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Old Age – coping with it, acknowledging it.


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Getting old has its compensations, but also its draw-backs. I am nearly 63 years old and I am learning, slowly. For the last seven years or so I have been in transition and it hasn’t been easy. Far from it. I have had to let go of a lot of things. I no longer kid myself that I look ‘good for my age’. Once I realised that, I embraced the age that I am and went in a different direction. However, that didn’t quite suit me and it still doesn’t, if I’m honest.

A year or so ago I cut my long, auburn (dyed) hair and let it go grey. Not so important maybe, but it was to me. I looked in the mirror and someone else was peeking back at me. The face in the mirror looked sad, apologetic even. Had I done the right thing? Maybe I should have kept on dyeing that hair but what is the point. I didn’t like the grey roots poking through. No, that looked awful. I kept my hair short for a while, fiddling about with curlers to try and keep it looking lively. Then I gave up and had a perm. Looking in the mirror that day, I saw my Auntie Connie looking back. Damn it! Where is me in all this? Where have I gone?

Since then I’ve kept my hair grey and fought off the aches and pains which seem to increase weekly. I feel guilty that I wasn’t more sympathetic to my own mother. She went through this too, I tell myself.

I have stopped using make-up, except for a little lipstick. That does brighten my face up so I keep that; but I can’t wear mascara anymore because my eyelids have drooped and now if I apply mascara, it ends up on the lids as well as the lashes and it’s darned difficult to get off.

With the negative issues comes also a sense of satisfaction, almost a wisdom. I now know what the outcome will be if I do this or that. I know what to avoid doing, which is a big help.

What I do know, I would like to pass on to my children, but they don’t want to know. If they want to know something, they turn to the internet these days. That makes me feel superfluous.

It’s not all bad though. I have more freedom with my time. Freedom to do my crafting, to visit lovely places and time to watch my garden grow. I have time to listen if anyone wants to talk.

I am content.

Read and enjoy this poem, which I found in an old copy of Peoples’ Friend Magazine:

 

Just The Way I Am

by Pam Davies

My face will not be lifted

And my tummy not be tucked.

It’s quite enough to file my nails

And have my eyebrows plucked.

Wrinkles on my face relax,

They know I’m Botox-free;

They know they’re in no danger

And they suit the likes of me.

Bits of me have grown and bulge,

Bits of me recede;

Some bits hint at deprivation,

Others hint at greed.

But every bit can tell a tale.

Is marked by fun or strife;

They’re signs of all the highs and lows

That bless my thankful life.

I shall not seek a surgeon

To return me to my youth,

I’m happy just the way I am,

Contented with the truth!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone. Thank you to my faithful blogging friends for sticking with me. You know who you are! and thank you to my new followers. You are most welcome to journey along with me.

Oma

Dylan update – July 2014 and a flash back to the past.


Dylan is spiderman - July 2014

It seems that Dylan’s transformation into Spiderman is complete!

Dylan is now nearly four years old.  His birthday is in October, like mine and so the big 4 is just around the corner. He is a very active little boy who enjoys dressing up and posing for photographs. Whenever I see pictures of him or observe his behaviour when he comes to visit, I can’t help thinking back to my own three little boys when they were the same age. It doesn’t seem so long ago to me, you see; although in reality it is 36 years since my eldest son, Robert, was four years old.

This is Robert, aged 4 and his brother Edward aged 1. David wasn’t born yet. The year is 1977.

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The photo was taken by a professional photographer. I know that at the time we could hardly afford it, but I so wanted a nice picture to keep so we stretched ourselves. The days when my children were little were the happiest of my life. It is hard to compare those days with these days when I am almost a different person. I look back and I think, did this really happen? Why did it go so quickly? Looking at the picture above, it would not be long before Robert started school proper and then it would be ‘teacher said this or teacher said that.’ and I would no longer be that most important person in his life. For now he was mine, all mine and we shared everything together. We lived in a happy bubble, not having much money, but having plenty of time.

My grandson, Dylan, has just had his first professional photograph taken at the Nursery where he goes twice a week. I think it turned out very well, don’t you?
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Have a lovely Sunday all of you. Just want to say a big thank you for following my blog and sharing my life and my memories.

Oma

 

Sand


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Our lives are short and full of sand

which shifts and trickles through our hands.

No longer can I take for granted

That tomorrow we shall not be parted!

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We fill our buckets on the beach

with dreams and hopes we try to reach

But sorrow knocks on every door

The shifting sands are here once more.

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These grains of sand like hairs are numbered

but bronzed and lazy we do but slumber.

Unaware that days like these

Will disappear upon the breeze.

 

S. Jones

A healthy week?


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Last week seemed to be filled with things medical for some reason or other. On Wednesday L and I went to the hospital for the morning. He had an appointment to see the consultant as a result of a recurring bowel problem, which resulted in a blood test and a consultation with regard to the way forward. He returns in a few weeks for a colonoscopy! He’s had this before, ten years ago so it probably is time to go again but I don’t envy him.

