These are awesome!
This forest can be found in Northern Spain, however, the forest will only take on the heart shape when viewed from this angle.
Gutierrez Lake, Patagonia
A tree covered island in Argentina; best viewed from the East side of Gutierrez Lake.
Guandu Nature Park, Taiwan
Situated in Taipei City, this nature park has this heart-shaped wetland.
A heart-shaped island paradise just off the coast of Viti Levu surrounded by coral reef. (It’s also home to a beautiful resort.)
Just south of Zadar in Croatia, this island measures just 1/2 kilometre at its widest point and must be reached by boat.
A perfectly heart-shaped lake can be found near Columbia Hills Corners in Ohio, but not much else is known about this curious feature. It seems to be part of a private residence.
Voh, New Caledonia
Probably the most well-known heart-shaped piece of land is this incredible mangrove in New Caledonia, made famous by aerial photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand and featured on the front cover of his book, Earth From Above.
Itself a major tourist attraction, the lake near the top of Chembra Peak in India is said to have never dried up. Apparently over 150 people pass the lake every day during the 3km journey to the top.
Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays
Heart Reef is a naturally formed, heart-shaped collection of coral in Australia.
Blogging is like the modern day lemonade stand. Low cost start up, lots of competition, location and marketing is everything.
I started my blog because I wanted to write. Correction. I couldn’t not write anymore -- and I needed a place to throw it all up. So 12 years after college I started over.
But I’ve learned that while I originally wanted my blog to serve as an online writing portfolio, blogging is so much more. In fact, a good blogger is not necessarily a good writer (see PerezHilton.com). I tried to pick a priority. First I tried blogging. I liked it. I unleashed heartseverywhere everywhere. Then I realized I wasn’t writing anymore. I was cross-posting and reading other blogs. I hadn’t even began the commenting bit.
You have to comment on other people’s sites to get recognition, cross-link, be all over the place. Drop your thread onto as many sites as possible. Increase your visibility. Get more keywords. Track the keywords. More comments. More links. More keywords.
So I switched the focus to writing. But then I was putting up writing that no one was seeing. Shit. The dilemma.
So now I’m trying to do both.
Never before has marketing been so free. It’s all I could have dreamed of. To grow my business, I merely needed to mouth off all over the place. I had to give my two cents to anyone and everyone because everyone wants comments. Give them and get them. It’s a comments orgy all over the Blogosphere.
It’s Blogerific! People who didn’t before, now have a community – like an online sorority. The blog could be a friend, a social crutch, freedom from insanity. It’s public therapy, an open journal, an open photo album, your podium to the world.
I thought it might be interesting to start a blog for the very purpose of seeing how big I could make it; pick a topic even if it’s not of interest me and promote the shit out of it. Like a social experiment – just because (I didn’t have a job). Comment on anywhere and everywhere that relates to that topic. Blog like it’s my JOB. Sell my soul to the Web demons.
Or I guess I could stick to being me. Out of the billions on the Internet, isn’t there a group that will like me for my boring, weird, funny, ironic, sarcastic, better you than me kind of way?
I met a boy, a man, a friend;
I knew his face but not his name.
I recognized his eyes;
the man behind the clown.
The clown gave me a heart balloon.
The man gave me his name.
He gave me his love.
I gave him my heart, my soul, my days.
He didn’t guarantee the balloon wouldn’t pop
or that it wouldn’t deflate.
But it didn’t.
Our eyes made promises,
our touch fulfilled them.
It was poetic, romantic, a dream.
We flew, cushioned on its magical air.
We soared through trees and bounced on clouds.
We found rainbows, we saw sunsets.
On the grass, the sand, the rocks -
in the skies and deep underground.
We created a fantasy, a fairytale,
Our heart started beating.
All from one heart balloon.
Truthfully it was Antonio Banderas' new commercial that got this song stuck in my head. The Pussycat Dolls have a much hipper version. Michael Buble has a more traditional version. Both have parked their way into my 'I can't get it out of my head' slot.
