This is one of the craziest times of year in my little world. School is winding down, and you would think this would be the one time of the year where I could take a breath. No such luck. Everyone is scrambling to get any leftover money spent, making technology requests for next year, and turning in all the broken equipment from the year.
On the farm, we are in the midst of planting watermelons, and winding up calving season. With Phillip in the melons, that leaves the cows and yard work for me. Throw into the mix that I am one of the organizers of our local watermelon festival and we are two months away from the big weekend, I literally don’t know whether I am coming or going.
This year another “bump” in the road involves my sweet husband. Come July 1, he will be a full time farmer. After 32 years teaching agriculture, he is calling it quits…he is retiring. Quite frankly, I am more than just a little freaked out by this.
When we started dating 33+ years ago, his dream was to farm full time. At that time, he knew it would be hard to make a living in Sharp County farming raising watermelons and cattle. The chicken business wasn’t what it is today, and that really didn’t interest him anyway. He thought that being an agriculture teacher would be the best of both worlds, and for the most part it has been.
Sometime in the fall of 2015, Phil started talking about retiring in 2016. I pretty much fell apart. It had never crossed my mind he was considering retirement. We weren’t financially where I thought we needed to be, but mainly we were NOT old enough to be talking about retiring.
One of our good friends is our banker. He is also a lay speaker for the Methodist church, and one of the most godly people know. One day while I was in the bank, John came up and we were chatting. For some reason, and I don’t know how the conversation turned to Phil wanting to retire, I told him of my fears/concerns. John is just one of those people that knows the right thing to say at the right time. Over the next few days, I pondered on what he had said, and prayed about it often. Soon, I was at peace with whatever Phil wanted to do and I knew that everything would be fine. Plus, as Phil kept telling me he would be getting a retirement check and he would be farming, not sitting under a rock somewhere.
By the time the school year ended in May 2016, Phil decided he wanted to go one more year. By Christmas of 2016 it was pretty clear that this was it. It was time to do something else. And to my surprise, I have been very supportive. More than anything I want Phil to be happy. We are still healthy and not too old, so he will be able to enjoy his time farming. He will finally get to live his dream, and do what he loves so much. I will very happily continue working for another 9ish years, doing what I love.
What I’m not dealing with is how freaking old we are. (Shocking, I know!) For the love of cats, I do not know where 32 years have gone. It seems like we just started our life together and our careers. The years are a blur, it’s like when you fast forward a video. I get that the 50s aren’t old, it’s just that “retirement” word. <shudder> We are calling it a career change instead!:)
I read a lot about running. I also follow Women’s Running Magazine on Facebook. The article “Slower Runners Live Longer–Here’s Why” showed up in my feed last week and the timing was perfect since I struggle with the aging thing and being a slow runner.
Researchers studied around 1,100 joggers and 4,000 non-joggers. The people were various ages, men and women in relatively good health. Non-joggers were folks who did not do any type of strenuous activity. The joggers were put into 3 categories, light joggers, moderate joggers and strenuous joggers based on how often, how many miles and the pace they ran.
Ten years later researchers checked into the death rates of those in the study. Not surprising, joggers had a longer life expectancy than non-joggers. What did surprise researchers was that light joggers had the lowest death rate of the jogger group. Strenuous joggers life expectancy MATCHED that of non-joggers. *The full article can be found here: www.womensrunning.competitor.com/2016/07/inspiration/slower-runners-live-longer-faster-runners_62194#k4VfEzkXWftZzCVL.97
I couldn’t believe my eyes! “…the ideal sweet spot for jogging and gaining full benefit was 2 to 3 times per week. The optimal speed was slow, and the optimal weekly distance? 1 to 2.4 miles!” It’s healthier to be a slow runner! I felt so vindicated!
The study proves (again) that exercise is key to good health and a longer life expectancy. I don’t see myself cutting back how often or how many miles I run, however, I am going to stop beating myself up for being slow.
As I’ve said before, running is as good for my mental health as it is for my physical health. Here are my top reasons for running (in no particular order):
- Running aids in weight loss, it burns more calories than most other activities.
- Running gives me the opportunity to push the rest of the world out and clear my mind.
- Running is cheaper than therapy.
- Running is better than going to prison.
- Active people typically have fewer doctors visits.
- Running strengthens bones.
- Exercise helps to boost memory.
- Running gives me confidence to tackle anything.
- There is a huge community of runners and they are the most welcoming, supportive group of people I’ve ever encountered. There are several folks I only know through social media because of running. They are so supportive and encouraging. Even though I have never met them and may never, I consider them friends.
- Running increases stamina and energy.
The weather is beautiful, the honeysuckle is in full bloom, nature is in its most glorious, get out there!
Run happy. Be fierce.