The junk drawer…

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How does someone long retired still end up with The Mondays every week? Apparently there are things so ingrained in our psyches that we can never break loose, but this is silly… Monday doesn’t bring bad news, heinous commitments, or unbearable stress, it’s just Day One and maybe therein lies the dread: What fanciful ways will I find in which to screw up in the week ahead of me? Oh well.

Life of late sort of chugs along on its own with not too many momentous events, and stays just weird enough not to devolve into apathy. My brain, not in demand for anything much, carries on an existence it doesn’t share with me unless I ask, and the days do tend to stay JUST. WEIRD. ENOUGH.

Yesterday it came to me that part of the loneliness attached to this decade stems from no longer being an intrinsic part of a big supportive family. That network started crumbling some years back and I miss it, while also recognizing that not everything is forever. We all grow into who we are, and the pieces don’t match up anymore. Just the facts.

So, time to start the week with a smile. I stole an idea this morning from someone whose blog I like, and I hope she won’t mind terribly. She has no idea I exist, but the junk drawer concept is hers.

Anyway, Mondays strike me as the proper time for a junk drawer purge, especially as the weekends can take a toll on storage, so here’s a string of smiles I stole from a Facebook friend. (I have criminal tendencies, you’re finally catching on to that.) Enjoy, and do something satisfying with your day. In my world, this is the first day of exploration/cleaning/sorting in our big closet, which will light me up like a sparkler… I love getting rid of stuff! Tune in later for the accountability,

Meanwhile, here’s your sign:

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Unless you have a raging masochistic jones.

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Billboard available, only smaller.

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Don’t even think about it, sparky.

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Last but not least, here’s a List of The Weird that will take me all week to check off:

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Schmaltzy, but true and worth keeping in mind:

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Eat the bear, lest he eat YOU…

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A thing about life is that it stays unfailingly real, provided we aren’t in the business of lying to ourselves. It comes to us hour by hour, laden with the dull and the unexpected, and every day’s “BEST” on our part will look different from the day before. I see myself these days as far less Pollyanna and more Pragmatic Optimist. Life will do that to us… so each day has to be a stand against cynicism and discouragement.

I know I’m not alone in feeling a little beat up by recent and current events, so here are a few tips for dealing with the effects, the aftermath, and the immediate future.

In pain? Keep going. Fall down? Get up, keep going. Get sick? Get well, keep going.

When the world feels unfriendly and all indicators point to a negative outcome, our self-talk can turn ugly and destructive. A good thing to do in 2023 is NOT THAT.

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Word on the street is that, like all of life, it does get better.

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Don’t we get so tired of crying sometimes, though? Don’t we just finally think “ENOUGH!” ??

End of story.

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Girls, women, friends, it’s my responsibility to let you in on an important secret to the working out of any and all angst in life, no matter what you’re going through… when you’re desperately in need of an ear, a shoulder, positive therapy…

HAPPY 2023 to us all.

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Hello? Anybody else here yet?

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Don’t let me startle you, I’m just over here in 2023 snooping under rocks, checking the temperature, looking at the trends two days in. What I’m picking up so far is that it’s still all about the little things, the crucial details, the fleeting, precious parts of life that we can’t afford to lose sight of or we lose our way.

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There are unlimited ways to have fun in life… and to BE fun! Amirite??

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This seems important to carry into the year ahead.

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As we skeptically eye the blank slate before us, it helps to remember that every new beginning feels this way, and very little of it hinges on us except in the most important ways… one to one, where we have the capacity to make a difference. We don’t know what the year will bring, but experience does tell us a few things: there will be wondrous amazing happenings; there will be heinous horrendous happenings; there will be everything that happens upon the earth with sometimes distressing regularity; and we will deal with it. All of it. Welcome to life.

A word from the truly wise to send us on our way:

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

― Rumi

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P.S…………..

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Almost there…

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Peace. Quiet. Insulation from the bitter cold. Isolation from the bitter of any sort. These are welcome qualities embedded in The Day After, and with a steaming mug of Kim’s coffee in hand, parked in front of my space heater, eye on the frigid streets below, where absolutely nothing is happening at 9am… it’s an okay perspective, good for processing.

