Monday, January 15, 2007
Introducing The Old Broad Sheet
Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday; she turned 89. I called her (she lives in Colorado and I live in Arizona) to congratulate her on her “achievement.”
She says she doesn’t know how she managed to live so long; it wasn’t any thing she consciously did. Whatever it was, it worked. She looks maybe 75. (Hell, on a bad morning, I look 75.) Two years ago she joined TOPS and lost 35 pounds and has kept it off. (A considerable achievement since she lives in a senior housing complex where the two major activities are playing cards and eating.) She takes just three medications – two for her eyes (she has controlled glaucoma) and Fosamax for her bones. Her blood pressure averages 110 over 70. She says she feels “remarkably well...for an old broad.”
Hello. I'm Rose. I turned 64 at Xmas, and I don't buy the hype about your sixties being the new fifties (I think that’s Madison Avenue sucking up to aging baby boomers). I am simply not the person I was at 54. Lots of deterioration has taken place in those ten years.
Now I have tasked myself with the goal of fighting a good fight against getting old. And as I am not a person given to extremes, my approach is to do so in a sensible and moderate way. (No eating weird stuff or taking massive amounts of vitamins or running marathons…yet.)
I’m lucky to have that lovely genetic inheritance (not just Mom, but both grandmas, made it to their late eighties, early nineties). Still, science says genetics account for only a third of the picture. You can control the other two-thirds.
And on the flip side, life holds no guarantees. My daddy died at 70, my brother at 62 (both of lung cancer; I smoked for nearly 40 years). So my personal goal is to see that however many years I have left to live are ones where I am healthy, active, feel good (and look good, too, since I think people treat you nicer when you are attractive, even old ladies!)
Why am I sharing this personal goal? It probably stems from my having been a librarian for twenty-five years. As a group, librarians suffer from what I call “enlightenment compulsion.” I mean, did you ever meet a librarian that didn’t just inundate you with stuff when you had a question about anything?
Plus, I’ve been interested in wellness and nutrition topics for years and consider myself a bit of a maven. And I suspect many of you have thoughts and ideas and suggestions you’d be willing to share about aging and wellness and your own ways of “keeping it together.”
If life and time permits, I’ll try to show up weekly with a new posting to the Broad Sheet. And next time the topic will be weight management featuring Aunt Rose's "Ground Hog diet."
E-you later, darlings.