friend: a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations (confidante, soul mate, workmate, ally, comrade, associate, pal, chum, bezzie, homie, bro, fidus Achates). 

hello my joyful “friends?”

Had a hard time thinking of a pithy title for this one.  Friends.  Stirs up all kinds of thoughts, memories, conversations, some good, some not so good.  Sometimes I think I don’t have many “friends”.  I guess by definition I do. There’s a whole bunch of people in my life that I have a mutual bond of affection with.  Couple of workmates, a pal or two, no soulmate, a fidus Achates? Gotta look that one up. But, how many of them do I see on a regular basis?  Or, how many of them have I had an intimate conversation with recently? (intimate: very personal and private, shared secret knowledge).  This month, I have two good friends, two people with whom I have had a personal and private conversation with.  I know these two people “have my back”, no matter what. 

I also have friends who I have known for a long time and trust.  Most of them are women that have kids the same age as mine, we’ve known each other for 15 or 20 years. But, without the events, play dates, park outings, beach parties, we don’t see each other much any more.  Let’s call them “historical friends”.  I have 7 that I can think of right now.  Two who I see more often, maybe every couple of weeks.  Busy, we are all busy!

And then there are your furry friends!  Always up for a good cuddle, always there when you need someone to talk to, who won’t judge you, who won’t try and give you advice, and who love you no matter what!  Well, you gotta feed them, make sure they have water and a nice patch of grass, or in my case a nice clean box!  I have two, Oreo and Paws.  I’ll let you figure out which is which.  I mean seriously, some people are making a fortune playing on our emotions. The internet was creating solely for viewing cute cat videos, right?

Then you have your work friends, church friends, club friends, neighbors (they get a special name, I guess because you never know…) and many other types of people you see or know on sight.  I ran across this article,  4 Types of Friends where the author boils it down for us…must friends, trust friends, rust friends and just friends.  Pretty funny! My friend Marie is pretty rusty, just turned 93. She wanted a coconut cream pie. Wow! She lives on a fixed income, has no kids, is very hard of hearing, and is one of the most grateful people I know.

Don’t even get me started on the “verb” friend.  Friend is a noun, and if you do not participate in social media, that is as far as it goes.  I am proud to say that I do not have a Facebook page.  I do not look at anyone else’s Facebook page.  I do not chat, except at the grocery store with my “just friends”, nor do I snap, unless there is a really good tune playing on the radio!  I don’t do anything “instantly“, I move too slowly for that, what with the hammertoe and that pesky corn!  And, the only “gram” I frequent is in cracker format when making a pie. I do make a mean key lime pie…oops, I feel a tangent coming on! 

My point is that sometimes I feel lonely.  Sometimes, I feel like talking to someone and there is no one around.  Sometimes I feel sad and that no one cares.  But those are just feelings.  The joyful truth is that I have a whole bunch of people I know who would love to talk to me, who are probably feeling lonely too because they don’t think they have any “friends”.  Get over your fear, friends!  Fear of being rejected?  Fear of looking silly, needy, or fearful of being judged?  Well, get over it.  I reached out to a friend last night and she said yes!  She said, and I quote, “I love spending time with you.”  Gulp!  She’s a new friend, a good friend, and I know she has my back. 

Then there is my big sis!  I will admit, I am teary writing this.  She is so special.  She is always, and I mean, always, there for me.  She has been my cheerleader during this renaissance period.  She supports me even when she doesn’t agree with me.  And, she’s also joyfullyaging’s biggest fan.  She thinks I am “hilarious!”  Of course, she had to clarify that statement by noting that I am “not funny at all in person!”  Ouch!  She is my best friend.  She is my rusty, trusty, friend.  There will never be another friend like her.  I love you sis!

I end every day with a gratitude list.  Today I am grateful for:

My friends, all of them

My family, shout out to my big sis

My readers, shout out to my big sis, and you Michael! (Michael liked one of my posts!  Eeek!)

Have a joyful holiday weekend!


a walk in the park?

