Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Monday, September 27, 2010

Simple Pleasures

It turns out that there is a joy to be found as a result of getting behind on some household jobs. These would be grocery shopping and laundry. We were making do but with the laundry especially, the situation was getting a bit desperate. I'd hate to cancel an activity because I had absolutely nothing to wear. It was close.

Today, we bought a lot of groceries and I got a good amount of laundry done. It was rewarding. It was nice to have nice, clean folded clothes and new food to put in cupboards and fridges and the freezer. The house is somewhat replenished.

These are simple pleasures and they are things for which I am grateful. I don't always feel that way about things such as these. After getting behind on them, I noticed and that is good.

I know that not everyone can go out and buy groceries when they need them. And laundry would be a struggle too if there's no money or time or physical ability to get it done. People can face so many challenges.

I guess acknowledging these things reminds me that some people could use help so that they can enjoy them too. Everyone should have these simple pleasures.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Different Now

If I were to give the year 2010 a label, based on what I 've experienced in my life and witnessed in the lives of some of my friends, it would be "The Year of Concerns for our Parents and Other Older Relatives." It's a long label and probably won't catch on but it captures the essence of what I mean.

Prior to this year, there were some health issues among the parents of people I knew, including my own, and sadly there were some deaths. Of course, this can happen at different ages and does. What's different this year is that it's not rare for one of us to be concerned about an older relative. It seems that we've reached a new stage that may be here to stay.

Since the start of the year, without getting too specific, I have heard about elder abuse, major surgeries, the need to move to seniors' accommodations, a diagnosis of Alzheimer's and of older people dealing with illness and injury. As well, I know of a great lady who recently passed at the age of 95.

I have not had to help older people too much before. I expect that this is true for some of my peers as well. Suddenly we are worrying, listening to new concerns, accessing resources and trying to help. I hope that we do manage to help when we're needed, however unfamilar this feels.

If this area is new and strange to us, though, it must be more so to our elders. They have been the adults for quite a while and now they really need some help and care. It can't be easy for them to feel vulnerable, perhaps scared and unsure of what happens next.

I suppose what got me thinking about this issue is that I walked down a street today behind a couple that live near me. I have heard that the man has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. My heart broke as I watched them walking on this sunny day. He was carrying some simple groceries and wearing a baseball cap. While I don't know them well, these people seem to have led a quiet, good life. I just don't understand why this had to happen. These two lovely people need whatever help can be given to them. I hope that some of it makes things at least a little bit better. I hope that they still enjoy some things.

I know that in some situations, there is not a lot we can do to really fix things. If only we could. I hope that as we address the new needs and concerns, our efforts help. We will not be perfect and we don't have all the answers but it seems trying and caring should go some way to helping. And I know that my friends and I do care. It's a start.


Monday, September 20, 2010

3 Minute Entry

Can I write an entry in 3 minutes? Let's see.

Hmmm. Having something to say would help. It always does.

I'm feeling more engaged with life. And very tired. I guess doing things takes some energy. Wow. I sleep well.

I fear that I may be becoming a zealot about exercise. I've never been a zealot about anything before except my dislike of zealotry. I'll have to watch this.

I have tried to volunteer at a few places lately and that has resulted in no takers. What does that say when no one wants my services even when they're for free?

I know, I know, I know that I love writing and I want to write more. Yay.

I want to keep on reading. Books are awesome and I am interested in the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in which branches of bookstores adopt specific schools that could use some help buying books. I hope that many children acquire a love of reading through this foundation's activities.

I am reading The Help right now and it is interesting.

I've gone over time. Off to watch the season premiere of House now.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Nothing Personal

Since I returned from my vacation 4 weeks ago, I have gone to the gym 20 times. I'm keeping track. I'm dedicated now, somehow.

As I work out at the gym, my eyes wander. Sometimes I watch tv, sometimes I don't watch tv because football or something else is on that I can't stand, and sometimes I watch men working out. They're available for viewing, I view. Sometimes, I see people with personal trainers. I don't envy people with trainers and it's not that I (necessarily) have anything against the trainers. Rather, I don't think I'd be a good trainee.

I didn't do well in gym class, cannot dive into a pool, was slow in learning to skip in kindergarten and had sad jumpsies experiences. I don't do well in instructed physical activity. I truly wonder if I have a learning disability in translating verbal instructions into action. It's not that I can't do things - I just have trouble figuring out what people are telling me to do. I accept this aspect of myself - it's been around a long while.

With this weakness, a personal trainer would have a challenge working with me. He or she would require patience, empathy, and the ability to untangle me should things go awry when I tried to follow instructions. Not everyone is up to the challenge.

Aside from the fact that I may be unteachable, I really don't want to be taught strict, complicated exercises that require certain postures and which will be considered absolute failures if I don't do them just right. The exercise I do on my own works for me. And more important to me is the fact that I do it. And I can keep doing it and change it on my own as I wish.

I remember an episode of "Friends" in which Monica's credit card was stolen. She went to a dance class for which the thief had signed up with her card. Monica was dancing and according to the teacher "getting it all wrong." Her response was "Yeah, but at least I'm doing it!"

That's pretty much my response too. I'm glad I'm doing it.


Monday, September 13, 2010

I think I just want to write

I started a course today on blogs. It looks informative and I can take it online. We had to introduce ourselves on a discussion board and I found out that I know, in obscure ways, 2 of the people in my class. Anonymity is impossible - which may be good or bad.

From what I have learned so far, my blog is pretty much wrong. It is not focused on 1 topic, I have not researched my competition, I do not know what I am doing. I will freely admit that all of this is quite true.

The thing is though, I do not know that it matters to me. Yes, in an ideal world I would make money from this but I think if that is going to happen, it will happen anyways. Presently, I enjoy writing on my blog and I hope that some people like reading it. If I learn a lot in this course and I change things a lot, so be it. If not, that is fine with me. Not everything has to be complicated in life.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's Raining and Sunny - And that's Perfect

Outside the window, the sun is shining, somewhat, and it's raining.

The weather conditions are a perfect metaphor for my outlook. Sunshine and showers. Only, I thought that things were looking pretty bright and today I feel that things are not good and are just going to get worse.

One thing that's bothering me is that I really seem to have lost a friend. I don't know what I did that made her turn away. I wish I knew but even more so, I wish that we were still friends. It hurts sometimes.

Other things bothering me include the fact I still don't earn money, my house still gets messy, and I want my husband and I to do better. Whatever that means.

OK, perhaps, I'm mostly hurting about my lost friendship. Perhaps I'm just not at my best today. But I wish that the ideal metaphor for my outlook on life was the sunshine I witnessed at Clearwater Beach a few weeks ago. I guess that life is not always that beautiful though. Sometimes we have to deal with rain.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

That Little Voice

I've been to the gym for nine out of the last twelve days. For me, this is new. This is different. This is good. So what's the problem?

Well, for every day that I go, I write a "G" in my date book. Rather than in any way celebrating the increasingly large collection of G's, the thoughts enter my head, the questions start of when the G's will stop appearing and I will have once again failed to follow through on something I start. It's somewhat discouraging.

I think that this time my strategy will be to accept that this is how I think. I won't try to conquer it. It's o.k. I'm doing my best and I will keep trying to go to the gym. Maybe I'll stop writing down the G's. My body will know when I exercise - not my date book.

Surprisingly, given my athletic history, I enjoy this gym thing. And I'm letting myself enjoy. Wow. Change may really be possible. Maybe that little voice of discouragement will even change and find something a lot more interesting to talk about. Or maybe it'll just learn to keep quiet. That might be the best thing.