We did it, boys and girls. We’ve survived 2022 thus far, with enough optimism left over for contemplating yet another go ’round. Every new year, with its staggeringly-blank slate, presents an Offer We Can’t Refuse, so off we toddle like lemmings, eager to test the waters and prove the worth of all those valuable lessons we learned in past contests.

I have no idea what to expect from the year ahead, except that it will most likely play out in ways I could/would never program on my own. And it will undoubtedly be more of same in many ways, so the resulting balance/imbalance will be key as always. What will life look like as 2023 progresses?

In these days between Christmas and the New Year, we’re afforded an opportunity to think about that question in detail, should we be feeling especially brave and bold. How might things continue to change, for better or worse, since change itself is a given…

For me, 2022 was the year life actually did change big-time: I was provided a way to leave behind the nerve pain that had haunted the 50 years of my life just prior, thereby opening doors thought permanently closed to me. The effects are ongoing, with no reason to switch horses or alter plans, regardless of any setbacks, which are part of everything. A bad fall in October slowed me down but didn’t stop me, so we’re still bringing you our regularly-scheduled programming for the foreseeable future.

One thing humans are desperate for is restarts. “Let me try again. I can do better.” And more often than not, we do. I’m 100% for restarts and second chances and the grace to use them well, and I’m ready for lots more of that in the year ahead of us… grace, mercy, communication, comprehension. Connection.

This part of the calendar year is packed with holiday celebrations of every sort around the globe, with something in it for everyone. As we take a little time to wool-gather… reminisce… make a pin-cushion of our thoughts… I hope we’ll each gain a renewed sense of respect for each other and what it takes to coexist in the world. And work on doing just that…

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You’ve always had the power, my dear…

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Have you ever taken note of the way, no matter how far out in the ether we get, life is standing by to provide gentle instruction or yank us into line? It’s uncanny how often I encounter that situation or bring it on myself without even trying.

And have you ever wondered what my blog title means? Twenty years ago I found myself playing for time, and the process has never stopped. Still playing, still breathing, always hoping for more time. And just as there are all kinds of ways to play… music, games, roles, gaslighting… there are myriad more ways to age. I consciously chose long ago to walk willingly into my last set of years and enjoy them in all the ways available, but I have companions who sometimes muck things up for me simply by doing what they do. Old, old companions like melancholy, self-doubt, and depression, whose lies complicate absolutely everything.

For instance, I preach that life is all about change. And then when something in my life changes, I tend to HATE it.

SPOILER: That can be a sign of encroaching crustiness. I’m discovering a list of other indicators, how’s your caffeine supply this morning? Fortified enough to visit my psyche for a minute?

Okay, so…

This blog spot has become more and more about the aging (maturing?) process, which is a no-brainer since I’m now considered an Old.

If you are not yet so designated, time will sooner or later provide you with the following knowledge, and you can save a little angst and hassle by preparing ahead of time:

  • We forget things. Not like appointments or where we left our car keys, but who we really are and how life works, by which I mean it isn’t about us. Very few people remember that we exist at this point… which is quite freeing now that I mention it.
  • The more years we live, the more personal loss we accumulate.
  • The more personal loss we accumulate, the greater our fear of abandonment.
  • The greater our fear of any kind, the more timid the soul.
  • Past the age of viability in the eyes of the greater world, everything becomes a test of one kind or another.
  • The knowledge that we’re failing some of those tests should not be considered a signal to sit down and give up.
  • We do well-meaning things that manage to accomplish the opposite of what we intended.

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I somehow turned into my grandma during these years of crisis and chaos… but did I DIE? Not yet, so there’s still time to learn a couple of things:

Lack of self-respect is self-abuse.

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No matter what it feels like…

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This thought helps restore me to myself this morning… and you can trust it too…

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Whatever gives your life just a little bit more peace… do that.

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Theatre of the mind…

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She’s up at 6am, sitting in the quiet dark again, mind running… not an unpleasant experience since she’s never been very afraid of herself. Her DH** has already headed across town for a healthy morning of sportsing, while the sky darkens even more just before the sun starts to show its power. This is what she does… she thinks. The thoughts need no jumpstart, they come unbidden as soon as the dreaded wokeness arrives, and often they’re an extension of dreams rudely interrupted before resolution.

She’s hungry, but too rooted in place to go pour a bowl of cereal. She loves the dark but despises the cold… wants/doesn’t want to go walking. Knows she’ll suffer guilt if she doesn’t. She hates the news, but reads it most days because part of the cost of living is to stay aware of what’s coming at us. She has online friends around the world she can share thoughts with, any hour of the day or night… but she mostly leaves them their solitude, the thing she values most. She needs peace and quiet like breathable air; therefore, she can’t complain about the loneliness inherent in that environment… and doesn’t. She’s well aware that we can’t have it all.

A sobering realization sets in right about now on the personal timeline: The older people who told us things when we were younger people? They were right, 100%. At some point you run out of fulfilling things to do. People who once needed you, don’t. Even if you walk for two hours every day (the girl we’re talking about doesn’t), that leaves lots of hours before bedtime. If you keep every scrap of laundry washed and put away, there’s no dust in your house, the bathrooms sparkle, your computer files are organized… all of which is purely theoretical in my case… whaddaya gonna do with the rest of your sweet life, bubbie?

The answer can’t be the copout “I don’t know,” so if you’re in the neighborhood of my Boomer years I suggest you make a plan, because life doesn’t live itself. Now that I’m physically mobile again my body and brain have to have something to do. I love the lack of responsibility and accountability brought on by retirement, but did I DIE?? Not yet, so the same old thing every day (doing a lot of nothing) isn’t gonna cut it. Our grandparents knew real stuff: life is a lonely proposition, we’re pretty much on our own from womb to tomb, and a late-life plan is a definite priority… I’m just telling you these things so you don’t have to hear it from a stranger. If we’re lucky we get old and we’re still the same people with the same need to know things, do meaningful things, make a dent of some kind just by being here… and that takes planning, because the general world doesn’t know we exist by the time we’re this age.

I’m 75 now, the age some of my family members were when I became their advocate, legal and otherwise. Since I’m not old like, you know, they were, I’ve made a plan and I like it, but don’t tell Life… it has a way of messing with the intentions of mice and men. Wherever you are now, I hope you have some kind of schematic for the medicare years that goes beyond keeping body and soul together. Think about what sparks excitement in you, thereby keeping you out of depression, and do that thing. ALL the things. DO ALL THE THINGS!!!

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LIFE, like my bowl of cereal this morning, is too delicious to waste.

**Dear Husband/Darling Husband/Designated Hitter/Dead Heat

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Fall, football, follies, and forays…

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Stopping in to say hi after a quintessential fall weekend which included pep rallies and parties, Jayhawk Football Homecoming, a snazzy flyover from the Air Force base, a big car show downtown, a PickleBall tournament on new courts, and perfect weather. The KU community is reveling in the fun of having an amazing football team for the first time in about fifteen years… brings new life to the town and gives the basketball team a little breathing space.

For me it was a reflective couple of days, enjoying the beautiful weather from the balcony, absorbing the vibes from a quiet remove, glad to know it’s all going on out there without my help. And yes, I’m still lazy no matter how good I feel. Sometimes when it’s all noise and action out there but quiet and peaceful in here, reflection leads to realization… and one such awakening has been that no matter how much we talk, generally only a small portion gets translated into comprehension. So… maybe… fewer words in every direction for maximum impact? Talking is a chore anyway, the older I get, I can do with less of it!

Bring it, I’ll deal.

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Ourselves. We have the power to change US. That implies great freedom… what if I were responsible for ONLY ME in terms of choice and control? It’s called reality and I’m loving it more and more. This isn’t my world, I just live in it, giving it my best shot on my way through, end of story.

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Because you’re faithful and patient, I save things to share with you. Enjoy…

Focal seizures make me have to sit or lie down wherever I am, so I relate… and animals are simply the best.

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I live in my own head so much it makes me questionable friend material… but I keep trying. Friends, family, other connections…

I fully relate to this.

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And on a related note, if you live anywhere near my world…

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Do not fear to go to the end of your thoughts…

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Have you ever wondered how the heck people spend their hours when they don’t get up and go to a job every day? Probably not, you’re too busy working your ass off! In this particular household, to reduce it to its essence, one of us stays as active as humanly possible and the other lives in her head a lot. It works out.

The athletically-inclined partner walks before sun-up, plays at least three hours of PickleBall, rides his bike a couple of times on purposeful jaunts, and finds any excuse to move his molecules. Every day. The more introspective half of the equation flies under the radar most of the time, entrenched in an activity known as “puttering.” It’s complicated. Despite a lifetime as a farm girl, she wakes up slowly. Coffee and silence are all she cares about for the first hour, which starts at 6am, while her drowsy molecules debate what will actually be done today, if anything.

Then the caffeine hits, and she’s making the rounds.

  1. Delete most emails since last night. ✔️
  2. Catch the online news headlines. ✔️
  3. Look at Facebook notifications and post Pollyanna stuff more than bitching and moaning. Trying hard here, I mean it. ✔️
  4. Switch to Twitter and flaunt the freaky-flag for a soul-cleansing while. As a Midwestern child, I was raised to be nice in all circumstances. (That’ll be in the book, too.) So in these years of “Start winding it down a little, baby,” Twitter is the therapist I need – no judgement for being real, and I’m selective with my following/followers. Feels almost safe there, bwahahaha!! ✔️
  5. Slip into the Tevas, grab my phone, ID, and walking pole, and hit the streets for at least a half-hour while the town wakes up. ✔️
  6. Come home, pour another cup, and enjoy the rest of the morning guilt-free. The things that keep us operational will get done today… everything else is gravy. It’s all still loading, so no checkmark yet…

So yeah, life at this stage can be pretty boring, terribly lonely, a little baffling… or we can use our human powers to make it better than that, by a lot. We’re basically ants with awareness, therefore feelings, so every 24hr cycle is a balancing act between our lack of control over our environment and our knowledge that we’re real, we’re here, and there are things we can do to make it better for everybody… after we finally learn to love ourselves.

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This poignant letting go that we call “fall” is prime time for introspection, even for those who don’t ordinarily lean that way. It’s so stark, that fall from grace when the luscious leaves turn brown and crunchy underfoot… it scares us a little and makes us too conscious of our tentative ant-like status here, just as we’re heading into the cold and dark again. We can’t handle the universe, it’s on its own, so our assignment is to deal with what touches us on a personal level or threatens the existence of other humans. That’s enough for any lifetime…

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Thinking in print…

If writing is one of your best emotional outlets, you know it doesn’t take much to plant the seed of a thought. I was out for my walk just now, in the early morning cool, and in that relatively brief span of time my senses were stirred in more ways than one.

I’m still opting for flat sidewalks ’til the spine says move on again, so that keeps me within the general downtown area, where early mornings are quiet, with mostly dog walkers and food delivery trucks for company. The route I picked out of the hat this time took me past the Salvation Army building, whose yard is currently hosting a tatty old recliner that must be holding onto several gallons of ammonia. Somebody haul that thing off, ‘k? My senses were definitely awake from that point on.

Once normal breathing returned, I started picking up the breakfast aromas along Mass Street and was ready to make the return loop toward home. Just outside our building I met a neighbor out walking a very beautiful, gentle dog with eyes that looked almost human. My neighbor introduced her as Rosie and said that she’s just recently rescued her from a puppy mill where Rosie was a breeder bitch. After successful pregnancies, Rosie exhibited a false one and was kicked out of the facility. No babies, no eat. No shelter, no care, no love, no survive. Beautiful sweet Rosie is clearly one of the lucky ones… she got out. And she’s sleek and healthy and not broken down… because she got out. But Rosie’s lonely. She misses her babies and her sisters. So my neighbor is on the list to get a puppy from one of Rosie’s sisters, who is due to deliver any day. And I hope Rosie’s sadness will turn to healing. I know, still breeders, but we fix one thing and then work on the rest. My heightened senses (thx, pee-soaked chair) are still rolling it around between heart and brain… and that spot inside that says “You see more than you understand.”