"Sway" is the English version of "¿Quién será?", a 1953 mambo song by Mexican composer and bandleader Pablo Beltrán Ruiz. In 1954 the English lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel and recorded by Dean Martin (his recording reached number fifteen on the Billboard magazine best-seller chart. Since then the song has been recorded and remixed by many artists. The English version begins: "When marimba rhythms start to play, dance with me, make me sway". Mexican version begins: "Quien será el que me quiere a mi? Quien será?, quien será?".
9/11 as a number, when spoken out loud, has become redefined. For most Americans, visually 9-1-1 has always symbolized emergency. After September 11th, 2001, 9/11 represented a day that surpassed emergency.
It became a day I wouldn’t forget as it happened in real time. Soon it evolved into my generation’s JFK question: “Where were you on 9/11?”
I remember the day in bits of pieces, blurred by the tears. I cried for the victims, for the city, for the country, for the state of human race, for our future. I remember being afraid, as if it was hyper-real and I was watching it from above.
I walked across town to work beneath a sun-filled sky. I stopped at Starbucks for my decaf and my cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. I never tasted the bagel that morning.
I barely started clicking through my morning emails when my co-worker started gasping and shouting out loud about the first plane. Her ex-husband had worked at Cantor Fitzgerald.
We tried to keep up with the alerts on the computer but this was before streaming video was good enough. We tried calling those at home for TV updates. We tried to tune the radios into something audible. The sirens wailed outside. The phones were unusable – a constant busy sound. There was panic even in the dial tone.
I was living through an exaggerated action movie. The first tower fell. The second tower fell. They were closing all the bridges and tunnels; all the airports. A plane crashes in Pennsylvania. We sat afraid of the next announcement – what was going to be next?
I didn’t trust anything I was hearing and like most of the world, I hovered in a state of disbelief, shock and sadness. Carrying a 10-week pregnancy that no one knew about, I wondered about the new world my child would now know.
Everyone has their version of the morning’s perfect weather, where they were headed, what they ate for breakfast, where they were glued to the TVs. Images that have become immortalized onto our brains. Planes crashing, towers falling, epic rescues. The uniformed officers, the unnamed victims, the unexpected heroes.
At work we huddled; a family forced together by a funeral. We bonded by virtue of experiencing the event together; watching a historic tragedy unfold before our eyes. We abandoned the office by mid-morning after all of the planes stopped crashing.
Six of my co-workers and I went to a local bar to watch the day’s events unfold. We were frozen; some of us were stuck in the city, some of us were stuck from getting out of the city. Some wanted to give blood, some wanted to go downtown, we all wanted to do something.
It was about 5pm when my group decided to split up and try to get home. It was easy for me – I had to walk from 40th street and 9th avenue to 27th street and 3rd avenue. My only concern was that I had to walk by the Empire State Building. I remember that being a valid concern. I was afraid that they might target it next. I remember waiting until enough time had gone by for them to land all the airplanes.
I lived across the street from the Park Avenue Armory, where people were directed to report so that they could register their missing relatives and family. They were ordered to bring in hairbrushes, toothbrushes; anything from which they could pull DNA. In the days that followed I would come downstairs to news trucks with satellite dishes on their roofs. I used to walk the dog around the corner and see the countless screaming, crying, disbelieving, hopeful souls.
There were posters, pictures, flyers, signs everywhere. On brick buildings, on glass buildings, in store fronts, on lamp posts, on fences, on street signs. The signs were silent but they pled to us. “Did you see my dad? Have you seen my mom? Last seen in Tower 2 … ”
I had resigned to their deaths but the sign hangers were still thinking they would find loved ones wandering around confused in the streets of Manhattan. The sheer hope they felt was the polar opposite from anything I was feeling. Like magnets on either sides, the more they hoped, the sadder I got.
This surreal experience would warrant an arduous healing process. A city in mourning, we had lost so many and had left countless others grieving. New Yorkers are all connected, we all knew someone or knew someone who knew someone that was in the Towers, or in the area, or on their way to the area. It could have been any of us. We all replayed in our minds the last time we were there. Downtown. In the Towers. We all thanked any higher power that it wasn’t us.
New York City was understandably different after 9/11.
The volume had changed; people were whispering over the hush of death in the air.
Our appearance had changed; the face of our city was broken. We lit candles and made impromptu tributes out of pictures, flags, pins, flowers. Every firehouse became a memorial.
We felt different. We were kinder. We were more humble and more giving. We volunteered. We were more nationalistic and more understanding. We had a common enemy, a common anger, a shared pain. We became both more aware and more apprehensive of the world around us. More fearful and more educated.
Fear is a weakening thought; without it the terrorists wouldn’t have had a playing field. By instilling fear in us, they have trumped us – converted their terrorizing bishops into kings – because we gave them the power to do so.
Two years later I found myself at a new job in a high rise building in midtown, not far from the United Nations Building. I had a windowed office looking out onto 42nd Street. Since we were close to the East River, I saw my share of airplanes from my window. I never understood why they allowed planes to fly over the city again, but by the same token I didn’t want the city to become a slave to terrorist fears. Nonetheless, every time I saw a plane coming too low, too close, too fast … my heart skipped a beat and I held my breath.
It was about one in the afternoon when the fire alarm went off. We waited for the announcement that usually followed. Instead of the typical “please ignore the testing of the fire alarm system,” we got “PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!” No one questioned it. We gathered our bags as fast as we could and galloped our way down 14 flights of steps, each flight increasing our heartbeats, each flight closer to safety. The fear was palpable, like a thickness in the air. We exited the building through a side entrance and sprinted as far as possible from the building.
It turned out to be an unattended attaché case with an ipod wire sticking out. They thought bomb. I don’t mind how many times they have to cry wolf, I was running out each and every time.
I lie in Central Park, my body sinking deeper and deeper in the late summer thick grass. My eyes are closed tightly but I’m staring into the sun to see the psychedelic patterns and colors. I hear the hum of an airplane, and then feel the shadow of the plane over the sun. I squint my eyes open and see the plane flying overhead. I take a breath and hold it until it passes.
I don’t think that I have post-9/11 syndrome. It’s not exactly a post-traumatic syndrome.
Life is traumatic and after any such experience we live differently. Like a child who discovers for the first time that their parents are fallible, we discovered as a nation that our country wasn’t perfect.
There are many countries whose citizens exist with a consistent overwhelming dread of war over their heads. Americans, however, are born with our freedom. We don’t know or expect anything else. It’s our right, our privilege, something we often take for granted.
To some, 9/11 created a new way of existence. My mother does not leave the house on 9/11; it’s her personal way of remembering the day. For me, 9/11 was like a vaccine. Every year I go directly to the site of the accident and remember what was there; visit the grave that doesn’t formally exist. I am not afraid of the day, for I feel that I have gotten my little dose – my immunization from the terror.
But it’s just as well; we are growing a new post-9/11 generation. A generation that isn’t ingrained with that fear. A generation that will look at the gaping hole in the ground and not see it as a grave, but as a construction zone. This generation will know a new skyline of Manhattan – with a soaring new Freedom Tower. They do not miss the skyline that was – the skyline that became celebrated in countless movies and pictures.
Remembering the day still feels like watching a succession of tragic images through a virtual View-Master. We were forced together as New Yorkers, as Americans, as victims, as survivors – and we bonded over a shared human pain. Together we watched as our city (and our country) took a beating.
But rock-by-rock, person-by-person, steel beam by steal beam, we cleaned out the death and replaced it with promise, with hope, with future.
There are days in our lives that are extraordinary to all of us. Monumental days like the day we met the love of our live; the day our children were born; the day we finally got to wear the cap and gown. But 9/11 became a collective memory. A day when everyone knew someone … and everyone was someone to you. The day American united.
A few years ago I started seeing hearts everywhere. Not just on the necklace I wore with three little silver hearts and not just dangling from my keychain.
Hearts exploded around the world: glass hearts in Venice; hearts on telephone poles in Amsterdam; chocolate hearts in Brussels. Little girls had hearts on their shirts and on the barrettes in their hair; their grandmothers had antique heart brooches and hearts were embroidered into their purses. Hearts adorned the storefronts of boutiques in SoHo and were graffitied on the bodegas of Spanish Harlem.
