Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (…the senescence is almost undetectable)

I turn 60 today, and I feel vaguely embarrassed about it, like I’ve somehow let myself go, like I’ve been bingeing on decades and wound up in this unappealing condition. Chances are, most of you haven’t crossed this border station yet, so you’d better listen up. Because if you play your cards right, it’s going to happen to you too.

Here’s what it feels like to turn 60: weird. On the one hand, you’re still going to the gym and to dinner parties. Sixty-year-olds still perform surgery on people who could choose other doctors. There’s no dithering yet—the senescence is almost undetectable.

But on the other hand, you have been on this Earth for a really, really long time. […] How can all of the things that happened since that photograph was taken have occurred in one lifetime? How can people walk around holding this much of the past inside them? How do they possibly add in another two or even three decades of experience? I’m topped up! I’m going to have to start erasing the larger files. Maybe I already have and don’t know it. […] But then it got real. One day a few weeks ago, I got old. It just suddenly happened, and there isn’t a sports car in the world I can buy to make it otherwise.  […]

There was a time when I could manage my cancer without having to understand myself as “disabled,” but at 60, that time has passed.

I sat down, and my bones settled so heavily around meand the relief was so immediatethat I knew I’d done the right thing. But I also knew that through that simple, necessary gesture, I had become old. […]

I’ve actually begun to feel a bit emotional and proud. Just by staying alive, I’ve witnessed a lot of life and a lot of history. I’ve done so many things in these six decades—I’ve survived some serious shit. In many of the ways that don’t involve the mortal coil, I’m stainless steel. And on the inside, I’m still me—probably more myself than ever…

—   Caitlin Flanagan, from “The Day I Got Old” (The Atlantic, November 14, 2021)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Why not just retire?

“Reinhold doesn’t really relax,” Hansjörg said.

“Do you know this saying he has on his website? ‘I am what I do.’ But I think he may also believe the opposite: ‘If I cease to do, I will not be.’

~ Caroline Alexander, on Reinhold Messner, “Murdering the Impossible. Superhumanly determined.” (National Geographic Magazine, November, 2006)


Reinhold Messner, 72is an Italian mountaineer, adventurer, explorer, and author. He made the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and was the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level. He was also the first person to cross Antarctica and Greenland with neither snowmobiles nor dog sleds. He crossed the Gobi Desert alone.


Photo: gripped.com

Charles Osgood

charles-osgood

LC: …You are now widely considered among one of the legends, certainly were to me growing up.

Charles: That has its advantages and disadvantages. There’s no joy in winding this up. But there has been a lot of joy in it. There has been a lot of happy memories associated with it.  And they all have to do with the people you work with. And also has to do with the people who are watching, because you really feel it’s all for them.

LC: Do you feel satisfied with this long career?

Charles: No. (laughing). Well, it’s just one of those things that if you enjoy something, you want to keep doing it, and you don’t want it to ever end, ever.  Most people find it hard to imagine that you regard this as work. It’s not really work, it is really a joy.

Charles Osgood, 83, retires from CBS Sunday Morning after 22 years.

And here’s Charles Osgood singing on his 80th birthday


Fantasy Island = Less Work (-100%) + More Sleep (+13%) + Way More Reading (+269%)

retiring-retirement-chart

Source: wsj.com

 

Five Stages of One’s Career

balloon-portrait-life

Then there are the stages of one’s career: an old joke invoked the five stages of Joseph Epstein (supply your own name here): 1. Who is Joseph Epstein? 2. This is a job, clearly, for Joseph Epstein. 3. We ought to get someone like Joseph Epstein for this job. 4. This job calls for a younger Joseph Epstein, and 5. Who is Joseph Epstein?

~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays


Credits: Photograph – Tugbaumit

 

Really?

excel-art-tatsuo-horiuchi-3-painting

Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 73-year-old Japanese man, created this art.
I said: “Nice.”
Then I checked out some of his other creations.
Then I said: “Very Nice.”
Then I learned how he did it.
Then I said: “Really?”
Then I went back and looked more closely.
Then I scratched my head and said: “Amazing.”

See story here on MyModernMet.


Related Post: Look closely at this. (I mean really closely)


A Reprise of Revelations: I feel like I’m tasting food for the first time


Would she, Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, 55 years old, former Ailey superstar and current artificial-hip owner — come out of retirement to dance at a special performance on New Year’s Eve? “Are you kidding me?” she responded. No, he was not kidding, and eventually the answer was yes, she would do it.

