Monday, October 31, 2016

New beginnings... again

Again I feel myself making progress in this, my new life. It's funny how things seem to happen in bits and pieces, little spurts of growth and then long periods of stagnancy. But progress is to be celebrated and I am.

This one began Friday when a series of events spurred me on to realize that the future was not in what I was still holding on to, but was rather destined to be something new and different. The past is not to be. The future is what I need to embrace. I became enlightened to the fact that my holding on to the past was not something that was going to produce any results, simply because it was my desire alone. And my wishing or wanting something, even working toward something alone, just cannot make it happen. I cannot waste time any longer wishing for something that is not to be.

So by Saturday morning I'd begun to think in terms of a totally different future, and by this morning I feel as though I'm beginning to embrace it. I think there are good things ahead for me. And at the very least my future will be with people I can trust, and who return the blessing of love to me. I'm hopeful that its a future full of honesty and affection as opposed to the deceit and betrayal of my past.

I may not have as many years left on this earth as I want to, but those that are left are going to be real, not a fantasy. And I'm going to be in control of how they play out. I will no longer subjugate my own dreams and desires in favor of somebody else's, and from here on in, with my family and friends firmly in my corner to support me, and despite the inevitable slips and trips, I know I'm going to be making big progress.

This is a very good day.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Stinkbugs

I've had an ongoing battle with stinkbugs here at my house.

It began a couple years ago. We had no experience with these ugly insects until visiting my daughter in Pennsylvania over the past fifteen years where they had been migrating from the south. They are rather disgusting creatures, flat beetle type bodies that don't fly as much as they dive bomb and land with a thud. I can always tell when one is in the room by the sound of it landing on something. Yuck!

Well three years ago when the Pennsylvania family came to visit they brought at least one with them and they've been with us here ever since. In reading about them I've discovered that they used to be confined to the more southern states but now are continuing their migration north. Very few people here even know what they are and some have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention them, but here at my house, they are settled in.

There is no eradicating them really. Once they find a host home they are there forever. But the pest control people do come and spray now and they seems to keep them at bay to some extent. At this time of the year they are especially evident as they begin their migration into warmer spaces. I seen the  near the windows and know they're trying to get in.

The reason I even mention them is that when I came into my home office yesterday morning I could feel the heat on and there was a faint smell of....stinkbugs. Their odor is disgusting. They emit this scent when they are threatened and usually I can take a tissue and gently pick them up and flush them down the toilet without having to deal with the smell, but if they are crushed or otherwise harmed look out. My guess is that there were some around the radiator out here in the office and when the heat came on for the first time they got fried. And thus, the smell. Its not easy to vacuum under this desk and around the old cast iron radiator so I can't even see if there are dead ones there. But I'm pretty sure there are.

And thus continues the stink bug battle...

Friday, October 28, 2016

The furnace

Well I finally broke down and flipped the switch on the furnace this morning. I'm 4 days early, but had to break with tradition.

Yesterday was a very chilly day, starting out in the 30s and not getting much above the 50s I think. I was home most of the day and could not warm myself up. My hands were still cold when I went to bed last night, only to warm up after lying in a nice warm tub before I climbed in between the sheets. I decided then it was time.

So this morning I flipped the switch at the top of the basement stairs and voila! Heat!

I'm already regretting it. The temperature is supposed to climb today and the weekend will be back in the 60s again. I think I'll turn it back off because I don't want to be wasting fuel and will gladly wait until November to flip that switch back up again.  The longer I can wait the better because once it comes on, its a long, cold winter.

I'm happy I didn't relent yesterday and change out my sheets to flannel. I think I can wait another week for that as well....

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Blazing

Autumn has really set the trees ablaze our here lately. We are so much later than the upstate and New England areas that it always seems odd to see the photos of those more northern spots, but when it hits here its really wonderful. I've seen more yellow, orange, and red in the past few days and its always a welcome sight. I love the colors of autumn.

When I was married in autumn 42 years ago I chose those colors for my wedding party, and now I look back at them and smile. I loved them then, and still do, but were I to do things over again (and boy do I wish I could!) I would be married in the Spring and my colors would be beautiful spring ones, like azalea pink, lilac purple, or spring green. I love the spring. And the symbolism of new beginnings is not lost on my either.