Joyfully Aging means that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  So, today, with my crazy feet (neuropathy, hammertoe, corn), and my bad back (bulging disc, sciatica, hip bursitis) I went for a walk.  Got new tennies, size 11 with the wide “toe bed”, didn’t know what that meant until I needed one, and a new item from the Dr. Scholl’s aisle.  It’s called the Tri Comfort Insole and nobody is paying me to talk about it.  So far so good!  I was also sporting my latest gadget for my hammertoe, the Gel Hammertoe Crutch and no, they are not paying me either.  This handy dandy device basically props up the toe that wants to grip without me telling it too.  Bad toe!!

Back to the walk.  Walking is now an exercise in mindfulness.  All this foot pain is God’s way of getting me to be more mindful. 

Mindfulness:  the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

And let me tell you, I am aware, very aware that I am walking.  It takes all my concentration to keep my balance, tuck my tail under and tighten my core, all while trying to maintain to the world that I am simply out for a stroll.  Of course, there is no foot traffic on my street, so unless my neighbors were all staring out their windows and snickering at me, I was the only one who was looking at me.  So self-centered! 

The lemonade part is that by walking more slowly, pretending to be looking at the yards, I saw things.  Flowers, a beautiful view, a couple of lizards.  I also experienced things, the sounds of bees, the wind blowing, the distant sound of traffic, and a few dogs, making their owners aware of my presence. 

Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

This is what my pain management team has been trying to get me to do, also some friends who are into that stuff and some other folks who I am involved with regarding spiritual matters.  According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is “paying full conscious attention to whatever thoughts, feelings and emotions are flowing through your mind, body and breath without judging or criticizing them in any way.”  The article goes on to say that mindfulness is about “understanding how the mind works. To see how it unwittingly ties itself in knots to create anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion.”

See, before the “crisis of consciousness” that I talked about in an earlier post, I was anxious, stressed out, unhappy and exhausted.  I judged myself and everyone I came into contact with, and I was filled with negative thoughts about myself and the world.  I came home from work each night and ate food, plopped myself down on the couch with the lights off, and watched Netflix for a few hours, relocated to my bed and slept till the next morning when it was time to do it all over again. 

Today I was able to take a walk, experience nature, accept my various aches and pains for what they are, inconvenient, uncomfortable, and, it could be worse!  My life today is based in gratitude, helping others, being mindful of myself and of others.  Today I try and enjoy each minute.  I try to see positivity anywhere I can.  Today I turn away from negativity and negative people. 

Today I am committed to being mindful.  How about you? 

Commitment: the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

cardboard boxes

hello my joyful friends,

today I decided to clean my son’s room.  My son, as you may have read in my earlier posts, is away, far away, at college.  I have been using his room as a dumping ground for my “stuff”.  All that stuff that doesn’t have a place to go, or, is in some sort of holding pattern.  Mostly, stuff for my MOW route, stuff I plan to relocate at a future time, crafts items (flowers stuff, canning stuff, and so much other miscellaneous stuff.  Not sure where all this stuff went before he left for college, but there it lies. 

One of those things was a huge pile of cardboard boxes.  First task was to break them down and take them to my office to put in the dumpster.  Many were from, gulp, Amazon, yes, I am a bad person.  I try, (“you do or you don’t, there is no try!” – that’s a future rant!) not to order from Amazon, but there are times when I do need things the next day.  For example, since there has been a nasty flu going around and people have been stockpiling items, I haven’t been able to find cat pan (aka-box) liners.  The other day I finally found some, bought them, and when I went to change the box, they were too small.  I went online looking for them and couldn’t find any near me.  I’m talking 15 mile radius! Of course, I did find some on Amazon, and they were delivered to me in 2 days (that nasty flu has been delaying deliveries as well!).  I mean, what was I to do? 

The second source of all these boxes was, saved boxes.  You know, that gift box you will use next Christmas, that box you might need for an Amazon return, that box that is the perfect size for…well, something, I’m sure of it! There were other mail order boxes (Hautelook – I’m looking at you!”), and the boxes that you saved in case you needed to return this valuable item, say the toaster ($15), the Instant Pot, the box from an Ipad I didn’t even still have? Steve knows how to make a really cool box!

