Today is my birthday.
I am now 66.
I found this among my Mother's keepsakes.
Remember when the newspaper used to publish things like this?
There I am - Rosellen Edith Luther, 6 years old.
An announcement to the world that I had reached a milestone.
Here is a spontaneous moment.
My Mom and Dad were the King and Queen of posing us for pictures.
"Bobby, give Rosellen your gift. Rosellen, give Bobby a kiss." Geez.
So here I am at my 6th birthday party in our backyard at the house on Forest Street kissing Bobby Bolthouse, my childhood friend (I wonder whatever happened to him), as he hands me my present, posed, naturally, by my mother and father. My 6-year-old self.
Now it is 60 years later and I am 66...and retired.
When I was about 12, I can remember calculating how old I would be in the year 2000 (52), and thinking how old that was and would I topple over before that ever happened?
Well, it happened and more.
What did The Who say in their song "My Generation?"
"I hope I die before I get old."
That's what they thought then. I don't think they think that today.
So here I am.
I am 66, I have just almost completed one year of retirement and am wondering what the future holds.
I have embraced my retirement by adding some volunteer activities to my life, writing this blog and having a routine that I enjoy.
But at the same time, I worry I will get into a rut.
So what should a newly minted 66 year old do to keep vital, keep those juices flowing and have a more meaningful life?
Now I am not talking about those pesky things we are always working on such as losing weight, not getting irritated with Hubby when he comes into the kitchen when I am cooking and gets in my way or the difficulty of getting out of my PJs on any given day.
I am talking about shaking myself up by instilling some new habits.
I want to make some changes and add some positive habits to my life.
The powers that be say it takes three weeks to make something a habit, so I figure if I decide to work on something for a month, it might take hold.
I originally planned to do something different every week, but when I started to make the list, I couldn't think of 52 things I had never done or wanted to do and basically I didn't want to push it.
No, 12 new habits should work just fine.
So here is my life changing list for the next year.
July - Order a Skinny Mocha Latte or anything BUT a Skinny Vanilla Latte at Starbucks.
Hey, I need to ease into this trying new things thing. I have definitely gotten into a rut when I go to Starbucks so this will kick things off nicely.
August - Moisturize.
Don't laugh. This is a big deal. I have rarely done this. I read once that Katharine Hepburn never used anything on her face except rubbing it raw with a rough wash cloth. I thought, I can do that. Well, not the rubbing it raw part. I recently treated myself to a facial that ended up costing me quite a bit more than anticipated, because I naturally had to buy some products for my face, so since I paid the money, dammit, I am going to start this birthday year off right. I am going to moisturize!
September- Ride my new bike every day that the sun shines.
(not too hard around here. It rarely shines but when it does, I will be out there)
My birthday present from Hubby.
Her name is Flora. Ain't she perty?
October - Walk 10,000 steps every day.
I have my pedometer and I wear it faithfully every day. The thing I don't do faithfully every day is walk those 10,000 steps. Do you know how long it takes to walk 10,000 steps? At least one and a half hours. If I find it difficult to meditate 15 minutes a day, where am I going to find that extra 90 minutes? But if I have to run up and down the stairs a couple of times a day, I am going to get those steps in. I will say as a caution for those of you also on this path. The pedometer does not count those minutes on the bike or even the elliptical so give yourself a break when you go to the gym. I know I will.
November - Take little Baby Tarquin (AKA as the Wine Guzzling Poodle) for a walk every day.
He is the only one of the three dogs that doesn't get walked regularly. Probably because he is usually passed out drunk on the couch after too much wine.
This should help with my 10,000 steps and help him with his drinking problem. It won't hurt him to walk off a few pounds either. Little Baby Tarquin is starting to look like Baby Huey.
December - Improve my piano playing skills and get good enough to play Christmas carols for the family if we indeed have a family Christmas.
Yes, I can play the piano, but I don't do it often.
I still have that piano.
I no longer have that body.
My 17-year-old self.
And what the hell am I doing sitting at the piano wearing a hat?
I imagine this was Easter, I was wearing my Easter hat and someone said, "Rosellen, sit at the piano." Or something like that.
Lest you think this was a fluke. Look at this. Here it is again sans hat. I look like I am already questioning this sort of thing. "Daaaad, do I have to?"
In the earlier picture when I was 17, you can tell that I had to pose like this so many times that I had accepted it as a given.
Speaking of posing for photos.
Here was my Dad's all time favorite pose.
Posing in front of the mirror for the full front and back effect.
Every event was a cause for posing in front of the mirror.
Every new outfit.
(My Dad loved capes so he probably bought this for me)
Everyone got in on the act.
Posing in front of the mirror was one thing.
But how do you explain this?
I think I am supposed to be placing an ornament on the Christmas tree.
That alone is crazy because my mother never let ANYONE place things on the tree but her. That happened after my brother and I started just throwing the icicles on the tree and she just about had a heart attack. I ended up perpetuating that, by the way, - not letting the kids trim the tree, and I am not proud of that.
