Slowing Down

On Sunday afternoon, we took a break from the city’s heat to enjoy the cool, peaceful solace of the forest beside a stream. We took these photos in Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park. The temperature near the creek was seventy-one degrees, but four miles away from the park, it was eighty-eight degrees.

No, I didn’t go for a walk in the woods carrying my handbag, but I did want you to see the entire look. I’m carefully placing my feet with each step after breaking a toe a few weeks ago when I bumped into a chair.

That’s prince charming next to his chariot just moments before he lost his balance and slipped off the boulder he was sitting on. He is bruised and a bit battered, but OK.

We may need to slow down a little and be more careful, but we strive to keep a positive outlook and thoroughly enjoy what we can. As I age and observe the changes in my parents and those I love who are a generation ahead of me, the fragility of the human body becomes more evident. The time comes to slow down and face the fact that we are not invincible after all.

We are dressed in very casual Sunday afternoon with no plans attire. His look is mainly from Ralph Lauren Polo. My size medium pink stripe shirt is from Amazon here. The scoop neck tank top is here. The white ankle jeans are here. The sandals are old from Sam Edelman; similar sandals are here. The handbag pictured earlier in the post is old from Dooney & Bourke. Here is a similar bag.

“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.” ~Edith Wharton

101 Comments
  1. Do hope Mr. Mickey has no lasting effects of slipping! Continuing to follow your articles is inspiring on multiple levels. Thanks to you, I began planning my wardrobe more efficiently the last couple of years and seem to be able to somewhat emulate your outfits now with less fast purchasing and more planned purchasing. Best of health and vitality to both Mr. Mickey and you!

  2. Glad you’re both ok!
    Susan, this us such an important concept, slowing down & being realistic about our age!
    I only have 1 friend who is willing to acknowledge and talk about the adaptations we need to make due to age. (It’s not whiny commentary, just realistic).
    All of my other friends are busy dyeing their hair, exercising for hours each day and denying that their energy or strength are different than just a few years ago.
    One friend, who is 70, has been in shock since her latest doctor’s appointment because her doctor described her as “elderly”.
    I enjoyed the quote you included at the end, as that is the empowering attitude we need to go forward.

  3. Sorry to hear about your broken toe and Mr. Mickey’s spill. The park looks so beautiful and I really love the quote! Thank you so much for your blog.

  4. So sorry about your stumbles! I hope you both heal quickly.
    Beautiful photos and place to hike! Man, I love that car! 🙂

  5. Such a beautiful area. It refreshed me just looking at the pictures. Thank you. Despite various injuries, you and he look wonderful. I especially appreciated the Wharton quote. Applicable wisdom is always a delight!

  6. Very timely quote. I will be 74 this week and am trying to gracefully except that slowing down is a good thing. Getting older is a blessing many do not get an opportunity to reach, so consider it a privilege. A simple fall inside my house resulted in a hip replacement last August and is teaching me the new meaning of being careful and stop moving so fast. Slowing down is the new normal for me and I am learning to work with it instead of against the slower pace.
    I look forward to your post and always learn something. I am pleased that you have found a new living arrangement and seem very happy. Some must live alone but when you have the opportunity to share day to day activities with someone you care about it enriches two lives. My husband has been a great help since my fall and helps me find humor in all the new challenges.

  7. First I want to say I love your hair. I also have all silver hair and am still trying to get used to it even though it’s been this color for many years. I often feel it makes me look old but you look great and the color looks nice on you. You do encourage me to continue and not do something I would regret, like color it.
    Love the cool light outfit. Thanks for your post I always look forward to reading what you have to say.

  8. Cara Susan
    Hai perfettamente ragione…..brutta estate anche per noi,io caduta durante una vacanza in Sardegna,mi sono fatta molto male,siamo immediatamente tornati a Bologna dove grazie al nostro ottimo ospedale ortopedico mi hanno rimesso in piedi.pero tutti due abbiamo preso il codiv…….
    Come si diventa fragili ….. è inevitabile ma cerchiamo di cogliere il meglio di ogni giorno che ci viene regalato.

  9. I’m 78 and recently added A beautifully hand carved cane (Ukrainian, Etsy) which helps my confidence when out and about. DH has a wardrobe of beautiful carved canes ( which he needs for a balance issue).