So, I decided to break them down, all of them!  The second I told myself “I might NEED this one”, I grabbed the box cutter and broke it down. BTW, many boxes break down very nicely and could be stored for future use without taking up all that space.  No! Put the box down and walk away! states that “Cardboard is more biodegradable than plastic, but the problem is that consumers are poor recyclers. The Fibre Box Association contends that while 90 percent of corrugated packaging gets recycled, the leftover 10 percent still adds up.”  Forbes says “E-commerce packaging in the US uses the equivalent of 1 billion trees a year for cardboard alone. 

Something for us all to think about and to do something about! 

I am making a commitment to you, here and now, to not order anything off for one month! 

until we meet again,


commitment: an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.

who am I?

Hello my joyful friends,

Summer is upon us.  Back to school can’t be very far around the corner, right?  Well, my 21 year old son, came and went in the blink of an eye.  My recently (well, actually not so recently) returned home from college, 20 year old daughter, is leaving in less than 2 weeks.  Her return from school for spring break turned into a longer than anticipated stay due to a nasty flu going around that caused the country, nar I say, the world, to come to a screeching halt for a bit. 

Their time here has been an amazing journey for me.  It seems, I am unsure of who I am when my children are here.  This lack of certainty about my role in their lives as young adults led to some conflict, confusion, despair (on my part) and of course, in the end, joy.  When challenges arise in my life, it is a time of tumult, followed by a period of growth and learning, and in the end, the joy of newfound knowledge and a deeper understanding of who I am in the world. 

Who was I when my two adult (ahem…) children were home?  Was I their mother? The housekeeper? A counselor? A teacher? Or, their friend?  Or, quite possibly, the pain in the “you know what” lady that wouldn’t stop bugging them!  What was my role in their lives now that they were all grown up?  I tried on all those uniforms.  None of them fit quite right.  (I take that back, the housekeeper smock fit pretty darn well!) 

I had this need to “connect” with them.  My approach as a “friend” was usually met with dubiety.  When I tried to counsel my children the reaction was mixed.  If my timing was right it went pretty well.  If not, it was unpleasant at best.  The teacher?  That was a real problem.  I somehow got it in my head that I was there to teach them a lesson.  One night my daughter told me she was going to a friends house.  She eventually told me she’d been with a boy.  I got very upset and called her a liar.  She got very upset and stormed out of the house.  I figured she needed to understand that lying was wrong.  What I failed to understand, but she later explained to me, was, she told me a fib to avoid the inevitable questioning, probing, teasing that she may have had to endure if she’d told me where she really was going. She was probably right. 

Photo by cheptu00e9 cormani on

My son who is off at college much further away than his sister, doesn’t call me much.  At least not as much as I think he should.  For a long time I waited and waited by the phone for him to call.  He said he’d call me every Monday.  Ya, right.  So I’d wait two weeks and when we finally spoke, it was not about school, not about what he was up to, no.  It was about why hadn’t he called me.  He said he would and needed to know he was irresponsible.  Right?!  This went on for longer than I’d care to admit.  One day I had an epiphany.  My son was good at many things.  But, calling me wasn’t one of them.  He wasn’t a good “caller”.  So, I decided that when I wanted to speak to my son, I’d call him.  What a revelation! 

It turns out, I am, at best, their crash test dummy.  They get to try stuff out on me.  Stand me up for dinner, forget to call, tell me little white lies, and I don’t need to make them wrong.  They do not get punished harshly.  I brush myself off, I let it go, and sometimes I let them I let them know my feelings of hurt or sadness or even anger.  What am I to my kids?  I am now, and will always be their mother. My job is to love them unconditionally.  Period. 

Joy:  a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

Kids these days.

Hello my joyful friends,

It is the end of a hot summers weekend and I am, once again, in a contemplative mood.  And, you might ask, “What makes you contemplative today, Joy?”  Young people these days make me contemplative.  And, you might ask, “What does that have to do with aging, Joy?”  And I’d say, re-read that last sentence, “young people these days?”  Come on now, that sounds like my grandfather for goodness sakes.  Well, I didn’t really know my grandfather, but it sounds like an old person, and that person is me!  Yikes!

