Saturday, August 24, 2013

Welcome to the 60's

OK, I just turned 60 years old.  Until I got here I always thought that was pretty old. At least it's the real beginning of getting old. Fifty used to be that but now it's almost fashionable to be 50.  It's because all the baby-booming celebrities are getting older just like the rest of us but since they have captive audiences wherever they go they can make it seem like a cool thing so they could get through it.  To tell the truth, if all my pictures were airbrushed to take away a blemish here or some extra fat there, I'd look like a celebrity, too.  The thing is that I'm living a real life and you can't Photoshop real life. "What you see is what you get"! 

I did have an opportunity to be a "Cover girl"( I guess that makes Dave the Cover boy ? ) this summer when the magazine for our Mennonite Brethren church denomination did an article about something I'm involved in at our church. The purpose of the article and the picture is NOT to look at or talk about yours truly.  The article about an illness support group at our church and I'm happy to share what we've done so possibly others can start a group like it and experience the things we have experienced.  It has become a tremendous source of support for us and the other members as we've gotten close to each other and closer to God through the group.  What makes the group work is not me.  It's God and our relationship to him, even in the midst of some very trying physical challenges. I'm not sure of the legalities of putting a pic here, but I think (hope) putting the link to the magazine is OK.  Here is is    (I think you'll have to copy and paste.) They said they would like some pictures to accompany the article and suggested my husband and myself be on the cover.  That really gave me pause--did I really want my face plastered all over the cover?  I mean this is a publication that comes out every other month.  That means that it will potentially sit in someone's bathroom magazine rack or living room end table for two months.  That was a little daunting.  But, in the end we decided to go ahead.  A great photographer, Paul Mullins took the picture so I figured he'd bring out the airbrushes and Photoshop software and make us look like twenty-somethings.  (I really didn't think that but I was kind of hoping.)  Anyway, when the magazine came out there we were up close and personal--wrinkles and all.  The funny thing is that I don't care because the picture looks just like us.  I've never really been one to try to make myself look a lot better in formal pictures than in real life because you always get found out anyway.  When I first started dating my husband, in 1971, he was buff and tan and had very long, very blonde hair. He usually wore jeans and T-shirts.  The look was right in style with the rest of the "hippies" all around us.  I loved the look and instantly fell in love with him.  But, the first time I went to his parents' home I saw a formal picture of a hunky guy with "normal" length hair, combed nicely and he was wearing this awesome purple shirt with white pants.  I asked Dave if that was an older brother.  I was kind of interested because he was gorgeous.  "No," he said, "that's me."  Oooooh, I got it.  He got all cleaned up and groomed for his senior picture.  Then the photographer did his magic with a few touch ups.  That was OK with me because I found that, while he was very attractive to me just the way he was, he was equally hunky when he cleaned up and got groomed!  My point is that I thought he was a completely different person because of all the fake stuff that was done to him.  I'm sure his parents made him get all pretty for the senior pic, but he wouldn't have had to.  I liked him just the way he was.  I have to admit, my senior picture was also retouched.  The creepy thing is that over time, the picture faded so you can see all the underlying blemishes and where the retouching was done.  It's not a pretty picture anymore!

My point?  I forgot---let me see. Oh, I was talking about getting older.  So when I told some people that it was now 60 and they said "welcome to the 60's" I asked them if these 60's would be as good as the first 60's I experienced--the 1960's.  They said they are not.  Too bad.  I had fun in the 60's  I started them at age 7 and finished them at age 17.

Fun times.  Now my real 60's are starting out to be not so much fun.  First of all, I have a primary care doctor and about 6 or 7 specialist doctors.  It seems like we add a new one a couple times a year.  Bummer.  Also, there's the wrinkle thing and the added rolls of something that's forming across my mid-section.  It's really difficult to lose those few pounds that creep up when I least expect them.  It hurts to walk and sometimes to sleep.  My memory is really bad. Embarrassingly bad sometimes.  Another blow to our getting older is that we're thinking seriously about retiring.  I retired about 10 years ago because of failing health.  Dave's looking at retiring for the same reasons.  The question is, "How can we live on so much less money?"  That's what we're trying to figure out now.  I know that we'll be OK, but it's getting to OK that can be troublesome!  God tells us to let Him work in our lives--that if we worry and carry on there won't be room for Him so we try to be brave and not micromanage everything.  We also know that God is with us all the time and that gives us courage to face what's to come.