Sunday, September 8, 2013

Things that surprised me this week

1.  A friend told me I have a calm temperament! The friend has only known me for four months, but still. I have always thought of myself as a Type-A personality, or at least lively, but maybe I'm morphing into something else. I followed up that statement with a question to my husband Art: "Do you think I have a calm temperament"? He paused, then said, "Yes". I said, "Did I always?" He said, without a pause, "No". I said, "When did it change?" He said, "I have no idea."

Neither do I. I don't even know if I believe either of them. I know I have a long fuse, but calm may be going too far.

2. I no longer breathe hard when I'm walking the uphill portion of my two-mile neighborhood walk. I walk this route most days when I don't do water aerobics. I've read that half an hour of vigorous exercise four or five times a week staves off all sorts of things. I specifically remember telling my sister a couple of months ago that I was breathing hard and wondering if it was my blood pressure meds. She's a nurse, and I ask her these things. She said no, to just keep walking, so I did.

3. When I'm sitting on a buoyant foam "noodle" in the pool - which is an exercise for balance - I'm completely comfortable, upright and relaxed rather than falling face first into the water. My balance is improving!

On these last two items, I'm realizing that it's not necessary to work hard all the time. It's just necessary to keep doing what I'm doing, and eventually these things will come to pass - improved aerobic fitness and improved balance.

4.  I can play in a drum circle, even if the last and only time I tried it before was 20 years ago at Bumbershoot, the end-of-summer blowout at Seattle Center. Yesterday's gathering was at my church. I used to sing, but my voice is older now and I don't want to expose it to the world. However, I have always had a decent sense of rhythm, so I thought I'd try the drum circle as an expression of unity and collaboration. I love it! I had the same feeling last winter when I still remembered how to play handbills after 25 years. Except the drum circle was something new, and the handbells were something old.

5. Here's a Facebook chat phrase that can result in one of my sons responding:

Me: When are you moving out of your place?
Son: (No response) (Son is online and the time stamp indicates he has read my message)
Me: Evan, I know you're there!
Son: Next week.

"Evan, I know you're there!" must be the magic words. And here I thought they were "please" and "thank you".

6. After a rainstorm, hundreds of spiders spin large webs to guard the ripe tomatoes in the garden - and I walk into a dozen of them. This is the first year since we planted our garden that we've had enough warm weather to ripen the tomatoes on the vine. Usually we have to pick them green and store them in grocery bags in a dark place for a few weeks.

7.  Being 65 can be a good thing. If you're 65 and your insurance covers it, you can swim for free at my rec center instead of paying $5.50 each time for the water aerobics class. Actually, I knew this, but I wasn't able to do it until this week. I'll be 65 this month and my Medicare coverage took effect on September 1. It was fun, swimming for free!

8. When Art sits on the couch reading for three days, it's because he is sick with a cold. He is very quiet then. For some reason I thought he would be cranky. It has been a while since he's had a cold. Usually he's just in pain because he worked outside for four hours. Then he's cranky.

9. When I caught Art's cold I thought he would be sympathetic. But he wasn't. He kind of laughed, but not in a mean way.

10. If your iPhone begins to die, the Apple Store people have really excellent customer service and they treat you like you're a real person and not their grandmother.


Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Playing in a drum circle sounds very satisfying. And I love your # 10...I think lots of seniors use iPhones and probably treat them better than some of the younger customers (just a guess). I think we project a sense of calm when we are no longer battling lots of dragons, whether outside or within ourselves. On the other hand, people used to think I was calm even when I was really angry or upset...I hid it too well, probably. And my favorite takeaway here: you will be best served to Just Keep Doing What You're Doing! Which means you are living well.

Travels with Emma said...

You've had a very surprising week!

Olga said...

It is nice to see that most all of your surprises were pleasant ones.

Rian said...

I find it amazing that at 68, some things still surprise me...

Barb said...

Gotta love those noodles. Just FYI, once you are on Medicare, (or if you have certain insurances), it will cover the whole host of things that fall under the "Silver Sneakers" heading. This will cover things as diverse as seated aerobics and yoga and circuit senior training depending on hwat is available in your area!

Linda Myers said...

Yep. Barb, that's what I have - Silver Sneakers. It's even good for the gym we've been paying for for three years. I'm thinking the insurance companies think of it as wellness.

DJan said...

This was a very different kind of post from you, Linda. This one was more free flowing and filled with all kinds of optimism, rather than being more one pointed. I really enjoyed it, but then again I always enjoy your posts! I look forward to our Vashonista retreat next month. :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

From your posts, I would have thought you as Type A also but I guess there is such a thing as a calm Type A. Sounds you are enjoying the best of both worlds.
Yes, there are some really cool things that come with age.

Jeanie said...

I have also become more calm with age. Like you, I'm not sure when it happened but I am definitely less volatile than I used to be.
I also love that I can now use the rec center facilities for if I would just use them more often. :)

Sally Wessely said...

Love the free gym access that we now get. It really is wonderful.

I also loved the part about telling your son that you knew he was there. That was great! What's up with these kids not responding when we call????

Dee said...

Dear Linda, this posting had me thinking of ways I've changed since I passed 65. (I'm 77 now.) And I do think that I'm a little more serene and at peace with my life and with myself.

What I so enjoyed learning from your post was that your walking and water aerobics are leading to better balance and fitness. I started walking the summer and I'm up to only 20 minutes five times a week, but I"m aiming for that 30-minute session that you do. Peace.

wheels4me said...

Happy Birthday! Congrats on the better balance and fitness. That is a wonderful reward to be proud of for your diligent effort.

Galen Pearl said...

I love your list of surprises. I like the idea of reflecting on surprises of the week. Let me see....

Deb Shucka said...

What I see here is that even in retirement you continue to grow and stretch and become. Looking forward to sharing drumming stories with you in October.

deb and paul said...

I found your blog this morning while scrolling for inspiration regarding life after 65.
Thank you for your writing!
We spent the summer in your beautiful area house and cat sitting. We were able to meet our newest granddaughter while there and enjoyed the stay!