But right now, its autumn, and the colors of fall are pleasing me very much. I especially love it when the sky is a bright, summer blue, which still happens at this time of the year. Yesterday I drove to the beach and between the sky, the surf, and the sand, it seemed like a summer day but for the temperature. It was beautiful sitting in the car and looking at that empty beach! That's something you don't often see in August.

The seasons are one of my favorite things. They hypnotize me with their regularity and their beauty, each one coming like clockwork and bringing its very own pleasures for us to enjoy. And at this moment, its all about autumn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Groceries

Wednesday has become the best day to get groceries at the local IGA because they give a senior discount. I remember very well as I approached the magic age (62 I think) how insulted I would be if I happened to be there on a Wednesday and the clerk asked if I was a senior. Why no! I was NOT a senior!

I welcome the discount now. Since I've become accustomed to my age it doesn't seem such an insult. After all, I've survived some pretty heavy times to get to this age, and I miss my best friend who didn't make it this far. I remind myself of her anytime I think about getting older. I wish she had the same privilege.

Anyway - I like getting in there early on a Wednesday to get my groceries and save a little money in the process. However, I don't, and won't, go if I don't make it early in the day. For the simple reason that there are so many old people there!

Now I'm pretty patient, but being on the lower end of the "elderly" scale makes me pretty spry and quick and I roam through those aisles pretty quickly. I get frustrated when I encounter someone in a walker, or standing in front of a section of groceries blocking the way when I'm trying to hurry. God forgive me! There but by the grace of God go I, and some day I actually may. I am ashamed to admit my impatience.

So...its early to the grocery store for me. If I get there before eight, I'll have the place to myself. In and out in ten minutes. That's what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Time

I'm finding that time really does change things. Pain may not disappear, but it becomes less intense. Tears don't flow as often. And the future looks far less bleak with the passage of time. Of course the future looks like less and less of an option with the passage of time, which might be part of the explanation there! But knowing your time on earth is coming to a close is certainly part of the equation, isn't it?

I've been through periods of grief before. I know what the grieving process is all about. But these past months are like nothing I've ever known. The intensity and power of the grief I've felt reflects the impact that others can have on us and reminds me that when we give of ourselves, and we open our hearts, we also become vulnerable to pain. Its a sad truth in life that the more we give, the more we can be hurt as a result of it. Perhaps that explains some folks who are closed off from the world and choose to live lives of isolation and loneliness. Its perhaps more of a choice than circumstances and once burned they decide its not worth the price. It reminds me of the book "Silas Marner" that was required reading in our 10th grade curriculum. Poor old Silas was a hermit whose life was changed when a child entered it.

At some point we make decisions based on how much pain we are willing to bear, from bearing children to letting ourselves be vulnerable to others. But lessons learned may change us forever. I hope my heart stays open, but there are days I think about shutting myself off from the rest of the world.

Pain can certainly be a great motivator!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dropping

Well I do believe that we have finally settled into some true autumn weather here and not a moment too soon. Those summer-like days were beginning to bore me. Once I put the summer clothes away I don't like having to dig them out again when the temperatures suddenly soar in an unseasonable way. Yes, I think we are well into autumn now and the weather is reflecting that.

Our fundraising party was carried out under rainy, windy conditions on Saturday night and it felt every bit of autumn for sure! Most everyone was cold but I was very content in my short sleeves and lightweight coverings. I am not a fan of the heat and the cool air was comforting and comfortable for me. I enjoyed it very much.

And the community came out in force to support this effort, for which I am always grateful. It was a nasty night but the spirit inside the Maidstone Tennis House was warm and loving as we gathered to laugh and socialize and raise money for local cancer patients. It was a heartwarming night and I floated home on the knowledge that I live in a great community and there are many people out there who care about me. Its a good feeling.

Yes, the temperature is dropping, but I find that the "warmest" time of the year here is during the coldest months, when the citizens of East Hampton come out of hiding and show the world we are a very special place. Not because of the beaches or the expensive houses, but because of the people.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sleepovers

Last night I had a sleepover guest at my house. My six-year-old granddaughter stayed over because her parents were in the city and getting back very, very late.

