeping my legs warm are now relieved of their duties.
Organize. Dispose. Downsize. Reading baby boomer and retirement blogs, I’ve learned that successful aging requires completion of these tasks. Like a test for the successful boomer, if your life is contained in more than one storage unit, you’re not ready to pass the “go” of retirement. Tomes have been written about the importance of shedding unused clothes, yard tools and untouched, I-wonder-what’s-in-there? boxes hidden in dark attic corners. Getting rid of clutter is so ingrained in our mindset that it has evolved into its own verb: decluttering.
I itch when I’m upset and bored,
I imagine mosquito bites that say I’ve had enough
Itching to move on, time to fix my thoughts
Got to think happy when the going gets tough.
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.
Physical traits can be determinants of lifelong status. Had I been prescient at age 6, I could have steeled myself the first time my first grade teacher said: “Line up according to height.” First was my place in line, with my fellow first-graders calling me Peanut, reminding me that I was shorter than everyone.
Being diminutive could be hazardous to my health. My legs aren’t long enough to reach the pedals, so I move the driver’s seat forward. My chin obstructing the movement of the steering wheel? I’m no engineer, but I don’t think that’s safe.
It’s that time of year when the urge to buy prevails. Black Friday, cyber-Monday, small business Saturday. Shop, shop, spend, spend. I’m not much of a shopper, and this time of year propels me out of my comfort zone. The process that requires me to spend time shopping for gifts, then spend money to buy those gifts is anathema to me. But, this is nothing compared to the year-round struggle I have with another type of expenditure, which is my reluctance to spend emotional capital on bias. Yep, geezer goddesses, 12 months a year we are blanketed with negative ads directed at us. Old, senior, over-the-hill, out of touch, out of date. These are the messages, but we don’t have to listen. I say, no way! 2015 is the year I put down my foot, hard, and say: