I recently read a Discover magazine story that indicated a lifespan is a billion heartbeats.

As I approach my 60th birthday this week, I wish I had known that sooner. As a bit of an adrenaline junkie, a lover of scary movies and a Pepsi addict, I probably used up some extra heartbeats along the way.

Whatever — the heartbeats I might have saved would have taken away from my overall life experiences. I would have missed the thrill of rappelling off Morning Glory Arch near Moab, Utah. Also, I prefer watching movie scenes like Jack Nicholson (“The Shining”) poking his head through the hole in the bathroom door and exclaiming, “Here’s Johnny” than some mild-mannered G-rated flick. And, life without Pepsi — that’s crazy talk, it’s hard enough getting to work by 11 a.m. as it is.

Getting older isn’t all that bothersome — other than side effects of the aging process. I’ve found arthritis exacerbates some already troublesome issues.

For instance, I’ve always had difficulty with packaging. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost strength and dexterity in my hands. My husband isn’t exaggerating when he says sometimes it looks like a bear has ripped into the bag of chips.

In addition, I have trouble opening food in jars, Tupperware containers and medication bottles. And I discovered my packaging issue includes removing the shell from hard-boiled eggs.

The doggie doctor recently recommended giving our canine kids cooked eggs as a good source of protein. My sweet and quirky 7-year-old German shepherd is hesitant whenever anything new is introduced to him. With a treat the General isn’t familiar with, he’s reluctant to take it, then immediately drops it, sniffs it and finally will eat it — and that’s how he initially was with eggs.

However, it didn’t take long for the General to determine that he really likes hard-boiled eggs. He’s even a bit obsessive-compulsive about eating them — saving the yolk for last.

A few weeks ago, John left a note on the counter letting me know that two eggs were in the refrigerator for Lucifer and the General. When I tried to take the shell off the first one, it pulled off so much of the egg white that part of the yolk was showing. I tried a different method on the other, but with much the same result.

Other than likely feeling cheated that nearly half the egg was gone, Lucifer was fine, grabbing it and snarfing it up. However, the General had a look on his face like, “What are you giving me?”

When I gave him the mutilated egg, he hesitated and then immediately dropped it. At that point, the yolk went rolling across the floor. Suddenly, he realized what it was and pounced on it before Lucifer got it. I think the General lost a few heartbeats over that one.

Recently turning 82, my pops said these days he’s only celebrating birthdays that end in a 5 or 0. Since this is my 60th, I’m going to live it up. I’m flying to Disneyland with my bestie and her daughter (a trip we’ve talked about for nearly 20 years). I’m going to get my fill of adrenaline-pumping theme park rides, lots of Pepsi and probably utilizing many extra heartbeats.


Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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