Tag Archive | aging

A healthy week?


thinking
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

 

Growing old gracefully.


old lady coughs and sneezes

Last year I decided to let my hair grow out grey. It was a big decision for me because it is not just the hair thing, it is much more than that for a woman.  For a man it is so different. Men age gracefully automatically, just so long as they take care of their bodies and keep reasonably fit and stay very clean. For women these days, with all the beauty products available, it is more of a conscious decision.  It is almost like saying ‘I don’t want men to see me as a sex object anymore. I am me, I am older, see me as I really am. To be honest, I think going grey aged me ten years! That’s a lot isn’t it.

I wanted to see if people treated me differently and they do. I have become invisible. Some people treat me like their favourite auntie or granny, other people see me as an old nuisance, especially when I have my shopping trolley with me. I do get more respect from some quarters and less from others. What I am not anymore is a potential partner, not by sight anyway. My dazzling personality and winning smile!!! will still see me through when I get into conversation, but I don’t get those second looks anymore, not do I want them.

That is the turning point: I do not want the second looks. I have had a few lapses over the last year. I have hovered for a while around the hair dye aisle in the local Supermarket. I have gazed longingly at the jazzy new nail polish colours further down but I have resisted so far. I have tried to buy more conservative clothes and ended up with a wardrobe with three types of clothes in it. I still have work suits in there because they were expensive and I can’t bear to part with them yet. I have classic type clothes that won’t date and I have the sort of clothes that I really like wearing, which are largely Indian in style, with lots of long dresses with sequins and swirls. So I hover between them all. I rarely wear the suits, although they do come in handy for my visits to town. I wear the classic clothes to meet my friends and go to church etc. but when I am on my own – I paint my nails red and wear my Indian dresses.

Since letting my ‘hair go grey’ I have been much more careful with the way that I speak. I don’t swear any more! I never did swear much but now I leave it along. I don’t think it goes well with my new image.

I have certain role models – people who I admire from films or TV. I try to copy their style as the metamorphosis develops. Here lies a problem because my role models are so diverse. Ideally I would like to look like Sophia Loren. I realise that some people reading this will not have heard of her! Those that have will know exactly what I mean.

Sophia Loren

Then again I like Miss Marple’s style, do you know the version in which Geraldine McKewan stars? She is so sweet and so dainty. Yes, I’d like to be like that.

Miss Marple

See what I mean? It’s a bit of a problem. If I am to be a butterfly changing back into a caterpillar, then I want that caterpillar to be a pretty one – one that people look at and say, ‘that’s a pretty caterpillar.’ Perhaps they will avoid treading on it then!

Now I’m off to Sainsbury’s with my shopping trolley (that’s a bag on wheels) ready to do battle with the crowds but with a big smile on my face.

I’m getting there slowly…

Getting through the day – remembering.


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This is a picture of my grandson Dylan and me in the park recently. It looks simple, doesn’t it, but really it’s anything but!

As I get older, I find I have to think more about those simple tasks that get me through the day. I don’t just do them anymore, I think them through so that I don’t have to make too many journeys up and down the stairs or in and out of the fridge etc. For example:

When I get up in the morning, at 6.30 a.m (I’m an early riser, even though I don’t have to be!), it starts off a chain of events, which I need to do in the right order. I get out of bed, visit the bathroom and empty my hot water bottle. Since I sleep alone here, I need that every night during the winter and my cat Patch appreciates it too! Return to the bedroom, put on slippers and dressing gown and get tablets out of the cupboard ready to take with my first cup of tea. Then I go downstairs, taking care not to trip over the cat on the way down. The cottage is still cold at this point. Outside it is dark outside. First thing I do is turn up the heating.

Now begins the kitchen ritual. I get two cups off the dresser, add teabag and milk, fill kettle, switch on, then trot around all the rooms opening curtains. By the time I’ve done that, the kettle has boiled.