I love having grandchildren stay over, especially now that I'm here alone. I like having another person in this lonely house, and none more than a grandchild. I love their conversation, their love, and their sweet spirits, and having them here totally brightens my mood. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't enjoyed being alone lately, so this is just what the doctor ordered.

Now this particular grandchild is a force to be reckoned with. She's smart, funny, full of life, and very loving. She notices everything and misses nothing. And I love that about her. I need to be constantly on my toes when she's around because if I'm not I'm in trouble.

And as with any child, life is a great adventure for her. I plan to take her to breakfast before we go to church, and I know she'll love that. She's always anxious to please and will be on her best behavior for sure. So will I.

Its a short-lived pleasure, and its probably best that way. I know I don't have the stamina I used to have and while I would be the first to step up and take any of my grandchildren in if they needed a place to live, I'm content to take them in smaller doses. No doubt they feel the same way about me! I adored my grandmothers but I'm not sure I would have been happy living with them!

Last night, and now today, I'll have plenty of love and affection right with me and I haven't had nearly enough of that lately. So my plan is simply to take it all in and enjoy every second of it. I love being a grandmother...


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pink

Tonight is the culmination of months of work as we celebrate our sixth "Real Men Wear Pink Cocktail Party" here in East Hampton. We begin working in May and spend our summer collecting raffle prizes, silent auction items, selling tickets, making plans, and focusing our efforts on this one night that we put aside to raise funds for local cancer charities here on the East End. I am so looking forward to it.

Like all these things it is a lot of work, and it takes a dedicated and strong committee to accomplish. And like all these things, it is extremely satisfying when our plans come together and our work is rewarded with a successful event and large amounts of money raised for a good cause.

My mother taught me years ago that while I may not have the means to support others financially, we all have the means to work hard and make a difference in our communities and the lives of our neighbors. She was so right. I am often frustrated by my inability to take care of simple needs I see through money, monetary donations being so needed so often. And yet not being able to do that is not an excuse not to. Because I can work. I can organize, I can inquire, I can set up tables and chairs - in short I can use what I do have to accomplish the same ends, and she taught me how to do that.

So tonight, when so many members of this community come out to support this event, I'll be content to know that I did my part. And I'll come home feeling tired, but very satisfied, knowing I did my part. It's a great feeling.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Art

I've been spending a lot of time with an old friend of mine - art. Not looking at it, but making it. And its filling a void in my life right now in a wonderful way.

I wanted to be an art teacher at one time in  my life. A bad guidance counselor steered me away from that desire when I was in high school, telling me I needed to look to other areas, and I've regretted it ever since. I've always been the artistic type and I think a career in graphic design or teaching would have suited me very well. But that's water under the bridge now so I can't do anything about it. But I can pursue my dreams of being an artist.

Fortunately for me a friend from high school did become an art teacher, and since she retired a couple years ago she's created a studio in her basement where she creates. And in the past year she's invited me to join her, and I love it. We spend one night a week together down there in her bright, well-stocked basement, just creating. I've truly found a happy place for myself, and with the recent events here its been a real life-line at a time when I dearly need it. I lose myself completely as we talk, and express ourselves in ways I've longed to for a lifetime now. Between the conversation and the artwork it is the best therapy I have. I come home feeling very satisfied and content, which is a rare commodity these days.

Last night I was home before nine and went right upstairs for a long, hot bath and bed, knowing I would sleep well with a spirit at peace, which doesn't happen too often anymore. There's something about finding this opportunity to bring my soul out into the world that brings me great contentment and joy.

Music has always brought me joy, and now the creative arts are doing the same. I must be totally right-brained I suppose, and I most definitely missed my calling in life. Hopefully high school guidance counselors are better at their jobs now than they were fifty years ago...

And after all, Grandma Moses didn't start until she was in her eighties, did she?


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Indian Summer

If ever there was an Indian Summer this week has been it! Most everyone was walking around in shorts and tees and I saw plenty of people with flip flops on the street. It truly was a bizarre change of temperature for the middle of October. I had to dive into my summer closet for lighter weight pants to wear when my jeans were just too heavy.

All this warm weather while the trees are yellow and orange was a bit odd and I'm happy to hear that we'll be back into more normal temperatures now. I was more than happy to be wearing my mid-weight clothes and not worrying about things like sweat and air conditioning. And of course the screens had just been taken down and put away so the house was not all that comfy.