  10. Lovely pictures and I’m so thankful you’re both ok. I wanted to add a comment about slowing down. While I fully agree that we are not invincible and injuries can’t always be prevented, as an occupational therapist and aging of course myself (I’m 60), I want to encourage everyone that, while we do likely need to slow down and be more careful, there are many things we can do to help ourselves age more safely, such as addressing balance, strength, flexibility. A sedentary lifestyle can be deadly; I know too many people who have basically come to a stop. I’d much rather be able to keep active, doing things I enjoy and taking care of myself. All the best, I love your blog!

    1. I agree, Caroline. That’s why I am glad I’ve been practicing yoga and pilates, in addition to taking long walks as often as possible. Sedentary is terrible for you no matter your age.

  11. How ironic that your post today mentions the fragility of the body… I’m recovering from semi-emergency gallbladder surgery 3 days ago. I had “symptoms” for 4-6 months, but kept ignoring/blaming my problems on everything but! I’ve got to realize as I age I must pay closer attention to my health, and yes admit I am not invincible. How pleasant those temps in the Park must have been

  12. Hooray for the OT’s comment! As a retired OT I am aware of my aging, but am doing positive activities to help to strengthen my core and work on balance exercises. Many of the senior centers have health and balance assessments. Risk of falls is a huge concern medically. That’s why your doctor’s office always asks if you have fallen in the last 3 months! Thanks for your continued inspirational writing.

  13. Hi Susan, I so appreciate you sharing all aspects of your life with us, the beautiful and refreshing woods and stream, as well as your broken toe and Mr.Mickey’s fall- I’m so glad he’ll be ok, you too!
    The Edith Wharton quote is perfect, on this journey of life we learn and adapt as we go through all new territory while aging.
    I fell flat on my back off my 14″ high wheeled garden cart/seat yesterday. Sitting too close to one end, engrossed in my project, the thing went flying straight out from under me. These things can happen so easily.
    Take care. 🙂

  14. So true. I worked until age 76, relocated to my hometown after living away for many years, bought a much smaller house and do a variety of volunteer work while reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I walk and have such good days and nights. It is a wonderful age to be. Enjoy!

  15. Thanks for a reminder of wearing white jeans. I have a few really nice pairs and I always pass them by because I don’t like getting stains on my clothes when out. I have to get over that… for goodness sake’s I live in Central Florida. As for aging I turned 60 in March and it was almost like my occasional arthritis said hello you have become old. I live very near The Villages Fl where folks are very active so 60 is definitely not old around here. Doing nothing to move is not an option so I just keep on keeping on and pray for the best life forward. I always love your posts so thank you again.

  16. Love the Edith Wharton comment; she used to be one of my favorite authors. I am coming to grips with exactly what you write about. No matter how much you take care of yourself at some point the body shows signs of wear and tear–different for everyone. At 65 my totally previously healthy husband who has never been a smoker, is not overweight, exercises regularly–now has hypertension as of last week. Earlier this year I found out I have significant arthritis in my left hip and my left big toe, yet I am supposed to be walking to stave off osteoporosis since I am petite and fair! At some point I will have to have surgery on both but I’m not there yet. My best years are definitely behind me but my mind is fully functional and I am trying to stay hopeful and engaged. I have two adult children who still apparently need my opinion regularly so I have to keep up my morale for the troops! I love reading your blog which I found when I was ~60 and realized I needed some guidance on fashion & aging gracefully. Thank you Susan–you are a jewel!

  17. Sad to hear you are both bumped and bruised. Hope you can both find moments of joy this week, and take care of each other. The greenery looks like it was definitely cool and refreshing. xx

  18. Please tell me more about the coastal grandma look. It sounds perfect for me. The lake home is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Do you watch Nancy Meyers movies and love how the homes in them are decorated? Love Ina Garten and her lifestyle in the Hamptons? Admire the effortless way Oprah dresses? The aesthetic is a step up from fast food, flip flops, and leggings, yet it remains relaxed, elegant, and effortless. I think of it as minimalism with some history and a lot more warmth.

