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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient.
It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear. (A. A. Milne, Winnie-The-Pooh)

Sometimes a sigh says more than a paragraph can. Kim, a YMCA employee, tells Jay and me not to give up. We’ve come this far. I can’t speak for my husband, but I have more than fluff in my ear. Both ears, my knees, back, and hair follicles feel impaired. How long have Jay and I been on the phone with our insurance company anyway? Trying to get some number-code, one we didn’t know we needed for a new benefit. Exercise for older folk.

Jay says we have been in limbo for an hour. Including transfers, wrong departments, and a disconnected line. We can join the Silvers Sneakers Program, for free. However, we have only been given partial information regarding the how-to. Not enough to get us started.

I am ready to bolt. Go home. Clean the toilet. Scrub the trash can with an old toothbrush. Empty the leaves from the yard, one at a time. Anything would be a better use of the day.

Then Niecey appears. A tall, attractive, dark woman who doesn’t look old enough to be eligible for Silver Sneakers. She has just finished her registration. She offers to help. We abandon the phone for the Internet. Within minutes the task is completed. *

Kim appears ecstatic, as if we had joined her family. Personally. “See. It was worth it. Thank God!” We join in a half-sung halleluiah.

Patience. Thy name is not Terry. Irritation could fit better. An overall distrust for systems, of almost any kind. Time to choose a different perspective. Not simply because a problem has been solved, but because good people in the world exist. I have a choice—to celebrate the presence of angels or get lost in memories of miscommunications. A sure slide into bitterness.

Kim’s smile reveals an inner glow. Her tight black curls seem to dance as she hugs me.

How long can I hold onto the kindness of cherubs—envision it with the same eyes that view continuous, ugly news events? I don’t know. But kindness is worth the brain cell use. For as long as I keep the fluff out of my ears.

 

*Maybe this help link could be beneficial for general information about the insurance benefit. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer.

 

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The only way out is through. (Robert Frost)

I don’t know the age of the woman to my far right in exercise class, but I’m impressed with her attempts to follow the instructor’s directions. She has a pronounced dowager’s hump and an unsteady gait, yet she shrugs, holds onto a chair, and fumbles with a length of elastic tubing used to increase strength.

Later, Jay and I chat with some friends, a couple who also attended the class.

The wife says the elderly lady told her at the end of class, “I wish I were seventy again.”

I smile, as if some angel were trying to get through via direct line, since I missed the subtle cues.

I am seventy. Sure, I have limitations. The mirror is far more truthful than I would like. However, this seventy-year-old blogger can tread water for an hour. Two hours with an intervening bathroom break. My balance, despite vertigo issues, isn’t bad. I can play with my grandchildren—on the floor—and then get up again, without the help of any mechanical device. Or groans. Gracefulness may be another issue.

Perfect doesn’t exist anyway.

Goals for improvement? Yes, I’ve got plenty of them. Some reasonable, some not. That doesn’t mean I need to live inside expectations. (Easier said than done.)

At home I haven’t finished breakfast dishes. There is laundry sorted in our tiny hall; mundane chores fill my schedule and complicate my priorities. And, uh oh, did I double book something this weekend?

As the four of us share my husband says something funny. In Spanish. I laugh. My knowledge of the language wouldn’t fill a tortilla, but I understand. Right now, life is good. The only way out…? Through. Every day. Up, down, and around as the path leads. Sometimes days and choices become difficult. At other times, they are as ordinary as a spin through the wash machine.

If or when, I reach the age of the woman in today’s class, I hope I have the courage and self-acceptance to struggle among the younger seniors, yet know inside my fragile body, my spirit is whole.

Whole, always whole, even in the most broken places…

my left hand, small, heavily veined, arthritic, yet capable

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