They were also in the clouds, in the trees, in the shadows, in flower petals, in cut strawberries. It seemed that nature was in alignment with the people. (Or was it the other way around?)
Once I started looking, I saw them everywhere.
The heart is our spiritual, emotional and moral core. The heart symbolizes love. And Life. Our world is stamped in this symbol. A symbol that represents, demonstrates, decorates.
I realized that looking for hearts made me smile; it was a small bit of happiness and I took it. As I traveled it evolved into a hobby – my own little sociological anthropological heart-ological study. Wherever I traveled, I saw them. Humans are obsessed with love and hearts brand it everywhere.
I turned my six-year-old son into looking for hearts. It made him look at life around us differently. He started to look more carefully at the trees, at the flower petals, at store windows, at signs. He wasn’t just passing life by – he was capturing every bit, relishing in the decorations all over our world. It seemed like such a happy thing.
One day maybe you will cut an apple open and notice the heart shaped formed by the pits. Maybe your phone cord will fall into the shape of a heart or you’ll see a heart with initials in it carved into a tree. Maybe you’ll smile. I say pass it on.
Here is your horoscope for Friday, December 12:
If you can make it to a party today, you should be in your element. Throw one if you have to, because you need that social stimulation to really feel as if things are on the right track for you.Not that I need justification from the stars - but hey, who doesn't want to legitimize boozing?
Ironically - or not so much - I have not one, but two parties tonight. Crazy!
We had our first parent-teacher conference of the first grade today. Jake got raving reviews!
The Grade One Report summary starts with:
"Jacob is a happy go lucky little boy who loves school. His transition to the academic expectations of the first grade has been a smooth one. He is a bright child who approaches his assignments with confidence."It goes on to give details about his reading fluency, his obsession with Star Wars and how much he loves math. Regarding the subject of writing:
"As an emergent writer, Jacob is comfortable expressing his thoughts on papers. He has an active imagination and enjoys the brainstorming process."Yeah - you think?
Here are two stories Jake had me transcribe for him this morning. It was part of a series he titled "How to Kill People - Lego People"
How To Kill The Skeleton That Doesn’t Die
This skeleton never dies because he’s already dead. So here’s a few rules to be careful about. First he has two thorns. Then he has so many bones it’s hard to count so he may break his ribs off and hit you with them and you’ll die.
Here’s how you kill him. You take the red thing off the top of his head. It’s hard to do because he won’t let you do it with his thorns. The only way to kill him is to chop off his little red thing on top with a lightsaber or a sword or a really big gun. Then his head will pop off. Then fire will come out of his neck and his arms will pop off and he’ll drop his thorns and boom, he’ll die.
How Do You Kill Bane
It’s pretty easy to kill Bane but it’s pretty hard also. First all you have to do is cut the tubes on the back of his head and back then it will just explode but it is hard to do that. He won’t let you because he has a big gun and is very strong also.
Here’s a few rules to kill Bane:
- First get a big lightsaber or sword or gun
- Then shoot the gun at his back. He might block it away with his elbow or just turn around and block it with his chest.
- The easiest way is to sneak up on him, get out the sword and swing at his tubes.
- The hardest way is to get the lightsaber, swing, he’ll shoot at you, you’ll block with the lightsaber, you’ll swing with the sword, knock the gun out of his hand, chop his legs off with is lightsaber, chop his head off, dead.
How's that for an emergent writer?
I was walking near Lincoln Center about a week after I got fired. The weather was glorious and I felt like every breath I took brought me higher and higher. I wanted to hug everyone harder and harder. I had a glow. I was in love with every morsel of life and I finally had time to taste every bite.
My six-year-old son and I were skipping down the Upper West Side when I noticed a familiar face walking beside me. It was Mr. G, a seasoned weatherman (couldn’t resist the pun). I don’t watch the weather, but I recognized him because we worked in the same building – the Superman Building. He noticed me on this day as he had noticed me on other days in our lobby over the years. He gave me his standard smirk and partial elevator eyes.