  19. Beautiful quote! I’m 52 and due to neck and back issues had to slow down. Add menopause, hypothyroidism and Covid all this year def made me slow down even more! To make Mr.Mickey feel better, went hiking with DH and 16 yo son, had to climb over rocks. My athletic teen and very athletic DH fell. Both injured their pride and got minor bruises. I didn’t because I was super slow. Did I mention they are both athletes? hahaha Slowing down doesn’t mean being stagnant, just means slower speed. Thank you for your post, I enjoy so much reading about your adventures.

  20. Such excellant advice Susan; as we age our awareness of trip hazards or sense of balance can be weaker. Another obvious risk of trips or falls is our vision. So important to see your optician regularly.
    I always like your common-sense approach to clothing and fashion.
    Keeping cool is so important. Here in Britain we are about 4 days into a major Heatwave!! We have been told to expect a high of 40C+ Today and to keep out of the sun. We’re not used to these temperatures so many just don’t know how to keep their houses cool or dress appropriately.

    Love the photos of the woods, the waterfall and stream.
    Your outfit is lovely and seeing how effective your accessories are means I have to re-edit my wardrobe. Your advice over the years. Has given me a new insight into what works for me. Thank you so much. So I’m off to check out the sales and some summer handbags.

  21. Oh no, sorry about little mishaps, but always positive and being careful is typical Susan! Our little reminders to go a bit slower. Keep well!

  22. This is such a timely post! It’s only been this year – age 65 – (as I contemplate retirement) – that I have begun to grasp a level of awareness – I MUST BEGIN TO SLOW DOWN! This has frankly shocked me! I’m accustomed to zipping around here and there, climbing up and down in the kitchen with undeliberate speed – you get the picture. And while I continue to walk, engage in regular exercise, and eat healthily, I have also had to accept that all these good practices do not hold back the changes in my body, mind and spirit- they just help me evolve gracefully. But even still, it feels like I’m in uncharted waters – because I am. It’s very affirming to read your posts Susan!

  23. Wow! Seventy one degrees! Heaven! It was 109 yesterday in Dallas! Be careful exploring in the woods . I believe exercise is vital. It helps you stay young. I turned 71 last month. Your daily walks are inspiring!

  24. What a wonderful quote. Thank you for sharing it, photos from your outing and fresh look. Here’s to maintaining a positive attitude and healthy aging!

  25. It is so refreshing and restorative to get out in nature. I walk around three miles nearly every day and I look forward to getting out no matter the weather.
    You are so right about slowing down! My husband had a fairly minor surgery last spring and it has taken him a long while to recover his strength. He’s still working on it! Now in our 70’s, it seems like recovery period is much longer.
    We continue to get our house in order for a move to a new home that we continue to search for at a 55 + community. It is definitely time to downsize, but it is so hard to let go of treasures. We are making progress and will be finished soon. Then a garage sale and packing up what we couldn’t do without.
    I always admire your positive outlook and it shows in the way you take care of yourself. Another day of looking great!
    The best to you and Mr. Mickey and your readers as we navigate this aging adventure. Thank you!

  26. As I recover from 2 broken wrists (I’m 65), I can tell you that careful is the new buzzword. Without my husband’s help, I would have needed to spend probably a month in a nursing home. Please be cautious for both you and Mr. Mickey.

  27. Thank you for your quote. I shared it with my flourishing 99 year mother who only uses a cane. She attributes her longevity to keeping her mind challenged and appreciating the smallest of things in nature and in human nature.

  28. Your photos look so cool and inviting. A walk in nature is a good way to relieve stress in this crazy world. Stay safe.

  29. I love the quote. Happy to know you are both on the mend. May you both continue to heal and be well.

  30. Lovely pictures Susan… At the age of 68, I have come to realize that I need to pay more attention to my surroundings. While my husband and I are really active and do workout classes several times a week, I must pay attention (and not do two things at once) so as not to invite injury!

