How do you have fun at 71

Some things in life are pretty basic – eating, sleeping, moving. I do all of those to one degree or another, but something that I have lost over the years is knowing how to play. How does a 71 year old play? Hopscotch is out – at least for the moment. Tag has relatively little interest. Sitting with my girl friends and listening to the latest heart throb while we paint our toenails has also lost some of its magic. But I am feeling more and more a need to play; to be exuberant and silly and to laugh about nothing or everything.

I made a list of things I enjoy. I do enjoy a lot of things (reading, knitting, talking with friends, writing, gardening, weaving) but they aren’t play. Again, what is play when you are 71? For me play has to involve laughter, and probably some movement, even if only of cards. Winning and losing has also lost its luster. I can certainly get into not losing, but most often I would prefer to build together rather than build to get more or keep the other guy out. And I don’t like fast things; card games like war that require lightening reactions don't match the cane I sometimes use (though I am using it much less these days). I actually might like to drive a car fast. I occasionally drive 80 on an interstate. I wonder what it would feel like to drive 120? But I would want to do that on a track alone with some guidance, and not to beat someone else. I am satisfied to see what the times are at the end of the race rather than to see that I just beat someone. I enjoy shooting, but that doesn’t often involve out and out laughter.

My daughter introduced me to the game Telestrations™. That has possibilities. It has a little movement; you have to move a small tablet from person to person and you have to draw and write. And you definitely end up laughing, sometimes a lot. I have had a lot of fun with that. I am looking for more games. Someone suggested Apples to Apples™. I haven’t played it yet, but it looks like fun. All suggestions for games are welcome. They have to be G-rated, I sometimes play with my grandson who is 10.

I would also like to find something fun that involves moving more, too. I looked at some YouTube videos of Zumba Gold – Zumba for the older set. That looked like fun. I might try that when I am alone at home, with the curtains closed so no one can see in, and see how that feels I am not sure I will wrap the little scarf thing with jangling coins around my extra, extra wide hips – though that just might be fun, too. And with the magic of Amazon, no one even needs to know that I bought one of those jangling scarves! I just looked up what they are called – “belly dance waist chains with golden coins.” Belly dancing. Maybe, if the curtains are closed really tight and no one is home…. Hmmm, I may have found a second fun way to move.

I will keep you posted!

1 Comment

  1. Pat Holley

    Come pull up a chair near the goat pasture, and watch the goats… They are too funny..makes one shake their head, and laugh at their antics…kid goats jumping sideways for sheer joy. Playing king of the mountain, or old steps in this case…knocking each other off the steps..all in the name of play and learning…I enjoy watching the chickens play, too..if one finds a worm, they all come running and a play fight begins! And, I end up laughing..

    The laughter around here is usually spontaneous, when something goes wrong, and I am left with a perfect mess, and all I can do is laugh…a water pipe bursts, and everyone gets drenched in the process…a shelf falls in the shop, and surprises me, and catches my funny bone…

    And just plain being silly. Remember when I was making pickles and you were here… We planned to make a fortune selling pre- seasoned fermenting rocks? That was just too funny, and I laugh every time I do pickles to this day! Thank you!

    No, it is not the belly laugh you are referring to, but a different kind of funny that comes from the heart..and makes memories..sharing …a connectedness of people and experiences..a warmth, and remembering of the person..warms the heart…

    But, I might get a jangling scarf, go to the dock on the pond, and dance for the fish and goats…I can hear Mother Nature laughing already!


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