Category Archives: Life

When Going Gets Tough, The …uh Well I

When the Going Gets Tough ….I think I’ll

Wait.  That’s right my friends.  I find just waiting it out works most of the time.  None of this ‘the tough get going’.  I suppose when I was younger and had more energy the  ‘get going’ part was easier.  Inspiring and energizing even.  But oh my, now just waiting it out seems smarter.

 

The saying is attributed by some to Joseph Kennedy, legendary father to President John F. Kennedy (1888-1969) and to Knute Rockne who was a football player and a pretty smart man (one of his most famous sayings was, ‘Win this one for the Gipper which was famously used throughout early era movies.)

 

Now the idea is that when difficult situations arise, people of strong character don’t just lie around and complain but get going to solve the problem, which is fine for all you energy sodden folk.

 

I used to take the need to get going rather seriously but with the wisdom that comes with years I have discovered most things either resolve themselves or at least present a clearer easier solution when considered.  Sometimes old-fashioned ‘pondering’, which, is pretty low energy requirement, works much better.  Leaves the mind open to possibilities.

 

Getting going is such an aggressive approach, even more than the mighty oak which is less aggressive but more resistant, and I prefer to act more like the willow tree gently bending in the winds of life.

 

See there I go again making it sound like I know what I’m doing; that in the spice rack of life I am sage (get it? Get it?  Sage/wisdom/smart)

 

Sometimes it is a wait and ponder situation, and sometimes when events are moving quickly and you fear you have lost control, just picture yourself in a tiny round silver saucer sleigh, hanging on firmly to the handles flying down the slippery slope of life, eyes closed, waiting to stop and having faith that you will survive the journey.  No point in worrying after all there is more than one way to win a battle, be the victor, skin a cat,…well you get the idea.

 

 

11/22/63 ARGHHHH

11/22/63 ARGHHHHH!

I don’t know if it bothers Tabitha King very much that I spend long nights with her husband, but I do know recovery the next day is getting more difficult, but I get sucked into it every time.  Okay, truth be known I am sure Tabitha knows a lot of women spend nights with her husband – and probably men do too.

Stephen tends to be that way.

Now normally I can handle a few hundred pages within a few hours and scarcely notice my addiction until I am faced with what will probably be a very long night.  This was fine in my previous I can sleep as late as I want life, but now I have a cherished responsibility.  And Stephen, my dear frankly does not give a damn.

Ah Stephen

I had a free afternoon so got into 11/22/63, Stephen King’s new killer novel which I cannot put down.  I am 287 pages into it, and (no Rosalyn there will be no spoilers here) and there are a total of 849 pages!

It is now 12:30 am and I have been having discussions with myself about regaining my sanity and putting the book aside until tomorrow evening.  I have tried berating myself, pulling the mother/child self-scolding approach and thought I had actually succeeded when I shut the light off half an hour ago.  But to no avail.

Since these thoughts keep running around my brain, and I blame Tabitha for not being able to control her husband’s attraction for others, I thought I would feel better if I just did this one post.  Something to clear my mind, put things in perspective (NO Chris, once again you cannot possibly complete another 562 pages by daylight!)

Between you and me – if there was even the teensiest possibility I would give it a go.

Now I feel better, have my urges in control and will not, will not I repeat pick up this book again until tomorrow – er – today at 5:30 pm.  I am an adult.  I can do this.  I can.

It is now 12:50 am and I am gong to bed.  I am.

 

11/22/63 The Book

 

11/22/63 The Book


Today most people are thinking about the approaching Thanksgiving thinking, planning, cooking and getting ready to celebrate with family and friends.  It is my experience that this holiday is primo, better than Christmas, or what ever your major day of the year is.  It’s a day where commercialism has no hold, no gifts except that of appreciation.

Unless you were born prior to 1960 you will not have a memory of the events of 11/22/63.  You know I did not appreciate this fully until a day long ago,when I made a comment about Jack Kennedy and my  sons asked, “Who is Jack Kennedy?”

That got me thinking about perception and the things that shape our world.  Now I don’t mean our world in the broad sense, I mean our personal internal world and all the things or events that help shape who we are, that touch us in some way.

For some of a more current generation it might be 9/11, or the assassination, or….?  For my parents generation who lived through the second world war it may have been an event for that, the Holocaust, the loss of friends, sons, fathers, mothers,…well you get the idea.  For my mother who served in the WRENS in Britain, it was the memory of working in a command center and when a submarine went down off the coast of Britain and while radio contact was maintained there was no way to rescue those men and all she and her people could do was listen to them die.

Stephen King, my greatest inspiration, although I cannot read some of his books, has published 11/22/63 and in that magnificent King way of his has given the events a twist – of course.  What if the assassination could be prevented?

I cannot comment on the story as I have just begun to read it, but it does make me wonder – if we could change the outcomes, would we or even should we?

