Do I want to dance at Jack’s wedding?

My favorite dance partner

My last post received comments. And emails. Thank you for each of them. 

One reader simply said, “May you dance at Jack’s wedding.” I’ve thought a lot about this comment lately.

It was clearly a well-wish for Jack’s future, but let’s look at it from my perspective. If Jack marries at 30; I’ll be 88. Spry. And dancing.

Is this crazy?

Recently, Mick Jagger, at the age of 75, delayed the Rolling Stones tour while he recovered from heart surgery. Six weeks post-surgery, a video surfaced of him practicing his dance moves. He is as lithe as a greyhound, but he moves like a beast.

I could easily discount him as a freak of nature, a genetic anomaly, but I can’t discount how hard he’s working. Granted, Jagger makes millions to move like Jagger. Can I, a 61-year-old grandmother, reasonably expect to dance in his footsteps? 

I have no idea, but I can try.

Every day I make a bunch of small and big decisions that will one day determine if I can walk–much less dance–when I’m 88: I can go to the gym or read a book. Walk to the market or take the bus. Eat oatmeal or a croissant.

Each of these decisions is theoretically impactful, but 88 is an amorphous concept. No matter how far I look into the future, I’m never 88. Of course, when I was 30, I never envisioned 61. 

Yet here I am.

Age, it seems, is the most convenient of scapegoats. It effortlessly explains away our diminished capabilities: why we can’t bend down and tie our sneakers. Jog around the block. And yes, even dance. 

Although we can’t fathom our own aging, the facts are: We will all grow old. We will all die. It’s so easy-breezy to add, and there’s nothing we can do about it

I’m calling BS on that last part.

The concepts aren’t terribly complicated. I need to eat well, move more, work my muscles and retain some degree of flexibility. And I need to manage my weight. 

In other words, I need to channel my inner Jagger.

I’ve written about this before. Pat and I have focused on healthy habits since I retired. It’s why we chose to live in cities, which we prefer for their walkability and abundance of fresh food markets and fitness studios. 

I’m in better shape than I was ten years ago, but if I’m honest, I’m not in dancing-at-88 shape.

Too often I reach into my grab bag of not-today excuses for why I took an Uber, didn’t make it to the gym, grabbed a fast dinner out. It’s too _____ (Far. Hot. Late.) I’m too _____ (Tired. Hot. Crabby). It’s a state of woe-is-me-fullness, I’m-too-old-for-this.

This month, I’m doubling down. 

I’ve challenged myself to replace the daily butter-sugar-flour _____ (croissant, donut, scone) with a bowl of oatmeal. I’m continuing my commitment to hit the gym three times a week and to walk 10,000 steps every day. And I’ve got my eyes on a cute little yoga studio not far from our Airbnb here in Philadelphia.

As for motivation, I’ve decided to make it simple. Do I want to dance at Jack’s wedding?

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.

Categories: Ruminations

Tags: , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Julie,

    You and Pat are an inspiration to us all.


  2. Jagger on, my friend!!!! Indulge in croissant only if there is chocolate on it! One’s gotta live a little!!!! Good thing we don’t live in the same block….we’d be trouble!

  3. Just read your post and feel compelled to reply to you. If you want to change habits it’s not about behavioural changes it has to have a cognitive element to.
    First think WHY you want to make a change, incorporate a positive habit. Own it feel it.
    Secondly, make it easy want to eat oatmeal then don’t have any sugary cereals in to tempt you. Keep gym kit permanently packed and in a bag by the door.
    Think of your reward in making this change what will you get out of it and how will you acknowledge your change? Think about the emotional and mental wellbeing as well as the physical.
    Good luck ,you’ve got this
    Jacqui Woods

  4. And you certainly will…wonderful post 🙂

  5. Of course, you want to dance at Jack’s wedding! You can do it!

  6. Hell yeah – you will dance – I have no doubt – NONE!

  7. Dance, Dance, DANCE!!!

  8. Hi Julie, You will dance at Jack’s wedding, I on the other hand, will not. Saturday I turn 79, not much chance of dancing at 109.😍

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