Turning 70

Today I turn 70 years old. In many ways, I find that hard to believe. It seems like we just celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday and that was 20 years ago.

She was beautiful at that age. I am not.

But I’ve been inspired to write this from two posts by Ciphers From Cindi https://ciphersfromcindi.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/on-turning-seventy/

And from an article by Seclusion 101 with Anne Marie https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/12/02/the-ups-and-downs-of-aging/

I share two things with Cindi from Ciphers from Cindi; the spelling of our names and the fact that we both turned 70 this year.

A lot of this post will be prompted by these three articles.

First, I still can’t believe that I’m turning 70. It seems like I just graduated from high school and that has now been over 50 years. I can remember so much of those four years; hell, I can remember when I celebrated my 18th birthday, and my 12th, and my 9th and even my 6th! I still remember my 3rd birthday when my grandmother gave me a little gray elephant lamp. I loved that lamp and I loved my grandmother. See the cake in this picture? That was my birthday cake.

Now after all of these years, I have the signs of old age; using a cane, walker, and wheelchair; having arthritis, sleeping a lot more, taking a lot more pills. The sad thing is that a lot of these things are nothing new. I’ve had arthritis since I was 22 and needed walking aids since I was 38 and pills since I was 55.

Cindi mentions writing lists and forgetting things if they aren’t written down, and I can relate to those things too, but I’ve also been a list writer since I was a child.

She mentions that her life now is “before and after” and I can relate to that as well. My life for the 35 years has been “before the car accident and after”, and then “before Courtney died and then after”, and then “before cancer and after”. It just shows that life is not linear and it spirals around to the past and back to the present.

Cindi recommends taking lots of pictures and I’m glad I did that. I inherited my grandmother’s huge photo collection and I was able to get some of Dad from my Auntie June who was Dad’s sister. I wish I could have gotten some of the pictures, or copies, that Mom had.

Anne Marie talks about the ups and downs of aging. For me, the worst is the high levels of pain. It seems like I am rarely not in pain. The doctor is reluctant to give me the meds that would help because they cause problems elsewhere, like in my kidneys. I guess her goal is to keep me alive as long as possible, but if I have to suffer this much, why would I want to live longer?

Anne Marie also talks about appearance. I’m not obsessed with this and maybe that’s because my mother was. She was frantic about the idea of getting older, hated getting wrinkles, and worried about dying. She spent most of her older years wishing for a facelift. The idea of someone coming at my face with a knife is enough for me to say no to that. Even lasers have no appeal to me. I don’t mind my wrinkles. I earned them in so many ways. I’m not concerned with my body because everyone else seems obsessed with that, so why should I worry? I love my gray hair, I just wish there was more of it… both hair and gray.

I had to laugh at Anne Marie’s comment: “Health – Health can be challenging as we age. Apparently when you hit 65, your warranty runs out and parts start to go. That does not mean you have to believe every advertisement or meme out there. I still have my hearing and my sight is as good (or as bad) as it has ever been. I have only fallen down once and found I couldn’t get up. (That incident involved a bottle of tequila and a hot tub, so whatever).” I also have my hearing and my eyesight and my sharp brain. So what if everything below the waist is shot!!

I’ve been retired for 20 years now and on Medicare for 5 years, and I think I’m finally able to handle both better. We are still trying to downsize and move to a smaller home in town instead of commuting 15 miles each way to get to Sequim and 35 miles each way to get to my doctor appointments in Port Angeles. Being in town will simplify both. But I’m getting discouraged. We were supposed to be moved this last spring, but Covid 19 put a crimp in our plans. Now we are aiming for this spring? Will it happen? I’m starting to have my doubts and I’m so tired of having everything packed up and in storage, for 2 years now.

I feel like I’m running out of time. And I still have things I want and need to do.

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