Sunday, May 19, 2019

Time Marches On

Getting through some days can be as unpredictable as the weather, but I am doing OK.

I have a birthday in June and will be celebrating an age that I associate more with my mother than myself.  Society defines us all by numbers and that’s a bummer.  I like to think of myself as being in my mid 40’s and 5’6” tall.  I was never taller than 5’4”, but if I am going to fantasize, why not taller, thinner and younger than some of my children.

 A few weeks ago I went into Philadelphia to see my son who was participating in a ten mile race.  It was raining out but not hard enough to deter the runners or the crowds.

Andy had been training for months and did really well. I was a very proud momma when we saw him come down Broad Street at a the six mile mark. The smile on his face was wonderful to see.  His wife and I then took the subway to meet him at the finish line.  It was a madhouse at the station but we did get the first train and squished our bodies in like sardines in a can. There were no seats available so we had to hang onto the pole which has its challenges but I was fine with that. I have not traveled the subway in many years and I thought this short ride would be fun.  Three times I was offered a seat and people looked at me oddly because I refused.  I appreciated their kindness and consideration, but I am still lucky enough to be able to stand, walk, run, and even chew gum at the same time.  They saw an old lady; they didn’t see me.  The years have changed my body, my face, and yes, my stamina, but not who I am;  a very stubborn woman who is going out of this world fighting and with the conviction that I can still do it.  

I ain’t done yet, and neither is my son.  He is now training for a half marathon.  He’s got grit too.

Thank you for all your well wishes.  It has been a difficult few months and I have lost some very dear people in my life.  It was hard, but as I always say at the beginning of my blog, I am doing OK.

72 comments:

  1. Congratulations to your son, and to you for your positive attitude. Your posts are invariably encouraging to me. Thank you, dear Arleen.

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    1. Thank you Geo. I try to live in the world of “Hope sSprings Eternal”. There really isn’t any other choice. Your wonderful posts tell me you are the same.

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  2. I am smiling at the image of you holding your own against all those polite Philadelphians. Or was it a test to see how many seats were offered up. I'm sure they rose to your expectations. Good for your young man. As my son in law says of his athletic exploits, "doing it before I can't any more."

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    1. Being jostled about was like a ride in Disney World, but a lot cheaper. Anyone over 65 rides free in Pennsylvsnia.

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  3. Congratulations to your son. I'm glad you are doing better too. Hopefully the warmer weather will give you a reset.

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    1. The warmer weather has arrived and I am out in my gardens enjoying this time of year. There is much work to be done but I am taking my time and getting things done.

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  4. Hi, Arleen!

    It's great to see a post from you, dear friend!

    Congratulations to your son Andy for completing the ten mile run in Philly. It's no wonder you're a proud momma. I am sorry to learn that you have suffered losses recently. Expressing it out in print and verbally is good therapy.

    At the beginning of June I will be breaking away from blogging to do some traveling, and therefore might miss your birthday. That being the case, I want to wish you a happy one right here and now. I admire you for standing when it would be easier to sit. Your positive attitude, spirit and determination will continue to serve you well. Think young and act young and you will stay young.

    Have a good week, dear friend Arleen!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Shady. I was so proud of my son for making up his mind to do something and then doing it splendidly.

      Enjoy your vacation and make some good memories.

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  5. Missed you. I recognize a kindred spirit, I too am a strap hanger on subways, let the people who need to sit, do so.

    This is perfect: "They saw an old lady; they didn’t see me"

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    1. More people talk to you when you are a strap hanger or a pole holder. It’s a way to make friends. Sitters have their heads down.

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  6. Hi Arleen! It's good to see a post from you, and so hope you are doing well! I also appreciate your kind thoughts left on my blog.

    But we share birthdays in June - Mine is the 10th, and I could not agree more with what you mean about how you feel about yourself and the number of your age. I remember my Mom at my age, and she is someone I would have given up my seat for on the subway too! :-)

    And CONGRATS to your son! What q fun memory and way to spend a day cheering him at the finish line!

