Monday Mania: It's Never Too Late

            I just celebrated my half pole last week with a big, fat cookie.
            Half pole?
            On a horse racetrack are painted poles that indicate what fraction of the race is completed: eighth pole; quarter pole; half-pole. Hence, my half pole is my half birthday; I’m halfway around the life track for that year. My husband and I decided to recognize small occasions to have more to celebrate. It might have something to do with getting older.
            This year’s half pole resulted in reflections of changes I’ve made once I reached middle age. Most were things I swore I’d never change, or do, or bother with. For instance, I swore I’d never color my hair. A hairdresser in my past once told me that my grey was a nice silvery color, which enhanced the dishwater (my word, not hers) blonde I’d acquired in my thirties. Fine with me; I didn’t want to spend the money on highlights anyway. Then, once when I was driving to Austin, I glanced in the rear-view mirror to check the insane traffic than seems to breed on Interstate 35. The sunlight was just right and I caught a glimpse of my hair. Boy, was that hairdresser ever wrong! My hair was colorless, dull, old-looking. Once I arrived in the Capital City, I dashed around looking for a stylist to color my hair that instant. I found one. She did an excellent job. That was six years ago and I haven’t once regretted that change.
            Next, I swore I'd never stop wearing, what I called, my comfy, earthy clothes. Then, I spent a few days in Chicago. I was the only person on the street who looked like me: colorless, dull, and old-looking. Before I left the city, I bought my first pair of skinny jeans. I ditched my Danksos, which I'd worn for most of my teaching career and purchased a pair of sexy heels—red—patent-leather red. Overnight I went from a boring dresser to a fashionista. I loved it!
            My most recent change was to improve my diet. I’ve always eaten well and worked out regularly, but regardless, as I got older I put on a few pounds. I told myself, my diet couldn’t get any better. Horse poopy. I tweaked my diet by cutting out beer and bagels. I lost nine pounds and have kept them off. How easy was that?
            I’m not sure why I was so stubborn about making these changes. I’m much happier and healthier now and I plan to stay that way. The moral of the story: it’s never too late.
            Now I’m working on my patience, or lack of. I think I inherited my impatient gene from my dad—sweet man he was, but eat at a restaurant that had a wait?—never. As he grew older, he became more impatient. Actually, I noticed this trait when he stopped smoking—cold turkey. It got worse when he stopped drinking—also cold turkey. Since I’ve never smoked and will never cut red wine from my diet, I have no excuse for my growing impatience. But I do have a role model. Although he’s in doggie heaven, I only have to think of my very calm, patient dog and am reminded of my favorite bumper sticker. PLEASE GOD, MAKE ME THE TYPE OF PERSON MY DOG THINKS I AM.  Thanks, Lito. I hope I'm getting there.