But knowing how to do something doesn’t mean being able to do it the same way you did it before. The dancers spoke of thinking one thing in their heads but having something else, perhaps, happen in their limbs. “Does the body do what it did when it was 20?”  “Maybe not.”

She was suffused by doubt. Her hip-replacement surgery had taken place at the end of 2012. “I also don’t have any A.C.L. in both of my knees,”

So she got to work. She enlisted the help of a physical therapist, a massage therapist and an acupuncturist; she tweaked her diet; she stepped up her Pilates; and she started going to class again. She began to see the dance from a new perspective, not just as a showcase for technique but as an expression of “all the things that life has put into you.”

And no, she said, she cannot do it exactly the same way she did when she was young: when she arches her back toward the floor while balancing on one leg and extending the other high into the air in one especially hard movement, for instance, she cannot bend back as far as she once did. “Alvin always said, ‘Ponytail to the floor,’ ” she said. “That’s not going to happen.” [Read more…]

Joy Johnson

Joy-Johnson

“She was 86, competing in the marathon for the 25th consecutive time. Even injured, she abided by one of her enduring rules for any race, which was to smile down the homestretch, aware of the roving race photographers and believing it never served anyone to be caught in a grimace.

Joy Johnson crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon this year nearly eight hours after she began. Of the 50,266 people to finish, she was among the very last — wearing a pair of Nikes and a navy blue bow pinned neatly in her hair, leaning on a stranger for support. Her forehead was bloodied in a fall she took at around Mile 20…Johnson, who was raised on a Minnesota dairy farm and was given to cheery understatement, waved off any concern. “I wasn’t watching where I was going,” she told her sister shortly after finishing. “It looks just awful, but I’m fine.”

…she herself didn’t have an exercise regimen. Until one day in 1985, when she and her husband were newly retired and their four children all grown, Johnson, who was 59, took a three-mile walk and found it energizing. Soon she tried jogging and enjoyed that even more…As a senior citizen, she ran an average of three marathons a year, buttressed by dozens of shorter races, always with a bow in her hair. Her home in San Jose grew so cluttered with running medals and trophies that she began storing some of them in the garage.

Early the next morning, looking cheery, with her medal around her neck and a blue kerchief over her head, the right side of her face swaddled in bandages, Joy Johnson waited in the crowd outside NBC Studios to say hello, as she did postmarathon every year, to Al Roker (“a nice young man,” she called him) from the “Today” show…”

I won’t be a spoiler.  Be sure to read this article and how it finishes: Joy Johnson, a Marathoner to the End


Credits:

  • Elise, thank you for sharing.  Inspiring. How do you define grace and class: Joy Johnson.
  • Image & Article: NYTimes.com

Sunday Morning: Jack


“Meet Jack English, a 93-year-old legend who lives in a cabin isolated deep in the Ventana Wilderness, located in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the Central Coast of California. While on a hunting trip he learned that an old homestead in the Ventana Wilderness was being put up for auction by the estate of a childless heiress. He put a bid on the property and won. On the land he built a small cabin using materials from the land and milling trees by hand. When his wife passed away, Jack effectively left “society” and moved to the cabin full time.”

More on Jack English @ The Santa Barbara Independent: Jack

Good Sunday Morning


20 lessons learned in my first 80 years

Byron Wien

Byron Wien grew up in Chicago during the Depression.  “He was orphaned at 14 and overcame a difficult childhood to attend Harvard undergrad and business school.  He recently turned 80, and in response to a request from a conference organizer moments before he was supposed to speak, Wien committed to paper some ideas which surely contributed to his success, but more important, they are lessons that shaped such a rich and remarkable life.”  Here are a few excerpts:

  1. Network intensely.  Luck plays a big role in life, and there is no better way to increase your luck than by knowing as many people as possible.  Nurture your network by sending articles, books and emails to people to show you’re thinking about them.  Write op-eds and thought pieces for major publications.  Organize discussion groups to bring your thoughtful friends together.
  2. Read all the time.  Don’t just do it because you’re curious about something, read actively.  Have a point of view before you start a book or article and see if what you think is confirmed or refuted by the author.  If you do that, you will read faster and comprehend more.
  3. On philanthropy my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy.  Music, theatre and art museums have many affluent supporters, give the best parties and can add to your social luster in a community.  They don’t need you.  Social service, hospitals and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream.
  4. Younger people are naturally insecure and tend to overplay their accomplishments.  Most people don’t become comfortable with who they are until they’re in their 40’s.  By that time they can underplay their achievements and become a nicer, more likeable person.  Try to get to that point as soon as you can. [Read more…]

