My Birthday Season . . . I’m still 70

Received this birthday “reminder” from my friend Sharon, who, yes even after receiving this, I still call my friend.

Questions and Answers from CARP Forum

Q: Where can single men over the age of 70 find younger women who are interested in them?

A: Try a bookstore, under Fiction.

Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?

A: Keep busy. If you’re handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you’re done, you will have a place to live.

Q: Someone has told me that menopause is mentioned in the bible… Is that true?
Where can it be found?

A: Yes. Matthew 14:92:
“And Mary rode Joseph’s ass all the way to Egypt…”

Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your over-70 year-old husband?

A: Tell him you’re pregnant.

Q: How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly wrinkles?

A: Take off your glasses.

Q: Seriously! What can I do for these crow’s feet and all those wrinkles on my face?

A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out..

Q: Why should 70-plus year old people use valet parking?

A: Valets don’t forget where they park your car.

Q: Is it common for 70-plus year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?

A: Storing memory is not a problem, Retrieving it is the problem.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?

A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q: Where should 70-plus year olds look for eye glasses?

A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 70-plus year olds when they enter antique stores?

A: “Gosh, I remember these!”

 

Friday the 13th – my LUCKY day

Seventy years ago I emerged from the womb – my mother’s to be precise.  If that isn’t lucky I don’t know what is.  

As you know,  I had decided to celebrate my Birthday Season for 70 days in advance this year.  However, it didn’t work out as I had planned because no one followed rule #3.  So I am giving you another chance.  Starting today I will continue to celebrate for another 70 days.  

Please review the rules so you understand what your part is.

Here are The Birthday Season* Official Rules that start again today:

  1. Beginning on the day of your birth your season lasts the number of days you are old.  You may start your Birthday Season before the day of your birth.  But you cannot exceed the number of days you are old. Consequently, every year your Birthday Season is one day longer.  With me so far?
  2. You are to celebrate your birth the entire season by choosing whatever you wish to do, or NOT do,  each day.  So far so good!
  3. People give you presents the entire season.  SO GOOD, so far!
  4. You must be over 50 to qualify for Birthday Season status.  (Over 50 you need more time to celebrate because it takes you longer.)
  5. Those who are under the age of 50 can celebrate a Birthday Season as long as they don’t tell anyone or demand presents. (Gargle thoroughly after breakfast to eliminate tell-tale “Birthday Season Breath”.
  6. You must eat doughnuts everyday for breakfast during your season. (If you don’t like doughnuts you can choose anything you want as long as it isn’t healthy).
  7. Every day of your season you must be grateful for being born and still being alive.  (After your Birthday Season is over you can revert to moaning about your age).

*For those of you who don’t know how “The Birthday Season” came into being here’s the link My Birthday Season or you can have your donut and eat it too. 

A Cautionary Tale – Pome

Boogie while you’re young

Pierce your tongue

Dye your hair green

Eat fat, not the lean

Don’t give a lick what makes you tick

Eat, drink and be merry

because if you tarry

you’ll soon be too old

all covered with mold

And have to scrap it off with a stick

First time she's made any sense . . .

First time she’s made any sense . . .

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Counting up to 70 – “Up a Tree”

“Ye are all leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch.” Baha’i

As I “count up” to my 70th birthday” I think more and more about choice & inevitability,  and the wonder of the unknown.  When I received these pictures from my friend Sharon they struck me as reflecting the human condition . . . mine included. 

unnamed-11Tree, speak to me

of essence

Speak to me.

unnamed-10reaching ever reaching

for the Source

unnamed-9clinging to the sky

soaring from the earth

unnamed-8growing visible invisible patterns

in time and space

unnamed-7clinging tenaciously

clinging by my roots 

 to a passage yet unknown

Thanks Sharon for sharing!

Becca Givens posts pictures of  trees she photographs on her blog Sunday Trees.  Becca has much more discipline than I do as it is every Sunday!  Here’s some of her “trees” Sunday Trees 03Sunday Trees 08Sunday Trees 26 in the Mayan Ruins

 

 

How to Get a Leg up on Trashing Self-Doubt!

unnamed-17

As I get older

I grow less bolder

My body parts are rather dear

One leg up, one leg down

I’ll end up icing my rear, I fear

unnamed-16

Two legs down are more my style

both feet on the ground awhile

trash the skates

there’s no self doubt 

Easier to get about

Reserve the ice for drinks and such

One can never hydrate too much

unnamed-15

And when my legs both give out

I could switch to four to get about

Don’t put me out to pasture yet

Am I still in the race?  You bet!

Here’s to retirement! I’ll drink to that . . .

As retirement looms I’m finding inspiration everywhere.

unnamed-14Yes, my body knows what to do

it doesn’t want to be black and blue

My mind should upend

unnatural ways to bend

unnamed-19So keep me on my feet

a beverage can’t be beat

Who would’a thunk

I could turn into a drunk

 

 

My Birthday Season Studies, Aging on the “Fritz”

In preparation for my coming birthday I’m studying what “learned” people know about aging.  I just found out that  a definite perk of  “getting old” ensures me of ALWAYS being in the present moment!   Fritz Coleman (who is very “learned” says: “When you are old you can’t count on the future and you can’t remember the past.”

Fritz Coleman, Comedian

Senior Conference On Aging. Held at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. Keynote Speaker Fritz Coleman NBC4’s weathercaster is a Southern California broadcasting icon”  and a . . .  comedian.

My Birthday Season Rules ! Counting up to 70

Seventy days of celebration for my 70th BIRTHDAY SEASON!  Starting December 6th.