A sweet scenario would have been for a good girl like Rosie to meet a nice baby-daddy and settle in with him to raise however many litters of puppies they were blessed with… to be well cared-for… and to die at a peaceful old dog age without ever having been forced into any of it. That’s what my eyes see… my heart will work on the understanding. And already it’s saying “Every girl’s a good girl ’til life happens. And then she’s still a good girl, it’s just public perception that changes.”

Thanks, heart, I can always count on you.

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Personhood…

Ironically, Mr. Salinger was one of them.

Tomorrow will be the coolest day this week at 89º, then mid to upper 90s after that for the foreseeable. Mornings are prime and on this one I managed to kick myself out the door after doing less than nothing all day yesterday. I love wandering around East Lawrence… there are no two houses alike, and I see something new every morning. There’s art everywhere… on the porches and in yards… not for sale, but because artists on this end of town are crawling out of the woodwork and then carving it into fantastical shapes. I’ve been staying on good sidewalks for a little while… just a stage in the process… but I’m about ready for all-out hiking with Rita again when it isn’t dangerously stifling outside.

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The fallout from the Supremes’ ill-advised meltdown continues, and it affects every one of us who values herself as a person, especially since it takes some of us a lifetime to get there after being “groomed” to believe we’re weak, ineffective, wrong, and less-than. I was close to 60 before I started really getting to know and appreciate myself, and this official smackdown feels personal despite the fact that I turned in my baby-making equipment decades ago. It was never about babies anyway… it’s always been about power and control. For all the reasons, I have a problem with that approach, and I know I’m not the only one. Millions of women are still consistently voting against their own safety and well-being, but millions more know we’ve been had from the beginning, and I doubt your run-of-the-mill man-on-the-street has a clue how deep that current runs. We can’t please everyone, nor is that our reason for existing.

Why would I care… I’m old, right? Why do I even harbor an opinion? What if half my fellow Americans want me to fade out and shut up about all of it? Sorry, not that old yet. I go on Twitter in the mornings and wave my freak flag around for a while, happily giving a heart to everything I agree with, mouthing off, venting, picking up a few laughs… then wander away to Facebook with my adult face on (sometimes). I’m harmless, if annoying, and people should be grateful I don’t have the piss & vinegar to be an actual problem, which is true of most “old” people I know. Word of advice: Don’t turn your back on us.

I say we purposely go about changing the perception that we’re accessories who are better seen but not heard in public…

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General male wisdom** holds that feelings and emotions interfere with real life, but Mansi and I say…

**My personal husband Kim Smith is exempt from all such aspersions.

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Apropos of nothing, and reflecting only a mood of fond reminiscence…

I’m fine, it’s fine, everything’s fine, hope you’re fine…

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The widening gulf…

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What’s left to say… after days spent digesting the Supremes’ breathtaking display of misogyny, gun mania, white supremacy, and transparent fascist yearnings, the anger only grows, deepens, and takes on a life of its own, all of which is patently unhealthy. It isn’t that we didn’t know… we’ve been well aware on some level since we realized we were the opposite sex that we’re also, by default, the inferior sex. Oh, but never mind… ask any incel, sex is sex, and women are what’s here for the taking. We’ve been shown once again that as females in our society we have no standing or input regarding our own selves, and especially as regards reproduction… you know, like livestock. Our thoughts, wants, needs, health, or well-being have no meaning to the males in charge – we exist simply as seed-bearers, the bringers of continued life on the planet, with our own humanity disregarded. Nor do they actually give a rat’s ass about the fetuses involved.

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In two months I’ll be 75 years old, so clearly the discussion doesn’t concern me. Except that it does because it’s a moral issue of the highest order. We’re not allowed to so much as harvest organs after someone dies unless they personally signed off on it pre-exit, so women officially have less control over our body parts than a corpse. Both my mom and g’ma would be dismayed to see this day… pretty sure they thought the struggle for equal humanity would have been resolved by now. We’re a family of optimists.

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I get angry… injustice is my lifelong nemesis. I vent on social media, posting a flurry of righteously indignant comments and memes until the poison starts to leach out of my system. And then I go to ground again, much to the relief of my long-suffering friends and contacts. Meanwhile, nothing has changed except that the atmosphere has grown a little more toxic everywhere.

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I wish I were less helpless to kindle positive change. I’ve felt pretty comfortable in this country for most of my life, which in itself is a clear acknowledgement of privilege, but the U.S. isn’t everything we were taught to believe it was as school children… sad but no longer shocking. We’re not all that… some days we’re not any of it. Are we even still TRYING to get it right? Honest answers only.

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A message for the power-driven …

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Reality being what it is, certain attitude adjustments are required from time to time, so I’m making a big note of this today and getting on with it.

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Laissez le bon temp rouler…

Just as there are weeks that are a challenge from beginning to end, there occasionally comes a string of days outstanding enough to keep us in the game a while longer. Our week started on Saturday… Beatles’ Night at the winery from 4 to 9pm… nineteen acts, 3 songs each… hotter’n’ little blue blazes all day, but shady under the trees, with a wandering cool breeze for rescue. We packed the little rolling Coleman with cheese & crackers, watermelon, seltzer, sweat rags, and ice, and were undoubtedly among the happiest campers there. I mean, we do know most of the lyrics… and the updated renditions were really nice. I met a new friend, sitting back of us a little, who entertained herself and her husband by commenting on everything we did and tracking our wine consumption over the five hours we were there. Everyone brings us happiness… some when they show up, some when they leave. This morning I would define a good date as one where you can be outside, listen to nonstop music, buy and enjoy homegrown wine, eat parmesan French fries from the food truck plus the healthy stuff in the cooler, and step back into your teens for a few hours with the California musician who has no plans for growing up. By those standards, Saturday was the best date in memory, except that little sister was missing. Come to think of it though, I never DID take her on my dates with me, so…

We’re off to a great start, which will save my bacon, I can already see the writing on the wall. It’s on a card, to be honest, and it’s a date that never got entered into my phone. It’s my haircut appointment and my brain checked in with me just in time not to miss it, which is not only deeply disappointing when it happens, but a cardinal sin against my wonderful hairdresser. It’s never happened with this one. May it never happen.

So that’s two things. And Kim had a good Father’s Day, which included a terrific phone convo with his son Henry and a loving text from John… and he realized he’s within days of learning the outcome of his cancer diagnosis and treatment. We expect the numbers to be stellar. There simply are times like this, and we never know when they’re going to hit or how long they’ll last, so we hoard them a little… ammunition for later.

Since we’re on a roll, today was my 6-month post-op checkup with Dr. Carlson, during which I got straight A’s and so did he. The X-ray showed the metal cage is firmly ensconced in my back and nothing has shifted, I’m right where I’m supposed to be in the recovery process, and my next visit with him in six months will be my last unless something goes wrong further up my spine. I miss him already. He’s a bundle of gifts, talent, knowledge, and experience wrapped around a big heart and killer personality… and he’s returned my life to me. Since he’s a KU grad and comes here for all the B-ball games, he wants to meet us at one of the local breweries sometime, which will feel like Old Home Week if it happens.

People I love seem to be getting over various hurdles, recovering from illness, dealing well with endings and beginnings, so make a note: The middle of June 2022 was worth writing home about for the Smiths and the smith-adjacent. Betcha’ wish you could rub shoulders with us this week. You can. Bring tequila.

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June showers bring…

Thursday it didn’t rain, so Rita and I spent a couple of hours walking where mud isn’t much of a factor… stopping by pretty little lakes… watching goose couples cruise with their fuzzy tan goslings in tow… catching up after her recent trip to the MiniApple. Friday it didn’t rain, so I walked a circuit of several city blocks while Kim played at SPL. Saturday it started raining midmorning and kept it up until evening so I stayed in and observed. Sunday it rained… chalk up a lazy weekend for this girl. It’s Monday… new week… and the day started with rain. Guess what, chicky, it’s spring and spring gonna rain, just get out there. So I walked to the river and watched it roar, which set my clock for the day, and now the plan is to trek between showers for the rest of the week. You’re allowed to keep me accountable…

The Mighty KAW

A few pearls from the past week…

And on that note… stop by Comments and say hello. 😊

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Sunrise… sunset…

There’s everything to be said for second chances. We don’t all get one in every situation. In fact, the greater the need for a second shot, the less likely we’ll be afforded one. They’re handed out like candy when we’re little, so someone should warn us early on that life doesn’t continue in that vein and that we should think, first of all, and then wait to act on an idea until we’re pretty sure it’s a good one.