Recently I have observed young people, 20 somethings in particular, who seem dissatisfied, to put it mildly, with the status quo.  They are up in arms about a variety of societal woes, and with good reason.  America is about to vote for a new president and the choices are, their jovial grandfather and the grumpy old grandfather around the block. They see video after video showing young black men being brutally treated by policemen who are there to protect us from violence, not create such.  They see Hispanic children ripped from the arms of their mothers at the border.  They see mass shooting after mass shooting take place.  They see a president who is so out of touch with their issues and reality, truth be told, that they have decided the system has failed them. That would piss me off too. 

Me, being a 50 something year old woman, ah hem, was enlightened last year and volunteered tirelessly for a young man, unknown to many, who was running for the democratic nomination for president.  Obviously he didn’t make the cut.  But, I did get a glimpse of how it could be.  I worked with a group of women and men, young and old, black and white and all the shades in between, gay and straight, all with the goal of making a change.  And, what united us was a message of POSITIVITY!!  It was an incredible experience and I, who have never ever been involved in politics, was standing on street corners dancing and waving signs to try and get you to honk for my candidate! 

What is not such a positive message is that young voters did not show up to vote.  They did not show up to vote for Bernie Sanders, they did not show up for Andrew Yang, they did not show up for Pete Buttigieg (INSERT SMILEY FACE HERE!) (BOOT EDGE EDGE!!), they did not show up for Cory Booker or Marianne Williamson.  They did not show up, period. 

So, the jovial grandfather wins the democratic nomination, and he’ll battle the mean spirited Mr. Trump who’s platform, many say, is a smoke screen for a message that’s based in fear, anxiety, conspiracy and suspicion.  That young people are deeply frustrated with their choices, is understandable.  Could they have made a difference had they shown up to vote in the democratic primary in 2020?  We will never know.

I am not an expert in the area of racial injustice, immigration, income inequality, or gun control. But I do know these things are tremendously important to young and old alike.  I do know that something big needs to happen to turn our country from divided to united.  I do know that we need young people to stand up and vote.  I do know that young people have the greatest stake in the future.  Every election is determined by the people who show up. 

Spark: something that sets off a sudden force

Cleaning house.

Hello my joyful friends,

Quite the cliff hanger last week, huh?

I mean, was it really that serious?  What was so wrong with trying to “help” someone change for the better.  I guess that  all depends on whose “better” we are talking about.  And, what did all of this have to do with my back anyway?  More on that in a bit.  All I knew then was I needed to stop trying to change my Mother.  I was 57 years old at the time for goodness sake.  She was my Mother, the good, the bad, and all the things in the middle.  She once told me that people are like presents, some have pretty bows and paper, but all of us eventually end up a little ripped and torn.  It was time for me to let her be.  To let her be who she was.  But, quitting a bad habit isn’t easy.  She had helped me “quit” by asking me to leave her alone.  But how was I going to “stay quit?”

Sort of by accident, I got busy, really busy.  With alcoholics, many have what they call a pink cloud when they first quit drinking, a period of time when everything in the world is beautiful, when they are happy, and seemingly without a care.  I suddenly felt that. I felt a surge of energy.  I used to come home after work and turn on Netflix for four hours then go to bed. 

Coincidentally, (I don’t believe in coincidences by the way) I had watched a series that stars a young Japanese woman who helps families get their homes, and in turn, their lives, in order. The timing was perfect. With all that energy I cleaned my house.  I mean, really cleaned.  I “tidied up” my bedroom closet, then my other closet, then my dresser, you get the picture.  The philosophy was simple. If a piece of clothing, didn’t “spark joy”, I thanked it for serving me well, then got rid of it.  I am ashamed to admit that I had a drawer that contained, and I am not kidding, 92 camisole tops.  Yes, 92!  A rainbow of silly little tops that I picked up at one store after another, $3 bucks, such a deal.  Now, that’s insanity.  I only had one house, and let me tell you, it was clean like it never had been before.  I was in it to win it! 

