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Wonder Woman

“Dear Hannah,”

I am 74 years old, independent, healthy and active. I have always kept a very clean house and done my own housework; rearranging furniture, cleaning and vacuuming. I plant annuals every year and maintain my front and back gardens so that they are meticulous. I pride myself on doing these activities and chores. Some people tease me about being ‘wonder woman.” Lately the vacuum has become heavier, it takes me longer to clean the house. This Autumn I had to give in and hire a gardener to rake the leaves. I am upset. I resent these changes. What is going on? Can I do something about this?

“Dear Wonder Woman,

You are indeed a perfectionist and I understand your frustration; you maintain very high standards for yourself and are your biggest critic. It sounds like you are losing strength and stamina. But do not panic; I suggest that you rearrange your life so that you can go regularly to a recreational facility, such as the JCC. Consult with an advisor there, and begin a program of weight-training and aerobic and flexibility exercises. You are the perfect candidate. Your perfectionism will kick in and you will soon be revelling in your new strength, your increased stamina and your improved balance and flexibility. Get a cleaning lady or a cleaning service every two weeks. Keep the gardener for major clean-ups. You will need the time for your new workouts. Make an appointment with your physician and schedule a bone density scan.
I am guessing that you will not only love what happens to your body and your capacity for work; but you will also enjoy the camaraderie of the trainers and the other people working out at the gym. In effect, your whole lifestyle will improve; not only will you be stronger and fitter; your interactions with people and your sense of well-being will be more balanced.