When I came to a semi-conscious conclusion a few years ago that life as I’d known it was ending, in terms of physical capabilities, I failed to consider the major ramifications of shutting down. Not that I had a real choice… when pain rules, you do what it says, and it took me to some dark places before Dr. Carlson put a stop to it for me. But going to ground and closing the door in your third trimester of life is a serious undertaking which requires equally serious effort to reverse.

Change is underway. This morning, like an actual person, I drove across town again on a valid license to check on a friend, stopped at Einstein’s for a bagel, paid for it with my updated credit card whose pin number I know, parked Kim’s truck back in its spot without destroying anything anywhere, and I feel slightly reborn. It’s like someone raised a curtain and there was the world, big as life and twice as natural. It’s ridiculous… at almost 75 it feels in lots of ways like I’m just getting started.

I hope the central message floats to the top of all the I/me/we, and lights up in neon: DON’T QUIT!! Whatever’s stopping you from living your life… physically, mentally, spiritually… don’t give in to it unless that’s the only choice available, which was coming true for me until six months ago. If there’s any chance to maintain a vital life of your own… do it. It takes great energy to come back, and the time consumed is staggering. But step by step… slowly we turn… and life goes on.

There are Memorial Day observances around town today, and something big going on in South Park for kids, but things were pretty quiet this morning after Busker weekend. One block of 8th street is still closed, with booths in place, so it ain’t over ’til it’s over. Feels like a Sunday…

No typos detected.

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Taste and see…

[Missed posting this yesterday… ]

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here in #lfk, with sunshine and light breezes, as opposed to the urban guerrilla winds of the past couple of days. Northeast Kansas is far less windy than the southwest corner where I grew up, but I haven’t forgotten, and my heart is with the prairie pioneer women who eventually slit their wrists rather than deal with the endless gritty howl. My, that turned dark fast, didn’t it.

Okay, we were discussing sunshine and gentle breezes… this afternoon’s plan is to enjoy an outdoor wine festival and live music with sister Señorita Margarita Rita, who makes life better just by being there. Wine, lawn chairs, music, nice weather, people we know… what’s not to like? It’ll start the week on a high note.

Heads up, new subject:

Change, a fact of life under any circumstance, is always on my mind. I tell myself I don’t mind change, in fact welcome it, but as with all things, it depends. What KIND of change? Whose idea was it? Do I get to think about this? Do I have a choice in what happens? Bottom line, will it eventually be good for ME? A few months ago we were under the delusion that life was heading back to “normal,” only to discover that nothing has changed except the names. And in that light, the question I keep coming back to is how much of what we’ve lost was real to start with?

And this:

I see scattered comments to the effect that most social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, should be shut down in the name of information management, sanity, control, pick your cause… but I do hope people keep a thought for society’s mice, who are pretty quiet but always here. When it’s physically, psychically, logistically difficult to maintain relationships with other humans, we mice somehow find each other and make the kinds of connections that get us through life. We aren’t subversives or even rebels, as such, we simply function better on a less frenetic, less peopled basis. Phenomena like Facebook and Twitter, when we manage them right, fit the bill perfectly, so we (I) need them to not go away.

On the days when the big dark hound sits on my chest and refuses to break eye contact while assailing me with an endless litany of my failures as a human, I need my social media friends saying “I know. I’ve been there. It gets better.” I was never part of a group, and too solitary to really be a best friend to anyone, so the internet is perfect… it allows for space while providing community and I’d be lost without it. When even one person thinks you can survive, you can. Leonard Cohen put it perfectly…

******

The weather stayed beautiful into the evening, a good time was had by all, and I was too lazy to post this before bed…

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