Happy Friday + Randomness


You know, it’s been a pretty tough couple of months for me. I have a built-in Pollyanna functionality, so I do find the silver lining in most situations, but these last two months nearly did me in. With illnesses and financial/career issues and things falling apart one after another, October and November may very well rank up there in the top 2 worst months of 2015. Two days ago, as I administered Benadryl to alleviate the humongous hives that mysteriously appeared all over K’s body (and her hands swelled up like mitts and lumps the size of golf balls protruded from her feet), I had this sudden and visceral realization that the problems will never cease. I don’t know why this felt like some thunder clap a-ha moment, but it did and somehow, that made me feel less overwrought. It’s rarely about the actual situation but the expectation I start to uphold that problems shouldn’t exist. So silly. It’s sort of like swimming or surfing in the ocean and becoming indignant about the water going up our noses or waves knocking us over. In many ways we can revel in the majesty and beauty and awesomeness of it all and — to a certain extent — prepare for the worst, but it’s a force that’s much bigger than us and uncontainable in its unpredictability.

Ultimately, in the satellite view of things, my dramas are ridiculously insignificant. Especially in the aftermath of events in Paris.

The pendulum seems to be swinging the other way, and although there is a fresh crop of other minor inconveniences, overall things are improving. We’re recovering from our multitudes of ailments, and financial bits are heading in the right direction, and we’ve patched up leaking/breaking/exploding elements.

Yesterday morning, K traced her fingers around my eyes and murmured, “So many wrinkles, Mama. Don’t get old. Don’t.” Sorry honey, no can do. Just as problems are an inexorable part of existence, my crow’s feet will continue to deepen and time will march on, widening my waist, depleting my elasticity, blurring my sight. And that’s okay because I hope to live long enough to wear unfashionable house dresses because I’ve long stopped caring what other people think; to smile from a face full of permanently etched laugh lines; to peer delightedly at my grandkids through my trifocals. We can only do what we can in the best way we know how in the amount of time we’re given.

And what does this have to do with swans? Not a thing. I just like to ramble and throw in an image that I’ve painted.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

Next week’s Thanksgiving
I’m taking a few days off
I’ll try to post once

12 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Randomness

  1. Problems never stop coming but unless you’ve got incurable cancer, no individual problems last forever either. In a year, the problems won’t matter, only the accomplishments.

    Look at traveling. I hate traveling, but I like the memories of traveling. 3 years after a vacation, I don’t remember that I lost my luggage, or that I was sick half the time, or that seemingly everybody demanded tips, or that it was hot and the crowds generally annoyed me. I just remember that I went to Disneyland or whatever, and that’s what matters. In some respect or another, you’re at Disneyland right now and you’ll see it later on. Hope that made sense.

    As for me, I hope a method is developed to connect my brain up to a virtual world, or perhaps a robotic body before the body I inhabit now completely wears out. I think I can last 50 more years… we’ll see if humanity can come up with something in the meantime. I seriously think that we might be in the last generation that won’t have a seriously extended lifespan. Lasting 10 extra years naturally might be a big deal for people of our age.

    1. That’s so true about traveling, Paul! My parents took us all over the world when my brothers and I were little, and there were some serious rough patches in places like Thailand, India and Africa, but I’m so glad I got to experience the far flung locales. And what a fascinating idea to connect the brain to the virtual world — isn’t it already happening? I don’t know if I’d want to live 50 more years — sure, the inevitable decline of my body is one of the reasons I wouldn’t want to push the age envelope, but that just sounds like such a long time. It would be nice to read all the books I want to though…;-)

  2. Poor K, but if it’s any comfort, she’s not alone! My younger one is going on two weeks of hives. He’s so young I’ve resisted giving him anything, but after watching him scratch throughout the night (and feeling the huge lump on his forehead), I finally broke down and gave him some Benedryl the other night. (He hasn’t been scratching much and hadn’t seemed to notice his hives.) And my older one had a terrible case of hives last month.

    I completely understand how terrible it makes you feel looking at them and seeing them in that condition and thinking, “What next?” And I know what it’s like to have the realization that this will keep happening (as my less stressed husband points out) and that you just have to reach for the Benedryl. Even so, these poor kids! I recommend extra hugs.

    1. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to deal with kid hives too, Betty! They can be fierce-looking and it’s been a source of much discomfort for K. They’re almost gone at this point and I hope the same is true for your little one! Extra hugs are an excellent prescription. 🙂 xo

  3. What a nice way that you ended this post, it’s always good to be reminded about the positive things about ageing. Today I was at a symposium all day about an exhibition on shoes at the V&A museum here in London, and it included a lecture about prosthetic legs. I literally cannot view my legs in the same way now.

    Have a good weekend.

    1. Hope you had a good weekend too, Anushka! Prosthetic legs do provide a lot of thought fodder – so many things we take for granted, right? On the plus side, I read somewhere that senior citizens are in hot demand by car manufacturers because they like to get older folks to test out new models to make sure that they’re easy to use and safe (i.e. ensuring seat belts can be secured with little fuss, seats are comfortable, etc. and not so much for test driving). I would totally volunteer to test cars when I’m doddering.

  4. I love those swans:)

    There is a good book called Deep Survival,about mountaineering missteps, and how dangerous they are, and who survives them and why. I’ve never climbed a really big dangerous mountain and I think the book needed a better editor, but the lessons about how to deal with unfortunate, unpleasant surprises are huge. Acceptance, humor, and then problem solving, which is much easier after acceptance. Because in the “why me” mode, it’s hard to see the solutions that are right in front of us. When you can joke about the fact that you are in deep s___, you see the actual solutions, and there often ARE solutions, more clearly.
    I found this book pretty helpful when things actually did not look like they would turn around for us.

    1. I loved painting the swans — such gorgeous creatures! You have the most interesting book suggestions, Annelieke! I read the two you recommended before and they gave me much to ponder. I’ll have to check this one out too :-). Thank you, and I hope things did turn around for you.

  5. Poor K! Hope she is doing better now!
    Once again, thank you for your honesty. I’m reading a book called “Yearning Living Between How It Is & How It Ought to Be” I feel it is similar because yes, we will always have tough times, yes we will always be yearning for something. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this!

    1. K’s doing a lot better now, thanks Em! Another book rec that piques my interest – must add to my list. I doubt I’ll ever truly get to the holy Zen-like state of full acceptance that I scrabble to get to (the fact that I’m scrabbling to get there seems to spell out futility), but it’s a worthy challenge, right? Thank you!!

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