This year is different: I am going to celebrate my birthday season starting 70 days BEFORE my actual birthday (rule #2).  

This year is different: 70 is OLD.  At least 70 was old when I was growing up.  And since my life expectancy is to live only 17 years and 4 months longer I figure I shouldn’t wait til I’m actually 70 to begin my birthday season.   (see post: I only have 17 years and 4 months to live)

This year is different:  Instead of eating doughnuts (rule #6).  I am going to do/make something CREATIVE every day (or eat junk food); Some of it I may post . . . some of it I may not . . .  I do NOT want to be held accountable because at my age I may not remember what I’m being held accountable for . . . and even if I remember I don’t care.

For those of you who are new blog readers (and for those of you who are OLD and don’t remember) I am reposting the story behind My Birthday Season and the rules (in case you want to celebrate your own birthday season).

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The Origins of My Birthday Season

Many years ago my good friend Bernice and I were sitting in a motel room (don’t go THERE – we were at the motel, attending an imagery conference) eating doughnuts for breakfast.  We picked this motel because it had FREE doughnuts and coffee every morning.   It was just before our birthdays which are a few weeks apart.

A bit giddy from not sleeping well on motel mattresses and slightly inebriated on chocolate covered doughnuts, we decided that if we were going to get older each year we would at least take advantage of our accumulating age.  We created our BIRTHDAY SEASON.

Birthday Season Rules

  1. Beginning on the day of your birth your season lasts the number of days you are old.  Consequently, every year your Birthday Season is one day longer.  
  2. You may start your Birthday Season before the day of your birth.  But you cannot exceed the number of days you are old.  With me so far?
  3. You are to celebrate your birth every day of the entire season by choosing whatever you wish to do, or NOT do.  So far so good!
  4. People give you presents the entire season.  SO GOOD, so far!
  5. You must be over 50* to qualify for Birthday Season status. 
  6. You must eat doughnuts everyday for breakfast during your season. (If you don’t like doughnuts you can choose anything you want as long as it isn’t healthy).
  7. Every day of your season you must be grateful for being born and still being alive.  (After your Birthday Season is over you can revert to moaning about your age).

*If  you are under the age of 50  you can celebrate your Birthday Season as long as you don’t tell anyone or demand presents. (Gargle thoroughly after breakfast to eliminate tell-tale “Birthday Season Breath”.)

Happy Birthday Season to Me!  Day 1

“This is my life” – all 17 years and 3 months left*

I’m searching for my focus in this next phase in my life.   (I’ve probably always been searching – this is the first time it’s conscious).  In my search I found this Holstee Manifesto video.

My 3 favorites are:

  • If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
  • Getting Lost will help you find yourself
  • Stop over analyzing
  • We are united in our differences

The more I think about it the more I realize I’m in a pickle.  The Holstee Manifesto says:  “Do what your love”.  Well,  I love my job and  . . .  I’m quitting.  Now I’ll have more time to watch TV . . .  I’m feeling more and more lost.  But it feels good to know we are all united differently in the same search  . . .  I’m very confused.

Holstee Manifesto
https://www.holstee.com/pages/manifesto

*My Life Expectancy 

Am I dying . . . ? His honest answer

As I near my 70th year I am more than ever aware of what a blip in eternity my time is on this earth.

The 3 areas that the people who were dying shared with Mathew O’Reilly gave me pause for thought about what is important . . . and what isn’t.

  • Forgiveness – reflecting on their regrets
  • Remembrance – wanting a lasting connection with others
  • Meaning – having wasted life on meaningless tasks.

It’s very short video and worth a few minutes of your life.

“Matthew O’Reilly is a veteran emergency medical technician on Long Island, New York. In this talk, O’Reilly describes what happens next when a gravely hurt patient asks him: “Am I going to die?” — and the personal choice he made to tell the truth.”

 

Are the Rumors True that I’m Retiring?

I’ve bitten the bullet (while I still have my teeth) and am taking the leap (while I still can leap) into the next phase of my life (which is getting shorter by the day)!  

judy's journal

judy’s journal

My office lease is up this February 2015 and coincides with my (gulp) 70th birthday.  

I have wrestled with whether to sign a new lease, rent space from another clinician, buy a van to set up a Therapist-on-the-Go practice (kidding), move to the South of France (sorta kidding) or fade into memory . . .  I will close my office along with my 69th year (no kidding).

Being a psychotherapist has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve done in my life. I’ve been blessed to have had thousands (yup, count ’em thousands) of people profoundly touch my life.  Therapy is a two-way street.  I’ve learned and grown along with my clients.  Their pain, hopes, struggles and faith have helped inform my choices, strengthen my faith and deepen my belief in human courage, resiliency  and ability to learn & change.

It is almost inconceivable to me that I will be 70 years old and have been “practicing” psychotherapy for 30 years.  It is hard to admit that in the last several years I have less physical energy and resiliency.  But it’s true.  (I like to blame my declining energy on fibromyalgia more than aging  because fibromyalgia should be good for SOMETHING).

As I take the leap I will try not to lose my grip on the cord of these words that I do my darndest to tether me in my life:

  • “Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.  (THIS is a hard one!!)
  • Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.
  • Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.
  • Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.  (GOTTA WORK on this – my speech isn’t always guarded as my friends can attest)
  • Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. 
  • Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression.
  • Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.
  • Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.
  • Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
  • Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.”  (A TALL ORDER for us humans – one “leap” at a time).

(The Baha’i World Faith, Baha’u’llah)

I’ll keep you “posted” (on this blog) where I land.  

Say a prayer that I land on my feet and not my head . . .

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 Post: I Have 17 Years and 4 Months to Live