  31. I concur! I met an old gal pal camping last week to beat the heat. We enjoyed being up at 7000′ elevation as it was nice at 77* Next morning we went on a 3 1/2 mile hike and crossed a sweet little creek, and ended up in a beautiful High Sierra meadow complete with wildflowers galore! As we headed back and crossed same creek, I sent my left leg on toits final stepping stone rock and it moved, enough that I totally lost my footing and fell (onto my back!) into said VERY cold creek! Felt like an inverted turtle, flailing momentarily, until I caught my breath and scrambled out of the water. I was very lucky! My hip pack took the brunt of the impact with my lunch, rain slicker & plastic water bottles ending up saturated.
    I could have hit my hip, back, or even worse my head on a creek rock so felt VERY VERY lucky as we were well beyond any sort of cell phone access to help. Feeling clumsy yet extremely grateful. So now @ 65 I will pay more attention, as you say, to where I put my feet! Love your blog and posts, and hoping Mr. Mickey’s bruises are gone; mine are now into the green stage ….

  32. Having been diagnosed with osteoporosis recently (I am 62), I can say that keeping active, especially weight bearing exercises, is vital for aging bones. It is also important for your heart and brain. Thank you for your inspiring posts.

  33. Your comments about the changes that come in life are so welcome. After never having pain or limitations in life I suddenly ended up with an orthopedic problem and surgery that seriously put a crimp on my activity. One never knows what is around the corner. We deal with the changes, adapt and carry on.

  34. Susan, I’m glad to hear Mr. Mickey is healing well and hopefully your foot is also. I hear broken toes can be very painful and a nuisance when one wants to be active. I’m a few years behind you and have found like you the importance of being active daily. Some years ago I started following the blog of Katy Bowman, Biomechanist. Biomechanics is the study of body movement and falls under biomedical engineering. I know a bit about it having a daughter whose has a Bachelor degree in Kinesiology and a son who is a Biomedical Engineer but I’ve learned more from Katy and a student of her, Petra Fisher. Their philosophy is the importance of the way you move every day. Katy has written many books including Gynamic Ageing with four women in their 70s and 80s who are active and vibrant. They are all an inspiration to me and have helped me with changes due to injuries and ageing. Here are their websites if you are interested:

    Katy Bowman, Nutritiousmovement.com
    Petra Fisher, Petrafishermovement

    Happy trails,

    Tara

  35. It’s the “happy in small ways” part of that quote that resonates with me. Thank you for being such an example of how to do that with grace.

  36. So glad you both are okay! We can have accidents and mishaps at any age (as my five year old grandson will attest) but we do need to be more cautious as we’re aging. I’ve become much more sedentary than I’m comfortable with but the heat is so extreme here (over a hundred degrees daily plus the heat index as much as 110)), it makes it difficult to want to move much, even indoors. I do love the coastal grandmother look and that’s what I’m most comfortable with these days. Please continue sharing on your blog! I enjoy and look forward to what you have to share. Stay as cool and as safe as you can!

  37. Slowing down, it happens and it’s OK. I think of working almost 50 years raising a son on my own was all very challenging. Now at 75 and watching, listening to your stories, it’s ok to stay in touch with your body. In the past 2 years of Covid I only went to the store. Now I’m finding it much harder to step out the door.

    I think the two of you have very good times together and should do the things that make you feel good. It’s OK at times to do nothing at all and enjoy a stay at home weekend. Winter will soon arrive and indoor coffees, lunches out and about will be extra special on those rainy days.
    I don’t often write, but downsizing was something I was interested in seeing just how that works. I might be getting rid of
    more than downsizing soon. It’s also time to move forward to new surroundings.

  38. Hi Susan!
    Thank you for this post reminding us that we must be more aware of our surroundings and slow down as we age. I am 73 and have had a couple of falls; one just gave me bruises and the other caused 3 fractures of my right shoulder. I now carry my cellphone with me constantly as a safeguard in case I need to call for help.

    I hope your toe is better and that Mr. Mickey doesn’t have any repercussions from his tumble. The forest is such a beautiful place to recharge your energy while calming your soul. Thank you for the Edith Wharton quote! So appropriate. Thanks again for all you share.

    Jodi

  39. Always enjoy your pics… Not only treated to a great way of dressing BUT also pics of the environment around us AND the delicious meals. Thoroughly enjoy your tips and tricks on the way to dress.. You are a true inspiration Susan!
    THANK YOU

  40. Dear Susan, Thank you for your posts, the enchanting photographs and philosophy of Edith Wharton.
    Best wishes, Thellie Ferris, Australia.