I fill mugs and leave to stand and brew. Next I cut a large slice of toast bread and put under the grill. While that is cooking, I fetch butter and marmalade out of the cupboard and put on the side ready. By now the cat is weaving in and out of my legs miaowing. I get her bowl and the tin of cat meat out of the fridge. Fill bowl, watch toast, put bowl down, pick up water (I do this to save too many stoopings down). Change water and put yesterday’s food dish in sink to soak. It’s just like an assembly line.

When the toast is done, remove from grill, turn off grill, put toast on plate and butter. Take teabags out of mugs and discard. Put mugs on tray. Return to toast and add marmalade. Get biscuit out of tin for J.

So now I’m winning! The tea is made, toast and biscuit done, heating on, cat fed. Hooray!

I return upstairs with tray complete with goodies being very careful to negotiate the children’s stair-gate, cat and dressing gown dangling down by my ankles.

If I get to the top unscathed, I give J his tea and biscuit, open his curtains and say ‘good morning’. Then I return to my own cosy nest to drink my tea, eat my toast, take my tablets and read my book for half an hour. I’m not being lazy – I am waiting for the house to warm up. It takes half an hour, then I can go and get washed and dressed.

And all of that before 7.30 a.m.

Getting back to my grandson, I looked at that photo and realised what we had to do to get to that point of enjoyment. It was a similar sequence of events. It took time and thought and planning. I have to take an emergency bag in case of accidents (you can’t see that in the picture). I have to remember his gloves, hat, boots and hanky.

And so it goes on all through the day and as I get older, it gets harder, harder to remember, harder to do. I don’t really know why, it just does!

I suppose it will get even harder as I get older. I might reach for the tablets and find I’ve run out or find the stairs are hurting my knees. Those are the sorts of things I worry about now. I am not really a worrier but every now and then I stop and think.

Does all this sound familiar to you?

A Little Sparkle for the New Year


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Here in the northern hemisphere we are facing the hardest months of the year so here is a little sparkle to warm our thoughts on a cold winter’s day.

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Leave your cares and woes behind, buy yourself some flowers, put your feet up with a good book and relax.

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All of us experience change in our lives. Change is the one constant in our lives. There are changes that we look forward to and change that we fear. However, one thing is for sure. Things will not stay the same no matter how much we would like them too. When a life change occurs, we have two choices in how to respond. We can despair that a change has come and assume that things will be worse, or we can look with excitement at the new possibilities that the change presents.

From:  www.familyfriendpoems.com

Those of you who know me well know that I have had some extreme changes in my life. I think perhaps we all have. It’s just that our own personal changes are brighter in colour to ourselves and the effects stick in our memories and won’t go away.

I’ve always thought how easy it is to see where other people go wrong in their life decisions but almost impossible to see your own bloomers!!! Here are some more bloomers for you:

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When I was a little girl, my mother used to sing a song for me. It was called ‘Que Sera Sera’, what will be will be. Listen to it here:

I used to think she made it up, then one day I heard Doris Day sing it. Now when I hear that song I always think of my mum and the memories come back… At this time of the year it is good to do a little ‘letting-go’. I have been sorting out my wardrobe, putting aside clothes which I don’t wear very often.  I find it very hard to do because I like all my things, but I keep telling myself that once I’ve made the space there will be room in the wardrobe when the weather changes as it surely will.

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For myself I find it hard that my children have grown up and now lead their own lives. I crave for the times that they were all at home and we shared the ups and downs of lives. I know I am very lucky that I still have my children and they live near me, two very close, one a bit further away but it’s not the same as when you all live under the same roof, is it.

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I always look forward to each New Year in trepidation.  Will it be a good year? or not so good? Will I keep my health or have issues to deal with? Should I do those things which I have putting off NOW? or put them off a little longer?

In the past I have been guilty of ‘making things happen’ a little too much. Perhaps I should take a step back this year and let things take their course? As Doris Day so cherrilly sings, ‘What will be, will be.’

How are your New Year’s resolutions getting on?

Becoming invisible when you get older…


I have wanted to write a post about this subject for some time because it seems to get ever more relevant.  The older I get the more invisible I get, so it seems. Now this can have its advantages. I look so innocent that I feel like I could easily get away with throwing a brick through a window and then point to the ‘younger’ person next to me and say ‘he did it’! I think I would be believed. Trouble is I have no desire to do such a thing nor have I ever.

