Sunday, November 24, 2019

Get Up On Your Feet

I work hauling 25 pound bags of clay from studio inside to wheel outside. I throw clay in a cold garage with my small space heater and my sweet pup, Darby. I lift pounds of clay up and cut it and wedge it and roll it to make vases and sculptures in my inside studio. 

There are some days when working means waiting for the kiln to finish firing, for bowls, vases or cups to dry. Sometimes it happens all at once and the days are so busy I worry I won’t get it all done.

There are days and weeks and months standing, walking, lifting and throwing in solitary silence. And days of noise and packing and unpacking and hauling and setting up displays. And days sitting in a gallery hoping someone will come in and buy something they love. 

At your age?

Yup. And even more so ‘at my age’, it’s important to be working. Whether that means writing my blog or throwing bowls or building new vases. This work is more than love, it’s life saving. 

When I was in college, I took a course in gerontology. 

One study in particular, made a big impression me. It showed how retirement and/or not working caused a significant downward trend in the health of the retirees. Comparing this study to another where people of a ‘certain age’ were still actively working in, around and outside their homes clearly showed an increase in their overall health both mentally and physically. 

It was such important news, I was asked to do a TV spot for the university. The message  of keeping active and NOT letting retirement lead to endless days in a chair doing nothing. That getting up and out and working was the way to live a longer, healthier life. 

The TV spot I did actually won me an award and the encouragement to go into advertising. 

So, yes, I still work. 

Sometimes I sit and throw and others I’m up and moving.  I know many people who are retired at my age. And many who expect me to be retired, too. They say to my face that, I’m retired with a ‘hobby’. They used to say, I was a housewife with a ‘hobby’.

Both comments are wrong. Both are demeaning. And both are unnecessary and detrimental to your health and mine. 

So. “Get up on your feet.”

I’m going to listen to some older and younger musicians like Gloria Estefan. 

“Get up on your feet
Get up and make it happen
Get on your feet
Stand up and take some action”

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