We've had house guests for the last two weeks. We have a daylight basement with a bedroom, living area and bath, and three sets of people have stayed there since July 5. We go about our lives, they go about theirs, sometimes sharing the kitchen or an occasional meal. The first couple, Ed and Jeri, live in North Carolina and spent a week with us, visiting their grown children in Seattle each day. The second set of visitors, Jamie and Dyan and girls, are family of our next door neighbors, whose smaller house couldn't accommodate everyone for sleeping. The third visitor, Joost, was a couch surfing teacher, originally from the Netherlands and currently working in Oman. Our house works out well for summer visitors to Seattle, and it returns the hospitality we experience when we travel at other times of the year - even though our guests are different people from our hosts. Check out Homelink and couchsurfing for these interesting arrangements. The last houseguest left on Thursday, we had one night of "just us", and now our 12-year-old granddaughters Mary and Malayne, just returned from a week of camp, will be with us for a week.
I am learning to pace myself.
As part of my "what's next" inquiry, I bought a book put out by Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel). It's called Master Class; the author is Peter Spiers. You can order it on Amazon here. The idea is that, for "living longer, stronger, and happier", the interviews they've done have revealed that people are most likely to achieve that state through a combination of socializing, moving, thinking, and creating. I'm thinking back to my first two post-retirement years - our group and individual travel, our exercise classes, our book. I guess I stumbled into the possibility of living longer, stronger, and happier, and I want to continue on that path.
What about the aches and pains? For some reason, I thought I'd be just fine, thanks, as I got older. And I am - except for the aches and pains. An old SI joint injury that acts up from time to time; twinges from an ankle I sprained badly a few years ago; annoyed feet from compressed nerves in my back from a bad sit last year. This year, part of me thought, well, I'll just wait until all these issues clear up. Then I'll get going again. It has now, finally, dawned on me that this is who I am now, with my particular aches and pains. It's time to move along, accepting them - maybe even embracing them - as part of the 63-year-old me.
It feels better, somehow, to have arrived at a place of near acceptance. And, as I said, I am learning to pace myself!