“I know you,” I blurted out. I don’t know what came over me. It drugged me, this newly found euphoria. “You used to work in my building.” I added. “But I don’t work there anymore. They fired me last week. Just like that. Can you believe it? Fifteen minutes of bullshit and I get back to my desk to find my computer and phone disconnected. My ID card disarmed.”
I’m not sure why I felt compelled to tell this weatherman my story. It seemed I needed to tell anyone who would listen.
“I like your energy,” he said. “I think you’ll be fine. Besides,” he said, pointing to my son, “he looks like he could take care of you.”
“I’m great!” I smiled and my son and I continued on our way. My street therapy led me to a happy realization. In exchange for a paycheck, I was given the magnificent gift of time – my time. I was entitled and I was bestowed.
Finally, I wasn’t in a hurry. (And in New York City – that alone is a feat.) Finally, I didn’t feel like a sand granule falling down an hourglass – struggling with, for, and against time. I found time to be kinder and I let people go in front of me on the bus. I didn’t care if someone was late; I didn’t mind waiting for the subway. I smiled brighter.
I grew more patient – with my son, my friends, strangers. Nothing seemed to bother me, but while I basked in every second of this bliss, I knew it was fleeting. This sensation had its own hourglass. Nothing lasted forever. I knew eventually I’d get anxious. I knew the Reality Sprite would show his ugly face and steal my exaggerated grin. Everything would balance out.
I didn’t realize that I had to cut a piece away to make me feel more whole.
Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought discussing the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings meant to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and traditional Rabbinic literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.
While I am not a devoted follower, I do subscribe to certain elements of kabbalism. I also believe in the evil eye and yes I have been wearing a red bracelet for years. I'm not sure if it works but I get nervous when I don't have it.
I get this Daily Kabbalah Tune Up and it is often more introspective and inspirational than a horoscope. I thought today's was especially poignant. For me - and anyone.
Dreams are vitally important to our existence. They're not just fantasies that are meant to entertain us as we live out our days monotonously. Rather they're our greatest potential whispering to us and motivating us to reveal that potential in the world.
Unfortunately, most of us abandon our dreams in childhood. Settling for what we think life is supposed to be, rather than what we dream it can be. We lose the enthusiasm and motivation for our greatest goals, and stop even daring ourselves to think of such things.
Today, remember this: everything starts with a thought. Allow yourself to cook up the infinite ways in which you can be happy and successful. Fantasize with the intent of activating these deep desires and allow these universal forces inside you to unfold.
I put off writing the ABOUT ME section of my blog for a long time. Partly because the Me changes so often. Partly because I don’t know how to stop once I start writing (especially about Moi). I tried to write a bio-type blurb and 5 pages of narcissistic crap came out. So I started a memoir.
In the meantime I feel like I owe my visitors some semblance of imagery for the girl who spews a lot of randomness (yes I still call myself a girl). But it’s this collection of notated randomness that has defined the life I’ve lived so far and the opinions I’ve crafted so far. I change as life changes.
That said, I’m adding a disclaimer that this document is organic, dynamic and guaranteed to change.
So until my scandalous revealing book comes out, here is an arbitrary list of things ABOUT ME:
- I have a six-year-old son who is the love of my life. He calls me the life of his love. I call that success.
- My favorite number is 8. 2008, however was one of the hardest years of my life. Go figure.
- My mother, father and I immigrated to Queens in 1979 via Austria and Italy. It sounds glamorous but it was far from it.
- Forest Hills, Queens was my first American home. Had I went to high school there, I would have gone to the same high school as Simon and Garfunkel. Instead we moved to Staten Island. No one famous went to Susan Wagner High School but I think we had a kick-ass football team. I wouldn’t know; I didn’t participate much in the whole high school thing.
- I was afraid of dogs as a child. My father forced me to get over it. Then he got me a dog for my 12th birthday. A mastiff. She weighed 155 pounds - which is right about what I weighed in high school (I'm 5'2").
