Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Aging gracefully

Looks like the issue which has sucked up so much of our time here in the Middle of Nowhere may be resolving itself, albeit slowly. One of the things which has come up for me, watching this situation, is how very much I don't want to put my children through a similar one.

I'm not saying my progeny wouldn't be willing to step in and manage my affairs if I were suddenly incapacitated. My husband would, of course, be first in line, if he were able. But what if he and I were suddenly incapacitated at the same time? Any one of us can be impacted by a random and life-changing accident, at any time. Some things are out of our control.

But most things are well within our abilities to attend to, to be responsible for, to take care of … so someone else won't have to.

My friend whose birthday cake I made yesterday (isn't it pretty?) will be 60 this week. I will be 61 at the end of the month (May 25, mark your calendars now!). We were talking about how our 40s and 50s had been pretty okay, all in all. My 30s were chaotic – I got sober when I was 39 – but hers were good. But this new decade is, um, challenging.

She's just discovered a chronic health issue which needs to be treated for the rest of her life. Nothing that can't be managed, but she's having trouble adjusting her dosage and managing the side effects.

I'm hooked on Aleve because of joint and muscle pain in my hip and shoulder. My left foot swells dramatically if I forget the daily Lasix. Sometimes it's difficult to get in and out of my car.

My friend suggested I take up yoga. Again. I've been an irregular yoga student for decades, but have never managed to make it a habit. She has. She simply gets up, does her practice and moves – moves – into her very busy and active day. Every day.

I start my day right here, sitting on my ass in front of a screen, drinking coffee and listening to the birds. Which is fun and all, and even peaceful. I'm a lark and my husband is an owl, so I feel completely justified in taking these early morning hours for me, me, me.

But she's right about the yoga. My excuse for not doing it is that even some of the simplest poses are difficult for me. My bigness gets in the way. But if practicing yoga, even a little bit, will help me move into old age with more independence and without needing my children's assistance, then I need to pay attention to that.

Sadie says it so much better. I've just written a long, rambling post (so what's new?) when I should have just pointed you to my inspiration for today. (Be sure to read her "About" page, too.) Sadie is my friend's daughter and is the in-house yogi for the Clif Bar company. I'm so glad I learned in AA to keep an open mind and to remain teachable. I'd hate to be one of those old lady dogs who can't learn new tricks, especially from a smart young pup like Sadie.

The sun is up. Time to salute it.


denise said...

I'll be very interested to hear how your yoga adventures go. I have always thought it sounded cool and have wanted to do it - but not bad enough to get off my ass and do anything about it! :-)

I've taken a few classes years ago, but it didn't "take."

With my bum knee, I would also struggle to do some of the poses - child pose would be excruciating for me right now - but I'm sure there are many that would work just fine if I was properly motivated to do something about learning and had a knowledgable instructor. Maybe now that I'm home I'll give it a try.

After 5 weeks with my mom observing how aging has affected her, I should certainly have adequate motivation at this point, and with further inspiration from you, who knows, maybe it will stick!

Winnie said...

Lovely cake you made your friend. I used to take cake decorating when I was younger and gosh, I loved it. Your post was very interesting. I wanted to point out that all ages need to be celebrated in life. These events an happen at any time. It seems like you are living a great life and a happy one, so that is all you can do. I was widowed at 40! I now do what you are saying at 45 making sure someone can look after things if "something" happens to me. I understand yoga is great. I haven't tried it, I am on the couch too much! I do LOVE Reiki as it is relaxing to me (ok, not excercise, but a "time for me" thing." Love reading your stories.

Bindhurani said...

I heard Yoga is good to get flexibility while getting older. I can't find a reason other than being lazy for not doing it. May be your post will motivate me to start.

gingerzingi said...

Arrgh I hate yoga. I've tried to take it up several times, and it's 1. uncomfortable and 2. intolerably DULL. So there are reasons besides "laziness." (I assume that's a spam comment anyway...)

If you can do it, more power to you. I know I've heard of yoga classes for fat people, but no doubt that was someplace trendy like S.F. and not In the Middle of Nowhere :) Perhaps a pregnancy yoga class? LOL!