  41. Hi Susan, loved the Edith Wharton quote, it could not have arrived at a better time. thank you. Gail

  42. Nice car, Mr. Mickey!!!! I’m glad you are both recovering from your injuries. Adjusting to aging can be a challenge, but it is a necessary one. I find my balance, which is never the best, has gotten a little worse. I just take it a little slower. I’m still adjusting to being “elderly”. I feel like I went from 40 to 67 very quickly.

  43. Beautiful!!! I’m saying YOU first and also the park. I recently broke my toe after bumping into chair. Getting older is def a challenge LOL My toe is better but have a difficult time placing into shoes. Talked with my neighbor( He is a Dr.) He said I now have a “hammer toe” great!!! LOL Will not wear my sandals or open toe shoes Toe looks horrible Wonder if I could “hammer” back down. May you and Mr. Mickey have a SUPER DAY!!!!

  44. Im so sorry for Mr Mickey, hope he gets well quickly. What a wonderful place! Take care of you.

  45. Since a friend told me about your blog last winter, I’ve read every post and watched several of your videos – all extremely helpful! It’s wonderful that you share so many effective tips and tricks that have improved so many of our lives!

    I’ll be 64 soon. Of course, my hair is graying and the makeup and clothes that work for my grown daughters aren’t right for me – but your ideas are working quite nicely! Thank you so much!!!

    May you both recover well and stay safe!

  46. I can relate so much to your comments as I am a couple years older than you. I hope your toe heals quickly & Mr Mickey isn’t too sore from his spill. Love the quote at the end!

  47. I agree with you 100% – we can’t win against time. However we can look good and have fun which you are both doing ❤️

  48. Beautiful scenery, so sorry Mickey lost his balance and encountered some fall out. Sorry to hear you broke a toe.
    Take care of yourselves.

  49. Thank you for sharing some beautiful photos. The weather sounds delightful. Here in Texas we are dealing with over 100 degree days.

  50. As always, the pictures are beautiful. I lost my mother last December at 94. Her mother lived to 104. As much as I would have loved more time with her, Covid really took a toll. The words you shared were beautiful. Thank you!

  51. I love that quote. I copied it, printed it out and put it where I can see it each day. Thank you.

  52. Fabulous quote from Edith Wharton.
    Scenery is wonderful , the rolling brooks and moss on the trees reminds me of home,even if I’m 3000 miles away. Thank you.
    Oversized furniture and my little toe ( on both feet) … I feel your pain.
    Take care Mr Mickey! And have a wonderful summer.

  53. Susan,

    Ouch! I know how it feels to stub a toe. Hope yours heals quickly.

    As a fairly new 65-year-old, I have noticed that I am a bit more careful about tripping on uneven sidewalks or grassy areas. Being aware of my bone health (osteopenia) I try my best to maintain my balance. My new bike is another way to get some exercise. It did sit for a while before I got the confidence to ride it. Bike trails are plentiful in my area.

    I really like the quote you included. Especially the part about being “unafraid of change”.

  54. I love the Edith Wharton poem, and I copied it. I plan to post it somewhere in my home. Thank you.

  55. Susan
    Comes a time when we all have to wear “sensible” shoes. Your sandals are ever so cool, but impractical. Be careful! Watch your step and wear something more stable! I fear for you and Prince Charming too!
    Another Susan

  56. Here’s to a long break from fractures and bruising! What a lovely spot you two found! I love the Wharton quote. As we get older our perspective changes. It helps to find the humor in life and realize that the small moments can bring great happiness. Thank you, Susan, for sharing your insights with us!

  57. I agree about the shoes – Tevas, not lovely, but sturdy, leave your toes open and offer more traction.
    However, Mr.Mickey is the one who fell, and he had on the sensible footwear.

  58. What a lovely spot to take a nice cool walk. Sorry to hear about you and Mr. Mickeys bumps and brusies. It is not much fun and I do know about that for sure. It looks like where we live it will be around 100 all week. Take care and thanks
    again for the lovely pictures.

  59. So sorry about the accidents both of you have had. I agree about the stability we lose as we age so no quick turn arounds or sudden moves for us. But, life happens and as your quote from Edith Wharton reminds us, there are many ways to remain active.
    My best to you both.

