Wednesday, 11 July 2012
By Judith Cooper Eton who blogs at SilverFoxyBlog
I have just experienced what I refer to as a watershed birthday. You know what I mean, those birthdays that always end in zero and occasionally in a five. The big ones.
I was having a particularly bad time with this one, unlike my usual, what's the alternative attitude. My birthday is at the end of June, so I began sulking in mid-April.
My sulking skills are world-class, having honed them as a small child. However, as an adult, no one outside of my immediate family had ever seen them before. As a result, all of my friends were getting worried their "optimistic, glass-half-full" pal was going down the tubes.
Deciding I was in danger of losing my little circle and my husband and children, I came up with a plan. As a former motivational speaker for Weight Watchers, I thought maybe I should try some "motivating" on me.
I took out all my old worksheets and hit upon reframing which is simply looking at any situation from a different angle or as they say now, fresh eyes. I would go back and look at all the things that happened in my sixties and look forward to more adventures in my seventies. Lo and behold, it worked!
To steal a sports segment from the Today show, “Spanning the World in 60 Seconds,” I can't promise 10 years in 60 seconds but I can try my best to make it brief.
2002: Remembering my "surprise" 50th party, I chose to give my own 60th, a wonderful tea for my girlfriends. I picked the place, the Peninsula Hotel; the flowers, peonies; and the menu, tea and small sandwiches.
2003: Cat walked in the front door in January. We had a big burglary in March, learned things not so important, only miss the sentimental pieces. October, my 25-year-old baby moved out.
2004: Received the award at work for getting the highest percentage of members to goal or lifetime, great feeling of achievement. Got up the courage to have a breast reduction operation, nursing number three, afore-mentioned baby had made the 32DDD on my little 100-pound, five-foot body a bit much to take. My husband shocked I would go through with it as I am not one to sign up for pain.
2005: In April, my oldest son got married, I gained another daughter and was happy one of my three had settled down. Unfortunately, in July I lost my mother and became the oldest of my generation.
2006: Traded my Jaguar for a Prius, major character builder, and I have never looked back. Only miss my Jaguar when I pull up to the Peninsula Hotel.
2007: Bought a condo in April, oldest son said the market was about to crash, get out of the deal and we did. Market crashed a few weeks later. Wharton Business School pays off. Started taking a commercial class, they need someone for those Cialis ads.
2008: Lived to see the first black president elected. Retired after 15 years with Weight Watchers.
2009: Auditioning nerve wracking. Decide after having some friends fighting cancer, what Los Angeles needed was a really upscale marijuana dispensary. What was I thinking?
So myself and two friends decided to appeal to Santa Monica to open an upscale dispensary. We knew nothing about marijuana but we put together a great presentation for the city council, good experience, bad outcome. All in all, a good life experience.
2010: We pursued our dream of a really safe, holistic type of dispensary. My husband took me to New Orléans to see his alma mater, Tulane, fell in love with that city. Offered an opportunity to take over a dispensary across from USC Medical Center. Learned a lot about marijuana and even more about human nature.
November, took a trip to Israel, a life changing experience. Returned, big adventure, the City of Los Angeles, defying a court order, closed shop. I met SWAT team and some nice hookers, no charges brought but my exciting career, over.
2011: Luckily, before I could get too depressed, the very best thing happened, my first grandchild, a gorgeous little girl named Charlie arrived in February. Everything ever said about being a grandparent, true!
2012: Getting a bit bored, launched a blog, with the idea of getting back into motivational speaking on my own.
Quite an interesting 10 years, if the next 10 are half the adventure, I'll be fine. I know I can top this past decade, let's just skip the jail part.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]