Musings for June 2010
This morning, the 22nd, has turned out to be an incredibly foggy morning. When I started out with Kaja, my dog, for our morning walk, I could barely see the church across the street. It was not difficult walking and being able to see, but I would not have wanted to be driving, because the visibility was nil. It seems that the air is saturated with moisture, and it will be difficult to work in the yard today because everything will be very wet and muddy. The other bad experience this month was having to have Tawny, my cat, put down. It was devastating and I have grieved all month. I know life is a cycle and has both good and not-so-good, but I want all good now! I am now on record saying “I only want good in my life from now on.”
I know I’ve expressed concern about the abundance of everything in this area and this is another proof. It seems that when we get rain, we get too much, when it snows, it’s too deep, when it’s cool, it’s cold enough for a coat, when it rains floods happen, and when it’s hot, we need air conditioning.
I wonder what it would be like to live in a moderate climate where everything stays on more of a level playing field. I do see that global warming has already greatly affected our climate, and it is only going to become more so.
Again this month I’ve had the problem of having beautiful weather when I am inside working and bad weather when I have time to go outside and work in the yard. Oh well I guess I need to stop complaining and just accept whatever is. I thought I had reached that point in my life, but conditions still seems to produce my complaining, which has no effect on anything. I remember Jack saying my worrying about things never changed a thing, and he was so right. But why is it that my stressing-out mode kicks in? I need to reprogram myself but I’m not sure that’s possible at my age.
I do know that my body will not tolerate working in my yard many more years. I remember when I went out in to the yard early and spent the whole day outside. Now the time outside gets shorter and shorter and my aches and pains stay with me longer and longer. I find that I can spend only about two hours outside and then I have to come in and take it easy for about the same amount of time. So several short spells in the garden are about as productive, although the backaches and tiredness stay with me much longer. I know that in a couple more years I need to give up on a yard, move into a retirement home or condo, or get some one to help with heavy jobs.
My son, Jason, helps with some jobs now, but I know that by next year I’ll need more of the heavy jobs contracted out. It is really a pain getting old, and I’m tired of it. I want to start going the other way, but I’m not sure how to arrange that. I’ve read books about contracts with the devil and other supernatural options, but I’m not sure how to go about setting up those kinds of contacts. It gives me something to thing about in my old age.
I recently went back to a Diabetic Nutrition Class, because my blood sugar was out of sight, and I wasn’t coping well with stress. While in the class it was easier to talk with someone else about ways to reduce the stress, but it is much harder on my own. Through the years, I’ve learned many ways to deal with the stress of life which raises my blood sugar. But as the years pass and I am more often on my own, it is more difficult. I’ve learned to breath appropriately, meditate, exercise, read and do many thing to reduce stress, but each year it gets harder.
Not having a family close by I know makes a difference, and I think I get so absorbed in reading and actually almost live the story, because I don’t have much of a family here. I am really beginning to envy large families, because there is always someone around with whom to interact. Being so much on my own is both good at times and not so good. I think as we age, we do have different needs and life is different in so many ways. I love my independence, but also miss greatly the closeness that Jack and I shared. I don’t think you can ever replace a spouse, no matter how many friends you might have.
I really enjoy my life ninety five percent of the time, but it’s the five percent that is more difficult. I do force myself to get out of the house and interact with others, but it becomes increasingly comfortable to curl up with a good book rather than going out particularly in bad weather.
I love working with children at the Center, but again sometimes I’m very tired and stressed out, and would rather be home with a good book. It’s really good that I work only for short stretches at a time. That way I’m relaxed and ready to deal with the children. And most of the time it is wonderful. Gad! Enough about me.
I just finished reading a really good book about Africa and apartheid by Nadime Gordimer entitled A Sport of Nature. It is fiction but closely follows the violence in Africa through the life of the young heroine, Hillela. Her experience of people and events is a journey through the continent’s struggles. Two others I read were the Mitford series which I had remembered reading parts of to Jane with whom I sat for many years at Lutheran Hillside Village. I read the first two in the series, the first being At Home in Mitford and the second A Light in the Window. Both are by Jan Karon, are light hearted and quick, enjoyable reads.
Beneath the Lion’s Gate by Maaza Mengiste is another fiction novel about actual happenings in Ethiopia. The book jacket reads “A novel that’s tender, brutal, and fearless, it is accomplished beyond a first book.” I look forward to reading more of her books. Two others I read were Falling from Heaven by Jeanne M. Peterson which is another first author who explores two extraordinary spiritual traditions in Tibet and America. The second is another debut author and the book is Then Came Evening, a moving story about a Vietnam vet and the struggles of an American family. I like to read the first books of any author. They are always fresh, insightful and well written. Enjoy the heat if you can!