Seventy One Years of Life

71 Year Young Me!

Last weekend I turned 71! I am thankful for my life and the people who have shared it with me, loved me, befriended me, supported me during trying times, taught me, trusted me, and shared time and experiences with me.

I am thankful for the good health I have. I am “getting up in years.” I have some of the typical problems others my age have suffered: arthritis of the knee, stiff joints, sometimes fuzzy memory about new details but a mind like a steel trap about the past.; but I can walk and take care of myself and most of my home’s needs. I am a bit “overweight.” (Interpret that however you like, I am content with my body for now). But I can do what needs to be done or have sense enough usually to ask for help. I can still help others. That is important to me since I was a nurse for 37 years and love to help other people.

There are some things I know I can not do, some things I should not do, and some things that will cause unecessary pain. My concern and care for my body replaced my will’s thoughts that said: “I can do almost anything I set my mind to do!’ And ushered in a more logical and wiser idea: “Listen to your body!”

I have had some unique experiences see: . But I also had some other life experiences too.

Another attribute of my age is increasing visits to doctors, from my family practice nurse practitioner, to a spinal specialist, to an eye doctor, and to a physical therapist. When will I ever not need a medicine man or woman in my life? Then there are the supplements and prescribed medicines to buy!

But I am thankful for the abilities I still have. My memory is sharp as ever about details of the present, (well sharp as a slightly dull tack) but I can still remember: some songs I sang in the first and second grade; memories of my childhood traveling with my family; holidays with them; singing in the car when we went on trips; eating, sharing and laughing around the table at mealtime.

In additiion to the memories I have, I continue to learn things. I have always been interested in Native American customs: their (our) relationship with Earth, animals, Spirit (God) and how they survived against so many odds. I’ve had a variety of hobbies over the years: reading, beading, Macrame, sewing, crocheting, photography, belly dancing, FeungShuei, Reiki, my cat, Norie, and blogging.

I continue to learn about my own spirituality and relationship with God. My attitude towards death is healthy, which partly came from my being a nurse for 37 years and seeing many deaths. Plus I almost died three times.

I listen to TED Talks on YouTube about many different topics to broaden my mind and heart about some subjects. I think learning helps keep my mind open and interested in life, the world, and everything in general.

As a nurse I was taught to ask the patients when they were admitted if they had a Living Will or Health Care Power of Attorney. These are vitally important and should be written up with the help of a lawyer. But there are online wills and such that can be used in a pinch. Just be sure they follow your state’s guidelines and that you make your wishes and desires crystal clear if you use one.

I have a Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney assigned for when needed. It gives me great peace of mind to have these eventualities planned for. I have a dear nurse friend to someday help make medical decsions if I am unable to. My sons and their families know she has my best interest at heart and this will relieve them of the burden of makng difficult decisions. This is important to think about even before we get old.

Some people do not like to talk about death. But as a spiritual person who believes in a loving God (in whom I trust and know), in angels, heaven (although perhaps a different version than some may think of); and rejoining loved ones upon death. I have everything ready.

All of these topics are subjects that we should all consider and have a plan for. We never know when our time will come. I know with one son 50 miniutes to the west of me and the other 80 minutes to the east of me, I don’t want to cause unnecesary grief, stress, and worry about closing my affairs.

After my husband died I had a garage full of books, papers, model trains, laser discs, beta tapes which preceded the VHS tapes, which preceded the DVD’s! I found out that thrift stores don’t accept VHS tapes anymore, so I had to throw them in the trash! So to get to the point, I am trying to clear out those things that have collected dust because I don’t use them. They no longer “bring me joy.”

I also am working on a collection of my accounts, passwords and important papers for the son, who is to be my Power of Attorney. This is all an ongoing process of course. There may always be things to clear out, but I am working on them.

6 thoughts on “Seventy One Years of Life

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