A Healthy Life

I've never been an athlete. I've never been muchinterested in sports, ever since I stopped playingtouch-football with the boys, when I hit puberty.I've tried tennis. I hit the ball too high, too long,and way over into left field. I've tried softball. Thankgoodness that ball is "soft" and big, because it feltjust awful when it hit me in the eye. I tried running,but I couldn't get anyone to chase me.

I tried swimming, but even though I float like a cork,and have had numerous lessons, I can't seem to getover the idea, that I'm really going to drown. Finally,I settled on walking, and for a number of years, Iwalked 3 to 5 miles a day. I realize that there isan Olympic sport referred to as "walking," but whenI tried that, all I succeeded in doing was throwing my hip out.

I'm definitely NOT an athlete, but I make do, especiallyin my "mid-life" years. Which brings a question to mymind. When did I hit mid-life? I remember when I hitthirty. I had to visit a grief counselor, because I knewmy life was over. I remember forty. I had to see a griefcounselor, the day after my first child graduated fromhigh-school and moved out of the house, because Iknew my life was over. I remember forty-four. Forsome reason I thought my life was over. Then I hitfifty, and I was all excited, because I was able to joinan organization called AARP. My husband was,especially, excited because he is younger than I,and he got to join, too!

Fifty became the magic age. I knew that as long asI was in good health, in this day and age, I probablyhad a good fifty years ahead of me. Then came theasthma. O.K., I had that much earlier, but it onlybecame life threatening after fifty. Then came thefirbromyalgia. O.K., I had THAT earlier, but it's notlife threatening. Then came the arthritis, and, morerecently, at fifty-five, came the diabetes. Somewhere,along in there, I became very interested inpharmaceuticals, and, finally, one day, I became free.

I began by noticing the sunsets, and I had the timeto stop and really wonder, at the beauty and themagnitude of it all. Then I moved onto the sunrises,and I quickly found out that if I wasted the earlymorning, I missed the loveliest part of the day. ThenI began to notice how grateful I was to be able towitness the changing of the seasons. The first whisperof spring; the rustling of the leaves beneath my feet, inthe fall; that first breathless covering of a winter's snow;and in the summer, all the flowers, and the buzzing ofa bumblebee.

When illness would hit me, I found that I, actually,enjoyed the solitude. A time to reflect, gather mythoughts, and pray, at leisure. I found that I was"experiencing" this mid-life season, and I was nolonger missing every moment, shackled to the chainsof worry, and what "might" be. I found that worryingabout tomorrow, only served to make me overlook theblessings of today.

It's not always easy. A few loads of laundry, and a pileof dishes can take an entire day; but then I don't pushmyself a lot. So, I forget to make the bed, as I watchthe rosy glow of dawn meet the rising sun. I have timeto walk our little, wooded acre with my little dachshundstraining at the leash. I get to read the "signs," withmy Happy Dog, sniff the air, and gaze out at nowhere,studying the sky, with the same intensity that my littledog studies the ground.

I get to meet the day, every day. I get to say"good-night," to the sunsets. I've studied a lot ofsunsets, in the last five years, and I've never seentwo that were alike. I get to know my Creator asI never have before, and I've gotten to make MY mindup, about the mysteries of life; and I have growncertain, that all this was no accident.

I feed the birds, and I take great delight in theirmulticolored hues, especially in the spring. I draga chair to stand on, so that I can fill the feeders tothe brim, myself. I say a little prayer, as I wobble,a little cock-eyed on the chair, and I laugh, atmyself, and all the pretensions of my youngerlife. I take great delight in my life. I thank Godfor all the precious little things of every day.Friends. Family. Neighbors. And health. A healthof the soul. For I have come to understand whatreal health is, and when you have REAL health,then you truly have everything.

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