Something about cleaning house, about understanding what sparked joy for me and what didn’t. It had a huge impact on my life, my beliefs, how I was, in the world. But, what now? 


Spark: to set off in a burst of activity

seriously, though.

hello my joyful friends,

Putting pen to paper again.  I’m in a contemplative mood today.  In my previous two posts, as in life, I tend to joke or tell “funny” stories to avoid talking about serious things.  Truth be told, my back pain led to a major crisis of consciousness, a realization that something I had spend most of my adult life doing was no longer working for me.  The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  That was me.

What happened that day is really irrelevant.  You kind of had to be there, you had to live it.  As with most crises, it required a change on my part. For me, change is a four letter word.  I prefer it never be uttered in reference to me.  I like routine; I like things to be the same all the time.  I have lived in the same house for almost 30 years, have had the same job for over 30 years, and always buy my cars new. I’m obviously not much of an adventurer. I don’t “fly by the seat of my pants”.  I fly by making reservations after much thought, knowing where I am going, knowing I have reservations at a comfortable hotel with air conditioning when I get there. 

So, this “crisis”, required me to stop trying to change someone into what I thought they should be.  It meant accepting wholeheartedly that this person wasn’t going to change.  Nothing I could do, say, suggest, demand, recommend, encourage, request, insist on, was going to get this person to change into the person I thought they should be.  How totally self-centered is that?  Who am I to demand someone be other than who they are? The event that precipitated my “crisis” also prompted this person to ask me not to contact them anymore.  They needed space, time.  And, apparently, the thing I had not been able to do on my own, separate from this person, had been done for me. 

But, what now?  This was a person I was very close to.  Should I be sad?  Should I be happy?  So, what happened next?  A spiritual awakening.  I had, “hit bottom” with my insane behavior.  Alcoholics do this.  They try over and over to quit drinking without success, the insanity, and some, the lucky ones, hit bottom.  Some calamity, the loss of a job, the request for a divorce from a spouse, a DUI, or worse.  This is the “a ha” moment for them.  The moment they realize that they are powerless over alcohol and their life is unmanageable. Many have a spiritual awakening. Many are able to quit drinking and stay quit.  Staying quit is the hard part. 

So, how was I going to “stay quit”?  How was I going to give up this life long (no joke) quest to create the perfect Mother?  This, my joyful friends, is no laughing matter. 

ta ta for now,


spark: something burning that flies out of a fire

Let them eat cake.

Hello my joyful friends.

Another birthday has passed.  Fitting, right?  Started a blog on aging and now, gulp, another year older.  I am debating on telling you all how old I am.  Let me know if anything over 50 really matters anyway.  I’m thinking 49 from now on.  Period, end of discussion!

By Joy

I had a joy-filled 4th of July weekend.  Of course, went to the requisite barbeque and ate the obligatory rib.  It was delicious.  Small COVID-19 compliant gathering.  Two couples and me.  Then, my birthday and dinner with recently returned home from college, 20 year old daughter, and 21 year old son.   It was wonderful. 

So, more about aging.  If you are an older adult, I’m pretty sure I am, and are in pain, which I am, it is usually lower back pain, and mine is.  Did you know that 90%, yes, 90% of people over the age of 60, have disc degeneration in their spines?  There are lots of reasons this happens and lots of ways to prevent it, although by the time you find this out, it is probably too late.  I found this out at the end of 2018. 

Got a Fitbit for Christmas (thanks, recently returned home from college daughter!) and joined Noom (am I allowed to say the name of a weight loss app?).  My newfound virtual coach suggested setting goals. So, mine was steps.  How many steps did I walk in a day?  Around 5,000, which sounded like a lot to me, I was a bit of a couch potato at the time.  It turns out, I can take a lot more steps than that.  Cut to the chase, I showed that lady I was up to the challenge, 12,000 steps in a day?  Piece ‘o cake.

That’s when things started to go sideways. Hills is what did me in.  All that climbing caused my hip flexors to shorted, and that caused my back to start hurting.  After a year of scanning, poking, prodding, advice giving, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, I tried it all (except pain pills…not going down that road!), it seems there is no cure for my condition.  I have arthritis that is causing a narrowing of the sciatic nerve canal.  Don’t quote me on that.  I’m no doctor, although at this point in time, at my advanced age of 49 (again!) I feel like it. 

