Golden years

The Key word at our house these days is ‘golden,’ as in golden anniversary, golden years, Golden Corral, golden opportunity and the “Golden Rule.”

We celebrated our Golden anniversary last year. Even thirty years ago, we never expected to celebrate that many years of togetherness. My husband’s father’s family’s longevity has not historically supported that goal. However, his generation followed his mother’s side for longevity, so we celebrated.

I doubt his many years have anything to do with my husband’s affinity for the bountiful repasts of restaurants like the Golden Corral. Buffets and church potlucks provide such a golden opportunity for a multitude of delightful dishes.

Being in the golden years means we have reached some age number beyond the speed limit, unless the limit is 75 mph. Cars may be able to go that fast, but we definitely have slowed down. In his golden years, my Energizer Bunny does not hop to it when the hedge needs a few nibbles. 

The ones finding the gold during our Golden Years work at medical clinics. It seems that the purpose of retirement is to ensure enough time for doctor appointments. In the past year I had two check-ups at the clinic and two home visit check-ups. Plus a few dental visits, an eye exam and a visit with a heart doctor (who has yet to prescribe anything other than “come back again!”) Then every eight weeks or so I donate blood at the local LifeShare center where they also check basics, measure my iron level and cholesterol. 

Occasionally I add in one of those free health clinics. I would hate to miss any golden opportunity to ensure I am still living at my healthiest, right? After I have my blood pressure read, my heart rate assessed and a blood sugar test, I grab a fistful of free literature and advice.

If am needing to shed a few pounds, the pamphlets have the perfect solution: eat less and exercise more. 

If my blood pressure ever creeps up a bit beyond healthy a pamphlet will advise: “check with your physician, eat more fruits and vegetables and go for a 30 minute walk every day.”

If my cholesterol nudges beyond a specific number: “eat less at the Golden Corral and more at the green salad bar. Get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.”

After a couple incidents of breaking major bones, I landed in physical therapy. Physical therapy simply stated, “you now have a personal coach who will assign you exercises to do at home two or three times a day.”

Everywhere I turn during these golden years, someone pushes exercise.

If I feel the winter blues or Seasonally-Affected Depression, then I am told I need to get out in the sun and walk.

If my balance threatens to tip me over and need to go back to the bone clinic, the solution is to do some balancing exercies. With so much at stake, the Golden Rule for those over 60 “Don’t Fall!”  We may toddle, but we are not toddlers. Falling can be quite dangerous.

I listened to that advice, and I felt pretty good about the exercise I added to my weekly routine during my Golden Years, until I read an article that said everyone needs at least twice the typically recommended time.

Someone linked the article to Facebook. Plenty of folks commented, “well my Granny lived to be 101, and she sat down all she could.” or,  “Family genes for longevity also matter.” 

Sigh. Just leave me alone to enjoy my Golden Years at the Golden Corral. I promise I will do everything I can to obey the Golden Rule of this stage. Hopefully I will live decades beyond our Golden Anniversary. 


About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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