Category Archives: Aging

Is That You?

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My Dad loves to drive. Except, he’s dead.

This is why my experience of him driving my car the other day gave me collywobbles.

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Dad, my brother, me, the car

Growing up, all bikes, skateboards, baseball bats, and badminton nets could not cross the two-foot invisible barrier that surrounded the family car in the garage. My Dad was a little obsessed with the safety specifics and monitored the inches between our kid stuff and the paint finish on his car.

God forbid a baseball, or any object for that matter, bounce off the car. I swear he had some hidden CIA radar for such occurrences. He could be two houses over in someone’s backyard, and he would hear the thump when a foreign body hit the metal on the car. There would be scoldings and lectures from him every time this happened.

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Dad, Mom, and the car

No matter the terrain or weather, he was your man on the street. My Dad took pride in his skillful art of maneuvering through the snow on any road, even no road. The rest of us in the family weren’t so unafraid of that skill. There could be a blizzard warning, and my Dad thought nothing of throwing all of us into the car and driving 70 miles to Wisconsin to visit family in Clinton or Beloit. “We can make it,” my Dad would say with confidence. My Mom would think about it, all of one minute, and call him crazy.

As he got older, he still made car care a priority. He was a State Farm man, after all. Every couple of years there would be a new car to pamper with pride. I’m sure his military experience of managing the care of the equipment he was entrusted with contributed to his viewpoint about other possessions. In WWII, it was a rifle he pampered. Home from the war, it was a car.

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My dad at 88

My Dad drove his car until a fracture in his foot sidelined him at age 90. Before that happened, dad gave anyone who rode with him something comparable to a cardio workout. He would drive: s-l-o-w. I chuckle now just remembering a few of those adventures. Every driver knows that when you’re clear to proceed across two lanes of traffic that you don’t dilly dally. My Dad would pull out quick enough, but then he would just peter out and linger while oncoming traffic was getting closer and closer. Inevitably, my brother or I would yell “Dad!!”

When he died in 2006, there were a handful of noticeable dents and dings on my Dad’s car. Something he would have never tolerated some 50 years earlier. All the dents were signs that his driving ability was reaching its limit.

So on that day, I was driving on the road my Dad would always take to get home. I was looking at the sidewalk where I used to ride my bike as a kid. I drifted off in thought. I was riding in the car with my Dad. He was driving us home. There was a warm and comforting light that filled the car, the way sunlight does but brighter. There was a stream of energy that rippled. There was no sound.

Then suddenly, it was gone. The radio returned to its bellow. I was driving again and realized I had just felt the presence of my father–driving my car. Wow! Tears filled my eyes. I couldn’t recall driving the last mile. Did that just really happen? I looked down to see how fast I was going and realize it had to be my dad; I was driving 10 miles under the speed limit!

Thanks for the visit dad. Glad you’re still driving, and you were not here to pick me up!

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

As Time Goes By

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Time.

timeThe patron and adversary of life: time. It controls us, one, and all, as time goes by. It determines events—births, games, classes, weddings, flights, celebrations, deaths.

It changes the seasons. It ages all life and sparks the new.

It’s a priority—be on time. We give it honor and respect, we thank you for this time. We curse it, what’s taking so long? Waiting lines and wait lists. All as time goes by.

Time. A commodity that cannot be ruled or bought or threatened. It cannot be stolen, bribed, or tortured. It shares itself equally.

It’s a mentor and master for the zealous. A lifetime teacher.

I’ve learned as time goes by—
I’m happier with myself.
The more I say, “I don’t know the answer.
The greater my gratitude.
The more I realize I’ve been wrong about some things.
The less I give advice.
The more I see God in everything.time2
The lighter life’s burdens.
The less I complain.
The more I know my limitations.
The less I want to impress.
The better I am at admitting mistakes.
The more accepting I am of others.
The less I criticize and judge others.
The greater my faith in God.
The sillier and playful I am.
The more I give freely.
The better my life.

If only I had more time.  As time goes by.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

My Fall From Grace: A Loss of Balance

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MY FALL FROM GRACE: A Loss Of Balance – Dr. Sandy Nelson

 

Is there any way for a woman to take a nose dive gracefully?

As if that was the plan all along? Like you meant to do it?

If it were into a swimming pool, maybe. But skimming a rock border on your way down into a bed of hostasIMG_3012

In the front yard?

Mortifying.

If only I was a few decades younger, I could have pulled something out of my hat and made the tumble look like this cartwheel. Ta-Da! But I’m at the age where I’m all cart and no wheel. If only I had taken yoga more seriously, it could have looked like I was in the flying pigeon pose.

