I observe everything and everyone with great detail. I began my study of observing in the first grade. I usually walked 11 blocks home from my elementary school, with my girlfriend, Sandy. On the few occasions I walked alone, I remember I observed nature and architecture and sounds. I remember I never felt alone because I had so much around to observe. I learned soon after that I was not simply observing with my eyes; I was also “observing” with my ears. This thought came into play as I began to listen to the words of my family and friends. They provided me with detailed and learned information. Behavior. Perception. Values. Scrutiny and best of all ‘newness of thought.’’ People, good and bad, were teachers.

How to be a joyful observer: You have to tune in

As the new year of 2018 was around the corner. I observed the number 18 and became ecstatic. Why? Because in the Jewish religion the definition of the number 18 is to live. The Hebrew word for “life” is chai. The word reflects the importance of life in Judaism. I wonder how many of my Jewish friends had the time, because of life’s distractions, to think about this marvel. The last time the number 18 appeared on a year’s date was 100 years ago: 1918. In my mind, I will refer to 2018, as the Year of Chai; of life. My first joy in the New Year. This all happened because I am an observant woman.

I also observed by ‘listening’ intently to the lines in a movie. We viewed “The Shape of Water,” on Dec. 31st. One line so moved me that I made it my New Year’s toast to my husband, Sheldon Good, my ultimate concierge. I raised my glass in front of friends and said to him. “You are all around me.” This wonderful phrase will stay with me all the days of my life.

Some months ago I wrote a poem. This morning I pulled the poem out of a file because I recalled it has everything to do with my observations…seeing and listening to my inner thoughts. It is interesting that the poem on the topic of dealing with cancer was inspired by my ability to observe.

Life Changed After Cancer

The sun is sunnier.
The leaves on the trees, greener.
The flowers smile and…I smile back.

Each star shines brighter
The Seas are calmer
I follow, woman, the moon.

My empathy keener
My appreciation greater
My thoughts run deeper
I am wiser.

My laugh is heartier
My clarity keen
I forgive and forget.
I am calm.

I live life to its fullest
Passion and fierceness
are my middle names.

I ride ‘my wave of positivity’
Cancer brought me to a higher plain.

So my darlings delve into the wonders of observation, starting with yourself. You will be all wiser and, I must add, happier women over 50. Why not start with bringing a fresh bouquet of cut flowers into your home…to observe with joy.