Self-care for aging

I don’t mean to say I’m old, but I’m getting older. Last week I turned 32. Here’s a post from when I turned 30, and another from when I turned 28. And here’s my 25th birthday post. When I dip back into my Positive Affirmations history, I feel so warm and happy, even reading the darker posts. I’m so grateful that I recorded so many instances and experiences and thoughts from my life, potentially for others to read but also for personal reflection. What a life!

So, I’m not old, but I’m getting older. I am an adult. Every week day I play with children, ages four to ten, and teach them how to play violin. I also teach them about music, and how to be silly with music, and inspire them with music. They see me as an adult. I am as old, if not older, than their parents. They call me “Ms. Sara” and gasp (or laugh) when I tell them how old I am.

I am also an old graduate student. My friend Anne, who is the other Suzuki graduate student this year, is 23, fresh from undergrad. We are in pedagogy classes with 20-, 21-, and 22-year-olds. The other day, I was talking to Grace, my violin group class assistant (see?! I have an assistant! Certainly something only adults have), about my experiences in college and with my band Patchy Sanders (listening to our Live at Coalesce album right now now and holy moly we were good!), and Grace said, as if a great truth had been revealed to her, “Ah, you look like you would be in a band.” (What does that mean?) She then said, “Wow, you’ve lived like six of my lives.” If I had to guess, Grace is 20 or 21, implying she sees me as at least 120 years old. !!

I wanted to write this morning because 1) I am anxiously waiting to hear back about a job at the Springs Stewardship Institute, 2) I sent a writing sample to said Springs Stewardship Institute last week and read it again and realized it was not my best piece of writing, 3) I thought, “My writing is getting rusty!”, 4) so I then thought, “I should write in my dear online journal”, 5) so I am.

Self-care for aging. I’ve been way into self-care for years, since my dear darling friend Elizabeth Tobey taught me about it in 2011 (I still have her original “Radical Self-Care” list, typed with a typewriter on a piece of brown paper shopping bag), and I extensively wrote about self-care here a couple of years ago. I’d like to make a new list (I love lists). This self-care list reflects my growing desire to take care of my body and mind so that both feel fresh and pliable for many years to come!

  1. Buy expensive face products and use them often. We are an intensely face-driven species, and faces change with age. Wear the SPF, apply the masks, use the serums. Enjoy the indulgence!
  2. Take walks with Junie every day. Even if this is just to the dog park and back, but better to go into the mountains and ramble on the trails.
  3. Sleep!!! !!!
  4. Minimize sugar and alcohol consumption. Which supports skin health and Sleep!!! !!!
  5. Read lots of books and put the phone away.
  6. Ask myself what I need and then tell others what I discover.
  7. Exercise outside every day and stretch.
  8. Keep surrounding spaces clean and inviting.
  9. Acupuncture every week.
  10. Sometimes: crumple up the list and do whatever I desire! Neglect my skin, play with Junie inside, stay up too late and wake up too early, eat a big piece of cake and wash it down with a couple beers, scroll obsessively, don’t take the time to communicate well, be a couch potato, let the dog fur accumulate on the rug, and skip out on acupuncture.
  11. And then pick up the list from the ashes of self-neglect and start over again.


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