Saturday, September 22, 2018

Aging: When is a Rose a Rose?

Thank you to Walker Thornton. I loved the article Aging is Beautiful and you made me think.

From Graying and Grinning on a study done at University of California at San Diego. Read this if you think that being a long way down the aging path will be a depressing.
The linear nature of the findings was surprising,..., particularly in magnitude. The oldest cohort had mental health scores significantly better than the youngest cohort, though the former’s physical and cognitive function was measurably poorer than the latter’s.

I belong to a wonderful online group called Women of Midlife. It is a closed group but connects to a public website called Midlife Boulevard. This website is all about women of a certain age. Yes, I fit in while I go about doing what I do.

Recently Walker Thornton asked this question about how or if it was a good idea to talk about aging women

How do you feel about being called againg women? Or reading about 'how we age'...etc?
It didn't occur to me until I read this that women in their fifties or sixties would put off by topics with the tag #agingwomen. I do not see any diminishing of my personal life that makes me unhappy. AND yes, I do like to look beautiful and attractive to those around me. Not obsessed but still... I was puzzled.

The problem could be all about what we think others think of us. Insecurity in our sexuality and appearance can suck the life out of us. Overcoming that can be very hard but it is part of the journey. Or it could be the we resist admitting that we are aging women? Maybe so.

I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, "Don't worry about what others think of you because they don't." It is good to remember that...the world is not looking at us most of the time.

Daughter, me and Great-Granddaughter.
We look different but we are all
 girls! :)
I sort of felt #agingwoman was synonymous with taking a #womenslife'sjourney. Women in their twenties are aging women too...just in different ways. I don't think that a different word would change what we are saying..a rose is a rose.

No matter our age we share so many things and those of us that are further down the road should share our wisdom with those younger than ourselves. In the end, the thing that sets us apart is our appearance.

I have found personally that the fact that I am a late life aging woman has not been easy yet, I have always taken a lot of joy in my life. Now I have reached a place on the road where I am actually rejoice in my age. I really don't want to be or look younger! I like being, dare I say it, old. I like how I look and I like how I am treated. And I like that I don't worry about the men around me admiring a younger woman. Life is good.

I have been writing about the journey in various blogs since 2006-7. I really have not seen things change in the attitude toward older people. What I do see is the boomers making us more powerful. The older that age groups gets the benchmark for "old" will move up and up. Now those of us that are experienced aging women see the mark in the sand as 80 or older.  We will see how it evolves in the general population.

So, how do you feel? Where in the journey are you and what do you think is in store for you? Are you obsessed with your appearance and feel threatened when the man in your life looks at younger women? How is that affecting your quality of life? Be honest with yourself.

Have a wonderful day!


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Really, I don't Love all books! or What was that all about?

I do wax poetic about books I have read. A wonderful read deserves a good word. But let me be honest. I do not like all books and actually remember the bad ones almost better than the good ones.

I remember reading a book written by Thomas Wolfe when I was in college. You Can't Go Home Again was published posthumously in 1940. I might have checked it out of the college library at the end of a term to take home to read on vacation.

I struggled through the whole book and on the last page I turned to someone and acknowledged that I had no idea what I had just read. It might have been my age but still...I did not like the book and would not try to read it again. That man did love his words and used all of them but not necessarily in the right order. (All you intellectuals will find me wanting in that.)

Danielle Steele has always been a favorite of women. I remember the women in my real estate office talking about how they loved her books so I got one and tried. When I realized that I could tell where she stopped at the end of the day and then picked it up the next, I did not read anymore. Maybe they are better now but, no, I did not like it. I did not think she is a good writer,

Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevskyy was not a favorite of mine but then I was not accustomed to Russian authors. I read this book at a very young age too so there is that. It was depressing.

Later I read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and found it interesting but that first Russian book was no fun. I did not like it.

I later read War and Peace and loved every minute of it.

I did not like The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. I was the only person alive that thought it was not a good book. I thought that the author was forced to add 100 more pages to the end and his heart was just not in it. I did not like it.

I have a hard time reading Amy Tan.The last one, Valley of Amazement was not my favorite. It felt contrived I thought. I don't know why but she does not fit in my reading world. 

I have struggled through so many book that were simply over my head because I thought I should make myself read to learn. 