Our growth as human beings depends on our ability to adapt and learn and move forward.  There comes a time when, I believe, most of reach a point of acceptance, liking who we have become and are comfortable in our own skins even though, by that point our skins seem to hang loosely on out bones.

Fall Feelings of Futility

Fall Feelings of Futility

I had a thought today on the cozy heart warming pleasure there is in taking a fall walk through rustling leaves.

I find the sound of shuffling my feet and kicking up the russet carpet to be a very satisfying one as listening somehow takes me back to childhood. Not to any one particular event mind you, just a feeling of youth.

That gentle comforting thought lasted through the first step into the yard as G2 and I headed out for a little fun bagging leaves. As I gathered piles to scoop up he did just the opposite. I tell you that child got lots of exercise and fresh air and I got a healthy dose of frustration until finally I got into the fun of it by developing a sense of humor and so in our own way we worked away and I found I just needed to work faster than he to make headway.

But there is a question that crosses my mind now and then, generally at this time of year. Why do we even have to pick up leaves? It seems to me that leaves provide a warm blanket, a sort of protective layer between the lawn and snow.  Is that not one of natures natural fertilizer?  That the leaves will rot and provide nutrition to the lawn?

It will be obvious to all of you by now that I am not a gardener of any sort, and I hope my question doesn’t sound too silly, but really doesn’t it make sense?

Thoughts on Reusing the Reusable

Thoughts on Reuse

I was looking at pill bottles the other day.  You know, the little round ones the pharmacists put your medications in.

It wasn’t the bottles themselves that first caught my attention, it was the labels that are stuck on with cement and cannot be removed with heat, water or a force of nature.  It occurred to me that when man is done with life on this planet, when all other plastic finally disintegrates, those little brown bottles with a two inch piece of paper stuck to them will still be floating around.

The worst of it is the private information that cannot be destroyed; your name, your medication, your doctor.  You can shred your mail to keep information private but your life sustaining secrets cannot be destroyed.

So that got me thinking about reusing those little brown bottles.  Why can’t they be reused?  Why do  we have to throw them out after one use?  It strikes me that it is a waste to the millionth degree.

Just stop to think about how many bottles we are talking about.  I have one prescription a month, a minor medication but a necessary one.  So for me that is twelve wasted bottles a year and in the last fifteen years there are 180.  That still may not seem like much to you, but I did an informal survey among my friends and acquaintances and the people that I know get three to eight bottles filled a month.  Never mind the exorbitant cost of the medication itself, just think about the container cost.

Now I bet that if all these wee bottles were recycled and reused we could save money on the over all cost.  And if for some reason these particular bottles cannot be reused then surely there are some bright bunnies out there that could design a reusable bottle.

The fact that I can use a permanent marker to obliterate personal information is of no consequence.  Somebody must be able to explain why the waste, why the clutter?

Secret Tapes

Secret Tapes

I have discovered the illicit fun to be gotten from having the recorder on my phone
tape delightful secret words.  I have meandering chatter by G2 as he explores his imagination with his toys unaware that his sweet voice ……

This past Saturday my sister and I went to visit a dear aunt; a sole survivor of ten, and my Mom’s sister who is now 84 years old. I listened, awestruck as she recounted things from her youth, the war and life in Canada.  She and my mom were both war brides.

It was the best three hours I have spent ever.  Tea and chat – laughs and tears.  She is the
last historian for that side of the family, the last voice to be heard.  I sit now listening marveling at her memory which may take a few minutes to unravel but unravel it she does.

I listen to, “It was in 1936 and…..”

Several things strike me as wonderful and in some ways a little sad; her work ethic for
one.  We seem to be afraid of this kind of work ethic these days, and would call it child labor, but then everyone worked.  When she was 10 she delivered papers early in the morning then returned home for breakfast and off to school.  After school it was chores, then supper, then brownies and then she ran deliveries for the local merchant.  The next morning it started all over again.  She said that each week when the merchant would pay her she would have him keep back a portion of her pay and then each Christmas a huge basket of food would arrive at their front door from the shop keeper.  The gift was anonymous and no one ever did find out who it came from.

Her husband to be was from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and both he and his brother Gerald were in the same unit.  Gerald never did make it home and when he first died it was unknown who he was.  His brother had arrived at the cemetery in
France to deliver something and seeing his brother’s body was the first time he
knew he had died.  My aunt took a few moments to remember and name several others who did not make it home.

Working hard is not something this lady did…it is something she continues to do every
day..and she continues to do for others.
She is smart as a whip about current events and her opinions are based
on good thought….she is who I would like to be when I grow up….you know..once I
leave my sixties..it takes some of us longer to grow up than others.

