Amy Tan, Vladimir Putin, Harvey Weinstein, and I
I’m a birthday girl in February. Seventy-two is my new number! Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on the subject. They fall into three categories – my “state of the union” tally, a bit of comparison shopping, and some wise words I heard at a conference that include information on the blowing winds. Here are my thoughts…
The view from seventy-two:
As I write this, my grandkids are ages six to seventeen. Four out of the ten are taller than I am. (I am helping things along by shrinking.) My oldest is going off to college in the fall, which is bitter-sweet. She is such an amazing girl, so hurray for Tillie! But really, I didn’t realize I’d have a second round of empty nest syndrome to endure.
From bittersweet to sweet, I have given myself some gifts in my seventies:
- I get a massage every three weeks! What a treat!
- I take yoga once a week! I find my aches and pains are less achy and painy!
- I wear hearing aids! God said, “Let there be sound!” and thanks to hearing aids there is!
- And I drive a new car! Its many safety features restore my confidence at the wheel!
On the less-sweet-side I find myself with these struggles:
- Drowsiness and the need to nap.
- Teeth that are sensitive to cold.
- Rising A1C and blood pressure levels.
- Sometimes painful swallowing – must those vitamins be so large?
- And the ever-present struggle of cell phone addiction.
I try to be positive in all things. The rising A1C will force me to get my sugar habit under control – at last! My addiction is to scrolling, not to alcohol or drugs. And even the mutiny of my grandkids has a silver lining down the road. When all their parents become empty nesters, they will have more time to spend with me! It’s just twelve short years away.
My cohort at this age:
In honor of the fact that my birthday is on the 12th, here are a dozen well-known folks who were also born in 1952.
- Amy Tan – 2/19/52
- Harvey Weinstein – 3/19/52
- Robert Zemeckis – 5/14/52
- Liam Neeson – 6/7/52
- Patrick Swayze – 8/18/52 (died 9/14/09)
- Christopher Reeve – 9/25/52 (died 10/10/04)
- Vladimir Putin – 10/7/52
- Donna Kelce – 10/9/52
- Roseanne Barr – 11/3/52
- Randy Savage – 11/15/52 (died 5/20/11)
- Lorna Luft – 11/21/52
- Susan Dey – 12/10/52
As I do some “comparison shopping” by putting these celebrity lives next to my own, I am reminded of the annual “Home-A-Rama” here in Cincinnati. It’s a showcase of new homes where local builders try hard to outdo each other and where owners of more modest homes come to drool. In my years of trekking through all those showplaces, I have never found one that I like better than my own. How lucky is that?! And with the exception of wanting a smidge of Amy Tan’s publishing success, I will likewise choose my life over the ones listed above.
It goes without saying that I am especially happy to still be alive and to be living outside of a jail cell.
Some advice to those of us who are golden oldies – and to people of all ages:
My inner voice has been talking to me. Well actually, it’s been singing to me. It’s a song called “May I Suggest to You,” written by Susan Werner. I heard it performed by Dan Nichols at a conference some years ago. It started playing in my head when I began thinking about my birthday.
What the song suggests is that this is the best part of your life. There are four main concepts expressed in the lyrics. Stanza one suggests that there are a thousand reasons why this is the best part of your life. Stanza two tells us that the life you are living was “addressed to you” and is unique to you. Stanza three reminds us of past generations who are expecting us to claim this life and live it the best way possible. And finally, as promised, we get to what I perceive as the winds in stanza four. The song/the wind is coming from the west, from the slowly setting sun. This reminder of the shortness of my days makes the song poignant as it runs on continuous loop in my birthday brain.
Here’s where I go with all of this:
My daughter is the mother of three sons, ages thirteen, ten, and six. When one of the older brothers focuses all of his attention on the youngest, Jude, she reports that Jude is living his best life. So I am going to focus all of my attention on the sweet things in my life, on my basic contentment with my home and lifestyle, and on the understanding that these are among the thousand reasons that this is the best part of my life.
In this way I’ll be like Jude, living my best life. At seventy-two! Amen.
That’s the end of today’s blog, but if you want to read more…
I seem to take inventory of my life every couple of years. Here is what I have written previously:
At age 68: My Personal State of the Union Address – https://www.loriekleinereckert.com/2020/05/12/my-personal-state-of-the-union-address/
At age 70: Worrying about Field Sobriety Tests and Other Aspects of Aging: https://www.loriekleinereckert.com/2022/01/24/worrying-about-field-sobriety-tests-and-other-aspects-of-aging/
If you like my writing, did you know I have four books in print? They are all available on my Etsy shop. My newest book, Love, Loss, and Moving On, is also available on Amazon. Please have a look and tell a friend!