L has taken full advantage of our wonderful NHS (National Health Service). Last November, soon after he got here, I noticed that he had a lesion on the back of his neck, just beneath the hairline. It was weeping and wouldn’t heal so we went to the doctor, who sent us to the hospital and he had that basal cell carcinoma removed. They did a very neat job of it and now there is nothing to see.

I suppose as we get older, we can expect more problems with our health. It’s almost inevitable. I’ve been so lucky over the years and I pray it lasts longer. My mum had a hysterectomy at the age of 47 and so when I got near to that age, for some daft reason, I thought I might have to have one. I was lucky, I didn’t.

On Thursday I fell over in the garden. I’d gone up the path to get the washing in off the line. All of a sudden I found myself flat on the floor admiring the daisies! I must have got my foot caught in the little gully between the path and the lawn. I knew when J dug that out that one of us would trip in it, but I didn’t expect it to be me. For a few minutes I lay there in full view of the pair of them and then sat up feeling no ill effects. I was a bit shocked and felt like crying, but avoided that and laughed instead.  It’s amazing how close those two emotions are isn’t it! I suffer with a bad back and I was really worried that I would have put that out – in which case I would be hobbling about on a stick for 6 weeks or more, but amazingly, I was all right. My pride was hurt, my arm hurt and I will have a bruise at the top of my left leg, but otherwise nothing. I was lucky.

Since then I have been extremely careful. I don’t want to fall over again. It’s not pleasant, is it.

I’ve been enjoying writing up about my Starlight Promotions experiences. They is more to come but I wouldn’t want to get boring about it.

Have a lovely Saturday.

Oma

 

Dylan at the seaside.


Dylan in Norfolk - May 2014

This is my little grandson, Dylan, having a great time at the seaside this weekend past.  He is still enjoying Spiderman and wears anything spiderman related that he can find. Looks cute, doesn’t he.

We haven’t seen very much of Dylan lately and I do miss him, but we were finding that having him all day was too much, especially as he kept asking ‘when is daddy coming to collect me?’ Clearly we ancients are not his idea of fun even though we tried very hard to amuse him all the time he was with us.

It is hard for working parents, I know. But it is also hard for grandparents who lack the energy of a three year old.

We were discussing the situation with one of my other sons the other day and he explained that these days, the 30 somethings were an ‘entitled generation’. They have been brought up to expect things done for them. This has quite a big impact of all our lives. If you are of that generation, reading this, I don’t want to sound harsh. I can only tell it how it is to us.

We have given free child-care for 3 1/2 years, but it’s never enough or so it seems. I would love to be 30 something myself but I never will be again, sadly. I do not have the will or the energy. When Dylan came along, I thought it would be like taking care of one of my own little boys, but I quickly discovered that things, which I took for granted in the 70’s, I can no longer do. For example, I could only lift the baby for a little while and when I leaned forward to put him in the cot, my back hurt unbearably. I needed help and got it from J, but he also got tired very quickly. Even with three of us here, it is difficult to be ‘on’ all the while throughout the day.

So things have changed here. We only see Dylan when his daddy brings him round, but at least we see him sometimes. It is not enough for us to have him for just a couple of hours. He needs care all the day so it is very much an all or nothing situation. I know there are lots of grandparents who don’t see their grandchildren at all for one reason or another and there are many who don’t have any grandchildren and never will have and I feel for them.

Life is so different to when I was young. I was so happy to be at home with my little ones and enjoyed every minute. I didn’t get bored or ‘brain-dead’ being with children. Life is very much what you make of it, isn’t it.

So I’m getting used to the new situation, slowly.

Oma

My English Garden in May – Beautiful Clematis


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It’s just so nice to see flowers blooming after our long, wet winter. Here on the wall is a beautiful clematis, which gives us much pleasure.

And here a honeysuckle, just waiting to open up…

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Life feels good at the moment and here at the cottage we are all three enjoying our retirement.  There is time, at last, to do the things we want to do. Life moves slowly. We have learned to adapt and it’s good.

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Oma

 

The Generation Gap


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We are continuing with the awful, rainy weather here in England and the cottage garden is getting more than its share of water this Spring. In addition an evil wind has blown in and caused much sorrow to me and my family in the form of a family squabble, which I never expected to be part of. It is partly caused by the generation gap and again I came to realise that my path in life is leading me away from the action and down to the river. I think it must be quite nice to sail away on the tide in a small boat just allowing the current to take you where it will, knowing that you won’t be coming back.

I find myself spending a lot of time day-dreaming these days; remembering back to times gone by – better times in my opinion. My mind takes me back to a time when duty was more important and self-centred thoughts were not allowed.

Perhaps the winds of truth will blow soon from a different direction.

Oma