I think this should be the end of our Indian Summer now and from here on out it will be all fall. The thermostat will be used soon as we creep toward freezing temperatures and I may be getting the heavy weight comforter out in a few short weeks. I look forward to that.

And in another week it will be November. And with November the holidays will be close behind. And even during this time of transition for me, when I'm not sure exactly what the holidays will bring, I'm very much looking forward to them. I may not be able to decorate quite as elaborately, or feel like celebrating quite as jovially, I love the holidays and I'm going to enjoy them tremendously. It will be different. But it will be great. And that's something to look forward to.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Friends

I've realized that part of the difficulty in coping with my circumstances these past few months is that I've lost more than a spouse - I've lost a friend. And losing that friend comes on the heels of losing the two other closest friends in life.

My mother died in 2007. That was a huge blow for me because she was the person who was always there for me from the very beginning. I always had a difficult relationship with my father, but I adored my mother, and she's the one who gave me the strength I've carried through in my life in terms of moving forward during difficult times and knowing who I am and feeling secure in terms of my standards and integrity. She was my center in terms of my faith and my sense of right and wrong, of what kind of person  wanted to be. I measured myself against her, always.

Then three years ago I lost my best childhood friend - the one I'd known since high school and had stayed close to all these years. She was my confidant and best advice giver. She was the one who I knew I could discuss anything with and not worry about being judged. She would also give me sound advice and I could always count on her to be there for me when I needed her. She took me to doctor's appointments and cancer treatments and she never made me feel like a burden.

When I lost her, I was grateful to still have my spouse, who was the one other person who knew me intimately. I looked forward to him coming home from work every day, helping me entertain, being my aid and comfort during difficult times, and keeping me company. I loved his sense of humor and I loved seeing him come in the door.

And now they are all gone. And so I find myself longing for the back door to open, to see a smiling face come in, to have someone to sit with at night to watch TV or go grab a bite to eat with. And no one comes. I still have friends of course. But not these three.

So now I better understand my grief. Because its been building, one loss at a time, as these three people left my life, taking with them most of the security and self-confidence I had. But understanding that loss is helping me to deal with it. And overcome it. I will never get over losing any of them and will miss them all until the day I die myself. But life is about love, and loss. And right now the losses are starting to really add up. The balance is shifting. And its making me feel old. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Corners

I think I have rounded a new corner in my journey. I know I've said that before, but this is a long process and even small steps forward feel huge to me. So maybe not a huge corner, but a corner nonetheless. And that feels good.

My biggest concern at this point in my life is to live without regrets. I don't want to regret the things I've said, or the things I haven't said. And that's not easy. I try to not respond in the heat of the moment, and yet occasionally I trip and know I mis-stepped. I'm not perfect, I know that, but I strive for perfection so making mistakes gets me down! I try not to make the same mistake twice, but I'm in very foreign territory right now and that's hard.

So if I've turned another corner in my life, I hope that means I'm closer and closer to being whole again and feeling like myself. Its been months now since I've felt at peace, and content, and protected and loved. I miss those feelings very much, but I'm inching my way back toward some of them. Some I may never experience again, I have no way of knowing at this point. But I have the confidence that I'm not to blame for the change and that helps.

Life is funny like that. One day you can be on top of the world and the next in the depths of despair, usually over the death of a loved one or a job loss or whatever. I think we mentally prepare for some eventualities, like death. But others are impossible to prepare for so they may be harder to overcome. I know this time in my life has been more difficult than the death of my mother was, and that was devastating to me. So I wonder.

In any case, life does not stand still for our grief. And although I am grieving for that which has been lost, I still have my faith and that keeps me strong. I am reminded of a book I read once about a flood on the campus of a Bible College down in Georgia. I had a good friend who had attended there so the book was especially interesting to me. One woman in the account had lost her entire family and at the funeral she made the statement "I may never be happy again, but I have the joy of the Lord". It struck me as so odd and I wrestled with that for a long time. For the very first time, I understand it. There is still joy in my life, through my faith, and my wonderful family that I love beyond measure. But there may always be a sadness too. And I'll just need to live with that.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekends

I am beginning to dread the weekends.