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I grew up with dogs and have never met one that I didn’t love at first sight. We have cats now and I love them also. Your posts are heartwarming and reinforces my belief that the world is full of so many kind and caring people whose hearts are as big as the moon. You definitely are one of them.

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  7. Well done your son. My eldest amazed me by doing a half marathon a couple of years ago. As a result he now runs a few miles every morning when he's here, and occasionally runs to work in London!

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    1. I tried running years ago and found that it was not for me. I am good at walking long distances and can walk pretty fast. Growing up in New York trained me well. Everybody is in a rush there.

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  8. I am sorry you have had a difficult few months but glad to see a post from you. Congratulations to your boy. And hooray for continuing to do what you can while you can. Use it or lose it makes a heap of sense to me (my father told me I am more stubborn than stains).

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    1. There are lots of things that I can’t do anymore but what I can, I do. Being stubborn is sometimes an asset, Sue. It keeps us interested and interesting.

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  9. I love the bush in your header and "They saw an old lady; they didn’t see me. The years have changed my body, my face, and yes, my stamina, but not who I am; a very stubborn woman who is going out of this world fighting and with the conviction that I can still do it". Exactly the way I feel - well said.

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    1. How you have gotten through all you have Sue, and started all over again is a lesson for us all. You and Doug and all your projects are an inspiration.

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  10. Congratulations to your son. He clearly has the same positive can-do attitude as his mother.
    It's good to read you're doing OK. X

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    1. Thank you, Jules. I am looking forward to cheering him on in the half marathon.

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  11. Getting thru some days is as unpredictable as the weather! I'm glad you're back Blogging a bit and congrats to your Son! I do not see myself as I suppose most would given my Season of Life, seeing the Old Lady rather than seeing Me. I know the numbers are up there but I don't feel differently on the inside than I did at previous Seasons of Life really... just different packaging now. *Winks*

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    1. Our different packaging is a little beat up now, Dawn, but we still can travel well.

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  12. Congrats to your son. That is quite an accomplishment. I am so sorry you have been having a difficult time these past few months. I just turned 72 in March and hate to think of myself as a number. I still think of myself as no older than 50.

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  13. My 50’ s were the most interesting years in my life. I realized how strong I really am during that decade. That is a good age to stay.

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  14. Congratulations to your son for a race well run and to you...still running and doing OK.

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    1. I never run, but walk briskly. Running leads to falls, falls lead to body parts replacements, new body parts leads to medical bills, medical bills lead to, well, we all know where that goes.

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  15. I hear ya! So sorry to learn you've lost some loved ones recently. That's rough.

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    1. We have to keep moving if we want to stay vertical. Sitting around is not good.

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  16. Lovely to see you back blogging. Sorry you have had a yucky time of it. Glad you are forging ahead despite all. I would have loved to see you determinedly hanging on to the subway strap. You go girl!

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Loss is very painful, but we move forward because we must and really have no choice.

      The only problem that I had with hanging onto the pole was thinking about all the germs that were on it. I was wishing that I had my sanitizer with me.

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  17. I'm glad to see a post from you, Arleen. And so sorry for your recent losses. Wishing you strength and peace as you go on into the future.

    Your comments about turning the age you associate more with your mother rings true here as well. Where did the years go and why do I not feel any older on the inside?

    Kudos to your son for setting a goal and meeting it! I can't imagine running ten miles, let alone a half or full marathon. I never was a runner. When I picture myself running as a child, even, I imagine a windmill more than an athlete :) Your son is an inspiration, though, and not just for fellow runners. Even we older people can set goals and work toward them. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I feel I've been losing muscle tone and strength, and it's just because I don't move enough. I think this is the nudge I need to get started on it. Thank you for that, and for the optimism and kindness you share with us.

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    1. When we are young, time seemed to go by slowly and when we are older, it is the opposite. I can’t tell you how many times that I am reminded of some happening and I think it was only a few years ago only to find out it was a decade ago.

      If you decide to run, watch out for the cats. They love to get between your feet and cause havoc.

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  18. It was lovely to see this post from you …
    Many congratulations to your son.

    Take Care.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan. It is lovely to be back and hear from all my blogger friends.

