Things change from year to year but in doing so in many ways, it stays the same. There was, and will be struggle, and what seems to count most is not what happens but how we deal with it. How we survive I guess. After all survival can be victorious, making us stronger, even if in our minds, or it can minimize us making us wonder what the hell happened. Life has never been promised to be a nirvana/ heaven, or permanently happy. Life is hard work. Happiness and joy are more a by product of surviving that hard work. It’s temporary but oh my so sweet.
Well this whole thing of course is Bryan Thomas’ fault. Here I am working hard to close down my computer for the night and after quickly packing in some work I need done for tomorrow. Procrastination? You bet. Love it! Own it!
Then before the big shut down I peek at my email. Why there is one from the Intrepid Optimist, the previously mentioned Mr. Thomas. Oh please I beg my pretending Mom in my head, just a peek. I am then made to suffer a lecture about how one I look I am lost to the world of Useful Things. No NO I persist. Just a pleasant short read to tickle my brain.
Also I must admit I have already taken my sleeping pill so typing is like slogging fingers through very thick fog are frequently required me to repair and repeat until I get the damn thing right. Because his title is Lack of Consideration found here got me thinking about how entertaining a blog on insults – only the very best ones- would be fun to right. I will think tomorrow, I say to my self, but suddenly WHAM! one the best from the past comes to mind. And….yeah….I have to do it TONIGHT.
The only hope is that it will be very short, because what came to mind is no biggie. I have a very very loved and cherished Aunt. Actually a Great Aunt. When I was young, much much much younger my family disowned me for a time – not long you understand – I mean how could their lives possibly go on forever sans moi. Anyway in that time Uncle Jack and Auntie Fran took me under their wing, loved me without judgement and to this day I am most devoted to them. Dear Jackie Bugs as Frannie used to call him left us 12 or 13 years ago and Frannie has carried on with great dignity, and pain, and between the two of us we keep wonderful stories about Jack and thereby keeping him somewhat alive. But this is not about them sort of.
Jack and Fran and I and whatever husband of the moment I was with socialize frequently. One day they drove from Toronto to our house in Cambridge. “Ah” she said in her formal Australian speech style, “Your Uncle Jackie parked in a lot on the way up here to pick something up. When we returned to the car there was a note on the windshield. Someone had not been happy with his parking skills. I thought the note was a perfect scolding. It read:
“MAY THE FLEAS OF A THOUSAND CAMELS INFEST YOUR ARM PITS.”
See? Nothing to go to war or even scuffles for …point made. And a chuckle.
So you are right my fine Intrepid Optimist friend……Don’t some mothers ‘av ‘em?
#1: When you are old do not amble through life, but charge ahead with purpose and urgency. That ambling shit is what makes us old.
Perception – and you all know what I think about perception- Nietzsche and all that.
Younger folk are driven to live. Must get up, must go to work, must do for children, do, do, do, and glad at the end of the day when well deserved rest is achieved. Days off and vacation are celebrated. When I retire life will be sweet. No rush, no need to be somewhere, doing something often equates to doddering.
This old girl wonders if there should be lessons on retiring. Not this advertised crap about tennis, golf and travel and comfortable worry free living. That doesn’t apply to most of us. But lessons on living with purpose; having a sense of urgency that gets us up out of that bed.
In the obligated stress of pre-retirement life there is often a desire to believe we will become stress free. Not gonna happen. Remove the ‘have to’ of your existence and you are often left with the ‘whaaaa’?
I once heard a statistic from the Ministry of Health that more than 80% of seniors in Nursing Homes are depressed. Guess what? It’s not just in Nursing Homes.
Imagine you are running a marathon; Sweating, grunting, breathless effort that fills you with exhaustion and energy all at the same time. Finally you reach the finish line and everyone cheers. There are awards and gifts and then the crowd goes off to their busy lives and you are left standing holding a card that says ‘You made it! You retired! Your work is done!