And in many case, I have learned to love the book and about the subject. A Beautiful Mind is one that simply fascinated me and I still think about. There was a lot of discussion on math theories and I liked that.

The book Cleopatra a Life by Stacy Schiff though was not one I would read again even though I was fascinated by and loved the book. The author loved remote words and I spent a lot of time looking up the meaning for those words. Actually it was kind of fun...hard but fun.

What book have you set down forever or read all the way through and the wondered "What was that all about?"


Friday, September 14, 2018

Aging and Medicare: The Wonders of the Preventative Healthcare Exam

I had an aunt that did not tell the doctor about her problems. Her thinking was if the doctor did not ask about things, then it must not be important. She depended on a mind reader to help her. She died of a heart attack at the age of 65.

The State of Denial is not a
healthy state to live in!
It turns out that in her case it would have been a wonderful thing if there were a list of questions that might have inspired her to open up a little.

But now, because of  Obama Care, a yearly preventative health care screening is available free. That visit to the clinic is all about a professional asking the right questions.

The simple fact that those of us on Medicare are given the access to a yearly preventive healthcare check-up is a miracle in itself. It took me several years to figure out how wonderful that is. As it turned out it is was less than I thought but more than I needed, if that makes sense. (Medicare provided preventive healthcare exam guidelines listed here.)

In the sense that it is less, I had believed that the yearly physical exam was a part of the deal. Like so many others, I was surprised that a yearly physical was not included. But, in the end that did not turn out to be a bad thing.
Obamacare, cover[s] free preventive services and so-called wellness visits but [does not include] free annual physicals. (LA Times)
The "more" is what I really appreciate. A nurse practitioner can do so many things in that time they spend with us. Medications are discussed and can be updated if needed, a small memory test is given and other simple preventative measure are taken care of by a nurse practitioner. Lab tests can be ordered by that person if they are necessary too.

There is no complete physical in the sense that we experienced years ago. The healthcare profession realized that it was a costly process and didn't do much good. To many people were slipping through because the doctors weren't asking the right questions while they were looking up our nose and into our ears.

The doctor is given more time to deal with bigger issues. The cost is less for the insurance company I think.

I went to the doctor today so I could get acquainted with my new general practitioner. She asked all the right questions and took the time to discuss existing conditions.

So it turns out that it is the conversations that have made all the difference. Not only have those inquiries made the health care professionals more aware of what to ask, it has also forced someone like me to face what is wrong or bothering me. I forget that I need help until the question is asked.

At my age (almost 77) issues with aging are bound to pop up. Luckily for me everything can be fixed but even if they couldn't, just talking about what is needed does help so much.

My husband and I both agreed in our "after doctor appointment breakfast" that we go in the doctor's office  thinking to ourselves "I am fine. I feel great. I am so lucky. I honestly don't know why I am here."

We are in denial. That attitude kicks in the minute we walk through the clinic door.

We both have major health problems that need addressing but, because our doctors have things under control, we forget.

So when the assistant asked me if he could check my feet for numbness because I am pre-diabetic, I was surprised...I feel just fine! When my doctor suggested a visit with a specialist for joint pain, I was delighted that she saw that I was in pain. When she let me know that testing for blood sugar was a very good idea, and that I need to keep a record so she could see what was happening, I noted that and will do what she asked.

Grateful could be the only word I would use to describe how appreciative I am for all those people that worked to make our healthcare system better.

Living in the state of denial is not smart. There you have it.

I hope you are finding the positive in our health care specialists and are proactive if you feel you have a problem. Take good care of yourself.


Monday, September 3, 2018

The Last Hurrah #2 (2018)

Has it been over a year since we watched the eclipse from a meadow in the Cascade Mountains here in Oregon? I cannot believe it! It was a lifetime experience that we shared with some very special friends. (If you are not apart of this group or follow this blog read The Last Hurrah written on August 23, 2017.)

In the year since I wrote that story, not much has changed really for my husband and I. It is true that we are a year older so there is that. As for the others, children have graduated from college and high school. Some of the friends are retired or getting ready to retire. Oh, we also have a new baby, our great granddaughter. WOW!

As for my husband and I, we feel the consequences of aging but we just plug along, fighting through the less than perfect so we can revel in the awesome.

