Most of you know the story of Orchid, my soft-coated wheaten terrier. She is 41 pounds of joy and other than my husband and ultimate concierge, Sheldon Good, she is the one constant in my life. Orchid and I have been together 11 years. Not a day goes by that I don’t smile because of Orchid. Not a day goes by I am not happy because of Orchid. Last February, her health started failing, a day after receiving her three-year rabies shot. I dove with a vengeance into doggy research and know my love and curiosity is what keeps Orchid alive and keeps me happy. Curiosity, darlings, is uplifting for all ages and especially beneficial for women over 50 who find themselves empty nesters and retirees. Curiosity invites knowledge and all sorts of opportunities to improve our quality of life. And, it’s all ours for the taking. Curiosity after 50 does take a positive outlook and spirit.
The importance of curiosity after 50
I am never satisfied until I go the extra mile. I am not driven. I am curious. Because I am curious I am never bored. Unfortunately, I read that only 20% of us spend our time engaged in meaningful and new activities. Sad.
It does not have to be that way if you take the bull by the horns you can introduce new elements of surprise into your life and delve deeper into your present activities. You will be happier and more productive. Push yourself. I do all the time and the benefits are marvelous.
Curiosity pays off
Yesterday, my ultimate concierge and I took Orchid for her weekly acupuncture treatment. She has ALS better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is fatal. Orchid has lost most feeling in her back legs. This loss of feeling will continue up her body. A few weeks ago, my curiosity got the best of me, again, and I wondered if Orchid had constant social interaction her condition would stabilize. It worked, darlings. I believe it worked.
And I am happy because the acupuncturist came out of her office and said, “Orchid’s body was so different today. I got a slight bit of feeling in her bad leg and her body was very relaxed. She was happy and content. Have you changed anything in her routine?”
“Yes, I said. Over the past several days I have given her constant social interaction, meaning wherever I go in our apartment she goes; even putting her right next to my side of our bed at night.”
The acupuncturist said, “I think this may be working for Orchid. She has stabilized and this can go on for, who knows how long.”
I turned to my husband and smiled. He squeezed my hand.
For the past nine months my friends and family have had a hard time understanding how much time I have devoted to Orchid. The first thing they say to me over the phone is, “How is Orchid doing?” They ask in emails and text messaging and you, darlings, ask on Facebook and email me.
‘The Orchid story’ got me thinking about the word: Curiosity.
“CURIOUSITY GIVES MY LIFE MEANING. CURIOSITY MAKES ME HAPPY. WHY? I AM INTRIGUED AND EAGER TO LEARN. IF I WERE NOT A CURIOUS WOMAN I WOULD BE FORLORN. I WOULD LET ORCHID’S LIFE TAKE ITS COURSE.”
Darlings, a woman’s lifestyle changes after the age of 50. As I mentioned we are now empty nesters, retired, downsizing our homes and even moving to new communities. Though many of you find change difficult you have every reason to be vital and visible. Curiosity gives you that option.
How to tap into curiosity after 50: An inquiring mind
It is a fact that those of us with an inquiring mind lead healthier and happier lives.
Appreciate the power of curiosity and then… tune in.
Since Orchid’s illness began with a liver disease I learned about the copper in her liver; found out the best vet university, The University of Minnesota, for a prescribed dog’s diet; investigated and found the best over- the- counter dog foods for liver disease; learned the disturbing fact that our pooches are over vaccinated and inquired to find out if there is a test to check for over vaccination.
When I learned of Orchid’s ALS, I found the best harness to support her legs; figured out the best way to cart her around, a Red Radio Flyer children’s wagon; signed her up for swimming classes in salt water, exercise classes at a dog gym and acupuncture. I did this out of love, but curiosity was the force. I learned. I am happy. Orchid is alive, still wagging her waggy tail, eating well, drinking lots of water, and engaged.
Opportunity for learning is everywhere
Build and accumulate further knowledge in an area(s) you love or an activity you have wanted to tackle. The world is our library.
Last week my girlfriend and I walked on a cool Saturday afternoon to the Art Institute of Chicago. Walking into one of the rooms, I saw some of my favorite works of art by Renoir, Matisse, Gauguin, Van Gogh and even George Seurat’s, “Sunday in the Park.” I felt a joyful rush of adrenalin, an explosion of curiosity engulfing me and I promised myself I would find time next summer to take a course at the Art Institute. I was happy.
Curiosity will give you a fresh lease on life. Have curious friends.
I look at every new experience as fresh. I am daring enough to leave my daily routine and welcome in the new of everything. Variety is the spice of our lives after 50. We have the time to let our curiosity send us in different directions.
Another short story on curiosity…
A brochure arrived in the mail that piqued my curiosity. A trip to Syria. This was a year before the civil war in Syria. I was so excited and called a person I knew would be a on board. “Do you want to take a trip to Syria with us?” “Sure,” was the loud answer. Four of us left with the Council on Foreign Affairs a few months later. Two of the four would never have taken the trip unless coerced by the curious two: my husband and my friend’s girlfriend. They thanked us a million times over for being the instigators, the curious.
I want you to step out of yourselves and be curious about everything. Your life will become far more positive. A brightly colored palette is yours for the taking. Be an explorer. Establish new relationships, stretch your mind, become more productive with a new hobby or educational course on a fascinating subject, take time to read, discover your truth. BE CURIOUS.