She is full of joy. 

She is full of joy. 

Lelia SW., age 70

Do I feel my age? Odd question. Not sure what I expected to feel 20 years ago. I certainly never expected to get Guillain Barre Syndrome. In September of 2022 I awoke knowing something was not right despite having gone to bed feeling great. After 6 weeks in hospital, three in the ICU on a ventilator, I re-learned to see, talk, move each muscle and to eat. I’m very grateful to be alive, able to enjoy each day and look forward to tomorrow. 

70 feels good. I’m learning to be positive about people and my life. Anger and fear don’t serve me, so I focus on joy. Paying attention to small details and remembering to look up at the vast universe helps me feed my endless curiosity. 

Being white haired is very liberating. I feel respected and accepted and never dismissed for my age. May everyone have the pleasure of reaching a stage in their lives where they can relax, appreciate, and feel grateful for miracles happening all around us. 

I have volunteered all my life on top of raising two great humans, working two full-time jobs, and keeping my marriage strong with my best friend for 44 years. In my retirement I focus my efforts on gleaning excess produce with a local food recovery organization Hope’s Harvest and making blankets for the Welcome Blanket Project for refugees. 

My art making has always centered on the topic of preserving a healthy earth for all living things. Although I no longer make a living from being a landscape designer, I do work on encouraging my friends and neighbors to plant natives and reduce lawns. 

My future plans are to enjoy each moment as it comes. I set no limits on what I can do each day. Life is the best.