It's an odd turn of fate, truly. Because they used to be my favorite part of the week, and now they are the worst. And because I remember so vividly my mother telling me after my father died how difficult Saturdays were for her because she didn't have her usual busy schedule and spent most of the time alone, thinking, missing him, etc. Now I totally get it.

Saturdays have been days when we worked around the house, each doing our own jobs and taking care of our own responsibilities, and yet we were not alone. We talked, we laughed, we worked together. And then, once the afternoon came around and we were done with our chores, we often watched a movie on the couch, or took a drive, maybe had lunch at the beach during any time of the year, sitting in his truck, watching the birds work and analysing the surf.. Whether or not we had something on the schedule for Saturday night, we had company - we had each other.

Now, of course, as busy as I try to be on the weekends, I'm alone. I dread it. And its impossible to get away from it. Even if I go out at night, I come home, nicely dressed and sometimes glowing from a nice evening, to an empty house. There is no one to review the evening's activities with, no one to ask what was meant by a comment made by someone else, no person that you know intimately to banter with like long-married couples do. And that's the real emptiness of the weekends. Being alone on the weekends is very evident no matter what is on the schedule. Its the time I feel the saddest.

In my mother's case I was lucky enough to live right next door, so once I knew she was having a hard time on Saturdays I made a point of walking over to visit in the afternoons. It was a perfect time because my partner was often watching sports on television, so rather than sit with him and knit or chat, I would take my knitting next door and talk with Mom for awhile
. It was good for both of us, filling the empty hours for her and giving me more time with someone I wouldn't always have with me. Now, in retrospect, I treasure those hours on Saturdays with Mom. And I have the new perspective that she treasured them as well. I totally get it.

Saturdays will never be the same for me. Even when they are busy, they feel empty. Its my new reality and I will adjust, but its going to take a long time.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Low sun

The days are getting noticeably longer these days. At 5pm the light is coming from a low setting sun, sparkling through the trees before dusk settles in. The mornings are dark until almost 7, and walks are relegated to the business district where we have lamp posts to help guide us along the way.

The nice thing about the early darkness is the fact that I feel no great urge to get back outside after I settle in for the day. With darkness coming, I can get into night clothes, grab my knitting, and settle into the comfy couch without guilt over the thought that I'm "wasting daylight", which is what often happens in the summer. I am more than happy to stay in for the night by 5:00 and not worry about anything other than my own space right here in my house, which I love, and after nearly forty years feel totally comfortable here. I am blessed to have been here for so long and to have made it my own. There's nothing like home, we all know that.

So, although many regret these shorter days and longer nights, I'm not one of them. I love the daylight hours in the summer and I love the dark of winter. There's no seasonal mood issues here. I welcome the winter when I can just settle in and enjoy my home. Summer will be back soon enough. For now, its all about home, sweet home...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Follow-up

So I have to follow-up on yesterday's blog because it was in response to comment left on a blog I did about "attitude" and I think I should assure people I'm doing OK. I know not everyone who reads this blog knows me, or even cares, but some do and I don't want anyone to think I am withering away in my house with no life anymore. That is far from true.

In fact, the months that have passed since my world fell apart have allowed me to do a lot of thinking and the time has managed to make me feel much more optimistic and hopeful than I did only a month ago. I think as time passes we are better able to see our enemies for who they are, recognize those that have our best interests at heart, and also separate the false hopes from the realities. I think I'm beginning to see things (and people) for what (or who) they are, rather than using the rose-colored glasses that I perhaps wore for far too long. Its a harsh reality, but reality is always better than fantasy I imagine.

I'm not sure where my life is heading right now. I hope that someday I'll have a person in my life who loves me. I crave companionship, I won't lie. I hope for that, but it may not be. I don't have all that many years left on this earth so time is slipping away. And I'm OK with that. I have plenty of people who care about me and as a woman of faith I know that God is always in my corner. I can be alone and manage just fine.

So for anyone who may be worried about me, rest easy. I will survive, and I will thrive, whether I'm on my own or not. I have much to be thankful for. I know that. And my life is full of very good things.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Regrets

Yesterday I saw a post that someone had put on one of my recent blogs and I found it odd. It was anonymously posted, which was too bad, because I would love to have a real conversation with this person, whomever they are. You see they said that I needed to work on living a life with "no regrets".

