Coffee heat rising

Time for a retread!

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.


7 thoughts on “Time for a retread!”

  1. On the wardrobe front, Talbot’s is having a sale all Presidents’ Day weekend. An additional 50% off anything on sale, and there was a lot on sale in the store I went in.

  2. No matter what you say, you are NOT boring. I love reading your take on the absurdities of life (or is it just ASU?).

    I need to do some of the same things you’re tackling but am not motivated right now. Keep us updated and maybe I’ll start exercising and eating green vegetables…

  3. Nothing like being in front of 30 or so students to make you self-conscious about your appearance!

    Since I am a bossy teacher myself: I know you were somewhat skeptical about my paean to Paula’s Choice, but let me reiterate. You might want to try some of her recs for sun-damaged skin–AHA, skin lightener, and SUNSCREEN. Every day. Those make a big difference. Also, try tinted moisturizers for base–lots of 50plus ladies like them. They often have sunscreen in them too (they SHOULD).

    Clothing: Devoted thrifter that I am, it sounds like you need basics and basics are not easily found at the thrifts. My rec (in consultation w/ my daughter). Two sets of basic knit pants (straight leg). You can get these at LLBEAN or Lands End (free ship/20% off thru Mon). Get at least one black. Then get a knit jacket (also at Lands End). That is your base and becomes invisible. They are machine washable too.

    Jazz up with tee shirts in whatever colors you want.

    Instant style can come from faux pashmina scarves (about 10 bucks) and ballet flat shoes.

  4. @ frugalscholar: Good advice, all the way around. As a matter of fact, your paean is what got me thinking that I need to go back to my old AHA-heavy routine. A little skeptical about skin lighteners; the one my dermatologist recommended turned out to be heavy on mercury (!) and contraindicated by all sorts of consumer protection agencies.

    Absolutely need to get some new pants…knits show every ripple of cellulite on me, but I do have several functional pairs from the Good Old Days at Talbot’s. They will fit a great deal better after I’ve lost five or ten pounds! I have two very nice jackets, also from Talbot’s: one buttercup yellow (sorry…couldn’t resist) and one a go-with-almost-anything brown. They fit well and do help to dress up separates that include pants. They actually look great with jeans, come to think of it.

    The REAL issue for me is tops. For some reason I seem to be scraping the bottom of the fashion barrel in the shirt department.

    Mwa ha ha! The new “mineral” foundation I just got at Costco (along with three colors of eyeshadow, a jar of blusher, and a tube of lip gloss) brags of SPF 20!! This is good. Can’t wait to try this stuff on!

  5. Oh my goodness, all of your resolutions need to be mine! Except the drinking part, a lot of that stopped for me when I moved up here where I don’t know anyone.

    I’m working on the clothing thing, mostly with Talbots’ help. The exercising is something else that unfortunately fell off the rails when I moved up here. I keep making resolutions to get back on track but somehow that hasn’t happened yet. Right now I’m blaming it on Snowpocalypse and swearing I’ll do it when the snow melts but we’ll see!

    I started on the mineral makeup when I moved up here and I like it.

    Good luck with your changes, I’m still working on mine!

  6. Don’t know how I missed this post! Read it today by way of Simply Forties. I am working on the same things. I am now pushing the 50 and I am starting to see all of the same things. But Lady! You are anything but boring! I laugh daily at your posts and root for you to carry the mantle on! I read them to my husband and you are like a wonderful guest in our home. I have learned so much from you. I love to go to our Goodwill. We have one on the more affluent side of town. In ours they have a “better quality” area. I buy lots of great, sassy! clothing here. Often still with tags on. Just today I picked up two whole outfits for the gym(hubby and I joined he Y last week)-2 bottoms 2 jackets and 2 t’s for less than $21.00! And one pair of the sweat bottoms is Ralph Lauren and had the tags on for 63.00! So, have fun with your thrifting and keep us posted. One thing that may interest you-I love CABI clothes but they are too expensive for my mindset. I do, however, love to visit their website and look at the runway show for each season and browse their catalog. They have a great way of putting things together that may inspire you with new ideas. Hey….red wine is good for you! LOL

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