July 2010 - Sailing Along
Let's start with the good news. Encouraged by my heart scan results, I've been pushing harder while exercising, playing more tennis, getting back into a regular weekly game. I've kept my eating in check and only drink socially these days. I still indulge in chocolate, although it's dark, rich and mildly sweetened. The last time I stepped on the scale at the gym, I learned that I was down 48 pounds from my peak. I'm actually lighter today than I was when I ran my second triathlon nearly three years ago.
Unfortunately, my bank account has also shrunk. We are officially out of the recession, but economic growth is still sluggish. I work as a writer / producer. My major clients have faced severe financial problems. One, LA CityView 35, the City of Los Angeles' television station, took an 83% budget cut. Another, a foreclosure prevention web site I edited, faced a cash flow crunch as an increasing number of distressed homeowners could no longer make payments on their reduced, modified mortgages. Another web site for which I've written hundreds of articles that have attracted more than a million readers, cut its payment per article by 70%. I keep looking for additional work but I am facing the inevitable conclusion that many employers would rather hire somebody younger than experienced because they can get by with paying less. I actually had one prospective employer ask me for a quote on 500 word articles only to reveal that he was now paying $10 each, which is below minimum wage.
photo by Brenda Varma
Unfortunately, after eight years of owning her I've been forced to consider selling my sailboat, La Runa. I've been sailing for decades, and have grown to love the sport. It's engaging, yet very relaxing, physical without being strenuous. In a harrying world it's an oasis of peace. Over the past few years, my boat has become the center of my social life. I've been lucky enough to find eager, congenial crew who share my love of the sea.
I realize that growing older means that inevitably we must learn to let things go, but as I feel physically on top of my game it's discouraging to realize that I might have to give up my boat.
Still I do consider myself lucky. I am healthy, if not wealthy, and I'm facing the loss of a luxury, not a necessity like a home. As I learned from producing the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now" mental resiliency in the face of adversity is a key component of aging well.
Anti-Aging Diary c. 2010 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
photo of La Runa by Carolisa Pomerantz