I messed up tonight, I lost another fight, I still mess up but I’ll just start again

Nobody learns without getting it wrong…..

Life is more difficult to negotiate these days. The ground and I had to stop meeting like that, so now I have a walker. My full time job these days is not caring for others as a nurse, but instead a nurse fills my mediset to help me keep from hurting myself with my memory problems.

I am trying hard to care for myself, negotiate the multiple systems in place to “help” me maintain my independence. Besides no longer working, I no longer drive, I no longer read, think, talk or understand at the ability I expect of myself. Everything takes longer than I expect and my best is often not good enough, fast enough for people waiting, not knowledgeable enough for people asking, not coherent enough for those listening and writing and deciding my future.

So yes, life is more difficult to negotiate these days, and when I face a new loss, like today, I get sad and irritable. Thanks to a good helping of Cognitive Behavior Therapy I have tools to help cope with the grief, acknowledge the anger, and accept my powerlessness over external things, instead of being depressed, hopeless and helpless.

Do I cry, yes. Do I write how unfair life can be in my venting journal, yes. Tools to cope are not magic wands that make it all peaceful in my head and heart. My tools of humor, persistence, courage and compassion don’t suddenly transform this shit in my life back into a feast; but processing loss, change and anger provide the fertilizer in which my next great moment will grow.

But more than just trying to live longer, I am still striving to live out loud.

In the interest of trying everything, I am trying prescribed adaptive sports. I still paint, still keep this blog. Still play music. Still cruise FB, Pinterest, etc. I am more likely to leave an emoji than a full fledged comment these days, and recently I thinned my media friends list again so that I can pay more attention to those most important to me without being overwhelmed, but I am proud to stay in the cyber world where change happens at the speed of light.

It’s not that I am great at any of it.

But then failure has always been an option for me, hence a life bigger than anything I expected. I would rather try my best and be last than stand on the sidelines and wonder if I could.

“Look how far you’ve come…..

I won’t give up, No, I won’t give in, til I reach the end then I’ll start again.”

Namaste folks.

Off to sleep so I can get up tomorrow and keep making those new mistakes…

And I totally think Shakira should sing at my funeral party. Don’t you?

Me at my last triathlon, to inspire me to do my first adapted one before I can’t!!!

What goes up, must come down…..

What goes up, must come down, spinnin’ wheel got to go round

I joke about how similar living in a larger senior community is to high school or junior college social dynamics, but there are a few differences. In high school mean girls could remember every detail of your most embarrassing moment and the exact whys and wherefores of your current placement in the pecking order. Here, few remember anything, so they just make it up as they go along.

Today when asked why I was moving out so soon, I was shocked and my reply was my current resolve to not leave until my soul did.

I also learned through my rather despicable habit of eavesdropping that I am here either because of my drinking problem or possibly a stroke; having let myself go quite terribly for someone who says they are a nurse. (Nope, not even close, FYI)

It is truly amusing to not be hard of hearing here, and I love to sit in the library out of line of sight. Unfortunately or fortunately I never get invited to these women’s discussions. I guess because I told them what my mom always said, “(S)He who brings a bone, always takes one.” Luckily for all concerned. Mean girls of any age are the exception not the rule. Still, they amuse me.

Another wheel spinning through my mind today is funny answers to hilariously inapropos questions.

One example is asking “Are you OK?” in reference to anything chronic, long term or with obvious signs you are absolutely not OK. Currently what this looks like is someone I previously knew runs into me with my walker here in an Independent Living Facility.

“Hello, its really been a long time, is that your walker? Do you live here? Are you OK?” Her voice rising with greater concern and incredulity with each question.

What I think, “No, I thought I would travel 40 miles west, sneak into a senior facility and steal walkers. Gotta leave now before the person I stole if from reports me.”

What I say, “Yes it is, and yes I do. How are you?”

Anyway here is a fun little story, feel free to use it the next time someone asks you if you are OK, when the current situation warrants something more along the lines of “How are you?” or “May I bring a casserole around,” or other signs of compassion.

I start with, “You remind me of my friend. One day we were walking down the old railroad track in Noank and we saw what looked like a foot.

‘That looks like Joe’s foot’ I said.

‘Oh my goodness, it is Joe’s foot!’ they replied. A little further along we saw torn pants and a leg.

‘Is that Joe’s leg,” I cried.

Oh my Goodness, it is Joe’s leg,’ my friend said.

We walk a bit farther and see an arm and a bit of shirt.

“IS that Joe’s arm?”

“Oh my God, it is Joe’s arm!”

Then I see a bloody neck and severed head. “Is that Joe’s head?”

“Joe! Joe! Oh My God! Are you OK?”

Here is hoping you are OK. And if not, that the wheel will turn quickly. Not much else to say. Blood, Sweat and Tears are my soundtrack today, and I am just riding the spinning wheel of life and staying ahead of the wave.

And laughter shows me the colors that are real.

This post has taken me almost two weeks to edit and post, which leads us to the next one…..

Lady comes to the gate dressed in lavender and leather…

“The embroidery of your life holds you in and keeps you out but you survive…”

“Albatross” by Judy Collins has been a favorite of mine for half a century. If you have never really listened to it, I recommend you at least read the poetic lyrics, her voice is not everyone’s taste (definitely mine.

I have been listening to Judy a lot lately. Not by design, but happenstance. I can never make decisions these days so I push random and let the little digital hamsters in my Kindle decide my playlist. Apparently they think I need more Judy, Josh and Barbra this week. Quite OK with me. I have been painting and they are perfect background.

Musical musing asides, I actually started this blog to talk about my 2018 word. I need a little help from my friends. It’s February and I still don’t have my word for 2018.

I pick a word each year and use that word as a spring board for personal growth. I have tried on at least a dozen, none have felt right yet.

Any suggestions?

Love is but a song to sing; Fear’s the way we die

(New Blog Post: Take 30 something…)

If I give myself credit for effort and time spent, I am blogging every day. If I measure by my visible output, what you see, I am a failure.

Funny isn’t it how perception is everything and nothing.

I love words; their power and majesty, the weapon of choice for budding dictators and wise teachers; their subtle color and sound when spoken by poets and lovers.

I am afraid of saying the wrong thing, afraid of saying the right thing in the wrong way.

Sometimes the one brave thing a day I do is getting out of bed and still trying to just be.

Today, it was facing down and identifying my own emotions.

My emotions are many, tumultuous, contradictory, and sometimes even unpleasant and even then still mine. I readily admit to anxiety. However, I rarely own my anger and generally squelch my fear. I make it a general rule to do one thing a day that scares me. And I don’t understand the purpose of angry displays.

Maybe its a little late in my life to be really learning this on a ‘gut’ level, but Fear and Anger have their functions too. They tell me I am stuck in one of those tiny mazes again where I need to consider a new option. They tell me I have taken on too much, or that I might be in physical danger or maybe that I need more personal boundaries.

What they don’t mean is that I need to be less compassionate. What they don’t mean is that I need to be selfish or cruel.

Perhaps it is time to adjust my perception of myself and measure myself on intention and effort, not just visible product.

Love is the song I will always sing, because fear is what kills us, kills democracy, kills hope. Learning to still love myself as unconditionally as I love my brother, is hard, and frightening.

But as always, love will win.