Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Little Ol' Me

Speaking of self-image--was I speaking of it? I was. Take a look at this self portrait.  The assignment was from Mrs. Zehr's first grade class at Davenport Grade School in the 1959-58 school year.  The assignment was to draw our picture and tell a little bit about who we are.  We were given a piece of paper 4.5" wide and 12" tall for the drawing.  I drew myself as being 3" tall and 1.5" wide.  I remember this day, where I was seated and what I wore. My blouse was white with some frills and the pants were red corduroy.  I thought nothing of my diminutive self but did notice that some of the other kids' pictures filled the entire piece of paper..  Some filled up the entire space with their self-portraits.  (Notice I have my mouth wide open!)

It took me many years to figure out the significance of this picture.  OK, so I felt like a little, insignificant girl in the great big world.  Seriously.  I was only 6 and who doesn't feel overwhelmed at times when they're 6 or even 60?  But that's not the real point of this post.My self-image was distorted.  Many women have this problem in one form or another.  I still look in the mirror and usually am not happy with what I see.  Maybe I don't feel insignificant like I did at age 6, but I'm still trying to find comfort within this collection of bones that I call my body.  I want to be, though.  I'm tired of working on this.  I have a feeling that in my 60's I'll get a much better sense of who I am and that I will learn to love me.

As the world knows by now, I've turned 60.  Six-oh!  I'm using this opportunity to grow in a lot of ways: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and as a woman.  Dave and I are facing some pretty big issues now and we're working hard at handling them the best we can.  One thing we are learning is that we cannot do it alone.  We rely on God for a lot of things.  It's been a roller coaster sometimes.  There have been times when we really thought he may not exist and times when we've known that he is definitely among us.  We're doing a lot of studying the bible and talking and learning and we've come to the realization that we can call upon the name "Jesus" and he will be with us.  God isn't using us like pawns on a chess board.  He does have a plan for our lives and that is to love him and others.  To try to live like Jesus did.  When we don't do that he can't do much to help us because we're making all of our own decisions without regard to what else may work better.  Our humanness just isn't a match to God's intelligence.  We're relying on our relationship with our Living God more than ever right now and we're very comfortable about that.  It's hard to put into so many words but we're finally getting there.

Other areas of my life need work, too.  I'm entering the last third of my life if I live to 90  There's a very good chance that I will live that long.  My dad died at 89, my mom is still living at age 97 and all 4 of my grandparents were in their 88 or 89 when they died.  So, in this final 30 years I need to accomplish some things.  I don't have a "Bucket List" but I'll make one soon.  Right now I'm just getting used to the senior side of life.  I have issues.

I was going to write a post called: My Useless Uterus but I thought it may sound crass.  My uterus helped make two very beautiful human beings, Matthew and Emilie.  (In case you didn't know, Michael, our firstborn was grown in another mother's uterus and came to us pre=baked.)  My reproductive system wasn't very kind to me.  It all started when I was in 7th grade.  My very first period came in February of 1966--I was only 12.  I had bad cramps from the get go and every month following (except for 15 months of pregnancy) until I was 37.  37??  Yes, I jumped into menopause early.  Emilie was only two years old.  If we had waited any longer for her, she may never have been born.  Perish the thought!!  So, I had the opportunity to make two babies. That was great but it didn't come easy.  So since I menopaused so early I'm kinda used to the idea but still, not being able to bear more children isn't something I have celebrated.  We could have had another child in there somewhere if my body had cooperated.

Another loss I'm experiencing is watching my skin get baggy.  I lie on my back and put my legs up and the skin just slides down causing all kinds of wrinkles and stuff.  I look like a 90 year old already.  It's also harder to lose weight because I'm not as active as I once was.

You know what?  I'm just whining, aren't I?  I think I've got a lot of this out of my system.  I want to celebrate this time of life!

Dave will retire one of these years, soon.  We're making plans for that.  Neither one of us in a position to travel much, but we have 3 kids that live all up and down the coast of California.  We can go that far so we'll be able to see our kids in their own environments more often rather than waiting for them to come to us.

We'll downsize.  I've been working on that already.  I have gone through all the boxes in the attic have given away or thrown away tons of stuff.  There's still tons to go through but I've made a huge dent.  I need to keep doing that until we're down to basics.  Eventually we will, God willing, move to Oregon into a smaller place.  Or who knows where we'll end up?  We want to be ready when the time comes.  With retirement income being much less than what we're living on now, we'll have to simplify and that's OK with us.  Neither one of us likes excess stuff in our lives.

Our health issues have gotten our attention.  In our retirement years we plan to continue with the good health practices we're doing and add more.  We're learning Tai Chi right now.  Everyone says that's so good for balance and staying flexible.  It's not as easy as it looks but after only 2 classes I'm loving it.

We can take other courses together like: cooking, photography, writing, gardening, etc. through Adult Education programs.  The Senior classes are free or at a greatly reduced price.

Grandchildren will arrive.  Our kids have almost promised that there will be some.  If I never get any of my own I'm going to find some to "adopt" and be a great, awesome granny!

I have always loved to write. I'm going to continue to journal my "Next Third"--doesn't that sound better than my "Last Third"?-- through my blog and other places, too.  One thing I love to do is write. I have a whole bunch of books in my head and I hope to get them on paper.  Who knows, maybe I'll get published.  It happens.

It's funny, this isn't turning out as I planned.  I think I'm rambling but I have to remind myself that this is what blogs do.  No one has to even read this if they don't want to.  I like it when people do read it and comment, but it's not imperative to my continuing.  So, here I go!

Thanks for listening!


  1. Tai chi - what a great practice! I love how thoughtful you are in approaching the Next Third - sounds like it's going to be a good one :)

  2. Hey Deb...I've added your blog to my links on my blog seeing as we are writing about the same things - when I'm willing to 'talk' about it. I enjoy hearing your musings/processing and allowing God to walk with you. Blessings to you. Keep writing forever!

  3. I enjoyed your bloggin/ramblin. and yes the next third does sound better. keeping active is a good thing even as we hit that third stage and I must also agree that I have made many decisions completely on my own without the direction of our Guide and Saviour. some of these decisions have been okay and others, well not so good. keep writing; ross priebe