How I Spend My Mornings

I woke up this morning; gathered my sleep-fogged wits about me, wandered downstairs, and looked out the kitchen window. Night shadows still darkened a yard newly escaped from snow. Frozen by my movement, a doe and fawn peeked with wide eyes through our gate, as though waiting for me to call: “Good to see you. Come on in; gate’s open.”

I loitered, drinking coffee and watching the deer until they rejected our yard as unappetizing and sauntered away. Then, finding no other diversions to help me postpone the inevitable, I began the morning routine I’ve followed since getting so old strangers feel free to call me “Honey.”

I took pills, inserted eye drops, donned exercise clothes, popped in a Denise Austin   exercise DVD that promised I’d soon be fit and fabulous, and went at it.

BackStretchNext came prolonged stretching, a healthy breakfast, and enough dental cleansing to make a hygienist weep.

I developed my morning routine in response to my mid-life recognition that, with luck, my brain could chug along fine, but my body probably wouldn’t: parts were already beginning to wear out, and I didn’t come equipped with spares.

I take comfort in the knowledge that medical advances may not help me live forever, but they can ease the living I have left to do. Over the years, doctors have cured my ulcers with antibiotics, regulated my sluggish thyroid with a tiny pill, kept me from being the little old lady who drove into Denny’s with a pacemaker, and, most recently, improved my vision noticeably.

photo 2After my cataract surgery, aptly described by the anesthesiologist as “blink-and-you’ll-miss- it,” I spent the better part of each day inserting multiple eye drops. But I also noticed an interesting depression in one of the tiles on my bathroom counter—a tile installed two years ago. I walked around a city park marveling at the crisp details and vibrant colors and trying to remember when I quit seeing them.

Preparing dinner, I could actually see how much seasoning I was adding to the food. I threaded a needle without using profanity and told my husband he’s much better looking than I realized, which seemed to please him.

I also noticed my furniture needed dusting and my wrinkles looked more like chasms, but those discoveries seem unimportant compared to the increased beauty and ease of my world.

Because I want to age as well as possible, I’m motivated to nurture my body, seek the help of medical professionals, and try to follow their advice.

I think of it as increasing my odds.


Have some thoughts on today’s post?
Please comment below.



11 thoughts on “How I Spend My Mornings

  1. I certainly can relate to what you are saying. At 72, people say I don’t look my age, but my body sure feels every year of it. Body parts do wear out and don’t do what they used to. I learned several years ago that trying to force my body to perform was doing more harm than good. I now stop and think about what I am doing, and often say, “I’m too old for this.” Nice post.


    • I agree with you that forcing our aging bodies to perform beyond what they want to do can be harmful. I’ve had to learn to listen carefully to what my body is telling me and moderate accordingly. I hope it keeps chugging along as a reward.


  2. Since I was 11, most every day upon waking up alive I have paused and asked my self- What is good about today? It may be anything, but there is always something good. My home over looks a city greenspace, on the weekend someone set up a patio heater, table and chairs on the grass, sat back and enjoyed hot-dogs. The living room group is still out there. I try to always look for the funny side. Love your line about driving into Denny’s, a lovely post of great dignity, thank you from Sheila.


    • Sheila, I wish I had developed the habit of daily appreciation at your age. I regularly look for the good in each day now, and it imbues me with a more positive outlook. I enjoyed picturing the “living room group.” Janet


      • Thanks Janet, sometimes of course it is harder to look for the good, but I think I am living a blessed life. There is a lot of humanity below my inner city window, which is also inspiring…love your posts, see you Tuesday.


  3. Hi Janet,

    I loved reading about your morning routine, all the little things we do to prepare for the day, and—in this case—to contribute to continued health and well-being.

    And, of course, I especially enjoyed the reference to your recent cataract surgery. I’m quite pleased that the surgery has made your world a little brighter! (And I’ll pass the information along to my husband!)

    P.S. How many of those calf raises do you do each day??


  4. Most days I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I really need to get into a healthy routine. Having my oldest in school has helped add structure to my days, but I need to do more for me, not just everyone else! Once again you have reminded me that it’s never too late to change.

    I’m happy to hear your cataract surgery helped. The way you described seeing again reminded me of when I received hearing aids. I remember one day in particular I was very annoyed to be awoken from a nice nap by the phone ringing downstairs. Then, it occurred to me that just a few days before, I would have been oblivious to the phone ringing. I was grateful for the annoyance.


    • Loved your hearing aids story, Jen. Aids also improved my life about four years ago, though it still feels good to take them out at night. You are so busy that you expend a lot of energy and calories during your day. Being retired eases that busyness, so exercise has to help me balance my love of food. That said, I endorse the idea of your taking time for yourself. You deserve it.


  5. I loved this.
    I am increasingly aware of my body ageing… Creaky stiff parts that didn’t use to be so. Like you though I work at keeping healthy and well – Zumba being my passion… There was a whole period I didn’t dance – perhaps I started going to different kinds of parties? So Zumba means dancing and laughing and both will keep me young at heart longer!


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