Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Mary Alice Powell

Later years a great time to chase dreams

When I couldn't find the car keys, a friend defined it as a senior moment. When in conversation the names of good friends can't be remembered, people remark, "Well, that's what happens." And, when I was determined to do the sun porch in lavenders and purples, a close friend predicted that African violets on the windowsill would be included in the decor in keeping with the age thing.

Phooey to all such blarney.

What I consider "senior moments" happen every minute of every hour. That goes for seven days a week.

They include getting up each morning and beginning the day with a list of things to accomplish. They are looking out the window and seeing the landscape as beauty rather than work that has to be done. Senior moments continue when we get out of the house into that landscape, walk through the grass, and consider the magic of nature as the buds on the trees form.

They are not when seniors in good health opt to stay indoors and ponder their plight as the clock ticks on and they review the good old days, wishing they had done things differently.

Now is the time to do things differently.

Perhaps because the women in my family, including both grandmothers, my mother, and aunts died young, I have a fuller appreciation of the years that are ticking along at a generous pace. I wake up each morning with the attitude, "Wow, here's another day, let's hit it."

Before I know it, 365 of those days have been chalked off and another year is recorded as an unexpected gift.

When People magazine judged 50-year-old Richard Gere as the sexiest man alive, it was a ho-hum announcement. Who else would be more qualified? But when Sophia Loren was chosen as the Most Beautiful Woman in the World in Britain last November, it was great news that reverberated in senior circles like a boomerang. Back to the anti-wrinkle cream and exercise. Away with those comfortable Aerosole old lady shoes and into higher heels that put pep in your step.

The same month the Italian beauty's photo was on the cover of Modern Maturity magazine, AARP's publication. AARP does push the aging envelope by inviting people to gather in the senior circle when they turn 50, which is a real shocker when you are finally persuaded that life begins in the 40s.

The nitty gritty of this column came when I looked at the calendar recently. I knew that it was the anniversary of an important date in my life, but I couldn't remember if it was the day of my cancer surgery or the day Dr. Bill Stewart gave me the OK after it. I probably could call Toledo Hospital and they could cough up the record on the computer screen. Then I could record it in a book that I would probably misplace. I have already misplaced the year of the surgery in my memory bank.

But, who cares? Certainly not readers and relatives or even me. I rarely think about how frightened I was or that I was certain I had seen my last Christmas.

But here I am, watching the surf pound the Pacific shoreline and the giant sea turtles pop their heads as the sun comes out, promising another glorious day on West Maui.

Occasionally I worry that my reports on my privileged time in the Hawaiian Islands may resound as boastfulness. I do realize how fortunate I am, but more accurately, it is sharing a dream that I made come true; a dream that I coveted for many years until senior statehood allowed the time to fulfill it.

No matter what our dreams may be, it's important that we make every effort to let them happen. Fulfilled dreams seem to mean more as we get older. Seize the years, to turn a phrase.

On that note I am heading out to walk two miles in my running shoes. Gold running shoes though they may be, they have nothing to do with the golden years.

I hate that term.

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