Thursday, August 25, 2011

A day in the life of a 66 year old retired nun

Kristin has some gracious guest bloggers while she's on the mend. We started with Gayle and her grill. Now Judith's up with musings about staying fit and part of our community. 
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Well first of all, people always say, “I didn't know nuns retired?”  Of course we don't retire from being “nuns” – we retire from an active career/ministry to what I prefer to call a holistic way of being in the world.  You see, we are not technically “nuns”, who are cloistered from the world, but rather sisters who are fully present and alive to all that life brings.

So, how am I fully present and alive today?  Over the last 6 months I have started most days with Kristin and her fitness classes.  This has been great, my body is stronger, mildly leaner – yes, I am overweight, but mind you I am NOT obese, and my soul is more open to receive what life brings each day.  I am fully present to the members of these classes.  Right now they are all women in the classes I attend.  Great women who are concerned about their health and well-being and the health and well-being of the world in which we live.  I find the classes much better than individual training and working out because of the sociability and accountability.  I believe I get more help in the classes both from Kristin and my exercise group than I would alone or just 1-on-1 sessions.  I think we are a great community of persons coming together – all ages, all sizes, all personalities finding fun (most days) in exercising our bodies, minds and spirits.
Recently I did the 24 hour wheel that Kristin wrote about on her blog – so besides exercise my day includes some meditation, spiritual reading and journaling.  I prefer to read and journal at a coffee shop – I feel like I am just hanging out with all the other people that keep Portland WEIRD!

The rest of my day is probably just like yours:  Clean house, take care of the yard, pay the bills, cook/eat, cook/eat, cook/eat and of course sleep.  I pay attention to the news, email, search the net, attend various appointments and spend time with family and friends.  Another + of exercise, I have made some new friends who like to exercise, even with an old lady, who is a sister!
I am part of the sandwich generation in that I visit and assist some of our more elderly sisters and take care of my grandchildren.  

The grandchildren thing got you, didn’t it?  Another sister and I decided to become foster parents in 1986. Siblings ages 7 and 8 joined us for 2 weeks and stayed forever. They are now 32 and 33 with lives of their own and of course children.  So I am a Nana and I love it!
So, you see we sisters are just like you, exercising, living day by day, choosing to live more simply in this complicated world, using less of the limited resources, so there is enough for the next generations.

As for me it is also about what it means to move into a way of being where one has less of life to live than I have already lived. What is important?  Physically, like getting out of a chair without help as I age, and staying a healthy weight – which may be overweight but strong. Mentally, exercise really stretches the ability of the brain to think and follow directions. Emotionally exercise really helps with anxiety and depression, often an issue as we age. Spiritually, I find that Kristin’s “Take it Outside Fitness” provides an opportunity to experience the spirituality of nature in all kinds of weather – outside in the park is like being in a natural cathedral.  I notice the beauty of the tall trees and sky when we are on our backs on the picnic tables doing “dead bugs”.    Why Kristin calls this exercise dead bugs is beyond me since we are moving our arms and legs – I asked her and she said they are “dying bugs but dead is easier to say.”  Now that is a real spiritual response to think about!

Well that is it from the Guest Blogger!  I have enjoyed writing this although I procrastinated for days!

Peace and Good-Health to all.
Judith


6 comments:

kate said...

Thank you so much for sharing! You really put into words what I enjoy about the small group classes - the sense of camaraderie in a diverse group that is not only taking care of our bodie, but our minds too! And also? You are NOT an old lady! Wise, yes, but there is nothing old about you!

Gayle said...

Ditto what Kate said. Thank you for putting into words some of the amazing ways we benefit from Kristin's classes.

I too, find an incredible spiritual connection with nature when laying in the park doing pilates (and also dead/dying bugs) staring up into the trees.

micki said...

Judith -- I really enjoyed reading your guest entry! I am going to share it with a friend of mine who suffers from low self-esteem. I think, without even breaking a sweat, you've captured the essence of self-esteem, which I'd define as having an awareness of good possessed by self.

I'm with you -- exercising in nature is an elixir for promoting good all-around health.

Thanks for an inspiring read.

Sheila said...

This commentary gives me the biggest lift in life I've had for a long time. I guess it shows that no matter what our chronological age is, a lot of it is "All in our minds" and in our attitude.

We better get healthier because that will be the foundation for our own safety net. Man the lifeboats.
Well, woman the lifeboats!

Sheila said...

This commentary gives me the biggest lift in life I've had for a long time. I guess it shows that no matter what our chronological age is, a lot of it is "All in our minds" and in our attitude.

We better get healthier because that will be the foundation for our own safety net. Man the lifeboats.
Well, woman the lifeboats!

laura said...

Thank you, Judith! An amazing testimony that is absolutely apparent in my classes with you!

Thank you for being an inspiration!

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