Awesome is what Labor Day Weekend has been about for my daughter and her friends for a very long time. They have gathered in a meadow near Elsie here in the state of Oregon where they played for three beautiful days.

The privilege of watching these people and their children grow up is a treasure that I hold near to my heart.

So this year when we were all gathered very soon after my husband and myself returned from Tucson, I asked if we could come for just one day and see what my daughter had been talking about all these years. We were invited.

Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful to be a fly on the wall (and buzzing around everyone). Not part of the generations gathered yet feeling so much at home.

There were Corn Holes boards (5 or 6 I think), an outhouse and, best of all, a Redneck Swimming Pool. (No river float down the Nehalem this year. Just the small creek that runs through the property where the dogs played.)
Dewey and Earl, aka Cribbage Champions

A Cribbage Tournament took up the best of the afternoon. My 80 year old husband, Earl, and Dewey, the 79 year old father-in-law of our hosts who along with his wife provide the meadow, beat all of us!

There was talk of large print cards and new hearing aid batteries for the really old guys...these young people should learn to not trash talk an old person. The old guys just shrugged and set out to beat them all. With a smile on their face they did just that. We have the prizes to prove it!
Mikaela (hair stylist) and Addie Jo 

Addie Jo, my great granddaughter, was passed around for two days. She loved that a lot.
Dan (Joann's husband) and
his redneck pool cooler!
Cutie Joann, 2nd grade teacher

Smiling, funny, baby lover
Lisa and Addie Jo

Ethan (grandson
just out of the Marines
and beginning
college this fall)
 and his wife Mikaela
are Addie Jo's parents.

Daughter, Addie's
Grandma Susan 

Lucas (Jill's son and the dog!
Oh, did I mention that
there are dogs...lots of dogs!
I think this is Cordelia.)
My friends from L to R.
Lisa (pre-K teacher), me,
Joann (2nd Grade teacher),
Kristine (physical therapist),
Jill (business owner),
Susan (retired State Police).
Kathy the librarian, Paula and
Jacquelyn the hospice nurse,
are missing from the picture.

Grandpa Doug (retired county
 Deputy Sheriff) with Addie Jo
I just poured myself a glass of wine and watched it all. The swim in the Redneck Swimming pool demanded an audience so we pulled up a chair. The outhouse in the background supplemented the "no nudity" sign.
Crowd watching the redneck
 swimming pool action. I am at the far end.
Pool and the outhouse
My good friend, Kristine,
in swimming gear
with Barbie towel!
 I visited with Marissa (Paula's daughter) who will be a senior at Oregon State majoring in Nutritional Studies. Sweet Katie is in her senior year at University of Portland and is majoring in nursing. Jack, Katy's brother, was there with his girl friends. He is at University of Portland in the ROTC program. AND he knows where Spray, Oregon is. I was impressed.

I met Miranda's (Lisa's daughter) fiance. They will be married in December and we will be home so we can attend. Miranda's mother, Lisa, ran Ethan's day-care. Miranda is Ethan's age. Lisa and I bonded over that experience. Ethan is 25 I think and he is my grandson.

Lovely Jacquelyn
Jacquelyn is a hospice nurse and her husband, Sean, is on the police force here in Hillsboro. They are all about traveling.

Susie and Dewey (my husband's Cribbage partner) host the party. Susie still works in the bakery at a local store/restaurant and is Lee's mom. Dewy is retired. They have built a covered bar/dance floor space and a cute little cabin with a composting toilet and bunk beds. A redneck swimming pool was added this year. Built with hay bales and lined with blue stuff, this pool was not easy task for the two of them.

The youngest in the group gets to sleep in the cabin. Addie Jo trumped everyone so she and her parents slept there. She is almost 8 months old.

Dear Sweet Jill
Kathy is the librarian at my grand children's school. Jill and her husband, Charlie, are in the nursery business.

And Kristine and Lee (Oregon State Police)...well they are the stars that everyone circles around. They provided the setting for both the Eclipse party and the yearly Labor Day gathering.

Golly, I do love these people!

Did I overlook anyone? If I did, please know that I try but, as you all know, I am not to be held responsible because of my age. :)


Featured Post

No One Honked Their Horn!

My granddaughter is learning to drive! She had signs all over her car, STUDENT DRIVER  they say and her mother sits in the front seat monito...