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and the seasons they go round and round.

By November 5, 20154 Comments

speed 1 “After Halloween it’s a downhill slide to the holidays.”  I’ve said that for years.  Now, I can add, after turning 70, it’s a downhill slide to 75.  These days, I’ve become more preoccupied with the 3/4 century mark.

This decade of my life is just going too damn fast. I’m now making some accomodations for my shortness of breath from copd, and it’s making me feel old. (older?)  I stopped going to zumba several months ago because I got too short winded. Excercise, some days, is simply not an option. Having been very physical all my life, I don’t like it.  How to accept the new reality and not give up too much?  I’m working on that one. My guess is that will be an increasing challenge in the coming years.

There’s nothing new to the observation  that time seems to speed up the older you get.  What’s changed for me, is that time seems to be in damn overdrive these days.  Someone’s put the pedal to the metal. I want to scream at the driver to slow down.

Speed can be exhilarating, but it also can be scary because of feeling out-of-control.

out of control

I’m familiar with the old shibboleth that advancing age allows us to value each day more. That’s obvious, but hardly satisfying.

I recently read that some wise person, or person who thought they were wise, would start each day by asking himself, “How would I live this day if I knew it were my last?”  This produces the same mind stop as the Buddhist monk greeting, “Remember you’re dying.” It separates the wheat from the chaff, but is a little too confrontational for my taste.  Maybe this concept needs to be experienced gingerly and gently, like entering an unfamiliar dark room.

I’ve always considered myself a realist. I like to think I look clearly at what’s so.  Why go through life in denial?  Sooner or later, one should confront the Truth, or it will bite  your not so little butt.  But then, maybe there’s something to be said for Denial.


I decided at 69 that I would not hide the fact that I was turning 70. I really felt no different physically.   Now at 74, I’m a little taken back that I really have begun to feel “older.”   Maybe I’m finally transitioning from prolonged middle age?

It doesn’t seem productive to remember the days when everything physical came easily.  On the other hand, I know very well that turning 75 is a privilege not afforded to many, and I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.  Coming to terms with the changes that accompany aging seems to be my next challenge.  Just maybe, if I’m successful and lucky, it will be the most gratifying.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Nancy Felson says:

    Dianne and other Septuagints,
    Finding some alternatives to past activities — for me that’s the key. Can you do Pilates (if not Zumba)? I’m having such results from that. Of course I don’t have the shortness of breath. Pilates and yoga and a bit of bike-riding and walking — key to my continuing good spirits. And the possibility of spending 2/3 of the year in NYC.
    Eager to see you!!

  • Sally Terrell says:

    Love the way you articulate your observations.

  • Eleanor Moriarty says:

    OCEAN nor oven. Although hummm if ones health is lousy maybe oven is more appropriate. Hey we need to meet up this year ?????. Shame on us

  • Eleanor Moriarty says:

    Ok so I hit that 75 as you know in August. I am of course finally in denial and will chosen to be. I will struggle with limbs.lungs and longivity as all of us do. Forget the stuff about “if you.knew this would be your last day” so what D if we mid-sentence. At least we were still speaking and thinking and feeling. I took a dive in the oven in Maine for my 75th under a full moon and stars. Go celebrate with your wild child self. And Zumba??????really. Good grief woman that is intense

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