My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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on the body

You know that I’m the biggest sap around, always ready to burst into tears at parades and concerts. Today I had a big sappy burst of gratefulness to … my body. It’s Wednesday, so of course I was at Carol’s runfit class at the Y. No matter how lousy I feel at the start, I always feel fabulous by the end. And today, as we were stretching, I felt so fond of this efficient machine beneath my head. I was a bookish kid who did no sports; it wasn’t until my forties that I started to get fit – to attach my body to my brain. And now here she is, sixty years old, this lovely body I criticized all my life – breasts too small, belly too big, oh the misery of the giant feet and bunions, the herniated disc, the pimples, the too-big chin and nose and …

Etc. etc.
Now – how I love her, as she carts me about in style. She has not afflicted me, yet, with something terrible. She just gets on with her jobs – walking, running, biking, lifting, cleaning, sitting – a lot. Thank you for the past 60 years, healthy body of mine. Let’s keep on trucking, shall we?
These positive feelings come particularly on Wednesdays, because I’ve been looking at Carol. Carol is 62 and looks 30, lithe and cheerful, a grandmother of 3 who has just returned from doing a marathon in the Bordeaux region of France. She described it for us, a fun event with many runners in costume, including Christ on the cross, a gorilla, and several Snow Whites, all men, she said. She didn’t know how the gorilla managed to run over 26 miles in 80 degree heat. The run went from chateau to chateau in the wine region – from Margaux to Rothschild and on and on – with a glass of wine for the runners at each place and lots more at the end. My kind of marathon! Carol, of course, didn’t drink, because she’s a serious runner. But then she gave me shocking news – that was her last marathon. “I’ve run fifty,” she said. “That’s enough.” She’ll still run races, but not marathons.
Such an inspiration. Her granddaughters are runners too. In her spare time, she volunteers at the museum. Carol will never get old.
I’ve had lots of mail from people who understand the stress of looking for retirement residences for their parents – that post certainly touched a chord. Lots of phone calls are going back and forth between Ottawa and Toronto, as issues are discussed. Progress is being made, though. This move may actually happen.
And speaking of things actually happening, I’ve heard from several people who also can’t bear the idea of a Rob Ford Toronto. Just today in the “Star,” there was an article on who would be his team – all the right-wing idiots in city council we’d hoped would just go away. If all this actually happens, the next four years will be gruelling, my friends. The self-righteous narrow hate-filled minds of the Tea Party take over Toronto – the revolt of those who can’t understand gay marriage, the importance of immigrants and taxes and sex education in schools – anything that keeps our society moving forward rather than back.
Friends, we’ll just keep each other company and get through. And celebrate our wonderful bodies, and that we’re still alive, and that even stupid right-wing mayors and their councils eventually disappear.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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