The break in my blog writing is indicative of a break in my life. Literally everything is upside down. Everyday life reveals some new and obvious things like …
- Retirement means loss of routine … Duh
- Retirement is like turning over the reins to the millennials … OMG
- Everytime we move… We begin everything all over again … Duh
- Making new friends is like dating … OMG
- Getting old is a bitch …OMG OMG OMG
- Thank goodness for a life partner …Oh yeah
The list goes on and on and on and I could write several blogs about each one. It’s so exhausting that I’m not sure where to begin! One might say to just start at the beginning, but there is no beginning…. There are only middles. Since my little grey cells are fading minute by minute I’ll just jump in with what I can remember before more cells vanish into the ether like socks.
Currently sitting in hotel room waiting to go see knee doc for him to tell me that I have not wrecked my new knee. This TKR (total knee replacement) has been more than I ever imagined. They told me it would be a 1-year recovery, but I poopoohed that because I’m strong. Prior to surgery, I worked out 4-5 days a week. I easily biked 25 – 30 miles. I hiked many miles each week. In other words, it might take others a year to recover, but not me!
As my flexibility and extension improved, I started taking a spinning class 5 days a week, and I was unusually smart about it. Instead of going all out, which would be my normal MO, I started with 30 minutes per class and added a few minutes each day until I was up to 45 minutes. I was bragging about how well I was doing. I WAS BACK!!!
It was at that point that my body (I’ll call her Gertrude) took me aside and explained the facts of life. A TKR is not something that I can bull my way through. I am not in charge of this… Gertrude is, and she will let me know when I am ready. And that explains why I am sitting here waiting to see the knee Doc this afternoon.
Hope I haven’t reinjured myself.
Had a long standing agreement with SusieQ that I wouldn’t bother her and she wouldn’t bother me. So, I stopped tennis, golf, and racquetball. But, I was able to do yoga, weight training, hiking, bicycling and dancing, so all was well. Until it wasn’t.
SusieQ broke our agreement when she began complaining at random times. So after a series of shots over a period of years to shut her up, it was time to be more proactive. Visited my orthopedist and he said he could stop SusieQ from bothering me ever again. So I go under the knife next week to get a Total Knee Replacement (TKR).
First, I had to go through the phases of preparation that included 1) fear 2) panic 3) risk of death and 4) anxiety. Since the best defense is always to get informed, I immediately went to YouTube to see what TKR looks like. Boy…. Was that a mistake. Ugh… gross!
So much to do. Had to get food for my incarceration; searched out books for download; apologized to my husband for the witch that I would become. But, then a delay came. SusieQue didn’t want to let go and planted bacteria in one of my teeth so surgery has been delayed for two weeks to eliminate the infection.
Two more dental visits to come this week… but if all goes well… SusieQ will be banished next week.
Forty years of pulling on the oars is hard to walk away from. You get used to getting up in the morning and trudging to work. You get used to being the “goto” person for problem solving because it makes you feel important. Now I sit on top of the deck trying to relax while others do the rowing. I sit on the deck drinking mint juleps and listening to the oars as they dip in and out of the water. I want to tell them which direction to take. I want to tell them to grab hold of the handle with both hands, and their stomach and chest should be resting against the tops of their thighs. But, I don’t.
It feels like I’m slacking off. They say I deserve it. They say I’ve earned it. They say, I owe it to myself, but even after 5 years, there’s still a bit of nostalgia for smelling the sweat of hard work and wiping the tears from failures. Nostalgia for “being the boss.” It is still hard.
The funny thing is I know I’ve earned it. As I drive by office buildings in the late evening, I see people working at their desks and I’m so glad I’m not in there with them. I look through office windows and see people sitting around conference tables. When walking through hotels, I see all the conferences in progress. And I ask myself…. What am I missing? Do I miss working late evenings? NO. Do I miss the endless non-productive meetings? NO. Do I miss wagging the dog? SOMETIMES just because it’s fun.
Now I get to sit on the dock of the Bay. I get to climb the highest mountains. I get to travel the world. I get to explore museums and road trip with my husband. I get to sit indoors on a snowy day and crank up the fireplace as others go to work.
Would I rather be in the hole pulling on the oars? NO. I’ve earned my mint juleps and I’m going to drink my fill!
All the music that I had been practicing for weeks poured out of my brain and splashed on the floor. I was paralyzed until Mom came up and retrieved me. She took me back to my seat where I buried my face in her breast wishing I could disappear.
