A Geezer Goddess Guide to Survive the Holidays: Save Yourself

Short of becoming a mature version of the fed-up ladies in A Bad Mom’s Christmas or even a female Grinch, there are many ways a geezer goddess can survive the holidays. Years of brainwashing have set us up to be exhausted and frazzled when December 25 finally arrives. There is another way.

My gift to geezer goddesses everywhere is my Christmas list, my wish for you and the end of the scourge of unrealistic expectations.

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Geezer Goddess: Parts Unknown

I recently returned from a family reunion. Such a daunting experience. Photos from decades ago flashed on a 65-inch screen while friends and family dabbed their eyes in fond memory. Loved ones turned to me and said: “You were so beautiful back then.” What is the right response? Thank you for noticing that Mother Nature has ravaged me or At least I’m not dead yet? I doubt that any retort is apt, and so, like any other public angst, I grinned til it was over. The slide show, that is. I still gotta a lotta living left. No matter what those people said about me.

The reality is I’m a senior citizen. The world thinks my job consists of trekking to countless doctors’ appointments and draining the Social Security trust. I may say things like “Age is just a number” or “You’re only as old as you feel” but I will admit that I’m not happy that the hands that drum to Bohemian Rhapsody on my steering wheel sometimes look like my grandmother’s. And, while my mother is an example of graceful aging, I sure don’t want my reflection in the mirror to be a dead ringer for her.

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Goggle Wisdom

Swimming is my meditation. Strokes forward, head underwater, gazing at the aqua world that surrounds me. Rhythm in my moves, remotely connected to the world around me, aware that people are nearby yet not engaged with them. It’s an activity in which no one expects me to do anything except move forward and back, one end of the pool to the other. All sense of time falls by the wayside as my body settles into a pattern of movement designed to stretch and release all tension and anxiety. It’s life at its best. A blue gem shimmering in the morning light, sunlight streaming through the blue azure sky and white cotton ball clouds.

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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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Smooth as a Baby’s Butt

Exercise, healthy eating and a variety of potions (which are my secret) keep me alive and kicking as I enter the years that some call “senior.” I realize that I won’t be able to hold aging off indefinitely, but I can probably drag my feet long enough that it will wait for me.

Face it. We’re all looking for the Fountain of Youth. Some of us subject ourselves to botox injections, although personally I’d rather die with my wrinkles than let anyone near my face with a needle. But that’s just me. Perhaps if I were a movie star or some other public figure I’d want my looks to take precedence over my sanity and comfort.

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What 65 Means to Me

There is so much negative press about getting older, I was sure that when I turned 65 I’d be stooped, gray, surly and invisible. And, while a couple of those adjectives may apply (and I won’t say which ones) I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the benefits and opportunities that being 65 has presented to me.

1. Take the last piece of candy. In my pre-65 days, I would never have taken the last piece of candy in a dish, especially with an audience present. But, I’m happy to report that last night I did both. Snatched up the last piece of chocolate in front of a witness breezily saying loudly:“At least it’s 85% cacao.” No guilt, no shame, sheer bliss.

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A Good Server Is Hard to Find

It seems that making decisions becomes more difficult to those of a certain age. Perhaps it’s because we’ve spent a lifetime making them. Where should we live? What schools are the best for our kids? How do we choose the right car with the best gas mileage? What is the right career and the perfect job? I don’t know about you, but at this point in my life, I sometimes feel as if my decision quota has been reached and I just don’t have it in me anymore to make another one.

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