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When I Woke Up at Sixty-Five
by: Elayne Kotler
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When I woke up at 65, the trees were shaped differently – the many shades of green were distinguished and noticed; the birds sang louder; the dust on the furniture sat neater – not longing to be swept away; my face no longer needed so much eye concealer; I listened more carefully to the words being sung by singers; and I finally opened the sweet-smelling expensive soap given to me as a birthday present at least ten years ago. These are just a few comparisons to the unrealistic dreams I was constantly dreaming.

When I woke up at 65 I realized that in the present moment, if everything is okay; then that’s all that matters. Our dreams and hopes are just that – dreams and hopes. Not to say we shouldn’t plan for future events; we must all have dreams and aspirations.

When I woke up at 65, I realized the years were flying by faster than ever before. One birthday seemed to mesh into another birthday. And what have I done with these years; or better yet – what was I planning to do with the remaining years given to me. The realization that plans can be tragically interrupted was well noted; but there is a sunny side to life and each individual is responsible for her/his own sunshine. What would put a smile on my face; smiles on my children’s faces; a new friend and lover; easy retirement – that is the $65,000 question.

When I woke up at 65 life seemed more precious than ever before – not to be taken for granted – but to be savoured each day. So how does one savour each day? You, answer the question, yes you – the lady who has all the answers on paper …. But action, as we all know, speaks louder than words on paper. Accepting our life as we honestly see it; is the first step. Not pretending, not always hoping; but LIVING the day with the tools presented to us. Acceptance is a difficult word to perceive honestly. Okay, now we are getting somewhere.

SO, when I woke up at 65, I promised myself a new “you” would come to pass. I already heard the birds singing louder; the different shade of green trees were more eminent; but my mind has to adapt to my heart ….. not an easy task. How does one allow the channel from the heart to the mind to flow evenly back and forth and become one sounding, concrete thought or idea. I knew it would take a lot of determination, a lot of processing changes; but I knew it was something I desperately desired for me. We all know that our minds are extremely “powerful” – for each of us.

When I woke up at 65, I re-evaluated what would really put a smile on my face ….. would a new friend and lover at this stage of my life fulfill the missing pieces OR accepting the life I now lead in its totality and not look into the mirror daily with fears; fears that would most likely never come to fruition.



Elayne Kotler, a member of Canadian Writer's Society, lives in Toronto. A mother, grandmother and author, besides working as a full-time administrative assistant position with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is a very busy lady. Her book, Just How Many Roses Do I Have to Smell, will be out very shortly. It is a very entertaining book about her male relationships over the years and how she handled them.

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