When I read the paper at the coffee shop this leisurely last Saturday morning, my horoscope said to keep a low profile today and go my own way. I was exactly doing that already and enjoyed the luxury of my breakfast Panini and “Americain” coffee— an Italian bun and French coffee that is called American. Since I began to read my favourite newspapers on line a couple of years ago, I hardly ever have an actual newspaper in my hands anymore and I have missed that, I now realized. It’s not the same and in fact a less social thing to read at home on a tablet, although I am not speaking to any of the others here in the place.

On the page with the obituaries (that I usually skip) my eye fell on the photos of the people. Underneath a photo of a youngish looking woman, I see a date exactly 2 days before my own birthday and I feel weird all of a sudden.  I started reading the ad. The woman had suddenly died abroad. It said that past year she had had a bout with breast cancer. It mentioned a lustrous career with accolades from the world she had made a career. She left mature children, a husband and parents behind. I wondered what had happened to her. Had she decided she did not want to spend the rest of her days battling and undergoing horrible treatments? Had her illness been discovered too late? Had she decided to go to a warm place and enjoy her last months the way she wanted to? I hope she had company and enjoyed her time. I feel for the family.

Maybe I was projecting what I think I would do if I was discovered to have advanced stage cancer. But then, what would anyone do? We are conditioned to fight, not to give up, as that is considered weak. Then there would be the physicians and relatives that want you to fight, as it is well known that motivation and mental state are strongly associated with becoming healthier. Relatives just don’t want to face that you might die and having to say goodbye to you.

Thinking about this sad description in a rather long obituary that expressed someone’s admiration for this woman, but still a life measured in only a few words – about a 2 inch advertisement – about a woman, I could not escape noticing that she was much like me and only born two days earlier. I suddenly was flushed with gratitude. All that I have in home and friendships, and at this age physically healthy, I must admit, it was quite extraordinary.  Yes, some years are less easy than others. I have been resentful and had losses in the last years, but all of that seems so trivial, so petty. I have many opportunities ahead of me; the world is really opening up for me with newly discovered talents and the assurance that I can follow my dreams.

Encouraged, feeling warm and energetic from the coffee and my spinach, sun dried and cheese Panini I left the coffee shop and headed to Winners.  Yes, life is too short to believe that thoughts of scarcity and saving money are better than spending a bit and enjoying life. I needed socks. In my last move in the summer I had been feeling generous and wanted to move less stuff. I had given away all my socks, most of my jeans and lots of my long sleeved tops to the Goodwill. Time to make a few purchases that can be justified at prices up to 70% off, as that is the slogan for their everyday prices.

Life is precious and so short. I am very aware of the need to make every moment count. The need to be true to oneself, to spend time alone and to be grateful for life and the people that surround me, I Have become very aware of this. I am grateful for the fact that my new second hand laptop is working and even publishes this blog post automatically with Windows 7 without having to log in on my website. I am sure I can download photos too, once I have figured out how.


I would love to hear from you. How are you feeling these days?

About BABYBOOMER johanna van zanten

My name is Johanna van Zanten. I am a baby boomer, interested in writing and connecting with other writers and readers to engage in discussions and information sharing, to share a point of view about current global issues, writing, and publishing, diversity, immigration, travel, music, life, specific baby boomer issues, and dating/relationship issues. I have written a novella, ON THIN ICE about baby-boomer Adrienne and will link this blog with the information website for this novella. Right now, I am trying out the blog.
This entry was posted in Babyboomer, Dealing with aging and dating, Exercise; old age; aging gracefully; yoga practice ; wholesome life, Mental health, religion, Retirement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pieter van Sighem says:

    Hoi Joeke,
    Dat is lang geleden. Zo te lezen maak je het goed en ben je blij met elk moment. Dat is prima, mij vergaat het net zo. Heb net je blog gelezen. Ik zie het zo voor me. Succes verder.
    Met mij ook alles goed, gepensioneerd, dat wel, veel reizen. Ja, lukt wel zo.
    Wie weet, tot ziens een keer, groeten.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s