Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Another year, another birthday

     If someone would say to me today, "You don't look a day over 67," I would tell them they are wrong. That is exactly what I am.
     I am writing this as an annual June 16 exercise, kind of like a yearly check-up. But it's a heckuva lot easier writing this than my yearly physical. (No major problems, but I'll get to that in a moment.)
Our daughter posted this on Facebook this morning
     I don't mind having another birthday; I'll take as many as I can get ... in good health. And I intend to make each day of the year I am 68 a good day.
     That is the intention; the reality is that not all days go how we want. Yesterday, the last day I was 67, was one of those bittersweet days. Saw a lot of people that were part of a good time in life many years ago, but the occasion -- the Billy Laird funeral -- was a tough one.
     The best part of life these days, no question, is time with my wife -- well, most of the time -- and to see the kids and in-law kids doing well and, most of all, those beautiful, smart, energetic four grandchildren.
     We don't see those grandkids enough, but -- a lot of you can identify -- when we do, they ... wear ... us ... out.  We expect the same soon of Eli, who is almost nine months old and is the best gift I received in the year between birthdays.
     The most difficult part of life for me is the deaths of people who were friends for many years. They tend to come so quickly these days. My wife says I have difficulty with those, and maybe that's true.
     We are reminded each time of our mortality, and I need to remember -- I try to remember -- the good that these people left us. That, I believe, is why we're here; to make this world better for the people around us.
     Billy Laird did that for me. So did three other coaches who have died in the past couple of months -- Larry Little, Clem Henderson and Billy Wiggins.
      For the happier part of life ... Beatrice and I enjoy reading and watching our favorite shows on TV and the occasional outing for entertainment (Bass Hall, museums, the book store, a movie or two). There is not much watching of sports events in person, which is OK. We get enough of that on TV -- the Mavericks and NBA for Bea, a nice variety for me (much to her, let's say, annoyance.)
      And one of us -- I'm not saying who -- is stuck on a computer game.
      One of us -- that would be me -- probably spends too much time at the computer. But writing this blog, as I've said before, keeps me motivated and keeps my skills (what few I had) from eroding totally.
      We like our Facebook time, except when we don't (that would be the slanted political posts and the negativity about our country. Hey, it's not perfect, but darned if I am going to take a doomsday view, and I don't appreciate it from others.)
      I like to follow politics. Not in great detail, but we watch PBS for the NewsHour and the political discussions. And if we could fast-forward through the 2016 Presidential election cycle, that would be fine. This drags out forever, and I'm still looking for a candidate I think will satisfy our needs.
      Oh, back to happier subjects ... 
      We both like to exercise -- the daily walks, a little gym work, and lately, a class of two of yoga a week. And we need that because ... we both like to eat.
      But about eating, we have to be careful. To be honest, I'd gotten careless the past few months. Too many sweets (I love chocolate), too many potatoes, too many snacks. (And too many reminders from my wife about this).
      This brings me to the yearly physical exam. It's always fun.
      The doctor was satisfied with my weight and OK with the exercise routine, although I could do more. But ... the numbers on the cholesterol and triglycerides were so far "out of range," I can't count that high. As a PBS report last week informed me, I'm one of about 3 million people with high LDL cholesterol -- that's the bad one.
       So the doctor is talking use of statins. I will take that under advisement -- as a counselor once said to me. But the immediate goal is a stricter diet -- vegetables in place of chocolate, for instance -- and more exercise. Then we'll check those numbers again.
        My body aches more; right now, the ring finger and little finger on my right hand are revolting (arthritis? carpal tunnel?); and I stumble and bump into things a couple of times a day; and Bea and I each misplace things, and can't find names and places for our thoughts at times. The aging process, right?
         Still, it's nice to be here; life is good, and we know from our friends in our age range, and the recent losses, that it can all end so quickly. 
         So I love the birthdays, and I hope -- I intend -- to file the annual birthday blog again next year. I will look a day over 68 then.  

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