In this one, I must be noting how adorable the gold bell is on the tree and how perfectly placed by my mother. I added the little touch of pulling out my dress as if about to curtsey. Again, how very natural and yet dramatic. That was the year I received the canopy bed for my Revlon Doll. We matured later in those days.
I have this idea that they had this whole mental folder of poses for their scrapbooks for their Golden Years.
- Rosellen at six kissing Bobby Bolthouse.
- Rosellen at 17 at the piano with hat.
- Rosellen in every outfit we ever bought her standing in front of the mirror. Rosellen placing ornament on Christmas tree.
- And everything in between.
Sorry, I digress.
Where was I?
Oh, right, changing my life.
January - Learn a new skill
I am going to start the new year off right and start taking some lessons: golf, tennis and/or horse-back riding. If I learn to play golf, I can accompany Hubby, if I learn to play tennis I will have a social skill that will give me added exercise, and if I take horse-back riding lessons, I can indulge my love of horses. I might even buy my very own horse. I know, that's all I need.
February - Watch "Game of Thrones."
I feel like I am the only person on the planet who hasn't or isn't watching it, so I plan to rectify that. However, I might not be able to until February, that's why I have it scheduled for then. I placed a hold at the library for Season 1 and I am number 93 on the list, so it probably will be February until I can get started. But how did I miss it the first time around? I am not good with most TV dramas. As you know from my blog on reality TV, I am a reality TV girl, but I also don't like being out of the loop, so it's time I dabbled in something other than "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars" and "Hell's Kitchen." I will start with Season 1 and "binge watch" until I am current. I will make food in advance, shut off the phone, put on my pink fuzzy slippers and a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the bedroom door, grab the wine guzzling poodle and immerse myself in all things "Thrones." Who knows, I might even move on to "Breaking Bad."
March - Read Tarot Cards without having to look them up in a book
I have always had a bit of an interest in the tarot and astrology, so when I retired I thought, here is a good time to play around with that. So I bought some cards, dutifully wrapped them in a velvet cloth, slept with them under my pillow and treated them with respect. But learning what the cards mean without having to look up the meanings in a book is as difficult as learning a new language. And when doing a reading, I don't look very mystical or reassuring if I lay out the cards and then have to say, "Wait a minute. King of Wands, now just a sec...let me look that one up...oh, the Death card...wait a minute...Mmmm, a tower with a bunch of people falling from it... I don't think that's a very good card, but let me look it up." By my next birthday, I will be Madame Rose Helene, Mystic Extraordinaire. I might even put a sign out and make a bit of extra cash.
April - Improve my French
My library has this really cool feature on its website. Mango is a database that helps you learn languages (check to see if your library has it). It's free and I can't believe I haven't done it sooner. I took eight years of French and whenever I am in France and try to speak to a French person, they interrupt me and say IN ENGLISH, "Are you American?" I nod. "Let's speak English." They look at me as if I am an over done piece of filet mignon. Merde.
May - Become a better blogger
Since I started this blog a year ago, I can see that I have not only progressed with my retirement, but with the nuts and bolts of blogging. I think it's fitting that today, on my birthday, this is my 100th blog post. That's a kind of birthday, too, don't you think? Happy Birthday, blog!
However, I haven't really spent the time working on my SEO (that's Search Engine Optimization for you non-bloggers - See? I can talk blogger. Must mean I am a professional) or making contacts with other bloggers that I should. I met some great people early on, but I haven't kept that up, so I plan to do one thing every day that improves and markets my blog starting with this.
OK, I know that's a cheap laugh. But dogs in costumes always work.
(Oh, and by the way, the Mango Languages I mentioned above? You can learn "Pirate!")
June - Try not to get depressed that I am now 67 and didn't accomplish any of the above.
But you know what? If I don't, I don't.
Life has a way of interfering with our best intentions. But all that really matters is that we DO have positive intentions and we keep living.
So my one main thing that I am going to work on every single day this coming year, is to say yes to everything.
When you are retired, it's very easy to say no. I mean, geez, if I go out, I have to put on clothes, fix my hair and makeup. But even when you are not retired, don't you notice that your first inclination often is to say "no?" Saying no to going out. Saying no to helping out. Saying no to interacting. Saying no to adding a new activity to your life. Saying no to getting up and going. Saying no to life. Disapproving of this and that. It's sometimes easier to just stay home, keep doing the same old same old, being judgmental and living life asleep.
But in the sage words of Bob Dylan, "It ain't me, Babe."
So when I am invited to a party and need to cook a dish to bring, I will say, "Yes!"
When I am asked to be on a committee, I will say "Yes!"
When I have to go out of my way to help someone, I will say "Yes!"
When someone I don't know very well asks me to go have coffee at 8:30am, I will say, "8:30?" (gulp), I mean, "Yes!"
But most of all, who knows what new adventure awaits when you say, "Yes?!"
I am saying "Yes!" Bring it on!
Now I am going to enjoy my Birthday!
(I will check back in with you on this over the next year and you can check up on me too by following my blog).
(I will check back in with you on this over the next year and you can check up on me too by following my blog).
Thanks for reading!
See you Friday for
"Movies You Will Never See on an Airplane" and The Week in Reviews
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