Now you figure you can slip into a lower gear and slow down. But what if the exertion of the race is what kept you going and succeeding, kept you young? What if a lower gear is just the beginning of a slippery slope?
For many of us pre-retirement is energy. And energy begets more energy. Changing our Mondays to Fridays and making everyday a Saturday is not a good thing when it goes on day after day after day.
Passivity is the biggest danger to aging. We passively watch others live their lives, and we suddenly find ourselves on the fringes of life – looking in.
The life giving sense of urgency can be as simple and the desire to get out of bed and make our tea. Watching TV doesn’t even have to be passive if we get engaged in what we are seeing or hearing. Engagement.
And we all have to find our own paths in this. A list from me isn’t going to help anyone. I have been retired for seven full years, just beginning my eighth and I am just figuring some of this out. It’s been on my mind, teased me with niggling thoughts like little pieces of a puzzle and I am just getting enough of a picture ….more to come I am sure.
December 9th holds no special meaning to me other than it is, of course, December 9th. But yesterday was December 8th and it was a day of epiphany, of sorts.
*this cartoon from Pinterest is just way toooooo real….
I’ve been draggy lately (in terms of months not days), and it occurred to me that my physical exercise had decreased. Significantly. Gym had gone by the wayside, swimming drifted away on a tide of farewell, and walking, which I did religiously every day to the tune of ten thousand steps largely took place in my brain only. Not largely, entirely. December 8th I thought about just tightening my abds and discovered neither my body nor brain remembered quite how it was supposed to go. So that got me thinking about today – which of course yesterday was tomorrow. A day I had already decided would be dedicated to a deep pre-Christmas cleaning, possibly in hopes of St. Nick visiting but more likely due to mating dust bunnies frolicking around my feet.
Well once I decided to do something so outside my nature my brain started thinking. Why not make it a day of new or different stuff? Push myself a bit. I remembered that a few days previous an acquaintance mentioned that there is a program on TV called ‘Healing Yoga’ and it is on at 6 a.m. in the morning. At the time the term Healing Yoga appealed though the early hour did not.
I have been retired for almost seven years and argue with myself all the time about wanting to sleep in. Unfortunately most of my life interests occur in the morning so I set my alarm dutifully for 7:30 which necessitates ongoing grumbles. I have also come to believe that sleeping in is such a waste of life since my life span has been considerably shortened by advancing age and I need to make good use of every minute left.
About 9ish last night the thought came to me that I should consider doing the Yoga show. It resulted in a rather brisk discussion between myself and I, with accusations of having taken leave of my senses, it was Saturday and one sleeps in if at all possible barring the Rapture or a call to duty if one works. I had to be strong and take control of my slothful tendencies so I did the only thing I will listen to. I called my middle sister to tell her of my plan. I figured if I told someone it would strengthen my resolve. She was in the midst of watching her fave hockey team bite the dust, (or rather the ice) and chuckled merrily at my plan. ‘I will call and tell you how it went,’ says I. By now I think she was rolling on the floor in merriment and she cautioned, ‘That’s fine. JUST DON’T CALL ME AT 6!
Before retiring I dug my ancient Yoga Mat out of a cupboard and tried to unroll it. I finally placed bar stools at each end so it would be flat when I stumbled from bed in the morning.
I set my alarm, did not sleep well wondering what 5:50 a.m. was going to feel like, and awoke at the appointed time. I took care of immediate morning needs, decided to exercise in my pjs and turned on the TV.
Deborah Devine according to Zoomer media ‘leads and easy to follow gentle yoga class’. It struck me as a little ironic as she said the exercises we were about to follow were for relaxing to ensure a good night’s sleep. Having awakened early I tried blocking the idea of a good night’s sleep from my mind. At least the idea put a smile on face for the duration.
How was it? Not bad considering….I was pretty busy watching and listening to concentrate on doing it well but..not bad at all. It also gave me a bird’s eye view of some not recently dusted spots and corners so it provided motivation for the rest of my day.
