In the wee, small hours of the morning… Great song. It’s not really the wee, small — it’s 5:55 as I write this sentence — but after an awesome night of playing ball, goofing off in the sand, and running around the back yard with Jake and Justin in hot pursuit (“We’re gonna chase you now, Grammie!”), it feels like the wee, small hours. Just ask my creaky spine and joints.
Everyone’s still asleep, so I’m stealing some quiet time. My reverie was shattered, of course, upon opening Google News and reading about the Heat/Celtics score. Cripes. And the Indians lost, too.
The world is as it should be. Onward.
I try to never get all old-lady on my younger fiends who read RtB. I don’t feel old, so therefore I try not to act it. However, I have some crystals of advice for anyone who would take it this day. As I lay in bed at around 4:30 this morning, bemoaning my aging, aching bod, several thoughts came to mind — some of which were of the “wish I’d made this a priority years ago” variety. But if you’re inclined, heed the words of experience:
- Stay active. You have no idea how important that is until you hit 50. I’m serious.
- Avoid the sun. Many youngins will ignore this advice now (and some of my aging pals will, too), but believe me when I tell you that your face will illustrate the life you’ve lived. The number-one concern is melanoma, of course, but the leathery face look will have you wishing you didn’t worship that tanning salon so much in your youth. Trust me on this. I’ve not experienced it (for some reason, I was spared — sun avoidance mixed with my mother’s genes, I guess), but I have seen it on other women who now regret the thousands of hours spent in useless tanning and “laying out.”
- Eat well. This is a biggie for me. I was raised in an era when sugar was given absolutely no second thoughts. Do a search on “1960s breakfast cereal commercials” and marvel at how many times “sweet” and “sugar” were used in the media and on packaging. All of that has come back to haunt my generation with extreme prejudice. Remember: white sugar and white flour are fake foods. They are more processed chemical than cane and grain. Think about that when you rinse them down your gullet. Your body will thank you in your old age.
- Quit smoking. I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is to see the effects of 40+ years of tobacco use on people I love and have loved. Emphysema and lung cancer will bring you only suffering, believe it. It’s not worth it.