Most people cringe when presented with the idea of a laser or scalpel touching their eyes. However, by age 65, 90% of people will have developed cataracts. In other words, cataract surgery for most of us is a given!
The idea is much worse than the process. When I had my first eye done, I wondered when the procedure would begin. At that point, the doctor said we were all done. Yes, it is easy and painless. The whole operation took about ten minutes. The most noteworthy thing I remember was an argument between the surgeon and the anesthesiologist about what kind of medication she would give me.
After the operation, I wore a patch for a day and then used eye drops for a short time. Before the procedure, I thought our car needed new headlights. Guess what that was all about? That winter, I told my wife I had forgotten how beautiful Colorado was in the winter. Yes. The new eyes were working!
Recently I had coffee with an old friend who will be retiring soon. My friend is resourceful and has a track record of success in his profession and recreational life. I asked him how he felt about retiring, and he said he was scared. He said he was afraid he wouldn’t find meaningful ways to spend his time. I understood his anxiety and felt confident he would find purposeful ways to use his time. At the same time, I think his concerns are shared by many.
Today my wife and I devoted a morning to sorting old clothing and gear to give a lot of used stuff to Goodwill. The mission was successful, but I must say it was emotionally challenging for me. I saw my hiking, mountain climbing, and bike history go out the door in plastic bags. Of course, I no longer did those activities, but somehow the presence of the gear made me believe I might in the future and symbolically preserved my history.
Does your surgeon keep your records at home? Many psychologists store their old records in their homes or garages—a bad idea. Think about fire, robberies, and water damage. Keeping your records in a professional storage site like Iron Mountain is best. The facility catalogs your files, making them easy to retrieve if subpoenaed or requested. Don’t be professionally embarrassed.
Make sure you check your hearing and, if needed, get hearing aids. Poor hearing compromises social life and can encourage isolation. Hearing aids have improved over the years and are cosmetically unobtrusive.
Try this recipe if you are looking for an appetizer to have your guests smile broadly.
Buy fresh mushrooms, cut off the stems, and scoop out the innards.
In a large mixing bowl, add Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs. Add an egg, a little tomato juice, some white vinegar, salt, pepper, a little garlic salt, seasoned salt, and basil. Add a little olive oil. The mixture should be moist.
Cut up some pimento olives and add them to the mix. Take some of the stems, cut them into fine pieces, and add them to the bread crumbs.
Stuff the mushrooms with the bread crumb mix and place in the oven on a baking pan for thirty minutes at 300 degrees. Baste the mushrooms first with extra virgin olive oil.
Mille Fleurs: This special occasion restaurant has an elegant outdoor patio, formal wait staff, and delicious food. Is it expensive? Yes, but you walk away having had a memorable dining experience that is hard to duplicate in other restaurants.
Baci: This restaurant on Morena Boulevard is a family-owned Italian restaurant that serves terrific, authentic Italian food. The Linguine All Vongole is fabulous. The restaurant is reasonably priced, and valet parking is available.
Trattoria Positano: Four Italian women operate this restaurant in Cardiff by the Sea next to the Patagonia store. The food is excellent, and the outdoor patio is a beautiful place to dine. The seafood pasta is outstanding. Parking is plentiful, and the prices are reasonable.
Milton’s: Milton’s is a classic Jewish Deli in the Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar. If you like thick corned beef sandwiches, chicken pot pie, lox, and bagels, or hot pastrami, Milton’s is the place for you.
The right disaster comes at the right moment to break us open to the helplessness that an opening of the heart requires. -Coleman Barks
It has been three months since I have been home to see my father. I have been busy living my own cluttered life two hours away. Thursday afternoon, when he wakes from his nap to find me there in his living room, I am familiar; there is recognition in his eyes, but also blurriness. “Who’s this?” he asks.
“Honey, it’s Mary Ann, your daughter.” This is a weird, unwelcome feeling, to be not fully known by him.
Mary Ann Stratton grew up the youngest of six children on a small farm in southern Colorado where her father was a state veterinarian. She is currently living in Denver, Colorado where she teaches middle school Language Arts.This article was originally published in the San Diego Psychologist.
Here is a dish that is very tasty and easy to make. Buy some thin chicken cutlets at your local grocery store. At home pound your cutlets with a wooden mallet to make them thin and tender. Then set out two large bowls. In one mix two eggs. In another add a cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs along with a half cup of parmesan cheese. Add some garlic salt, seasoned salt and basil. Add a little white vinegar (it makes a big difference).
Dip the cutlets in the eggs and then through the breadcrumb mixture.
Place some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large frying pan and heat up. When the oil is sizzling, place the cutlets in the pan. They will cook in a few minutes each side.
Serve with Italian potatoes, and you have a great meal!
People, as they age, begin to worry about their legacy. How will they be remembered? Will they be seen as having lived a life of value and consequence? Will they be appreciated for having lived a life of purpose and accomplishment? Were they a good worker? A good spouse? A creative person?
Of course, their curiosity is doomed to failure since they won’t be around to see how their legacy plays out. In addition, our legacies are experienced differently by different people. Here is an example.
I was a 7th-grade English teacher at a suburban Massachusetts middle school for 29 years (plus four years teaching in Maine in the 70s). Many people questioned how I could teach 12 and 13-year-olds for so long, but the truth was, I loved my job! Indeed, there were good days and bad days, good years and years that seemed endless, but there was never any doubt in my mind that I loved that age group. Their energy was boundless, and I loved the silliness and goofiness. However, while I know I prepared them for 8th grade, high school, and beyond, ultimately, they are the ones who prepared me for retirement. I officially retired on June 30, 2019, and the lessons of being around preteens and “new teens” continue to navigate me through my first retirement years.
Pat Dumas is a retired middle school teacher currently living in Cranston, Rhode Island.