It made me wonder how that's possible? I have absolutely no regrets about the life I have lived in terms of my integrity, honor, standards, etc. I regret nothing in terms of the things I've done and the way I've conducted myself. I have always had high standards for myself and I've held to them firmly.

But how do you not have regrets about dedicating so many years to a person who didn't deserve your dedication? How do you not regret giving yourself completely to someone who not only didn't value the gift, but basically spit on it? How do you not regret the fact that you could have spent so much of your energy over those years doing more for yourself and less for the person who didn't deserve it? And how do you not regret a pain that cripples you for months on end?

I did have wonderful things in my life - my children being at the top of the list. But that does not erase the regrets that come from making a bad choice that affected everything forever. And at the end of the day, I am still alone. Life does indeed throw us curve balls and that is to be expected, but when someone else's decisions effect you in such a tragic way, there has to be regret with that, doesn't there?

No, I don't agree with this person, but I wish I could ask them what they meant by their comments. I certainly don't regret my life. And I don't regret who I am now. But I would be lying if I said I don't regret the investment I made, which has bankrupt me completely. I worked my whole life toward a goal and now that goal is gone, with nothing but loneliness and pain in its place. Without the support of family and friends I can't imagine where I would be right now. How would it be possible not to regret that?

I really don't like anonymous comments. They leave me wondering who is thinking what and why do they not want to tell me who they are? I enjoy a good conversation with anyone over just about anything, but as soon as someone becomes anonymous, the conversation becomes pretty one-sided in my mind. So whomever you are, if you'd like to chat, I'm not hard to find. Give me a call and tell me, how would you respond to betrayal, after investing a lifetime in someone, with no regrets? I'd really, really like to know...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Driving

Today I'll be making my second drive to Southampton for the week. It may not be my last. I find myself going in that direction pretty regularly these past few years, with my association at the hospital I need to attend regular meetings, and I volunteer there in Tuesdays, so its unavoidable, really.

I usually don't mind the drive. I use my "alone" time for meditating - prayer time is what I call it. I talk to God a lot when I'm on the road. I find it less distracting than listening to the radio so its easy to watch the road and pray at the same time. There are no other things happening, just me and God and the road. Our time together.

But lately the cost of gas has become an issue. Many trips west mean lots of gasoline. And being that my financial footing is a bit shaky at the moment, stops at the gas station worry me. A lot. So I try to combine as many things as I can in any one trip.

And now that the traffic has eased its a pleasant drive. I love the scenery, both on the main roads and the back ones. I enjoy watching the change of seasons as I drive back and forth. Its truly mental R&R. Sometimes its my most relaxing time of the day.

So I have a few errands to do along the way this morning. A quick follow-up with the doctor after my surgery last week, some shopping on the way home, and my morning will be over. I just may take the time to stop and buy a few pumpkins on my way home. Why not?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Attitude"

I opened a friend's blog this morning and the title struck me: attitude. I didn't need to read any further because I knew immediately it was a message for me. Attitude is everything. I've lived it, I've learned it, I've accepted it. Attitude is everything.

I find that my best days are the days that I wake with the right attitude. I feel ready to face any challenge, armed for the day ahead, positive that I can persevere, sure of my footing. It keeps me going throughout the day when I set my mind to something. I knew I needed to make that solo trip to Pennsylvania in September so I gritted my teeth and I did it. I knew I needed to get those storm windows out yesterday so I .... well that didn't work out so well because they were behind the other stuff in the shed, including the snow blower that weighs a ton so I had had no chance of getting those windows out....but I was ready! Mentally I was there! I knew I had to learn how to do a lot of things now that I'm alone, so I did. And I have. And I will continue to do so as long as I maintain the attitude that I can.

I've known people in my life who simply allowed the circumstances they found themselves in to overwhelm them and beat them down. I have never wanted to be one of those people. So I'm determined to put one foot in front of the other every single day, constantly moving forward, experiencing new things and managing my life in every way. I could curl up and feel sorry for myself (and sometimes I do) but I choose not to allow that to become my new way of life. Although I'm no spring chicken, I could still have another twenty years left on this earth and I don't want to waste a single one of them.