You may ask, “What is joyful about that?!”  Well, I’ll tell you about all the amazing things that happened to me as a result of my back pain in future posts.  I read an article about “10 ways to Get More People to Read Your Blog” and she said a lot of things, most of which I don’t know how to do like, a hashtag, or Instagram, or even a live video?!  So, I’ll just keep blogging, because the number one reason she gave was to update you regularly, so that’s the plan. 

Ta ta for now.


Spark: to start a fire

Here goes nuthin.

Hello my joyful friends,

Shout out to all the bloggers, writers, and procrastinators! Today I am joining the ranks of the millions of bloggers out there.  A year ago I knew what a blog was; at least I thought I did.  I’m a middle-aged, empty nester.  And, I love it.  At least I was until my daughter came home from college for spring break and never left.  There is a nasty flu going around and it has caused the country, nar I say, the world, to come to a screeching halt. 

See, that’s my problem.  Tangents!  I go off on a tangent and forget what I was trying to say.  Today, I am a blogger.  I set aside an hour of time to blog.  This is my third session.  These are the first 130 words I’ve written.  Day one the tangent was, reading about blogging, and then finding a domain.  2.5 hours later I own  Self explanatory I hope, “I am aging joyfully!” (“I am” affirmation!).  I feel the pull of the tangent, but am righting the course…day two was “mapping my domain to the host” which isn’t as easy as it sounds, well, actually it sounds hard to me.  1.5 hours.  Still, no words on paper.

Day three – 1 hour spent “chatting” with my domain site trying to get the “mapping” right.  Oh lordy!  The good news is that, today, at this moment in time, I AM A BLOGGER!  Yay me!  My birthday, “gulp” is on Sunday so happy birthday to me!

So, what am I blogging about?  My favorite topic, me!  I AM totally self centered and think my experiences, thoughts, insights, are completely appropriate to share with the world.  Specifically, I’ll be talking, blogging, writing, whatever, about my experience with growing old.  And, my attempt to do so with joyful enthusiasm.  I mean really, if we don’t laugh we’ll cry!  Right? 

I’ll tell you the exact moment I knew I needed to be a blogger.  I am experiencing signs of aging, (we’ll talk more about that later), and in this particular instance I decided to visit my local drug store in search of something to make my toe better.  This would be my second visit within a few weeks, to find something to cure an ailment on my foot.  The first, visit a few weeks earlier, was for a blister I had on the outside of my pinky toe.  It just wouldn’t go away and hurt like hell.  (Am I, a blogger, allowed to say “hell”?) So I spotted this little round cushion with a hole in the middle of it, and I thought “Perfect!”  Then I saw that this cute little doohickey was for corns!!!???!!!  I had a corn??!!  No, no, no…corns are what old people have, right?  But, onward and upward, I’ve been treating the corn for a week or two now, it’s a little better. 

That day, (yes, the day realized I had to be a blogger, try and keep up people!) I wanted to see if there was anything to help the discomfort of this weird thickening of the nail on the toe right next to the big toe on the same foot. As I strolled down the foot care aisle, again, I saw this little thingamajig that would prop my toe up so it didn’t point down in my shoe where that callous was on the end of my toe.  This device was for, wait for it, oh God, no, it can’t be…a HAMMERTOE!  What the hell! (I’m just gonna keep saying it when appropriate, my apologies to all who are offended)  Yes, it appears I have a hammertoe. 

Now, I know you are wondering how my stroll down the foot care aisle, and subsequent thought to purchase stock in Dr. Scholl’s, (Private Company – drat!) led to my blog.  Here’s the truth, as embarrassing as it is.  I was driving home from the drug store that day, practicing, yes practicing, in my head, the hysterically funny story I was going to tell my recently returned home from college, 20 year old daughter, about the hammertoe.  Yes, a story about my hammertoe!  An “aha” moment if there ever was one. 

More will be revealed in time.

Ta ta for now!


Spark: a very small bit of something