Monday, November 29, 2010

Wrong -- Just Plain Wrong!

Saturday there were exactly two pieces of mail in our mailbox addressed to me:
1) an AARP application;
2) ANOTHER preplanned funeral flyer.

That's just wrong!

PS: How many preplanned funeral flyers am I going to get? And I have received three, and Len has not received one!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Direct Overhead Lighting Should be Illegal

At the Houston Convention Center this week, I was looking in the bathroom mirror and I had to stand there -- stunned. Is that really me? That is NOT me, I decided. OK, I knew it was me, but I was still in shock. Where on Earth did all of those wrinkles come from?

Daily I look in the mirror when applying makeup in the morning and throughout the day -- I know what I look like. So, why would I suddenly have a ton of wrinkles?

Direct overhead lighting!

When standing under the dreaded direct overhead lighting, every single crease, furrow, wrinkle and crow's foot was emphasized and glowing. Even the little tiny ones that I can't typically see if I'm not wearing my "cheaters", and I'm unable to see up close. I have never ever looked so old before!

I am absolutely positive that a man made the decision to put direct overhead lighting in front of mirrors in a woman's restroom. (He should be shot!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Traveling with Co-workers

So, I'm out of town for work and have had dinner with a couple of female co-workers the last couple of nights.

Tonight at dinner, I mentioned something about an upcoming birthday. Joan, who is 10 years older than I am asked how old I'll be on my next birthday. I said, in about 28 days, I'll be 50. Though it is still hard for me to actually articulate those words, I said it aloud. "I will be 50."

The good news is, they all said I look younger than that. I was feeling pretty good, until they started saying how old they are. One said she will freak out when she turns 30 in 2 years. (She is only 5 years older than my daughter!) The other said when she turns 40 in 2 years it won't be hard at all. The other is already 30 and had no problem with it. (This last one I thought was closer to my age!)

So, the only person there close to my age is Joan!

I feel younger than what I am. And I do think I look younger than the average person my age. But here I am -- out with my co-workers, my peers -- and I am old enough to be their mom!

Somewhere along the way, I have to have made a bad career choice when everyone I work with is just starting out their careers, and here I am, at an age where I should be established and enjoying being at the top of the heap.

(But at least I look younger than that...)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Hero

I have a friend, Ellie, who is amazing. She recently retired as a nurse, is about to be a grandmother for the first time, and has completed five full marathons in the last couple of years. I have totally lost track of the number of half marathons she has entered.

What is amazing about Ellie, and makes her my hero is, she is 71 years old and started race walking about 10 years ago in her early sixties! Oh, and she is quite a bit faster than I am!

When I think about members of my family, and how they have aged, I don't have a lot of strong role models. My Dad died at 61, all four of my grandparents died of smoking-related illnesses and my Mom died of complications of stroke and COPD at the age of 71. Her last few years she needed a walker, needed oxygen all of the time and had constant knee and back pain.

Ellie is a good gardener, giving me tomatoes all of the time (I barely grew any this year -- again), she is a fantastic baker, spends lots of time with her neighbors, loves going to concerts, her house is immaculate, she cleans her gutters, rakes her leaves and mows her lawn... She never stops moving!

Ellie is officially my role model. When I grow up, I want to be just like her!

Recently after we had completed a half marathon, a woman in her twenties walked up to Ellie and asked if it would be OK to ask her a personal question. "You don't have to answer if you don't want to," she said. After Ellie said OK, the woman asked how old Ellie is. "I noticed from your race bib that you did the entire half marathon," she said to explain the reason for her question. "I did just 2 miles of the relay, and it is the farthest I have ever run. This was my first ever race."

When Ellie said she was 71, the young woman was almost dumbstruck. "You are kidding! You are my new hero!" the woman gushed. Ellie went on to say how many half marathons she had completed this year and how many full marathons she has completed over the last few years. The woman was appropriately impressed.

The woman turned to me and said, "And you are..." I replied proudly, "Her friend. Her very good friend."

NOTE: After the conversation, Ellie was worried that the young woman thought she looked like an old lady. Her point was, why else would she have asked Ellie's age. I explained my perspective. She knew Ellie was older -- that is obvious from the gray hair alone. But she was expecting Ellie to say she was at least 10 years younger than what she really is.