- I have lost 35 pounds since then. Mostly because I stopped eating Peanut M&Ms and Bar Nones (now only made in Mexico) for lunch. I also stopped having platters after school. Platters were a plate of full fat tortilla chips covered in about half a block of Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese. Nuked for a minute. Deliciousness. But no more. I also started moving off the couch.
- The entire time I lived in Staten Island my father owned and operated a donut shop. It was called Time Out for Donuts. It was a bit of a misnomer since we served eggs, hamburgers and hot turkey sandwich-like stuff too. Yes, this could have contributed to the 35 extra pounds.
- My Russian name sounds like I’m a famous ballerina. My mother, however, clearly brought us up with the notion that being a ballerina was the most far-fetched idea in the world. For example, “____. Yeah, and I’m a ballerina.”
- I unconditionally love New York City. I like to think it’s mutual.
- When I think of favorite TV shows, I still think back to Family Ties, China Beach and thirtysomething. I love a good medical drama but I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy. I stopped at the ninth season of er. Not sure why I never got hooked on the kids stuff.
- I don’t like shoes. All the pretty ones are uncomfortable. I’m holding a grudge.
- I’m not sure why women buy lots of purses. I think it’s annoying to constantly repack the purse.
- I don’t like to keep things in my pockets.
- I love make up. I wear mostly black clothing but get rainbowlicious with eye make up – all Mac, nothing but Mac.
- My son attends a fancy private school in Manhattan. I don’t fit in with the mommies. In his preschool class I was the only divorced parent. I’m waiting for the fourth grade when I heard it balances out.
- I don’t like mustard or butter, although I will use butter in baking, I will never put it on bread.
- I have been a fishetarian for the last 16 years.
- I learned to order food from Sally in When Harry Met Sally.
- I have two visible scars. One on my neck from a partial thyroidectomy and one on my philtrum from when my dog barked at me and my face got in the way. To her defense I was hitting her on the nose with a silly putty egg she had stolen from me. Also to her defense, she was groggy from medicine. To my defense, it was 12 stitches and it’s my FACE!
- I have two tattoos (scars by choice, I like to say). One on my lower back – a sun with a Chinese character in the middle that means big sister. Within the rays of the sun are my initials and my sister’s initials. She has an identical tattoo with the exception of her middle symbol which means little sister. My second tattoo is on my UPA (Upper P***y Area), left side; a low bikini shows half of it. It’s a lyrical heart that doesn’t close entirely at the bottom. My son’s initials are at the bottom. Both tattoos are black, red and yellow.
- I doodle a lot. I like to think that I’m an artist that never learned to draw so I doodle letters, words, interlocking squares, my name.
- Penmanship was my favorite subject. In high school I got a typing award. I still like my handwriting, but I prefer to type.
- I love non-ballpoint colored pens. Pink, purple, green – anything other than boring black.
- I guiltlessly love the smell of rubber cement.
- I hope to one day do the Amazing Race with my sister.
- I spent the last 4+ years working for a recruitment advertising agency. It’s just like a regular advertising agency, except instead of promoting Coca Cola as a great soda, we promote a company as a great place to work. What this means is that we wrote fancy help wanted ads for jobs no one wanted. We also gave a lot of money to Monster and CareerBuilder on our clients behalf.
- The job, however, that prepared me most for life – and interacting with people – was working at the donut shop from the time I was 12 to when I went to college. I hated every day of it. I did, however, learn to make awesome home fries and perfect eggs over easy. I also learned to always say THANK YOU to customers. To this day, I maintain that a coffee regular is milk and two sugars.
- If money were no object, I would travel around the world taking photos, writing and getting massages every week.
- I would also have a personal shopper because I hate to shop.
- I was born in the year of the Tiger and I’m a Leo but I hate cats. This may have been my first indicator of a life plagued with irony.
- I’m a pretty technologically savvy gal but my DVD player has been blinking 12:00 since last year’s blackout.
- I rock at Tetris. Not sure if the Russian has anything to do with it.
- I started seeing hearts everywhere a few years ago. Maybe it was because I was in love, maybe because I just started seeing everything more clearly and the hearts stood out. I thought how wonderful that humans are in love with love. Thus www.heartseverywhere.com.
