In praise of older women (and men) …

I’ve got aging on my mind right now.

There’s a birthday in my not too distant future. And everywhere you turn somebody’s bringing it up (age, not my birthday.) The presidential race seems to have become about Marco aging2Rubio being too young, Bernie Sanders being the oldest candidate ever and how, to all the experts’ surprise, Hillary Clinton’s not connecting with young women.

One of this year’s Screen Actors Guild Award nominees is nine years old. Had he also been nominated for an Oscar he Continue reading

Advertisements

Life, tortillas and Antonio Banderas

Right now you haven’t got a clue where I’m going with this, do you?  Patience my friends, all will becomeguacamole clear.

But first, let me start by saying that Isabel Allende is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read all but one (her latest and it’s on my list) of her books, many of them multiple times. She takes you on magical voyages, not all of which are fiction.

Knowing this, last weekend a friend sent me a link to a Ted Talk she gave in March 2014: “How to live passionately — no matter your age.” OMG!  You owe it to yourself to watch it here.

Of course, given my recent post on meditating, avoiding negativity and embracing happiness the timing was absolutely impeccable. Allende’s  Continue reading

There’s no escaping it, that’s for sure …

Well, we can escape it, but being dead doesn’t seem like a good alternative to me.  Wondering what the hell I’m talking about?  Come on, think about fathertimeit for a nano second:

Aging.

Getting older.

Watching the years go by.

Blowing out the candles.

I have written about this subject before, but there have been a trifecta of ‘events’ in my life recently that have compelled me to write about it again.  Sometimes the Universe sends you such strong Continue reading

Day 298. Me? Never!

I had a great response to yesterday’s blog about aging.  Lots of views.  Lots of visitors.  And a good number of comments.  Really interesting comments.  We  stubbornhad good conversations.  But me thinks there are those among you who may think I’ve caved.

Succumbed.  Given up.  Given in to getting older.  Accepted it.  Admitted defeat.

Ha!!

Moi?  Are you kidding?  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Nothing.

Yes, I’m getting older.  I’ll cop to that.  How can I not?  It’s true.  It’s a fact.  Happens to the best of us.  But that doesn’t mean I have to take it laying down.  None of us do.  So I decided a Part Two was in order.  A sequel, if you will.  Because there’s something you should know about me.  I don’t give up easily.

Let’s begin at the beginning.  When it comes to aging it is my belief that regardless of what’s going on in your body, getting old is all in your head.  My mother was proof of that.  She had incredible joie de vivre.  She loved life.  She never allowed the number of years she’d been on this planet to define her.  She was defined by her spirit, her zest for living.  In her mind she was ageless.

Her attitude is best described by this Satchel Paige quote:  “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”  As far Continue reading

Day 297. Aging Sucks

Getting older is not something I dwell on.  I can’t entirely avoid it like I could even four or five years ago, but it’s not constantly on my mind.  Thankfully, because if it agingwas I probably would have stuck my head in the oven long ago.  But yesterday Michelle, over at The Green Study wrote a thought-provoking post on aging.

She was talking about some changes she’s noticing.  Not that she’s old, by any means. But like the rest of us, time’s marching on.

I’ve got to say until the last year or so I didn’t really notice myself getting older.  It’s amazing what we can block out of our minds, isn’t it?  Well, okay, I agree, it’s hard not to notice some things.  Like menopause.  But I know young women with crow’s feet and laugh lines.  And even grey hair.

Look at Anderson Cooper.  Yes, I know he’s a guy.  But he’s still young and his hair is pure white.  That’s my only point here.

Where was I anyway?  Yeah, there comes a point when your memory starts to go.  DON’T PANIC.  It doesn’t Continue reading

Day 228. What’s Next?

I ‘celebrated’ my birthday this week.  On Wednesday.  I waited until it was safely over to mention it.  Hate making a big deal of it.  And not being such a lover of either attention or sweets, birthday cakemy preference has always been to avoid the cake and candles bit.  Especially now.

With the number of candles I’d need, once they were lit, it would look like a minor forest fire.  And I don’t honestly know if I still have the lung capacity to blow them out.  At least all at once.  Call in the fire fighters!

Never mind.  It was grand.  And it turned out to be a two-day affair.  Some work in the morning, some pampering in the afternoon and dinner with a friend on Wednesday.  Work during the day on Thursday.  Dinner, drinks, jazz and blues on Thursday night.

