Another Year Older, But I’m Not Complaining


Another year has slipped right through my fingers.  Another year of feeling the ravages of time in every creaking, Aspercremed joint, another year of watching gravity turn a pair of sock puppets and a belly button into sweaty dance partners, another year of accepting the shocking truth that the crinkly old gal staring back at me from the mirror isn’t someone else.

It hasn’t been an entirely bad year, though; in fact, nestled in between some of those what-the-hell-happened-to-me moments have been some pretty gosh-darn-wonderful days. I went on a 250-mile bicycle ride with friends. I went deep sea fishing off the Florida coast. I spent the holidays with my sons in California. I stood in peaceful wonder before dazzling sunsets, I hiked in giddy anticipation to hidden waterfalls, I tiptoed in joyful abandon through fields of wildflowers, and I drank a lot of wine. I’m chalking up this past year as a winner.

The calendar tells me I’m another year older today, and even though it would be easy to spend this day wallowing in cookie-laden self-pity, I’ve decided to save all my whining for another day and focus instead on some of the groovy little things that bring me joy.

And some of those things are . . .

  1. Eating grilled chicken, bacon and pepperjack sandwiches on thick, toasted bread (with a side of cheesy fries—even better!).
  2. Encountering salespeople who go out of their way to be helpful (like the Walmart checkers who automatically give me the competitor’s lower prices, even though I haven’t asked and wouldn’t know the difference).
  3. Listening to James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Queen.
  4. Watching cloud reflections skittering across still blue water.
  5. Getting second chances.
  6. Having an acupuncturist, massage therapist, and athletic trainer who are all intent on making me feel better.
  7. Munching on movie theater popcorn.
  8. Finally digging out that popcorn kernel from between my teeth.
  9. Traveling to new places—and the anticipation leading up to those travels.
  10. Lounging all day in my pajamas (sorry, Mr. UPS).
  11. Knowing that, as long as Sarah Palin is alive, I’ll never be labeled The Most Annoying Woman on the Planet—and that, despite my many faults, at least I’m not a narcissistic, blithering buffoon who believes that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing any voters. (I’d be even more joyful if those two would shut their traps.)
  12. Getting in and out of Walmart in record time—finding everything I need, not getting stalled by a quagmire of carts blocking every aisle, magically getting in the fastest line for a change, and not encountering Creepy Cart Guy.
  13. Holding hands.
  14. Seeing what amazing young men my sons have become.
  15. Sitting quietly in front of the fire pit with a glass of wine in my hand and sweet memories on my mind.
  16. Feeling good after a hard, sweaty workout.
  17. Playing with my goofy dog.
  18. Watching Cardinals baseball (only 70 days until Opening Day!).
  19. Burrowing into cold sheets and snuggling up to my extra-long, down pillows.
  20. Using my library card to discover new authors.
  21. Using Uber to successfully navigate strange cities.
  22. Smelling carrot cupcakes baking in the oven (my birthday treat!).
  23. Driving down winding country roads and enjoying the scenery.
  24. Getting recognition for my writing and my photography.
  25. Finally adjusting my internal clock to retirement and “sleeping in” until 6 almost every morning.
  26. Having an open heart and an open mind—and believing it’s better to be naive and kind than cynical and hard.
  27. Meeting friends for Friday night pizza and laughs.
  28. Walking around the park on a sunny day.
  29. Accomplishing something that I previously believed I couldn’t.
  30. Seeing karma and cosmic justice combine forces against the bad guys.
  31. Wandering down a deserted sandy beach.
  32. Lying in bed listening to an approaching thunderstorm.
  33. Coasting downhill on my bike.
  34. Soaking in a hot whirlpool.
  35. Taking a photograph and knowing it’s beautiful before I even load it onto the computer.
  36. Hearing Roger Miller singing “Trailers for Sale or Rent” on an oldies station and being reminded of long-ago days with my dad.
  37. Getting hand-written notes in the mail.
  38. Eating a meal (any meal) that someone else has cooked.
  39. Growing my own vegetables and herbs.
  40. Receiving an unexpected gift.
  41. Marking off the last item on my “to do” list (and making myself wait until the next day to start the next list).
  42. Re-reading passages in a novel because they are so beautifully written.
  43. Chocolate-covered strawberries (chocolate-covered anything, really).
  44. Warm scarves and mittens.
  45. Cake donuts, jelly beans and peanut butter M & Ms.
  46. Air travel (I’m serious!).
  47. My readers.
  48. Senior citizen discounts!
  49. Daisies.
  50. Over-sized sweatshirts.
  51. Back rubs.
  52. The Game of Thrones.
  53. Hot fudge sundaes with caramel sauce.
  54. Balmy days in January.
  55. Early-morning fog blankets over the valley.
  56. And puppies!

According to an old Guatemalan proverb, “Everyone is the age of their heart.” If that’s true (and surely it is), then I can’t be a day over 39, regardless of what that blasted calendar and that crinkly old gal in the mirror want me to believe. So, just for today, I’m ignoring both of them—it’s time to crank up Queen and put those cupcakes in the oven because it’s a beautiful day to turn another year older and a beautiful day to be alive.

fallingwaterslowres

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.”— Frank Lloyd Wright
(photo © Karen Eubank)

32

“I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.”—Bob Dylan
(photo © Karen Eubank)

hodgsonlowres

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”—Franz Kafka
(photo © Karen Eubank)

Christmas2015

My greatest joy of all . . .
(photo © Karen Eubank)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
This entry was posted in Aging, Gratitude, Photography, Simple Pleasures and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Another Year Older, But I’m Not Complaining

  1. Pingback: And the Good News Is | Iced Tea with Lemon's Blog

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