Yes, its all about attitude. And today at least, I have that in abundance.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Autumn glory

Well the sun has finally come out to stay for a few days and its beautiful out there in Bonac. Pumpkins are popping up in lots of places along the roadside, farm stands are green, yellow, orange and red with produce, and the feeling in the air is the very best of the season. Its autumn and I love autumn.

After a few days at home recuperating I was thrilled to get outside on the road today and do some errands. I needed groceries and I needed to take stuff to the dump. I had to stop at the pharmacy and I needed to check in at work. I had many errands, gladly done on a sunny, comfortable day. I'm enjoying the long sleeve weather and the easy sleeping temperatures. Its all good today because autumn is finally here. I'm a very happy camper.

Of course, it doesn't last long enough for me but I'll take it while I can get it. I prefer this weather to almost any other, and we only enjoy it for a few weeks in the fall and a few in the spring. But its wonderful while its here and I'm trying to get in all the outdoor clean-up jobs I can while its still perfect weather for it. Winter is zeroing in quickly and there is work to be done. Storm windows to put up, planters to empty, and spicketts to drain.

Yes, this is really my time. I'm feeling invigorated and I'm looking forward to this winter at home, learning to adjust to my new life. Its October and its perfect right now.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Recovery

Yesterday was what I would call "recovery day". After my minor surgery on Friday I felt pretty good on Saturday, but yesterday was not as easy and it was the day I spent on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, feeling very much alone and not very comfortable.

I'm learning to be alone, but its not easy. I've never really been alone much in my life. I moved from my parent's home into a place with some friends, and then back to my original home, and then to my married home.  All in all I had only lived alone for maybe 2 months up until this point. So being alone, especially in this big house (which I love and don't want to leave) has been a huge adjustment. Clearly I'm not there yet.

Not feeling well, combined with being alone, is not the best combination for sure. I had a bit of a pity party while I lay around reading, watching television, eating, sleeping...it was a boring and sad day for me.

The good news is today is a new day. Because every new day begins with optimism and gratitude. Hopefully, today I'll get a phone call, or a text, or a visit, or something to remind me that I'm not really alone. These days I need that reminder.
 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hospitals

So yesterday I had my medical procedure done at the hospital. And here is my gripe of the day.

It took on hour and a half for them to get access to my veins to administer anesthesia. An hour and a half. Now that wasn't continuous, mind you, that was over the course of four people attempting multiple sticks, lots of digging around, many failures, and finally success.

Now I have become used to this issue as I have very tiny veins and they are very difficult to access. But here's the issue I have. I always, always approach any lab work or IV with the initial warning that goes something like this: I am a very hard stick. I have one good vein right here (pointing to the exact location) but they often resort to one of these (my hand and wrist) and usually when I come in for a procedure they end up having the anesthesiologist do it." ( I do find that the phlebotomists in the labs are usually better than the nurses though....)

Now that's pretty clear right? Sometimes that works and the nurse will immediately go to the anesthesiologist for assistance. But yesterday, as has happened many other times, they decide they would rather attempt themselves. And thus begins the horror for me, the patient.

What I can't figure out is whether its an ego matter - are they sure they are "better" than everyone else? Or is it a matter of medical hierarchy - the anesthesiologists get annoyed if they are called to do it? Or are they (the nurses) afraid their reputations will be somehow damaged if they can't manage a stick themselves? I cannot figure it out. Its annoying to say the least.

I've been through it enough that I'm tired of it.When I complain people are apt to say to me "You should be more forceful! You need to make them get the anesthesiologist!" or something along those lines. But the fact of the matter is these are the people who are going to be taking care of me for the next few hours. Do I really want to be an annoyance to them? Obnoxiously making demands? No, I would prefer to smile and do my best to convince them, but take the pain in order to keep on their good sides. Bu shouldn't there be a note in my chart somewhere that I need special consideration in this area? I am really tired of it. And I don't mind saying so....

Friday, October 7, 2016

z-z-z-z-z

Last night was one of those sleepless nights I've had way too many of lately.