Several blog posts ago, I wrote about Errol Fisher, a local singer, I’ve enjoyed for years and years.  Well, lo and Continue reading

Day 177. The Boomers

Have you noticed?  There seems to be a proliferation of movies about growing old, lately.  I’m not exactly sure why.  Could be, because so many of the screen writers, boomersproducers and directors are, themselves, in their fifties and sixties, and beyond.  Could also be, because so many of the great actors are, as well.  And they need roles they can play.

Robert De Niro.  Al Pacino.  Meryl Streep.  Tommy Lee Jones.  Judi Dench.  Maggie Smith.  Jack Nicholson.  Denzel Washington.  Susan Sarandin.  Jeff Bridges.  Samuel L. Jackson.  Helen Mirren.  Bill Murray.  Christopher Walken.  Bill Nighy.  Ben Kingsley.  Malcolm McDowell.  Diane Keaton.  Steve Martin.  Glenn Close.  Kathy Bates.  Sigourney Weaver.  Geoffrey Rush.  Liam Neesen.  And the list goes on.  And on.

Yeah, they’re boomers.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?

God knows they don’t want to be forced into retirement.  And we don’t want them to retire, either.  They’re way too Continue reading

Day 133. Deja Vu

My closest friend and I go back a lot of years. A lot. All the way back to our ‘youth’ in Montreal. And many of the great times we’ve shared have been spent at clubs, dancinglistening to great music. Live music.

Marilyn moved to Toronto several years before I did; and whenever I came to visit we’d always go to see a jazz and blues singer she ‘discovered’. His name is Errol Fisher and he’s very well known, and loved, here. Over the years he’s entertained countless fans at various restaurants, clubs and supper clubs; some of which bore his name.

Once I moved here in 1985, we quickly became ‘regulars’ wherever he was appearing; and we got to know him. Then life being what it is, she and I drifted away from the club scene. And although Errol’s never stopped performing (although we didn’t always know where), we hadn’t seen him in more than twenty years.

Fast forward to October of this year. Marilyn found out he was going to be singing, with his band, at a restaurant (Sorrel, just in case you’re planning a trip to Toronto) close to where each of us lives. We decided we’d go for her birthday.

Honestly, neither one of us ever expected he’d remember us. It’s been a very long time. And let’s face it, much as we may not like it, we all change over time. No matter how healthy you are, no matter how diligent you are

Continue reading

Day 125. Opening Up

Little did I know, when I first started this blog, what it would come to mean to me.  What it would do for me.  How it would help me, as a writer.  But while I was sharing2having my morning coffee a couple of days ago, I had an epiphany.  I’ll tell you about it in a minute.  First, a quick story.

I’m writing a book.  It’s about my mother, at a time when her health was declining; and she needed my help.  About a year ago I was having lunch with a fellow writer.  One thing led to another.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but she highly recommended her editor.

At the time I was at the half way point. It was a draft, not yet polished.  Still, the editor suggested I send her twenty-five pages.  When she got back to me, she insisted I wasn’t being honest.  “Where’s the resentment?” she asked.  “Don’t tell me you weren’t angry with your mother”. Truth is, I wasn’t.

If she’d asked for more pages she would have found out what had upset me.  There were feelings I shared.  Just not the ones she wanted me to feel.  Turned out she hated her mother; and projected her own feelings on to me.  Clearly we weren’t a good fit.

Since then I’ve done more work on my book.  A few months ago I had a breakthrough.  Important enough to stop writing and Continue reading

Day 124. Enjoy It!

Even as a child, I wasn’t crazy about my birthday. Unlike most kids, I was never wild with anticipation as THE day got closer and closer. Not even the prospect of gifts particularly Six Lit Birthday Candlesexcited me. Or parties. Or cake and ice cream. I have no clue why. Ridiculous, I know.

Maybe even at three years old I wasn’t crazy about the idea of time marching on. Who knows. Bet a therapist would have a field day with this one. All I know is, nothing’s changed.

Unlike my mother, who celebrated each and every birthday she had. Yes, she celebrated each and every year she was blessed with ‘living’. Not that she liked getting old. Staring her mortality square in the eye. She just didn’t dwell on it. What I’m about to say may sound like a fragrance commercial or a Hallmark card, but I’m saying it anyway. Because, in my mother’s case, it’s absolutely true (as anyone who knew her can confirm). It defined her and all she stood for:

She defied it. When she looked in the mirror she saw a woman much younger than she really was. She saw a woman with the spirit of a forty year old. And the energy. And the enthusiasm. A woman filled with the joyful anticipation of what each new day could bring. Would bring. Because she willed it so. She’d tell you how old she was, before you asked. To her it was an accomplishment to be proud of.

Vain as she was (and I don’t mean this in a bad way), she NEVER shied away from saying “I’m 75”. Or 80, or 84. I think she

Continue reading