Zoomer TV and magazine is designed for Canada’s Zoomers, those 45+, so really a bunch of kids to me, but I think I just might give this a bit of a go. After all I am retired and if I need to nap in the middle of the day I can certainly do so.
I can hardly wait to see what else this wonderful day holds for me…..
I get ridiculously excited about fresh empty notebooks and thanks to our country’s faux Black Friday sales I found this soft leather inscribed beauty at Chapters for 50% off. My Christmas is now complete. Uh unless you have another gift for me of course … but the bar is now set pretty high…
We cannot just pay homage to those who lost their lives but everyone who survived any war is a victim, haunted by ghosts of the past. Every vet I ever met who survived in combat situations. And not just in wars past but those today. Families of survivors are victims too. My father’s family suffered with the scars and memories brought back by their loved ones as did most others. Putting on a brave face determined how one appeared to survive in life, but in the dark and at end of life even seventy or eighty years later every horror heard and seen could be recounted. Brave faces, broken hearts, broken souls. There are no winners. Ever.
My Octobers and Thanksgiving have little change from year to year. And that is something to be grateful for.
And special thanks given to those original commentators of six years ago who today are even more a part of my life, now sisters and comrades in life: Judith of New Zealand, Snipewife, Eliz at Mirth and Motivation, and of course Colleen the Chatter Master, and Joss who was a Crowing Crone back then and now author, and Winsome Bella, and dear dear Celi of Kitchensgardens and the Farmy,
Falling Off the Map
It’s amazing how one day of not blogging turns into two or three. I started a number of times each day just to wander off either physically or mentally. The notes below I did on Sunday basking in the warmth of a true summer like day.
This is my favorite holiday of the year, unsullied by commercialism, and stress, a true time of thanksgiving. Most years it is cold, many times snowy and the odd time like this year it is warm and sunny. When I say warm I mean like 70ish which is warm for the frozen north. I am outside, reclining under a cloudless sky, so blue it could be it could be a vast warm ocean, wearing summer togs and listening to leaves rustling from a gentle breeze. Somewhere distant there is the drone of a lawn mower.
This is the…
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..for a couple of days at least and not for any good reason but …here is what I learned today.
Some species of oysters have separate sexes, but their reproductive organs contain both sperm and eggs. They are able to change sex from year to year. Some oysters are hermaphrodites and theoretically can fertilize their own eggs. When food is abundant, females are prevalent, but when food is scarce, there are more males. Spawning is temperature-dependent, and occurs at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Females release millions of eggs at a time.
When an oyster larva is ready to settle, it grows a foot and finds a place to establish itself. Usually this is an adult oyster shell that is part of an oyster bed, but it might also be broken oyster or clam shells. The young oyster, known as a spat, cements itself to the new surface and slowly metamorphoses into an adult oyster. Oyster beds sometimes form reefs that create complex ecologies, stabilizing bottom sediment, creating breakwaters for shorelines, filtering and cleaning water and creating habitats for a great variety of marine wildlife, including barnacles, sea anemones, worms, crabs and an abundance of fish.
And the niggling question that would not let go? How do oysters procreate?
Sad to say the final installment..and the funniest line ever.. I’ve got to catch him before he spends it all on poetry or writing or whatever.”
And the final installment of our hero’s travels (or should that be travails?)
Because of one thing and another, it took me longer to get back to Port Naain than I originally envisaged. You know what it’s like; you bump into old friends you haven’t seen for absolutely ages. You decide that you’ll have ‘just one more glass’ and before you know where you are, you’re trying to persuade a local magistrate that performance art is specifically excluded from a score of petty regulations. At least in civilised jurisdictions.
But still, I had turned my face for home and I could almost smell the chife of Port Naain. Yet perhaps I’d delayed too long. As I set off for the last day’s march, it came as a surprise to discover that there had been some snow overnight. I suppose we who live in the city forget how soon winter can…
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