I Must Live to be 100

I need to live to 100.  No, really, I do. I’m approaching my birthday – my Medicare birthday – and I am responsible for a preschool boy.

I’ve never been a health nut like some of my kids and well, I’m the only person I know who flunked PE in high school so I’m not off to a really good start in the physical fitness department.

I came across an article called Secrets to Longevity. It was bookmarked on my computer back in 2009 so I’ve obviously thought about this before.

According to this list there are eight culprits that will most quickly age you and negatively affect your health:

1. Poor diet – well, eating with a preschooler doesn’t lend itself well to salmon and vegetables but we do ok with fruit, stir-fry and a little Chef Boyardee. We should look at nutrition in a later blog.  Start gathering your ideas and suggestions.
2. Lack of exercise — there is plenty of running, chasing, heavy lifting, wrestling and bending to pick things up but you won’t catch me doing palates or Zumba. I do a few leg lifts when the foot rest on my recliner goes up though.

Maria Moline, instructor, coaches her Zumba cl...
3. Stress and worry – every grandparent who ends up raising little ones knows there is always a little worry going on. After all, we do still love the child who blessed us with this new job and their life couldn’t be all peaches and cream or we wouldn’t have their kids.
4. Exhaustion — Really?  Get serious. I’m nearly 65 and I have a preschooler.   Exhaustion is a way of life.  Guess I don’t get points for this one.
5. Unhappiness   — As long as I stay away from dwelling on what might have been, I’m good in this department. It’s those “if onlys” that zap us into bluesville. Stay focused on how lucky we are to have today and it’s all good.
6. Lack of love — I am truly blessed and never run short of love or people who freely express it. That would be my wish for you as well.  If you are running low in this department, consider a support group. Email me if you can’t find one and I’ll try to help.
7. Toxic overload – I’m sure this entry was talking about non-organic foods but I think we need to also take a look at toxic people and situations in our lives.  Sometimes it is important to rid ourselves of people to are only happy when they are miserable and like to share it.
8. Blockages and congestion of the transportation highways within our bodies. — Ok, I get it. A little Activia and some raisin bran.

I’m going to do a little more research on this subject so you might hear from me again on this one. Because living to 100 really isn’t optional.

So Long Spring Break and Hello …. Fever Friday?

Spring Break is coming to a close. The weather was dark, stormy and wet which put a bit of a strain on my entertainment skills because outdoor play was almost nonexistent.  Excitement about the return to preschool has been building and my grandson is so glad the school won’t be “closed” anymore.

This morning he woke with a cough and fever. How could he catch anything? We were practically quarantined! Maybe it was the quick trip to McDonalds or an ailing handyman at Lowes, but things aren’t looking good for a return to school on Monday.

I’m going to need a large red rubber nose and a short course in making balloon animals if he has to stay at home any longer.  Sigh.

I am strong; I am invincible; I am a parenting senior citizen

Yesterday gave us an amazing 80 degree day, not at all typical for winter in Oklahoma. No disrespect to Mr. Groundhog, but I think we are moving into spring.

English: A frisbee made by Wham-O.

Eighty is right in my comfort zone (which is unrealistically narrow unless I move to Maui) and I was motivated by the sunshine and breezes to run, kick balls, examine sticks and play Frisbee for several hours. Playing Frisbee with a 3 ½ year old is more a game of who can toss it farthest followed by a race to go get the disk. The comfort of the warm sun and a little boy’s laughter kept me unaware of the time until dusk shooshed us in to make dinner.

Today I am grateful for a chill in the air which I am using as an excuse for calling it an indoor day. Candyland never looked so good.  Of course my gingerbread boy token is moving a little slower around the board today.

Being a grandma/mom combo is challenging and will push me to the limits well beyond the sore muscles of keeping pace during the preschool years. I remember raising elementary and teenage grandchildren while facing drug-induced opposition and mental health issues.  There’s a long road ahead even if things go well. It’s hard physically and emotionally, but I can do this.

My thanks to Helen Reddy for her still apropos affirmation that we can do whatever it takes. Regardless of your religious-socio-political opinions on the women’s movement that spawned the words nearly 40 years ago, I hope parenting grandparents – especially those whose children oppose what they are doing — will find strength in applying these words to their lives.

Oh yes I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to

I can face anything . . . .

And In The Beginning

My firstborn grew up as the middle child and my eldest was really the third child. It’s all a little Abbott and Costello and hard to explain without scribbling a family tree on the back of an envelope. There were biological children, adopted children and a plethora of foster children. Just about the time the last of those were moving out on their own, my husband and I adopted a high-risk infant — the son of little girl I’d adopted some 15 years earlier. And so started what I lovingly call the second litter.

When we married, my children were nearly grown and he was an avid sailor.  There were plans to set sail in a 40 foot Catalina to the Caribbean with another couple for a much-needed dream vacation. Those plans were scuttled and replaced by jaunts to the park with a stroller.

Not wanting to raise an only child we prayed for the opportunity to either conceive or adopt another child. God rewarded us with a beautiful baby girl four years later. At this point I learned the true meaning of “be careful what you pray for.” The floodgates opened and we were blessed with two more adoptions within the following 15 months. Sailing and my career were replaced by a household with a kindergartener and 3 non-walkers. Two of those four adopted children had been our grandchildren. And so it began….