What a beautiful few days we’ve had! Incredible weather in the 60s and 70s, peace and quiet, and now an unexpected holiday (the State of Arizona, because of the legislature’s deep and abiding resentment at being forced to approve Martin Luther King Day, took President’s Day away from its employees, but the County abides no such scantily veiled bigotry). The young classmates and I don’t have to reconvene until Wednesday, o mirabilis!
Now that the racket of the three-ring circus that is the COBRA, Social Security, and Medicare bureaucracies has died down for a while, I’ve finally had a chance to relax, unwind, catch my breath, and think a few thoughts.
And here is what I think:
• My face is beginning to show my age. This is not surprising, since I was born in the early Pleistocene.
• My face is showing the effects of too much ultraviolet light. Also not surprising: born in an early Pleistocene desert, I grew up in one of the harshest deserts on the planet during a time when sunshine was supposed to be good for you (can anyone else remember the phrase “a healthy tan”?), and then I spent my entire adulthood in one of the most biologically diverse deserts on the planet. I am, in short, a creature of the sun.
• I am fat.
• I am boring as Hell. This is probably because…
• I am stuck in a rut.
There’s gotta be some changes made.
First, I need to get out from in front of the computer and put my body in motion. More exercise…lots more exercise! In addition to meeting La Maya whenever we can get together on weekday mornings for an hour’s walk, I need to walk the dog at least a mile a day, and I must get off my fanny and onto the mountain! There’s a very fine mountain with several quarter-mile vertical hikes just to the north of my house. Need to go there and do that. Ideally, every day; as a practical matter, no less than three times a week.
I have a gaudy pink beach cruiser of a bicycle. It sits in the garage while its tires decompose in the heat. I need to get on the bicycle every day and explore my neighborhood and nearby enclaves.
I have a perfectly fine, athletic little sheep dog. I need to let her take me for a run every day. Not a walk: a run.
At the age of 65, dear friend Garnett Beckman (scroll down that page!) started hiking Phonix’s North Mountain Park several times a week. Just retired from a lifetime of teaching, she decided that no grass would grow under her feet. She was 84 the last time I walked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with her. And yes, I’m afraid she did get out before I did. She’s 102 now. She still has all her marbles, and she’s still going strong.
Role model! Listen: can you hear that voice saying, “What are you waiting for, dear?” That would be, yes, Garnett.
A close second: I need to lose about ten or fifteen pounds. It should come naturally if I manage to drag myself away from the endlessly fascinating Internet and start walking. But I also need to eat better. I eat too much pasta, too many sugary treats, too few green and orange veggies. And, let’s face it: I drink wayyy too much for an old lady: two beers a day, down from half a bottle of wine. A day.
Yesh. Sixteen years of working at ASU earned me a mighty fine drinking habit. If it’s any excuse (it’s not), I’m not alone: hardly any of my friends and former colleagues arrive home from a day at that place without craving a drink or two or three. Some of them crave a lot more booze than I can ingest, and that is plenty. One recently lapsed from AA; the others…don’t ask.
I must stop drinking. Really stop drinking. Not reduce drinking. Knock it off.
After a day of gallivanting with M’hito, in which we visited many venues and spent not very much money, I came home not even faintly interested in a drink. Clearly, one thing that will help is to fill my days with something other than counting shekels and clicking on Web sites until my eyes glaze over. I think more exercise and an organized diet program will help a lot.
Other strategies: Use the neat new refrigerator-door-sized glass bottles to make sun tea. Prepare a lot of ginger-pinapple drinks and frescas. Have plenty of pleasing things on hand to drink other than wine, beer, or whiskey.
In the horrible face department: it’s time to get serious about maintenance. Tomorrow it’s off to Costco to buy some “mineral” makeup. Not that I expect any miracles, certainly not on sagging jowls and hide as convoluted as the surface of Mars, but I’m beginning to suspect L’Oréal liquid foundation is a bit passé. Time to try something new, develop a few fresh techniques.
And it doesn’t take much reading of Une femme d’un certain age to get the clue that it’s time to update the wardrobe. I’m starting with red and red. I’m also going to follow Frugal Scholar‘s and SDXB’s advice to shop in thrift stores by way of upgrading the wardrobe. At the very least, I must have some new tops to disguise the Costco jeans. New tops, new sweaters, new jackets, new vests, new skirts, new dresses, new whatever else that comes along. I have got to start dressing better!
New (to me) clothes, fresh make-up, more exercise, better food: these should jump-start the project to get a life. Who knows? Maybe once a little momentum builds up, I’ll have the nerve to do what Mary has done; drop it all and embark on a whole new existence.