Friday, February 19, 2016

Two Mid-Life Rights of Passage

Our seasonal doorman
At the Rotary Auction
Getting older is a mid-life right of passage. We are constantly being reminded of that in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.  First it’s the aches and pains, reading glasses, ‘senior moments’ and many of the other aging symptoms noted in Atul Gawande's best seller,  Being Mortal.   However, few things confirm the fact that you are getting older than two cards in the mail.

First it’s the AARP card at age 50.  “Me?  They must have made a mistake.  I’m not even retired yet.” Oh well, I reason, “I still feel 10 years younger than my chronological age.” 

But nothing is more unmistakable and definitive than getting a Medicare card.  “Holy Medicare, Batman—I really am getting older!”  Hopefully I won’t need to take advantage of it for a long time.  I can also take some consolation that Medicare, now 50, is also eligible for an AARP card.

Controlled chaos (Before)
So that’s the main mid-life adventure for this blog post.  In other news, my transition to working from home has gone much better than we expected.  However, it was quite a chaotic process to move and get settled in.  I actually get more done than before, and I stop by the office (3 blocks away) almost daily for meetings, mail, etc.   Kathy’s conference calls are often when I’m gone.  When we're both here we enjoy working away at our computers together, often with classical music and the comforting sounds of each other's keyboard clicks in the background. 
Our "cubicles"  (After)

Kathy’s technology projects for the local and national Assistance League are making steady progress, but probably not fast enough for her.  Even though the new website is launched, she spends unbelievable hours on follow-up details, questions from members, and tweaking the site. 

I received my first court order as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for two teen siblings placed in foster care just before Christmas because of mom/boyfriend meth issues.   So far, after two court hearings and a lot of time and emotional involvement, I like it, and everything up to now in my life has prepared me for it.  The teens are so resilient and outwardly normal considering their difficult past.  
DNA kits
In our last blog we reported that we got DNA kits to explore our ancestry.  The results are finally in and we’re WASs (White Anglo-Saxons).  I’m 98.6% European with a hint of East Asian and Native American; Kathy is 99.7% European, with a dash of North African.  I’m more French, German and East European; she’s more British and Irish.  Contrary to stories of Kathy's orphan father, she has no native American DNA.  Neither of us, fortunately, are carriers of identified genetic diseases.

Feeling my age on New Years Day
Sub-zero  Mt. Bachelor 
So what else has been keeping us busy? Plenty! As you can see by the photos, 
Doris Ellis 91 Years young!
Community reception for Brenna and Katherine

2011 Rotary India GSE reunion

Linda, my Pilates coach, and Josh my
performance trainer keep me moving

Nick keeps Kathy moving
I love Turkish Get-Ups!
Fondue with our mentee, Nati Zavala
A dyslexic birthday.  It's great to be 56!
4" snow, 10 runs and
the senior discount!

So even as the aging process marches relentlessly on, life continues to be good.  Looking back to my 60th birthday in India, we can honestly say it's been the best five years of our lives.  Here's to the next five years!

A surprise birthday dinner with best friends