Nope. I went down head first, slid like a seal trying to steal third base. It was ugly, not graceful.

 

images (73)Walking to my front porch, I tripped on nothing but the sidewalk (this is a talent of mine), veered right at what felt like 30 mph, and my legs landed on the rock edging of my bed of hostas where the rest of me ended up, eventually. Like I need another reason to hate gravity.

 

Brain to body: “Damage control, come in, report!”

Body to brain: “Whaaaa? Wait, what? What happened? Hey, we’re stuck.”

I could not get up. Thank goodness I wasn’t home alone. I called out for my husband who was grilling our dinner in the backyard.

Nothing.

I yelled for my husband with a little more intensity.

Nothing.

I screamed for my husband.

No f-ing response.

Seriously?

I wondered how long it would take him to realize I wouldn’t be at the dinner table. Ten minutes? A day?

But the god of Weebles Turn And Tumble took pity on me, and two young, good-looking men from across the street heard my cries. Yep. Two young, good-looking men…wait…do I have makeup on?

FullSizeRender (2)One of the kind rescuer’s retrieved my husband from his Weber Grill, and he tried to pull me up by my one free arm with the same determination he uses to yank a weed. No, no, no, that’s not going to work. So the new hero’s, one on each side of my body, lifted me up to my feet–like that slow motion sequence in The Horse Whisperer where the horse Pilgrim rises from the ground with Grace on his back. Yes, Grace!

I glided to my feet and felt I was okay. Sore, but okay. Embarrassed, but okay. Nothing felt broken (thank you calcium supplements).

The hostas, however, are flatten to the ground. But they should bounce back. I’ll be busy practicing a Weeble posture.FullSizeRender (1)

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Every Year a Wiser You – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Bu6nh22IIAEeGyKEach of us grow up wanting what we were taught to want. Adults teach children the very same priorities and opinions that they as parents hold. My mother loved the color pink, so she taught me to love the color pink also, and therefore I wanted pink stuff as a kid. My father loved to read, so he taught me to love books. I still have the first book I fell in love with as a kid—Half a Team by Maxine Drury.

Well respected Psychologist Erich Fromm said: Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.

When reaching adulthood, many people never stop and look at what they were IMG_1622taught to believe growing up so they could then decide if it’s true for their individual and unique self. Do I actually love the color pink? No. But, if I did not stop and examine my own preferences and opinions as an adult, I’d be in pink today. Do I love to read? Yes, so that lesson learned early in my life is true for me today as an adult.

Are there things in your life at this moment that you have or do because that’s what you picked up from someone else, or that’s what you were taught to have or do? Each birthday that comes along is a good time to review your own opinions, preferences, and needs. Examine if those opinions still apply to your life. 

IMG_1165I think birthdays are special days that need reflection; to ponder on what you’ve learned the previous year and how that knowledge has aided to your wisdom. To have every birthday find you a better human being is to receive an awesome gift from life. So on your next birthday, take time to look backwards. Review your beliefs, preferences, and opinions. Make it a point to remember experiences that enhanced your love and compassion for people. Recall situations that resulted in making you stronger and more resilient. Review what every misfortune gave you in wisdom. If you do this with every passing birthday, you will age not only gracefully, but also with a wise and loving heart.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Seven Ways To Age With Spunk

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Let me ask you a question: what is your outlook about getting older?

forgetThis aging business is not for the weak. Aging. Growing older. Sucks. It takes guts. It feels like a second puberty stage, but in reverse. I resent aging. And I’m fighting it tooth and nail. My dresser top is packed with creams, serums, lotions, and round-Stridex-like-pads that are not Stridex, they are some type of over-the-counter peel. Is any of this stuff working? When will my 20-year-old lips return?

Why didn’t someone warn us about the changes that come with getting older? Why didn’t my mother pull me aside and say, “Look, one day you will have more crow’s feet than crows, and there will be a map of lines on your forehead, and the skin on your body will slide a full six inches down, but, hey, you’ll be okay.”

Of course everyone is aging as the years go by. It’s reaching a certain age, however, that shock and awe tend to take us by surprise. It occurs in front of a mirror where we view changes made by nature that only leave hints of our former self. There will be gasps of horror. What the hell happened? It’s different for each of us what age this is.

I often ask myself if I would blow 50K to have something done to my face and body to look younger. Women have, for a long time, worked to fight the aging process with plastic surgery. Men are doing more about their appearances, too. In February of 2014, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013 in the United States; which marked the fourth consecutive year of growth. When it comes to reversing signs of age, it appears many of us are taking it lying down. But, surgical alterations are not even an option for most of us.