This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz… On August 29, 2020, I celebrated my 80th birthday at Dairy Queen. My daughter Heather made the day special by satisfying one of the items on my Bucket List: a first-time-ever visit to try one of their Blizzards. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. I’ve written about this event before—in Blog Two, “CelebrEighty at Dairy Queen.” At the time, I called my Bucket List “pathetic.” I want to walk back that judgment I made on myself. I apologize not just to myself but also to you, dear reader. No wish is pathetic.
At 81 years of age I still have a lot of wishes on my Bucket List. I hope you don’t judge me as a superficial person if I tell you I want to someday, somehow, finally learn how to apply false eyelashes properly so they don’t get unstuck at one end. I wind up looking “unglued,” like a tragically unaware Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. I look much better in false eyelashes and would love to do the job right. If millions of women of all ages can do it, why can’t I? Speaking of developing that skill, by learning those tricks and gluing them on, is that what a “hack” means?
Then there’s another item on my list: to lose weight and lower my BMI. I’ve been on a KETO low-carb diet for several months. So far, I’ve lost 16 pounds, and my BMI has decreased slightly. But on this journey, I want to finally stop weighing myself every hour of every day and night to check my weight and BMI. Perhaps the continuous hopping on and off the scale isn’t a healthy way to look at me—especially the getting undressed every time. Exhausting.
It was on my original Bucket List to rejoin the JCC (Jewish Community Center), which I now have done, go to their Aquacise classes, which I love—and eventually hire one of their trainers.
Being an octogenarian and beyond means some bone fragility, and we all must stay strong and balanced. I haven’t driven in many years, and I love being able to walk everywhere. But if you fall, it can often be game over. At least that’s what I see happen to some people—icy city streets are especially concerning. But I’m still not moving to a warm climate anytime soon.
Living in the city and “aging in place,” as I think of it, does take some practical adjustments. I’ve made some concessions. I no longer use the subway system, as I don’t feel safe there these days, but I love buses, cabs, and car services that come right to your door. Selling my large apartment and downsizing from three bedrooms and three baths to a one-bedroom and one-bathroom rental may seem like coming down in the world. For me, it’s an intelligent way to reduce the financial pressure, even as my ghostwriting and book promotion career continues.
I am cashing out while I still have my health and strength, and most of my wits about me—also another benefit—bringing us back to my Bucket List. I started writing these CelebrEighty blogs thanks to @SilverDisobedience, who is generously positioning them on SilverDisobedience.Rocks and her Facebook page. They have grown out of my wish to help change people’s perceptions of those in their 80s, 90s, and beyond—and our perceptions of who and what we are! To that end, I am actively seeking a radio, TV, and internet show as a platform to tell my stories and interview others. I want to show people we are not addled, shriveled-up crabapples. I hope you will agree that we are not meant to be invisible and not meant to be on the sidelines. Sellers of many products and services will continue to overlook us to their peril because we are a wildly affluent demographic that can be truly loyal to those who appreciate us and target us appropriately. This means they need to stop only advertising their products using decades-younger models and actors. Use us! We’re beautiful. Look at @SilverDisobedience: she’s authentically beautiful, with no surgical enhancements, and that gorgeous natural silver hair!
Until our last breath, many oldies (and of course, I am one) are and will remain wise, fun to be with, attractive, and fully engaged citizens of Planet Earth. Nothing has changed with the passing years except that we’ve gotten better with age, like fine wine. Those wrinkles: well, I wear mine with pride, having earned every one.
Who am I to judge your Bucket List? And why should I discount my longings and ambitions, even if some represent small victories while others would be huge? Isn’t that what life is about anyway—small achievements, day by day? For example, eating better, walking more, and working out? While learning how to keep those darn eyelashes on, I can continue to move towards more significant victories, such as landing a media platform for my lofty ambitions for CelebrEighty!
Now tell me: What are the big and small items on your Bucket List? And for the ladies: If you wear false eyelashes, how in the world do you manage to keep them adequately glued?