  60. So glad that you and Mr. Mickey are ok. Elizabeth Wharton wrote many fine novels. You look very youthful in pink.

  61. I wish I had a partner that liked to do the little things that make life so pleasing and calming.

  62. Thank you for your blog. I love the pictures you post when you and Mr Mickey go out on your little trips. So beautiful. I love Tennessee.

  63. Very insightful post today. I just broke my toe this weekend, yes I am careful with every step! We are taking life a little slower also, it’s not bad, there is a peacefulness. Hope Mr. Mickey is healing. Have a beautiful week!

  64. Two beautiful people in such beautiful surroundings!
    Those sudden freak accidents can certainly crimp your everyday routines. Last year I was almost immobile due to plantar fasciitis and so worked regularly with a physiotherapist. Now I’m back to normal-phew! My old sandals and beach footwear offered no support and did not keep my heels in place. So I spent a wad on supportive smart casual leather sandals, super supportive walking sandals (Ecco) and supportive water-proof sandals for the beach ( can also walk a fairly long distance in these, as well). I can’t believe what I was able to trot around in years ago. But who cares because you need to take care of your present self. And, I wear supportive walking shoes as indoor shoes now instead of flip flops. A speedy recovery for both of you!

  65. I sooo enjoyed “Slowing down”! Just what I needed to hear! I’ve learned so much from your emails…thank you!

  66. As always a great post, so sorry you broke your toe ‘Ouch’ I bet it hurt when you did it .
    Anyway sorry ‘Prince Charming’ slip off a boulder whilst sitting but as always full marks to Mr Mickey for wearing very sensible shoes for a stroll in the woods , but Susan dear me as pretty as your sandals are You were a bit naughty to wear those for wood strolling AFTER breaking your toe tut tut.
    There rest of your outfit is fresh and casually smart . Mr Mickeys car shinning like a new pin as always.
    Thank you both very much for everything you share please keep going , the world would miss your adventures etc .
    Every Good Wish ,
    Pamela from Wales U.K.

    1. We didn’t go for a walk in the woods. Instead, we stood by the car for a few photos, and I walked a very short distance down the street to take a couple of pictures. All the scenes I showed are ones you can drive by in your car. I couldn’t yet tolerate any closed-toe shoes.

  67. I love your blog. All your comments about slowing down are so true. I’ll be 77 soon and have really been aware of taking care to move more, standing taller, stretching, walking and not sitting too long. I love to knit and read so have to take breaks often and get active. I live in Texas (104 today) so I tend to stay in more. One question, do you ever wear capri pants?

  68. What an enjoyable and beautiful post. Nature is comforting for the body and soul. I found your outfit quite appropriate for a drive and photo session on the edge of the woods. You look lovely in pink.
    Susan, I am very selective about social media, but your blog is one that I always return to for inspiration and reflection on this 60’s-plus journey. I think it is a wonderful stage of life as long as we are positive and adventurous and are good to ourselves, which now does include being a bit more careful.
    I just wanted you to know that your previous posts about your eating style have stuck with me — I am now plant-based with the exception of fish or tuna a few days a week. The impact on my physical and mental health have been quite amazing and I wish I had adopted this lifestyle years ago.
    Best wishes for healing. A broken toe can be annoying and painful.

    1. I’m so happy that my info inspired you to start a primarily plant-based life and that it is serving you well. I love sharing what I’ve learned, and it makes me so happy to know that others benefit from it.

  69. I was not getting any updates and was worried you were no longer going to blog.
    I was interested if you are on the hunt for a smaller and scaled down place to live.
    I enjoy you’re photos. Thank you

  70. I am 70, but active and I love your style and how you describe your style’s goal. We have a house on Beech Mountain where we spend most of the summer now. I’ve seen you post from around that area.
    I LOVE the Edith Wharton quote and your musings on getting older. On a recent visit to my son in Orlando I fell and badly broke my arm. I’m bionic now! When I looked back at the event I realized I was not ‘living in the moment’ as I was dashing around in the rain. It has been a lesson to me that as we age we need to be deliberate in how we move, what we say and things we do. The result will be less ‘accidents’ and a better enjoyment of life.
    Thank you for keeping your site current. I enjoy and am inspired by your posts. Jackie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

FOLLOW ME ON