This time it was a combination of things that contributed to my restlessness. Of course my recent life-trauma has led to many of those nights as I toss and turn, thinking about my past, present and future and wondering what's to come for me. There are none of the usual distractions in 1:00 in the morning and although I can always find something else to occupy my mind with during the daylight hours, it doesn't happen quite so easily then. I have more questions in my life than answers right now and my brain just doesn't deal well with things being out of balance,. I'm too much of a detail person for that. I like to know where I'm going and what the next day will hold. I barely know what the next hour will hold these days. And with everything in my life up to this point suddenly thrown into question, well its certainly fodder for a restless mind. Hence...troubled sleep.

The other reason is that I'm having a surgical procedure done today and that always makes me nervous and restless. It's nothing to worry about and its a routine procedure, but still. There's that pesky hospital part, and the anesthesia to worry about. It's never easy for anyone to find my veins so even an IV is cause for stress. I know all will be well and I'll be home later today comfy and cozy on my couch where I can recuperate for a few days, but still, my mind doesn't seem to understand that at all. It keeps ruminating about health care proxies, and needles, and transportation details. Ugh!

Well I'm thinking with some good pain killers tonight should be another story all together and perhaps I'll easily make up for my lack of shut eye. I'm feeling it right now, but soon enough it will come. And that's life in a nutshell, isn't it? Eventually,
we all sleep....

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Better

Well the weather has been better lately and my mood has brightened considerably. Hmmm...wonder if there's a connection?

No matter what time of the year it is, the sun makes the day better. I know we need rain and I actually enjoy a good snow, but there is something about the bright sunshine, even when its 30 degrees outside, that just makes the day better. Right? The sun has been out for two days now and I'm hoping it stays, though it makes me guilty for saying so because a huge hurricane is barreling toward Florida and I'm sure these are not great days for them. Poor people - we know here what a bad storm is like, so I don't wish it on anyone.  At the moment it looks as though we'll be spared, and I hope that holds true. I still have some very big, heavy flower pots outside that would need to be emptied and stored should high winds be coming out way. I'm trying to keep them out as long as possible because the flowers are still pretty and lend a much needed bright spot to the deck and yard. The summer furniture is safely tucked away for the winter so its only these pots that will need attention should we see something significant coming.

The difficult thing for me this year is that I have to depend on my children for help in matters such as these. Without a man in the house, I simply can't manage some things on my own, but I get tired of asking for help. I remember my mother expressing the same thought after my father died and now here I am, knowing exactly how she felt. The kids are great and always come as soon as they are able, but they have families and lives of their own and I hate asking them to take time away for me. After being able to manage these kinds of jobs without them for so long, its a difficult adjustment. I'm working on it.

Yes, the weather effects so much about our lives when you think about it, doesn't it? Maybe if I lived in Fl
orida I'd never have to worry about things like summer furniture and winterizing the house. But then there are all those old people there...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Blogging

My blogging has been sporadic lately. Its seems to be much like a barometer, indicating the place my state of mind is at the moment. With the major changes in my life these past few months my emotional state is quite changeable and I can be much like a bi-polar person, swinging from the depths of depression one day to the top-of-the-mountain the next. I'm never sure exactly where I'll be because the slightest thing can send me spinning in one direction or another.

I long for stability in my life but I'm not sure I'm going to get it for awhile. Stability is one of those elusive things that come with "normalcy" and schedules, neither of which I have right now. I think I'm making progress....and then something unexpected happens and the progress goes out the window. But I know I'm resilient and I know I will eventually return to some kind of "normal". It may not be the one I'm longing for, but it will come one way or another. It has to, doesn't it?

Life does not always follow the path we had in mind for it and we are victims of so many things that can happen, many beyond our control. As a bit of a control freak, that's not easy for me to deal with. I like knowing what's going to happen every day and I enjoy being somewhat in charge of my life. That has all disappeared for me and that's hard to swallow. Thankfully I'm also the optimistic type and work at seeing the best side of everything. That hasn't been easy lately, but I'm working on it. I'm attempting to look at the good side of things, learning to enjoy my independence and being in charge of my future.

Well, the bottom line is I shall continue m,y quest to blog every day and use this space as my therapy when I need to. But when and if I'm not here, I think its safe to say there are reasons. And most anyone can probably guess what they are. I won't bother blogging when the top of the mountai
n seems far off because no one wants to hear whining and complaints. But when the mountain gets closer, I'll be back.

Monday, October 3, 2016