60 about 60

Ian Martin at 60

Ian Martin is a British author, writer for Oscar-nominated film In the Loop, major contributor to The Thick of It and has written for radio and newspapers.  He shares his thoughts about turning 60.  A few excerpts:

1. People who “hate getting old” are idiots. Every year is a privilege. Let me tell you, callow miserabilists: getting to 60 feels like a triumph. I have no idea how I made it this far, but I am very grateful…

4. For instance. It was 1968. Early summer evening, a Saturday. My mate and I were hitching home in the Essex countryside. We got a lift from a happy couple in a boaty car that smelled of leather and engine oil. We were 15, they were proper old, 20-ish. Relaxed and so very much in love. They treated us as equals, laughed at our jokes, we smoked their cigarettes. Walk Away Renee by the Four Tops came on the radio. We all sang along to the chorus. I felt a blissful certainty that life as an adult might genuinely be a laugh. The entire encounter lasted no more than 10 minutes. I have thought about that couple every day since. Every day, for 45 years. Imagine that. A Belisha Beacon of kindness pulsing through the murk of a whole life.

10. …You have kids, you know you will never experience that feeling of unconditional love for anyone else, ever, and then it happens all over again. A heart-stoppingly beautiful miracle.

Read More @ The Guardian – 60 Thoughts About Turning Sixty

5:00 am. And Inspired.

forest, woods, aspen, birch,trees


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Olive @ Olivethepeople with her post titled The Subway Samaritan: “He was crazy. At least I thought so. At least at first. You see…

Tina @ Practical Practice Management with her post titled Who Made an Impact on You. I’ve read similar iterations of this thought but it never seems to get old and always seems to leave me in wonder. “Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time…

Sedone @ Getting Better, Man. with his post titled Giving Happiness a Helping Hand aka Beware the Silent H*. “I’m dedicated to giving happiness a helping hand, although sometimes I want to give it the finger…And don’t miss the short video.

[Read more…]

5:06 am. And Inspired.

Inspired with Nature


Good Wednesday morning.  All of my inspiring posts of the week come from a single source.  Thank you Sandy Sue for pointing me to Peg-o-leg’s Ramblings who has started a series of guest posts called “Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.”  Peg awards the bloggers a “Freshly Pegged Award.”  Here’s some samplings:

Life In The Boomer Lane with her guest post titled Why I’d Rather Be 65 Than 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, or 55I hate that my body moves more slowly than it used to, that when I roll over in bed, my back hurts, that sex is accomplished in mostly one position, that photos of myself scare me, that I can no longer run up and down the stairs or sit in a pretzel position on the floor or reach way under the bed to grab something. I hate that reaching way down into the crib to pick up my grandson must be planned like a military operation . I hate that my memory fails at the oddest times, that I am beginning to lose a grip on pop culture, that I think a lot about being home in bed with a book when I am out in the evening. I hate that people in charge can look younger than my children…” Great post.  Read more here.’

Misty @ Misty’s Laws with her guest post titled The Last Straw…To My Heart. “I have an admirer.  I am being wooed on a daily basis.  I see him almost every day and he gives me what I so desperately need.  He satisfies my cravings and soothes the beast within.  He gives me the ability to face the day.  He provides me with the fix that I need before I can function every morning.  He is . . . the drive-thru guy at my Dunkin Donuts...” Read more here. [Read more…]

The long roll of heavens artillery

black and white, ocean, waves, photography

“Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his infinity, – the ceaseless flow of the tides, the fury of storm, the shock of the earthquake, the long roll of heavens artillery, – but the most tremendous, the most stupefying of all, is the passive phase of the White Silence. All movement ceases, the sky clears, the heavens are as brass; the slightest whisper seems sacrilege, and man becomes timid, affrighted at the sound of his own voice. Sole speck of life journeying across the ghostly wastes of a dead world, he trembles at his audacity, realizes that his is a maggots life, nothing more. Strange thoughts arise unsummoned, and the mystery of all things strives for utterance. And the fear of death, of God, of the universe, comes over him, – the hope of the Resurrection and the life, the yearning for immortality, the vain striving of the imprisoned essence, – it is then, if ever, man walks alone with God.”