- I am looking for a dream job. Step one: define it. Step two: create it.
To see the full list of 60 so far, click here.
Once you embark upon the Blogosphere you make sure you're findable. And people find you. Somehow the piece I wrote about being a Russian immigrant ended up on a Piercing Blog. The only thing I can think of is that I mention getting my ears pierced 31 years ago.
I guess that qualifies. Who doesn't want extra exposure?!
“How old are you mommy,” my six-year-old asked me recently. I’ve told him before but it must have been in another context. He’s asking for another reason. I’m not sure why.
“34,” I answer.
“That’s old,” he says.
Later that night on the goodnight phone call to his dad, I overhear him ask the same question. This time he adds a follow up: “How old will you be when I’m ten?”
I hear my ex-husband coach him into doing the math.
“42,” he calculates.
“That seems old,” he says. “But you don’t look old. You don’t act old.”
“Old” is an abstract concept that we constantly redefine – both for ourselves and within our society. As the life expectancy increases, the idea of old gets older. As we get older, the idea of old gets older. But what does “old” truly look like?
Hollywood shows us a 60-year-old made to look 30 and a 16-year-old made to look 32. At home we look in our own mirrors and a 40-year-old can either see herself as 60 or she can see herself as 20. Age fluctuates; it is simply a measurement of time passed. Like your weight or your blood pressure; it is simply a number used as part of the bigger story of our body.
"Old” is more of a concept than a measurement. For instance, if it's 40 degrees outside, is it cold? To me, yes. To an Eskimo, probably not.
“Old” is when we want it to be and what we want it to look like. It is our choice when we want to get "old." My father just turned 60. He has a three-year-old son.
Will his son, when he’s old enough to realize, one day look at him and think “My father looks old.” If your parents are “old” from the time you know them – does your idea of “old” change? Like a thermometer that was set to different defaults – where 101 is the new 98.
The idea of the older parent isn't novel. Charlie Chaplin was 74 when he had his last child. In urbanscapes all over America older fathers are pushing their babies in Bugaboo strollers. I remember being in a Gymboree class with a woman who had twins. She was there with a grandfatherly partner but I had no idea if this sexagenarian was pa or grandpa.
My dad is an energetic and youthful guy – he shaves his head Mr. Clean-style and has a jovial yet sarcastic and cynical demeanor. (When he’s not your dad, they call this charming.) Some, his 30-year-old wife, for instance, would even say he’s cute. While he maintains a relatively mellow suburban lifestyle, he works at a physically-demanding job meant for a 20-year-old. It keeps him young, I guess. I think the job reminds him everyday that he can; the three-year-old is the exclamation point.
The clichés tell us that you are as old as you think you are. But sometimes our body trumps our mind. I hope when my brother is 15 and wants to kick around a soccer ball, my dad will still have the energy and agility to do it. He’ll be 72. I bet it won’t be as easy as when he did it decades ago with his first two kids.
Is it irresponsible of him to have a child at his age? Many people, including myself, have made opinionated sweeping generalizations. But what I’ve realized is that if a person is truly accountable for their life choices, then we have no holier-than-thou right to judge.
My father is active and exceptionally involved in his son’s life – one that would make any mommy proud. What’s the downside? At his age he’s become more patient, more tolerant, more appreciative. Recently he told my mother, his ex-wife, “I’m going to do it differently this time around. I want to really be there.” With age apparently comes wisdom. Regrets corrected.
As a sibling, I see him doting on his three-year-old in a way he never did with us. More like you’d expect a grandparent to dote on a new baby – with a new found zeal for life. My sister and I occasionally look at the new family with a sense of jealousy; why couldn’t we have a dad that was so present?
There were 31 years between when he became a daddy the first time and the third time. That was a country away, a lifetime ago. He gave himself a life do-over. “Old” would not be an obstacle to him. Why would it? Why step into sinking sand when you can walk around it?
If you can't read the Breaking News above, it says:
"The U.S. entered a recession in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research."
PS America you've been in a recession for the last year.
Thanks for the diagnosis, doctor. I feel much better now.