Another year, another philosophical post

Life is challenging and sometimes scary. Life is exciting and oh-so-fun. Such a dichotomy fills my days. And here we are with another year flown by in the unyielding dance toward the final destiny.

Those of us who are baby boomers have been hit hard at our cores that many performers and influential people of OUR generation have passed away. Every time one of the death notices shows up on Facebook, we are forced to examine our own mortality and admit that it just as easily could have been us. That’s hard, friends.

As most of us do this time of year, I’ve been trying to re-imagine my life for 2017. What makes me happy? How do I want to serve others? What am I going to do to support a healthy lifestyle so maybe I won’t have a heart attack on a plane between London and Chicago? And where is my safe, drama-free place?

I know you don’t want to see photos of my recent foot surgery ( just ask, and I’ll share privately ūüôā ) but having the bunionectomy and hammer toe correction this fall helps me believe there’s¬†hope of a more active and pain-free 2017. If recent days are any indication, I might actually be able to walk those daily 10,000 steps and ride my elliptical bike for an hour a day. And I love my aqua aerobics classes!

Realizing that I can lose that damn weight¬†if I want to is freeing. I’m setting my sights on simple changes in my diet — a fruit, a vegetable, and a protein at each meal will go a long way toward making me healthier and happier. At least for the time being, I’m cutting out processed grains, potatoes, rice, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) because they all cause inflammatory reactions. I’ve got enough inflammation in my joints to last me the rest of my life, thank you very much.

I’m also looking at finding the right niche that needs me for volunteer work. It’s been suggested to me that my¬†relative youth, computer skills, and upper body strength make me a good candidate to work at the local medical equipment lending closet. I’m heading over there to return the shower chair I borrowed for use after my foot surgery and to sign up to help. More on that as we go along.

As a lifelong learner, I’d like to up my photography game this year. I have seen lots of changes in my photos and my¬†gear since I retired four years ago, and I love that I’m still a student of this beautiful art. The plan is to set up a little studio in my office (which needs some massive decluttering and reorganizing). It’s a process. I also plan to do another photography challenge this year to keep me disciplined and learning new techniques.

Recently, I discovered that there’s an actual college degree program and career as a food historian. I’ve always been fascinated with the cultural and familial connections of what people eat — and it seems a perfect way to meld my love of preparing and eating food and of photography. Again, more on that in future posts.

Finally, one year from today, Music Man and I will be entering the next chapter in our life together. He retires on December 1, 2017, and I’m discounting the holidays as a lost month, but January 1, 2018 will begin to tell the truth about what we have done in 2017 to prepare for it and who we will be in the future. Frankly, I can’t wait to have my buddy around more.

Happy new year to you, dear friends. I intend to focus on a positive path through the issues that are likely to present themselves in 2017, and hope we navigate this year in peace and productivity.

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