Donuts and Martinis


I know what I want my future to look like.

I’m 63 years old. My kids are all adults and the grandkids have started to arrive.

Life is mostly fun and interesting and pretty enjoyable. Most of my body parts work the way they should and I can still take care of myself and my house. I don’t grow as many vegetables as I used to, but I can still weed a flower patch and grow a decent pot of herbs.

My life is on the downward slope of the proverbial hill, but I’m not yet rolling out of control.

So it’s all good.

Because I’m still healthy, happy and fully engaged with the world around me, I continue to work at staying healthy. I eat well, if too much. We live in a part of New England where we can easily buy local vegetables three seasons of the year. I love to can tomatoes and freeze batches of fresh veggies, so all year long we can eat fresh, local food.

We also eat fresh, local meats, eggs and chicken. No nasty chemicals in our meats.

I’m a good Italian cook. too. No preservatives or precooked foods on this lady’s table! No jars of sugar filled spaghetti sauce. No canned soup with all its sodium. Just fresh and home cooked food. Healthy as hell.

I exercise, too. Sort of.

I mean, I’m not sweating at the gym, but I have my garden, my dogs to walk, and my toddler grandkids who spend every weekday here with me. I run up and down the stairs dozens of times a day, chase tricycles, rake leaves while the kids jump in the piles, and cook and serve all day long.

You get it. I’m active.

I also take my medicine just as prescribed. One for blood pressure. One for fibromyalgia. A fish-oil pill for the old brain. Magnesium for the muscles. Papaya extract to increase my platelets.

In other words, as of this moment, I have every intention of staying healthy, staying active, squeezing all the good juice out of life.

I’m at an age where I think it makes sense to try to keep the old heart beating.

But.

My mother is 89 years old. She still lives in the house where she and Dad raised six kids. She’s still funny, stubborn, determined and stoic.

But she is smaller than the huge personality that she used to be. She has closed in. She is thinner, shorter, more stooped and bent. She is the tiny version of her old fiery self.

Mom is less opinionated than she used to be, which is both a blessing and a curse. Life with her is easier than it once was, but I miss my strong-willed warrior woman Momma.

Mom taught me to cook. She taught me how to choose the right spices, how to make the best meatballs, how to be patient while a good stew simmered. Now she lives on frozen foods or the meals that her children bring her.

She can’t really cook anymore.

And my Mom no longer drives. She used to ride her bike around our town, to work at the local school, to Curves, where she worked out and made friends. Now she doesn’t even drive a car. She doesn’t shop, unless one of us takes her for an abbreviated trip to a local store.

Her world is shrinking around her shrinking frame.

Even our house has changed. It was once the hub of our social lives, filled with happy toddlers, kids on bikes, teen aged musicians, neighbors and relatives at every holiday. It was full of noise, delicious smells, loud and laughing voices.

Now the house is neat and quiet. It feels outdated and quaint.

It feels lonely.

One old lady and her old gray cat now live in a house that used to hold a family of 8 and our various dogs and cats.

It makes me sad.

So I’ve made a plan for my future. I think it is a good one. I think it makes sense.

Here is my brilliant plan

From now until my 80th birthday, I have every intention of continuing to take care of myself. I will eat my healthy veggies and monitor my wine intake. I’ll garden, and I’ll walk my dogs. I’ll stretch and use my hot tub to stay limber. There will be no better medical patient than me. Every doctor’s order will be like one of the Ten Commandments.

But on the morning of my 80th day on earth, I will change things up and take my future into my own hands.

I will give up cauliflower and broccoli. No more fish oil pills for me. No walking briskly, no frozen veggies, no organic soaps.

No. Instead, I will have a breakfast of many fresh donuts and as much esspresso as I can swill. Lunch will be martinis and wicked fattening cheese. Maybe some good olives. And bread dipped in tons of olive oil.

I’ll snack on more donuts and finish the day with a pitcher of more martinis. Vodka martinis. Dirty, lemon, pomegranate, chocolate for dessert.

I will lie on my couch all day with donuts on the table, a bag of chips at my feet and a martini in one hand.

If all goes as planned, I will not have to slowly diminish and leave my house sad and lonely. I will not watch myself slowly shrinking and losing everything that has made me myself.

Instead, I will quickly succumb, leaving my children and grandchildren with a fabulous story to tell about me. And I’ll cross that famous rainbow bridge and find myself free of all pain and grief, and ready for the next step.

Good plan, right?

Who’s in?

29 thoughts on “Donuts and Martinis

    • This is hilarious…..so many people are in agreement! Mostly women, but so far there are least ten of us who like the plan! Maybe we should open a home for end of life….maybe a combination hospice and bar? We can call it “The Drunken Crone”.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Ya know, I get this idea and support it. If I am at a point that life sucks, literally because I cannot live it well or because parts of me are failing, too tired, to whatever, then I would rather go out with donuts, bags of chips and something refreshing to wash it all down. Your plan is a sound one!

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  2. I certainly understand what you’re getting at, here. Bottom line, I think, is whether a person is still finding some happiness and enjoyment in life, even if that life is shrinking. I think that I’ll always remember this post, and if I make it to 80, I might try some of your ideas (although, I like muffins or scones better than donuts:)

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  3. I might have felt that way at 63 but now that I am 75, not so much. I am looking forward to a long, healthy streak in my 80s, which aren’t so far away now 💕

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  4. I’m 62, retiring from 30 years at the post office at the end of this month and ready to subscribe to your lifestyle now. Donuts, espresso and chocolate martinis, yum. To be honest, I don’t want to live forever. Enjoy life in the moment. That and crafting. I can’t wait to have time to be creative again. Have a great day! 📫

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi,

    I’m onboard!

    This really is a design-for-life. Just to give some support to this, I’m a 43 man and me and my 8 (much older than me) siblings are going through a tough time with my parents: Dad 87 and absolutely no love of life left in him and my mum, 85, who is suffering with vascular dementia.

    I’m sure I’m not alone on this board when I say this, but seeing the closest people in the world to you go through what my parents are going through is not nice. I then have the time lag or gap that the difference in age I have with my brothers and sisters creates: What seems the right thing to do for my parents for them, is very different to my own opinions. Frustration at it’s worst!

    I am really glad you have written this as this has restored my faith in both other human beings and that rational, selfless thought does still exist.

    By the way, apologies if my post comes across a little too serious: it’s Sunday morning as I write, and listening to my 6 year old daughter enjoying life with mummy in the next room, has struck a chord. I want to make sure I can be as useful to her and her children in my later years as possible and leave quickly and without reliance when my times up.

    A truly great plan and one that has inspired me.

    Good luck with it and hope it works out – Keep us all posted!

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    • Wishing you all the best with your parents; its so hard to be in this strange “middle place”. Our kids (mine are grown) just stepping into life as our parents get ready to step out. Today I had to talk to my Mom about having a cognitive eval….yeesh. No need to apologize for being serious! This is a serious and sad topic. Enjoy every second with your six year old; it is my grandkids who keep me upbeat and forward looking at this point.

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