Monday, August 5, 2013

My hot date

For years I've said I need to get out more. Being the shy retiring creature I am, I tend to keep a low profile on social stuff. However there is a ton of stuff going on, constantly. There are tools to find out about it and keep track of it. As I've always said, if you're not having fun, it's your own damn fault.

Not to say I'm not having fun. I have been. But lately I've been thinking about life a lot. My current book is called You COULD Live a Long Time: Are you READY?, by Lyndsay Green. Her main point is that many of us are going to live longer than we expect. I can remember a bit of my grandparents as people in their early 60's. Of course you expect your grandparents to be old. But in many ways they really were. They'd had a tough life, 2 world wars and the depression between them. 

I still have one grandparent alive, last I checked. That's uncommon, but not unheard of for someone my age. But it's going to become common. Now someone dying in their 60's is considered to have been cheated. Estimating how long you will live is a major preoccupation of financial planners and those thinking about retirement. My planner is currently assuming I'll live to 85, and I'm aiming for 100.  

That is a long time by human standards. I certainly won't have enough to retire at 55 and live comfortably for that long. Almost nobody does. Yet there we are. The book talks about some of the consequences of this, and coping strategies. Part of the problem is that many people aren't living longer, they're just dying longer.

One of the suggestions boils down to constant renewal, trying new things, meeting new people, going new places, while maintaining current connections. Sooner or later one end of that connection is going to go away, and you'll need all you can get.

So with that in mind I've joined a couple of writing groups. And even though I'm often in bed by 9pm I jumped at the chance to join my buddy Neil Z on a photo shoot. If you live in Calgary you've probably seen some of his work. His best known subject is the Calatrava Bridge, this is but one photo of it, and not even the famous one. There are many others as well. Look here to find your favourite. In a crass commercial note, he makes his living selling these. Contact him if you'd like greeting cards, framed art prints, or other photographic products done. He does many kinds of corporate events and has started doing weddings.

Even though I could see why people could get really into photography, I never did. The whole film world seemed like way too much trouble. Even when point and shoot's became common we often forgot ours. Getting the developed prints back (after a whole week!) was an exercise in surprise. Then digital happened, and I started taking more photos. Then my iPhone 4 happened, and I started taking a ton of photos. Most are barely adequate even in the sense of "this is what that person looks like, and the background is x". Snapseed has helped rescue some of them. Out of the thousands of photos only a few are interesting, and I don't propose to bore you with a retrospective here. Or here either. If you've been reading my blog or Facebook, you've seen many of them already. 

Here's some of mine from last night. The low light limitations of the iPhone are obvious and most of these have been pushed in Snapseed. Neil's are much better of course, given that he's got about 100x the camera, but he's also got an artist's eye. These are pretty unique subjects, so it's fairly obvious where we were. Yes, we were wearing rubber boots. Enjoy!

Earlier on Sunday I warmed up by washing windows inside and out, then went for a run after. I figured up and down ladders, going in and out, around and around, bending, stretching, reaching, swabbing, rinsing were all a good warmup. The run wasn't far, and felt merely ok. I didn't want to push it. 

My legs are feeling really odd lately. Sort of tight in places, often low hams and calves, but in a different way than I'm used to. They don't seem to have any endurance at all. Not sure what that's all about.

It's been a good long weekend. Naps. Sitting on the patio watching the world go by. Chatting with neighbours. Getting out for the Sunfest and the photo shoot. That's right, I didn't even mention the Inglewood Sunfest on Saturday. It was sunny and warm, so perfect weather. We strolled, enjoying the crowds and checking out the various booths and street performers. We didn't meet up with some buddies as tentatively planned, but life with a small child is filled with uncertainties. 

As is a life filled with the inevitabilities of aging. I'm starting to work on that in an active way. Are you? What are you doing about it?


  1. Sounds like a good weekend, and I'm intrigued by the book you mentioned. I do work at developing new connections and interests so, hopefully, I have that part figured out. Not so sure about the money side of things though - especially, since it turns out my own folks will likely need more support than expected. Anyway, will see if I can track down a copy of the book.

    Re running - perhaps your legs are just going through a period of adjustment. Or maybe you need new shoes? I was thinking on the weekend that I'm due for some. Lots of running on the agenda for the next couple of months.

    1. No deep insights in the book, at least not so far. It's based on anecdotal discussion with old people. I'm about half done, and the main bits of advice are "Be charming", "Stay active".

      Not sure about the adjustment. My thinking is there is something in my low back or hips that isn't quite right, preventing many of the leg muscles from relaxing or working effectively. Shoes are fairly new, maybe 350 K at most over about 50 runs.

    2. Picked up the book at the library last night and started reading it over coffee this morning. Liking it a lot so far. Commonsense for the most part but, for introverts like me, it's good to be reminded of the importance of valuing interactions with other people.

      Hope the legs start to feel better soon!

    3. Finished it last night. Lots of good pointers to other resources. And it's written from a Canadian perspective, mostly. Seems to be bang on for messaging, assuming the target market is busy boomers that haven't thought that much about retiring, other than they'd like to.

      Ran yesterday! Updating blog next. Should gross a few people out, though paper towel covers it.


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