At the end of January, I turned 79…which puts me now in February living into my 80th year.  That is a major milestone. I’m noticing life reflections increase, prompting laughter and tears.  

  • I am happy remembering my long and interesting life.  
  • I am sad for the reminder that I am mortal.  
  • I ponder my choices for the days that remain.
  • And recommit to the activities that nourish my being.

I also pay attention when the occasional model for living well in one’s 80’s comes along.

It happened just three days ago in the woman’s locker room at the YMCA.  A beautiful woman was  returning from her swimming lesson.  Full of vim and vigor, she admitted to being 82. 

“Why take swimming lessons so late in life?”  I bluntly asked.   She knew the answer to that one:  “Four years ago, I lost my husband of 60 years.  When I turned 80, I said to myself,  ‘I miss my husband, but I AM STILL HERE.  IT’S TIME FOR ME TO DO WHAT MATTERS TO ME.’ ”

  • “I’ve always wanted to know how to swim, and now I can.”
  • “I’ve always wanted a tattoo and now I have one”, pointing out the beautiful rose decorating her upper arm. 
  • “A friend twisted my arm to enter the Senior Women of Massachusetts pageant (open to all those over 50), so I did.  I read Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman and ended up as 2nd runner up, and,  Ms. Congeniality.”

What an incredible few moments chatting with such a model.  That serendipitous interaction is still on my mind.  Because…

The Bud

  • I, too, am still here.
  • Anyone reading this is still here.
  • Are we choosing to make our lives matter?


4 comments to “I AM STILL HERE!”
  1. I’m still here! When people ask how I am, I usually say, “This side of the sod”….still here and trying to decide what’s next. I’ve joined the small senior chorus at the Council on Aging. Next week we’ll sing at Renaissance Nursing Home. This week I’ve been going through old file cabinets and tossing papers, articles, school left-overs and more that I have no intention of referring to again. I’m going through my finances for the umpteenth time, trying to develop a better way of keeping track, and preparing to do my taxes. I’ve discovered that I really CAN’T do the clearing of snow/shoveling that I used to do, and have to ask for help or let someone else do it. Every week I begin another bag of “stuff” to get rid of…clothes, books, puzzles, household items, etc., in an on-going effort to live with less. Anyway, I’m still here, and still on the journey in the paradox…living well while preparing for death! Thanks for your help!

  2. Martha! You truly are a blessing in my life! I am looking at my seventies very soon and with trepidation! How much of myself will remain healthy and active? Your posts are wonderful. The woman taking swimming lessons in her eighties is a priceless story for me. I am not of the “feint of heart” type woman – but I have more encouragement after reading to continue living forward with a smile on my face! Take good care, Annette

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