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  19. I'm glad to hear you're doing okay, dear lady. It IS a bit disconcerting when we realize that most people only see an "old lady" or an "old man" when they look at us and our husbands, isn't it? Phooey on 'em! We'll all keep on keeping on as long as we can, and as long as we avoid those pesky mirrors, we can darned well "see" ourselves however we please.

    I hope you have a loverly birthday. Nerts on the number. Have a glass of wine and enjoy.

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  20. I am sure that when I was young, I had preconceived ideas about seniors also. We all get too soon old and too late smart. As you said, we have to keep on keeping on and laugh as much off as possible.

    I hope you are doing some things that are making you joyful, Susan.

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  21. Hi Arleen. It was lovely to read a post from you that is only full of positive things and thoughts! Congratulations all round!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s laughingly luminous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. It is always lovely to read your posts also, Barry. I am sorry if I missed some of them these past few months but I will read them tonight. I always learn something interesting from you.

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  22. Hello, it's lovely to see you back. And as strong and tough as always. I'm having problems with my legs, most likely due to diabetes complications, but I bought a pretty cane and will walk for as long as I can. I too have a birthday in June.

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    1. Thank you, Inger. Life gives us challenges and we are fortunate when we find ways to deal with them. Our accomplishments have even more meaning and joy. A cane is a very good thing to have around for all its uses.

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  23. Sorry I haven't been around it my grandson's graduation weekend and we had tons of company.
    First of all I am sorry for your loses of family and friends - I think I am losing more and more as I age.
    Congrats to your Andy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The subway sounded fun and a good challenge. I really hate when people look at you and draw conclusions about you by how you look. So not true. Sandie

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  24. A proud mama, for sure! Good to see you are out and about!

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  25. When I'm offered a seat on the tube I always say thank you and accept gratefully! There aren't many perks to ageing but sitting down rather than strap hanging is one.

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    1. In this case, Rosemary, it was easier to hold onto the pole by the door. The seats were further away and there was a chance I would not get thru the crowd to get off in time. I did appreciate their kindness and thought how wonderful it is that politeness is not a thing of the past.

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  26. I am glad that you are coping but the loss of dear ones is in a different category than anything else. You really do have my sympathies. It sounds as if you have pretty good stamina physically from what you say. I think you should definitely take a few years off your age, it's horrible being defined by age and I have always felt that right from when I was young enough to want very much to be older!

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    1. I read somewhere, Jenny, that you should add on years when you tell people your age. That way they will compliment you on how good you look and be amazed at your stamina.

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  27. Glad you are back and able to strap hang on the train ;). It is good to be alive even as we get older. X

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    1. Being vertical, even holding onto a strap, is always a positive thing, Thelma.

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  28. Hi Arleen, I'm glad you're doing okay. I know how you feel...society says I'm 51...I don't know what age I feel but I feel like ME. :) Congrats to Andy, that is quite an accomplishment!!! And honestly, I couldn't ride on a subway anymore...the amount of people would give me an anxiety attack!! I don't know how I used to do it back in the day!!

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    1. It was very crowded subway with many of the race spectators wanting to get to the finish line like we did. I am not a person that usually likes crowds but my 16 years of living in New York and riding the trains years kicked in and I rather enjoyed it.

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  29. Accepting changes..and then adapting is what its all about. After spending the morning in Memory careI went out for lunch (Chinese) and the a movie. A DOGS JOURNEY. All alone in the theater half way through I cried. May be it was just being alone. Got my act together and went back to














    Accepting change... and then adapting to it. Spending the morning with Barb in Memory Care. Going to an early afternoon movie (A Dogs Journey)crying a big in the empty theater. Back to see Barb. Remembering our motto "We're a team and we keep on trukn. And we still are...Alone and together.




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    1. I can’t imagine what you are going through, Ray, but I know how it was with my dad, and it was so hard. I hope you get comfort from family and friends and you can find some time for yourself to find some peace. Your first sentence is what we all have to do, Accepting changes that we have no control over and finding a way to cope and live the best we can.