~ Jack London


This share was inspired by the 10 ton meteorite falling out of the heavens in Siberia on Friday. (The long rolls of heavens artillery…The sky clears, the heavens are as brass…)

Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone.


Sources: Quote – thank you makebelieveboutique.com.  Photo: midnightmartinis – “Portugal” – by Hélène Desplechin

Seneca Speaks from 49 A.D.

black and white, relax, chill,live, chill

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman philosopher. He wrote the essay “On The Shortness of Life” in 49 A.D. That is, over 1900 years ago.  Seneca figured out busyness and multi-tasking thousands of years ago.  Clanking through my head – – the more things change, the more…

Here are two excerpts from Ed Batista’s excellent post titled “On The Shortness of Life“:

3. …No one is to be found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life! In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal… What, then, is the reason of this? You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last… You will hear many men saying: “After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties.” And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!… [Read more…]

Hanging it up after 45 years…

family, photograph

Here’s my Aunt Olga.

She grew up as the only girl among four brothers. Tall. A striking blond. Remarkable blue eyes. A warm and infectious smile.

She left our rural home town more than 45 years ago to strike it out on her own. The Rebel. A young, single woman. Moving to the big city. Leaving behind a Mother who worried about her welfare. A Mother who took every opportunity to remind her daughter about her angst.

As a professional stylist, she built a deep and loyal roster of clients. Several times over. Her practice supported her love of travel. We’d know because she’d bring back gifts. A “Babuska doll” from Moscow. Maracas from Mexico. A flaming red scarf from Spain. A miniature Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower.

She’d come back home to a three generation pile-up of freeloading customers. We’d move a kitchen chair into the garage and she would mow down the Kanigan mullets one by one. Never a complaint. The line stretching around the corner.  Yep, Olga came home for a few days of R&R.

My Auntie. Independent. Industrious. A positive spirit. A generous, big-hearted soul. And, a lady who has suffered through some of life’s deepest disappointments. Yet, those sparkling blue eyes and hearty smile keep it all rooted deep down, with no evidence of flotsam bubbling to the surface.  She’s since found happiness. And a good Man. And no one deserves it more.

Here was her email to clients and friends on her last day of work yesterday: [Read more…]

The Best Years Are Still Ahead (Thank Goodness)

chart, graph, happiness, age, Andrew Oswald, aging, youth, happy

  • The behavioral economist Andrew Oswald found that from about the time we are teenagers, our sense of happiness starts to decline, hitting rock bottom in our mid-40s (middle-age crisis, anyone?). Then our sense of happiness miraculously starts to go up again rapidly as we grow older.
  • All in all, Oswald tested a half million people in 72 countries, in both developing and developed nations.
  • And it’s not only we humans who slump in the middle and feel sunnier toward the end. Just recently, Oswald and colleagues demonstrated that even chimpanzees and orangutans appear to experience a similar pattern of midlife malaise.
  • Women hit happiness-bottom at 38.6 years on average, whereas men do more than a decade later, at nearly 53.

Source: Brainpickings.org – Life Cycle Of Happiness

Sunday Morning: What did you leave behind

“At 68, Rob Elliot has guided 200+ trips on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado river in Arizona.”

How do you want to be remembered, when this life joins the wind?
What did you leave, in these chasms, upon these lives, young & curious?
What did you write? What dust in the rain, sand in the rivers?

Those you touched, embraced and kissed, loved… what echoes there?
How will it travel, your wisdom, your story, your suffering and joy?

These walls, silent, deafening, ancient and new.
What did you make them, what did they make of you?
A life running, teaching or learning, what is escape?
What did you find?

Wind, replenishing rain, sun.
Who did these thorns see?
What did these waters wash from you?
The stars, in the abyss beyond, how did they shine, on you?

Will you release the storm, the scars, whirling as they go, yet holding love, life?
The luminous child, the harsh knowing of age, what did you leave behind?

Good Sunday Morning…


OF SOULS + WATER: THE ELDER from NRS Films on Vimeo.

 


Related Posts:

Late August…

poem, poetry, summer, august, seasons, lifestyle, life

Author: Margaret Atwood


Source: Teaching Literacy

Related Posts: What touches you is what you touch…

Cranky Old Man

This is a remarkable story and more remarkable poem.  And so fitting for a…Good Sunday morning.


cranky old man“When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.  Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.  And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.”  (DK: Apparently, everyone has seen this, but me.)

 ~ Source: anewstartt

[Read more…]

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