Going Strong at Eighty

My husband’s 80th Birthday Party

Who says life has to slow down at a certain age? No one told Harv this. I am doing this post just to show the strong fortitude and work ethics most seniors have grown up with and how they carry these habits still.

The work Harv, my husband, continues doing is pretty amazing as a soon-to-be-82-year-old. He built two large sheds on our three fourths acre land soon after buying it, about four years ago, and is working on expanding a rough building that was on the property, turning it into his shop. His main current project is remodeling a one hundred year old cottage into an art and writing studio for me. It has a stone floor and elaborate stone-work fireplace. It has a natural charm we’re trying trying to preserve as we restore it.

I Think I Married a Work-a-holic

He’s using one of his Grandpa Rimington’s “antique tools” to drill a large hole to hang a gate here.

In spite of my feeling pretty good at my age, Harv wears me out. I am ten years younger than him and never dreamed we would be doing such hard manual labor at this stage of our life! He thrives on it! His belief is as long as he keeps busy and productive, he will stay healthy longer. His worst fear is to get to a point where all he does is sit indoors and wither away.

I agree, movement is super important but I see other ways we can do this. I would like to be busy hiking favorite and new mountain trails, kayaking, snorkeling walking through new towns and opening our minds to new experiences. I thrive on change. Stagnation is intolerable to me and leads to non-productivity.

I feel the same as Harv, in regards to keeping busy but I see myself being busy in different ways. I think doing fun things is important to our mental vitality; to keep life fun as well as interesting. We can stagnate mentally if we don’t do things to stimulate our endorphins, our happy hormones.

A Daily Walk with our dog is important to me!

CAMPING can be a relatively inexpensive way to get out and enjoy the great out-doors.

Camping Equipment

TENTS: There are so many tents to choose from, you should be able to find an exact fit for your needs.

SUPPLY TENT (Fly): Keep yousr supplies out of the weather with a simple tent where you can also prepare and clean up your meals.

BATTERY OPERATED LANTERNS: A must have to simplify your nights while camping out.

FOAM PADS: Who wants to sleep on the hard, often cold ground. A good pad under your sleeping bag or bedding will feel almost as good as your bed back home.

Our recent & ongoing projects

Building our stone walkway “out back” by my studio.

Harv takes good care of his physical body in other ways as well. He’s a strict “health nut” when it comes to his diet. Having Celiac Disease, he can’t eat any gluten. This is a bonus for me as gluten tends to put the weight on due to the carbs in it. We try to avoid sugar as well, which is one of the worst things to eat, especially if you’re overweight and wanting to drop those excess pounds. I’ve written a lot about these things in my Living Healthy Blog.

Examples of Two out of my 3 Health Basics Are Shown.

Sadly, as much as Harv knows about living a healthy life style and strives to do it, he has a real hard time getting enough quality sleep.

As I mentioned in my blog post on healthy living, I consider sleep one of the three major factors in living a healthy lifestyle and actually put it at the head of the list. For myself, if I can get a good night’s sleep, I feel I can handle just about anything and the opposite of this scenario sadly applies.

I have always been a morning person. About the time I’m waking up Harv is just dozing off, having had a rough night with no sleep. He still does not let this deter him from getting up and out the door to see what he can accomplish for the day. He does get cat-naps throughout the day so he’s able to do the physical work on such little sleep at night.

Sleep is a true necessity for so many reasons!

I wanted to throw these photos and thoughts on a post to show that life does not have to decline as we age. The saying, “We’re only as old as we feel” is true and if we take the personal accountability to make sure we’re doing all we can possibly do to help our body, mind and spirit stay healthy and maintain a younger outlook, we’ll see results.

There are so many ways to maintain our vitality, even as we age into our seventies and eighties. (See more of this on my “Health Blog”.)

Another Example of a “Youngster” in Later Life

My mother never slowed down. She was still climbing on ladders, trimming tree branches in her back yard in her late 80’s and early 90’s as well as walking her little dog down to the park, sometimes twice a day. She was quite an icon in her neighborhood in her pith helmet and walking stick. I have a huge image to live up to.

I’m not going to let Harv run circles around me, if I can help it. We choose to live life at our own pace, of course, but must be careful never to succumb to the temptation to slow down so much we begin to stagnate. Our quality of life is at stake. We have a lot of choices in how we feel as we age.

If we want to maintain as much vitality as possible we must keep moving, being aware of what we feed this miraculous instrument, our bodies, and our mental outlook; the thoughts we harbor. Persistently strive to keep those negative dragons at bay and look for the positive things that cross our paths daily and allow joy into our lives as much as possible.

We’ve Got This!

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Author: Mary Catherine

• Published writer that used to contribute a monthly article on any given subject to my local newspaper. I am no longer doing this and miss it. • Owned my own custom paint store, "Wild Woods". I called it "wall art" that consisted of murals, glazing, faux painting and also painting vinyl garage doors to look like wood or metal; usually copper. • Have had an interesting past 14 years living off the grid in a remote area in Southern Utah near the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in a progressive community that held many informative events with guest speakers, including a number of published authors, and hands-on exercises in various self-sufficient living. No longer living there. • I have another blog about grandparenting. This is a subject near and dear to my heart nowadays. *As part of "the sandwich generation", I was caught between helping my adults kids (usually with their kids) as well as caring for an elderly parent, my mother, who was suffering from dementia. I want to do some writing on the aspect of full time care givers to people with Alzheimer's as well. I feel I have learned a lot about this. ~ What a Juggling Act! Somewhere with all those balls up in the air, my own dreams had been put on hold for too long and now, after losing my mother just recently, and my grandkids in school, I hope to rekindle them. My husband and I are super busy doing major remodeling jobs on a house we purchased two years ago as well as extensive yard work. The house and yard projects, which include the restoration of an old cottage built in the 1800's that sits on the far, back corner of our three-fourths acre lot we own are keeping us both really busy. Amidst the ongoing projects, I try to squeeze in a moment here and there to work on my blogs. Creativity has always been an essential part of who I am and when I stop doing things like this, I feel like a robot mechanically moving around, just getting the necessities done. Art, Music, Writing, Gardening, Home Interior Decorating, Water Activities like swimming and kayaking are the things I crave and try to find time to do. We have to "make it a good day"!

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