It Started With Grumpy Old Men

It Started
With Grumpy Old Men

Original Grumpy

That really was the start of a new awareness about life and the uh elderly..no..I mean life in the more senior population.  Notice I say life in not life about.
I’m talking about the movie, not real life grumpy old men.  Or real life grumpy old women for that
matter.   Age, or aged, depending on how
you look at it is popular right now, probably because all we baby boomers decided not to accept ‘old’ as meaning ‘old’.

When I was twenty I thought thirty was ancient and how ridiculous that seems now.  At twenty I could not imagine feeling or looking any different – ever.  A woman I know at
the age of seventy-six went zip lining a couple of weeks ago and loved it.  Now I tend to think eighty-five is old but may have a different point of view when I get there.  I tend not to glimpse in the mirror as often anymore as the reflection belies how I actually feel.

I do seem more conscious of age now and have been looking at what makes age ‘old’ because in spite of people thinking I am much younger the facts are the facts: I am a
senior citizen.

It seems to come down to energy and joy in living.  I have met some in their thirties who are much older than I, who seem beaten down, exhausted, too weary, and as though gravity itself is a weight that relentlessly prevents living.  Energy does not even
have to be physical activity but can be mental.
The fountain of youth as sought by Ponce de Leon was thought to be a fountain and the myth of magic waters actually extended back a thousand or more years.

Men and women alike seek eternal youth through plastics and injections which to me really has the opposite effect.  Nothing
like spotting implants and unmovable facial skin makes me shake my head and wonder where the common sense is and what trigger in their brain convinces them, as they stare into a mirror that they are younger or better looking.

Longevity is of interest to me (current life span in America is 78 and in Japan is 83)
but it is not the number of years of living but the quality of life in those years. Tibet’s longevity is interesting for there the goal is for a long and healthy life. One is no good without the other.
There are a few things that are consistent in everything I have read
about youthful living.

My idea of 5 Factors for Ageless Aging

1)      ENERGY of course that makes each day
an adventure whether physical or mental – actually looking forward to each day
or minute.  Moving with intention.  Showing interest in just about anything. That
is energy.

2)      A SENSE OF PEACE or acceptance – the
feeling that you are not at odds with the world on a daily basis.  It is not that you accept injustice but within you your mind and soul are at peace with yourself.  I don’t think this applies only to religious folk but each of us can find a viable truth within ourselves that makes some sense of existence. Que Sera Sera.  No point in getting your girdle in a knot, as they say about things you cannot change.

3)      SENSE OF HUMOR – this seems to be core to even wanting to live a long worthy life because if you cannot laugh at the irony of life or at yourself for that matter then why would anyone even want to exist for however long?

4)      GRATITUDE – so essential, not because you have to, not because God demands it, but because it increasesappreciation of everything large and small around us.

5)      JOY – What was the last thing you were really joyful about?  Try looking at
just about anything right now, the first object to your right and finding some
joy in it.  Just for the heck of it.  Just because.

What is your true age and how do you define it?

‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’ is an oft used phrase and is pretty accurate as
they reflect pain, sorrow, happiness, deceit, smugness, life, love..the list
could go on and on…but they also show age, for the youth, regardless of years
have a sparkle called life and when that sparkle ceases to show then regardless
of years, there is only ‘old’.

BTW sparkles can come back.  There is little
else more rewarding that bringing joy to another and seeing life.

Skating on the Thin Ice of Life

Skating on the Thin Ice of Life
 
“You’re skating on thin ice girl!”
 
Life is full of warnings, some overt and some less so. This one is pretty clear and was more serious than, “Stop, or you’re going to your room.” or even, “You’re cruisin for a bruisin.”
 
Skating implies movement, action, direction and a path or destination. Thin ice implies danger, warning, risk …high risk and a calamitous outcome if direction is not changed. Skating is smooth, continuous whether it is a forward, backward, figure eights, it is a confident motion that would seem not easily stopped or altered which increases the danger of being on thin ice. Once your motion carries you far enough there is no turning back and the only choice is to deal with the consequences of your action. This is a pretty good argument for thinking out plans beforehand.
 
But it strikes me that as we age skating on thin ice takes on a new meaning. Our footing may be ( literally ) less sure due to any number of circumstances including weak fragile bones or eye sight problems with depth perception, muscle weakness, blah, blah, blah. The older we get, the thinner the ice and our big rink just plain putters out.
 
 
Sometimes I think a zamboni is the only answer.
 
FYI….Wiki says…Zambonis do not really “melt the broken ice” in hockey arenas. The process of resurfacing the ice is the Job of the Zamboni at an ice rink between groups on the ice or periods of a hockey team. A Zamboni actually has a blade on it that cuts or shaves the surface of the ice (not much because the ice is only 1.5 to 3.5 inches thick!) This way the grooves and uneven surface from skaters is brought back to a more even surface. Then the Zam floods behind the cut with hot water (approx. 140 degrees) which fills in any leftover grooves or odd spots in the ice, freezes up and makes a fresh surface for the next group of skaters.