Sunday thoughts about sleeping dogs and getting older

My dogs sleep with me. Sometimes Mick spoons me and you haven’t lived until you’ve been spooned by a dachshund. He’s the perfect length to serve as a heating pad from my neck to my waist. Little Richard might be curled in the crook of my knees or, on occasion, I’ve awakened to find his face inches from mine on the pillow next to me, watching and waiting patiently for me to wake up.

They are inevitably delighted when I do awaken, which brings me to the first of my Sunday morning musings. I always wonder why they are so excited to see me in the morning when they have spent the last seven or eight hours in such close proximity. To them, am I gone, leaving the shell of my body behind for the night? In those long hours, are they ever concerned about if or when I’ll come back?

Right before I woke up this morning I was dreaming about being in charge of a client’s banquet. A major sponsor was so upset by the table décor, he stormed out before dinner was served. Right before I woke up I was trying to soothe him and apologize for the misunderstanding.

The thing is, that’s where I WAS before something caused me to wake up. It was so real and my mind and phantom body were 100% engaged in the scene at hand.

I believe it’s clear to our dogs that we are elsewhere, even as they nest nearby in the folds of the comforter.

When the coffee is ready and I sit in my chair to check emails and Facebook, they can’t wait to jump on my lap – and go right back to sleep. It makes me wonder if they are tired from watching over me all night. As soon as I’m awake, they can relax and rest while I watch over them. I am happy and touched to return the favor.

And on Facebook . . . .

A new friend posted an article – probably from Huffington Post – on 60 being the new middle age.  Having turned 64 last week, there is a part of me that likes hearing that, even if it’s kind of silly. Not only do I doubt I could live to 120, I can honestly tell you I wouldn’t WANT to, either.

"When I'm 64" was on the Sgt. Pepper album about 45 years ago or so.
“When I’m 64” was on the Sgt. Pepper album about 45 years ago or so.

We Baby Boomers are not aging gracefully. Oh, I know most of us look younger and we do our best to style our hair in a fairly contemporary fashion and wear clothes that don’t look frumpy. I grew up with jeans and I can’t imagine ever NOT wearing them, so that alone differentiates us from every generation before us.

People my age talk about being more fit and active than our parents and grandparents, though I’m not sure that’s accurate, either. Maybe more of us paddleboard and ski and run 5k’s, but the more recent generations before us burned off calories and stayed active mowing their lawns with push mowers, shoveling snow out of the driveway, standing for hours in the kitchen to prep, cook and can pounds of tomatoes. You get the picture. Activity was part of life, rather than an effort undertaken to replace the lack of physical work in our daily existence.

Do we look better than these previous generations did at our age? Yes, I’d say so. But then, EVERYBODY of every age looks funny in the styles of the past. Medical advances may increase our expected longevity, as well as knowing we’d better wear sunscreen and recognizing the early onset symptoms of stroke or heart attack. There is a long list of reasons why 60 is closer to the middle of our lives than to the end, or at least physically appears to be.

My question is, who cares? It’s a number. Years ago, a famous woman (actress? Feminist? I can’t recall) was complimented by a reporter who couldn’t believe she looked so great for her age. Her reply was, “this is what 40 looks like.”

When people can’t believe I’m 64, I just laugh. This is what 64 looks like – at least for me, in this millennium, in my jeans and with my hair colored, etc., etc. I’m not afraid of getting “old.” Or worried about looking it, either.

I would love to be a grandmother. We’ll make cookies together and while they’re baking, I will read stories while a small child sits in my soft grandmother’s lap. I’ll continue to cuddle my soft little dogs in the meantime (well, and always!).

There’s nothing wrong with getting old, or being old. Old. Middle-aged. Whatever. I’m just ME. I would just like to tell everyone I love – don’t worry about it, for heaven’s sake. Just be. Enjoy. Love. Do things you like to do. Color your hair, or not. Be a granny AND a goddess. Life is good, my darlings. Embrace it while it lasts.

4 thoughts on “Sunday thoughts about sleeping dogs and getting older

  1. I love these. They’re each spot on their topics. I wish you’d posted them separately, though, because there’s too much goodness to take in and fully appreciate when they’re sharing space.

  2. Oh, Jane, thank you so much. I find myself NOT writing so frequently because I tend to go on and on and sometimes I just don’t want to get myself started. This was an attempt to just sit down and WRITE. To share some thoughts in a fairly brief manner – just to see if I could. Be brief, that is. 🙂 I have trouble even writing a brief reply to your comment! Thank you for reading and supporting me. XOXO

    1. It isn’t the “going on” that’s the issue, because you are so entertaining when you go on. It’s the mixing of topics that I find jarring. Your ending for the piece on the dogs got lost because I was moving on to the aging topic. Whiplash. You need to write more frequently–if only to entertain me–but just don’t publish them all at once.

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