It’s a lesson too late for the learning; made of sand, made of sand

Lyrics change meaning in altered circumstance. I found this song on repeat on my inner soundtrack, not in reference to a lost love, but instead to both my memories and lost life and you new friends struggling with dementia as well.

So many things still to learn, but the learning takes a drawer of spoons these days.

I haven’t stopped trying. I am taking Tae Kwon Do. I started a new support/coping skills group at the VA mental health as well as an eight week course on moving and balance from the PT department. I use my new breathing machine at night. I read, slower and with frequent need to reread. I paint. I knit. I work to write, to play my video games, follow Lego instructions.

I can no longer drive nor take the bus. I can no longer safely cook or babysit my grandkids because I cannot think quickly enough or stay focused enough to do either safely. Alone I get too easily lost or baffled. In stead of minutes or hours to make a post, knit a scarf, read a few chapters; it takes a couple days. And even then the mistakes slip in at higher rates.

It has been a year since I acknowledged something was wrong.I am still grateful. I still strive to be kind and useful. I still laugh regularly and face my challenges.

I cannot control what is happening to me, but I can continue to choose how I respond.

“Going away with no words of farewell, will there be not a trace left behind…”

Holding on to who I was, what I could do, is like a fist full of sand.

To all my friends and readers and to the self that is slipping away I sing “I could have loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind, you know that was the last thing on my mind.”

Have I done any good in the world today…..

Recently a friend’s Facebook post asked others to examine how they think. Not what was on their mind, but how their mind presented information about their day. Some people think in pictures, some in words, some hear their own voice, some here an entire radio play with parts, some have a movie in their head; humans usually have more than one approach to information processing, but usually one predominates. Me, I have a soundtrack.

My Blog post titles are all lines from my current top 40, usually ( but not always) the first line of the #1 spin of last week. OK, really the last few hours if I blog daily, but the point is, if you are my age, and process like me, the last sentence ended in Kaycee Kayson’s voice. Why?

The things we expose ourselves to repeatedly form branches in the tree of our head where the flowers of thoughts, feelings and actions grow.

When life is hard (because it is sometimes), I become sad, grief is real and settles when least expected. Like most people my age, I grieve multiple types of loss – people who have died, faith in past paradigms and their accompanying dreams, fractured future plans, and people who are absent through choices, theirs or mine.

I also become incredibly frustrated. Sad seems to increase my craving to control the things I can’t. Things like when, how and who gets cancer; the unfair distribution of wealth in our nation; meanness, gossip and judgement about myself or others by others; how many flying food induced clothing changes I have to make in a day; that I can’t drive…. I won’t continue, I only did this free association train to demonstrate a fact I have learned.

I notice that when I focus on my frustration I slowly circle into smaller, prettier, and more selfish concerns, until the world becomes all about me and my problems. The spiral gets tighter until I am consumed by anger; impatience, and may I even add hate, with and toward things and people, grows to a destructive perfect storm.

However if I focus on my choices through kindness, gratitude, and usefulness, the things I can’t change are still there but damage is mitigated to myself and others.

Because life isn’t fair and really, really bad shit happens to really, really good people (see “unfair”) I have learned what my top 10 songs need to be when I am in the eye of a hurricane.

Today I am on my third shirt because my hand is busy marching to its own drummer today; my first friend here (closest to my age, similar health) 911’d out and probably won’t be back; I still don’t know where my bed is; most troubling someone I deeply love and their child I also think is wonderful are going through something I can neither help with or change.

So my top 10 playlist repeats in my head. #10 on the list is Ella Fitzgerald’ s version of Wonderful world. It is also the first line in yesterday’s blog. I hear the songs of my soundtrack in particular versions and voices, not necessarily the best known, and really unsure how my brain picks the performance to add to perma play.

#9, is mine and my sister’s Suzanne and Diane singing a hymn together a decade ago.

Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you another, or maybe not, all I know is I am now off to do some good in ways I still can.

P. S. Today’s post went easier than yesterday’s. I started at 7 am, finishing editing at noon. Probably still needs more editing but posting as is!


I see trees of Green, red roses too…

Writing currently takes a level of concentration I find difficult to accept; I start to write, the thoughts in my mind seem to flow until I open WordPress and begin to type. I cannot remember how to do paragraphs on my keyboard or where to enter the title. I cannot find the songs I want to play while I blog.

Somehow my mind remembers a typewriter better these days and I look for the return bar, I hit the key that says return knowing that somehow on this program and this keyboard its more difficult than that.

And I almost put it all away again and go to bed, early as always because the evenings darken the shadows and unravel the rememberings.

I know I am the baby here in my landlocked silver aged cruise. Meals are tasty and prepared by others, no longer do I seek out a away to get what I crave, be it food or adventure, but a way to crave what I get. Activities, friendliness and food all expertly tailored to us, the target audience, the great ship of senior and assisted living sailing around the iceberg of age and illness.

I’d rather not be doing this, but at least I am doing it someplace safe, someplace fun, surrounded by the love of friends and family.

However, a year ago I was still working my last week as a nurse, not ignorant of how fragile life is, and not unfamiliar with stormy life seas, but as FB keeps reminding me, ignorant of the iceberg in my path.

Maybe I’m fiddling on the Titanic, however it’s still truly a wonderful world.