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  30. Maybe the people who offered a seat just saw a lady, rather than an old lady.Out here in the woods I get to change a tire for women by the road sometimes, and it doesn't matter to me their age any.

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    1. I have been helped by wonderful, kind people throughout my life and I have always appreciated it. I am having a birthday soon and am just sensitive and probably foolish. Thank you, Harry, for being the good man that you are.

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  31. Best wishes for your birthday in advance. Getting older is a blessing. We get to advise younger people and still get excused for some of our behavior lol.

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    1. Thank you, Munir. Oh yes, I know how lucky I am. I just spent 6 hours in my garden and so appreciate all the things that I still can do at this point in life. I am not sure that younger people or even middle age people want advice, but if they ask, I give.

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  32. What an accomplishment for your son. I, too, then to think of myself as one much younger than I am now.

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    1. I think many of us do that, Jeff. We are not our numbers, we are ourselves.

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  33. Oh- I so get that! How the heck did we get this old on the outside and still feel young inside? I hardly recognize the person I see in the mirror with wrinkles and age upon me. Crazy.

    I am glad you are doing okay. I am sorry you have had such a bad stretch but we old broads just keep pushing along and somehow come out the other side, don't we? Love to you- xo Diana

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    1. Change is inevitable, sometimes welcome, sometimes hard, but a part of everyone and everything’s life. As you said, Diana, we push through and do our best to cope and accept that which we can not change but still rail against it’s indignities.

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  34. I’m so sorry that you lost some dear loved ones. It says a lot that you were able to find the strength to be there for your son’s huge accomplishment! I’m sure he greatly appreciated having you cheer him on. Wishing you a very happy and healthy birthday, Arleen! You have done more and will continue to do more than many women half your age and that my friend, is more important than any number.

    Julie

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie. On my birthday I intend to eat the cake and drink the wine and give thanks for the blessings that I have been given.

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  35. I hope your June birthday will be fun. It is difficult to realize that we are older, seniors. Inside we are not. Also young people don’t understand how people age – some age fast, some don’t, some get grumpy and conservative, some become care free and liberal, but people look at the wrinkles and the few white hair and that’s it. Did you see that veteran, 97 years old, who parachuted from an airplane on the coast of Normandie? I am a long way from 97 but I would not do that – could not. I tip my hat to your son, a ten-mile race, that’s something!

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    1. Yes, we all have our own journey, but although we may mature in many way and grow in knowledge, we are basically that person we always were from the beginning.

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  36. So glad you stopped in Arleen, and I forgot that you are that close to Philadelphia! I would LOVE TO SEE THOSE pictures of y'all in the same alley!--I hope you post them? That would be fun to see.Your son Andy did great---great accomplishment. I also just hit a "big" birthday. Funny how we still feel like young teenagers inside...my outside does NOT MATCH my inside, ha ha LOL

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    1. I am about an hour out of Philly and go there about six times a year to meet up with a dear cousin. I love cities but am happier out here in the country where the pace of life is more peaceful.

      As long as birthdays keep coming and I am healthy, I will celebrate.

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  37. No, you ain’t done yet. I too have a birthday in June but I am going to ignore the number. For me birthdays are just the record of me coming into life, never mind how long ago.

    So Happy Birthday to both of us.

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    1. I had mine this weekend and had a lot of fun. I even met a new friend and what better gift is that.

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  38. Dear Arleen, I don't remember there being an array of marathons when I was growing up. Do you? Anytime I see them covered on the evening news I feel like cheering for all the women and men who have prepared themselves for the adventure of asking their bodies to give their best.

    I think--after reading your postings since 2011--that you give your best most, if not all of the time. There's a deep down core within you of commitment to life and all it asks. A resilience. A knowledge that the journey and the questions or really more important than the destination or the answers. It's a wisdom that's threaded through your posting--whether they be written in the winter, which is hard for so many of us, or throughout the rest of the year. And yes, you used the word "grit" in your posting about your son and your own independent spirit. You nailed it! Peace.

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    1. It is good to hear from you, Dee, and thank you for your kind words. Like most people, I try to do my best, and even if It is not a success, I know I tried. P

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