BUT life can be very frustrating when you are getting older. The first thing that springs to mind are the mobile phones.  These days walking through the town is hazardous owing to the large number of people who persist in talking on their phones whilst walking along in a crowd.  It is up to me to jump out of their way because they just do not see me.  I am totally invisible to them, so it seems.  I suppose it all comes down to respect. When I was a young person, I was taught to respect my elders.  That meant that I had to open doors for people who were obviously elderly, pregnant women etc. Anyone who was older than me had to be allowed for.  I looked forward to the time when I was older and someone would do that for me.

Well that time has come but now I discover that I am invisible and rarely does anyone let me go first if the pavement is a crush. Seldom do I get offered to step onto the bus first. No, it is very much a ‘take care of yourself’ society.  I wonder why that is. Perhaps it was the rise of feminism in the 60’s that started it off. No longer did some women want doors opened for them or seats given up for them.  What were they thinking of? I didn’t agree with it then and I don’t now.  Perhaps I am old fashioned.  I am feminist enough to want equal pay for doing the same job as a man, but feminine enough that I would love for a man to open a door for me, especially when I am loaded down with shopping and/or grandchildren.

When my hair started going grey, I dyed it. I don’t like the half and half look. However because I am blessed with a youthful looking skin, I am taken for younger than I am, usually.  So this year, after I turned 60 I thought I would let my hair go grey and see what happened.  Would I command more respect with grey hair? If not, what is the next stage? Perhaps buy a black stick with a silver top and wield that around in shops etc. I rather like the Dowager Duchess in the popular drama ‘Downton Abbey’. That’s my next look I think.

My hair is now natural looking, grey at the front and dark brown at the back. I’m still debating whether to leave it like that or sneak a bit of colour in. After all, grey is an invisible colour isn’t it!

So back to the invisibility. Do you suffer from that if you have reached that certain age? Does it bother you? Why do you think it happens?  Are we, as older people, getting in the way? If you are a younger person, do you make allowances for older people? or do you ignore them? treat them the same as everyone else? be extra caring.

What I hadn’t realised when I was young is that it hurts to be old. The bones hurt, the muscles hurt, everything hurts. It’s like you wake up in the morning and you think to yourself  ‘what’s going to hurt today”? It would be really nice to have one day totally without pain. I wish I’d known that when I was young. I would have been a lot kinder to my parents and other people who were aging.

I found this post, which is on the same subject and is very interesting (to those of us afflicted).

Oma’s Tennessee garden


I’ve completed my journey and arrived back in Tennessee, looking forward to another game of Scrabble with Larry.  A while ago he made this Scrabble board because we both got fed up with the restrictions of the usual one.  I like this one much better and the game lasts all through the evening, which is a pleasant way to spend time. Larry is my husband.

It was also nice to see my familiar things like this old table, which belonged to my Oma.  The table lived in Holland for much of its life, then travelled to England with my mum and finally has its resting place in Tennessee.

I say finally, but then you never know do you.

The lovely knitting needle case on the table is very appropriate for where I am in my life at the moment, i.e. a little old lady with grey hair who spends her time knitting and spinning…

I have lots of dried roses as pot pourri.  They always smell so wonderful.

Now I’m going to show you some pictures from the Tennessee garden, through the year so far.

When I arrived I had a very sore back and I’m still suffering with it. However, maybe after a few day’s rest, I will feel better and be more mobile.

I did manage to walk round Joanne’s today though (wink). I love that place.  It’s full of gorgeous materials and yarns and scrap-booking stuff etc.  All the things that make me a happy me.

The lychnis is pretty in the next picture.

So for the next few weeks I will be blogging from Tennessee. I hope you’ll follow along with me as I live my American life?

I’m going to enjoy myself!


  
 Some very true words to ponder….I hope you enjoy.
 
 
As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend.
 
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
 
Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
 
I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.
They, too, will get old.
 
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.
 
Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
 
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
 
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.
 
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).