As I sat and watched G’daughter (teenager) struggle with homework this past weekend, I observed her paralysis from fear of failure and fear of embarrassment because she couldn’t do something. My first thought was that someone had taught her and I to fear failure. Then I realized that the opposite was true. Fear of failure is as natural as our need for love and belonging. It is not taught… it just is.
It’s interesting to look back at other times when I feared failing. The first time I had to make a presentation as part of a team project at work. At the last minute, I tried to back out, but the team would not let me. Then I started using a different (chickenshit) technique. Whenever I had to “perform”, I wouldn’t tell my friends, family, or coworkers just in case I embarrassed myself. So, when I was in a triathlon, I didn’t tell my friends or family…. Not even my kids… just in case I failed.
As it turned out, my performance events were successful (except for the piano recital). Over the years, I have successfully and comfortably spoken before audiences of 300 or more.
I now realize that I denied myself the pleasure of being comforted by friends and family when I fail and the joy of sharing my success.
So for my upcoming storytelling event, I have invited everyone.
It’s easy to be a Sideline Advocate and stand next to the parade route cheering on the participants. Like men/women at strip clubs, I place money in their belts/garters and watch in the comfort of my home. To my credit, I also write letters to Congress. When there is a march occurring, I lament that I didn’t know there was going to be a march. Sip my cup of tea and send another $100. While living in San Diego, I lament that the action is occurring in Washington DC while sipping a cup of tea and send another $100.
I proclaim that I am fed up enough to march, as I continue to sip my tea, scream at the TV set, send another $100, but I am now out of excuses. When I found myself yelling at the TV set this morning, I recognized that it is time to put down my cup of tea and march at the upcoming rally in front of the U.S. Capital to protest gerrymandering on this coming Tuesday (10/3/2017).
I know that gerrymandering is a political ploy to arrange voting districts to benefit one party’s candidate over the other party, which weakens our voting power. But as I was trying to explain the issue to a friend, I realized that my knowledge is shallow especially concerning the particular case being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). I’m going to have to get up to speed in the next 24 hours. If a reporter asks me why I’m out protesting, I don’t want to be that Black person …. without a clue.
I am taking a break from re-reading the origin of gerrymandering and the basis of the case being heard by (SCOTUS). It’s clear that I cannot learn all that there is to know about the topic in such a short period of time. What I do know is that it is time to stand up for what I believe which is that current political tactics by both parties reduce the power of our vote and they MUST stop jiggering the voting districts to favor one party over another.
Could have gone forever not realizing that parts of my body float (and not the obvious parts). Been looking for the right combination of exercises to reduce the overall “float”. My health club offers cardio, weight training, spinning, circuit training, swimming, yoga, barre, and pilates. Which is a great smorgasbord, but the number of options are overwhelming. In addition to the variety, I have to figure out which ones to do on which days and which times will give me the most benefit. And the last layer of complexity is which instructor to choose, because not all instructors are created equal. Oy vey!!!!!!!
I am avoiding my Type A tendencies which are crying out to “create a matrix” of classes and instructors, but I refuse to do that. Instead, I am actually trying out a different class every day until I find “what works for me”. After 3 weeks, I have just about found the right combination of classes, days, times, and instructors. Whew!
Since I work out in the mornings, many of my fellow workoutees are retirees too. And the best instructors know that some of us are dealing with knee issues, back issues, shoulder issues and a variety of other stuff. Hence the best ones give us “modifications” and constantly assure us that modifications are not only okay but good. Thanks to my feet, knee, and back, I have now become the queen of mods.
Regarding the float…. While doing water aerobics I felt something on my rear end that bounced up and down every time I jumped. I knew that things had moved south, but I had no idea it was that bad!!!
Oh well…. Just more incentive to get my fat a__ to the club.
Post headlines had story about girl in Mexico who wass under rubble from earthquake awaiting rescue. Then instead of reporting on the number of dead, as they usually do, they reported on the number saved. It doesn’t change the fact that many have died and probably more to be tallied, it just tweaks the focus of the story. It changes the feelings from sad to hopeful.
Made me think about how we should all consider tweaking things in our lives. Instead of lamenting the unexpected traffic accident making you late “tweak it” to hoping that no one is hurt. Instead of complaining about your job “tweak it” to being glad you have a job while you look for another. Instead of lamenting the “bad” weather (rain or snow or cold) “tweak it” and revel in the ability to walk in the snow; to smell the rain; and having clothing to protect against the cold.