Not since turning 21 in the last century have I been this excited about a birthday.On June 14, 2016, I officially became a golden girl- 65 years old.
I have so looked forward to turning 65. Like my 21st birthday, this one comes with perks.
While my 21st brought legal drinking and the right to vote – the 26th amendment giving 18- year-olds the right to vote wasn’t ratified until I was the ripe old age of 20. This birthday brings the enormous health care savings of medicare and lots and lots of fun discounts.
Last week taking the light rail to the airport during non-peak hours cost $1.75. Now when I ride the light rail during those hours it will just cost me 75 cents.
A month ago if I wanted to join the YMCA it would have cost me $66 a month. Thanks to my medicare supplement Silver & Fit plan, membership is covered. How cools is that?
On June 13th, if I wanted to take a Pilates Chair class at one of my favorite Pilates studios ,Six Degrees, it would cost $35 a class. Thanks to their senior program, it now costs $12.
Let’s not forget discount movie tickets and senior discounts on airlines, restaurants and other establishments. I’m feeling the senior love.
So while some other milestone birthdays were sobering – I definitely felt the weight of turning 40 and 50–turning 65 feels liberating. It is like getting a gift every time I get to make a discounted purchase.
65 is going to be my gift that keeps on giving.
To celebrate, I’ve created a 65 things list. Some of the items are things that made this last year special. Some are things I’m looking forward to this year. Some are things that I appreciate. Other things on this list are things I find amusing or are just random factoids that I need to complete this very lengthy list!
- I still haven’t watched a single episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
- Recommending that my daughter read the book YOU by Caroline Kepnes and having her as excited as I am about this book and author.
- Having my friend Jill introduce me to La Crema Pinot Noir.
- My birthday falls on Flag Day which commemorates the adoption of the flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14,1777.
- My membership to ClassPass. After my fitness studio dropped their barre classes in November, I decided to use ClassPass – a membership that allows you to club hop and try many different fitness classes. I am there worst nightmare. I am a heavy user.
- Afraid. Very Afraid of Donald Trump.
- Thanks to a technical glitch I wasn’t able to quit my Weight Watchers membership. Counting those points really does work.
- Finding a bark collar for Uma Thurman that works! I said that last year, but the first style eventually stopped working. The new one seems to really do the trick.Did I mention I can’t stand yippee dogs? I had a yippee dog. Thank you PetSafe.
- Shout out to Carole and Nick for offering a respite while they travel the world.
- My Mahj games with Lauren, Courtney, Brooke, Lynn and Jill!
- Knowing that I will blissfully go through my 65th year avoiding Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
- Realizing that I have walked more than 13 million steps since I started wearing a FitBit.
- Continuing the conversations in my Social Justice Book Club – a virtual book club that has been together since 2010.
- Assemble Shared Office – for opening a location in Minneapolis where I can bring my dog Uma Thurman to work every day and use my treadmill desk.
- A year of health. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate my health. I know how fortunate I am. It is a gift that allows me to live the life I want to live. It is unbelievably precious.
- Having my friend Janie order a Moscow Mule just days after my friend Elaine did and discovering I like that drink very much.
- Flag Day was officially designated as a national holiday by President Harry Truman on August 3, 1949.
- A new student came into my kettlebell class as I was warming up at the barre and he mistook me for the instructor.
- A conversation with a stranger on Tybee Island who told me about Iyengar yoga.
- Being able to audio describe live theater for the visually impaired at the Guthrie, Children’s Theater, History Theater and Park Square.
- June 14th was the 35th anniversary of the “Lake Harriet” tornado – a tornado that I watched from the balcony of my apartment. It was my 30th birthday.
- Trying Aerial Yoga even though I have “issues” with height and falling – the instructors are patient and kind, and I hang upside down!
- Garrett’s Chicago Style Popcorn.
- A mothers daughters reunion trip to Colorado after a hiatus of nearly 10 years.
- Committed to the exclamation mark ! even though there are those who poo-poo it.
- Contrary to what we were taught in school, Betsy Ross probably did not make the original flag. Evidently, that story belongs on the shelf along with the tooth fairy and belief that a woman couldn’t be president.
- Driving to Des Moines for pizza the weekend before the Iowa Caucuses and hanging out at the bar at the Marriott where lots of MSNBC folks were staying.
- Walking the beach on Tybee Island.
- Attending a mini reunion of a college sorority that I deactivated from.
- Audio books- such great companions on my walks and road trips.
- Jussi Adler-Olsen – one of my new favorite authors.
- Social Media – for connecting, sharing, educating and being unrelenting.
- Shout out to Jill for offering respite when she travels.
- Taking the time every day to be grateful.
- Have you heard of sarcopenia?
- Appalled that assault weapons are not banned and not optimistic that they will be.
- Getting to spend my birthday exercising, taking walks and spending time with people I care about.
- Shrimp and Grits.
- Any book by Linwood Barclay.
- Attending a pilates reformer class being taught by Tiffany Seymour – the woman who introduced me to Pilates 15 years ago.
- Volunteering at Women Venture.
- Getting through another year without catching the flu.
- Trying to incorporate meditation in my daily routine,
- Stayed at my first Airbnb.
- Preparing to learn how to do live captioning in theaters.
- Committing to writing this blog on a regular basis.
- Spent most the year NOT watching cable news – Have since fallen off the wagon.
- Constantly shaking my head when friends ask if I watch [fill in the blank].
- Made my first angel food cake from scratch.
- Rented a car through Turo.
- Shout out to Bonnie for the respite.
- Rediscovering chewing gum after a 20 year break.
- Afraid to use the adult coloring book that I was gifted – I never could color within the lines.
- Dim Sum.
- Sitting in cocktail lounges.
- I am stronger than I was a year ago.
- I start my day with a cup of real coffee and no medications.
- Getting so many well wishes on my birthday thanks to Facebook. Each one made me smile.
- Deep breathing. It really works.
- Sitting on a plane going to Long Beach, California only to discover the woman sitting in the seat next to me lives right across the street from my friend Delphene. What are the chances of that?
- Why don’t more bars serve Pim Cups?
- Missing John Stewart.
- I choose happiness.
“You know, Loralee, your feet wouldn’t hurt if you wore sensible shoes. I’ll never understand why you wear those high heels.” Merritt’s serious expression was soften by the small trace of Coke bubbles on her upper lip.
“Maybe you should try them sometime, so you’ll know why so many women wear them.” She imagined Merritt in five-inch Louboutins, strutting about feeling tall, powerful and sexy..