The glass is half empty,,,or half full

Funny how people can react differently to the exact same situation. I have 2 friends, unknown to each other, but both good friends of mine, and I’m not sure what they have in common that would place them in my circle because as far as I can see they are polar opposites.  If, for example, both were searching for mushrooms at the market and they came across the last 3 packages, one would delight in her good fortune at finding them at all, the other would lament in the fact that few are left and she has no choices. The glass is half empty versus the glass is half full.

To those who see the glass half full no problem is insurmountable. They have a passion for life and refuse to let anything pull them down and if they’d found no mushrooms at all they would’ve switched their menu to accommodate the veg they can find. They exude positivity and people are drawn to them for this reason because they know time spent with this person will make them feel better.

To those who see the glass as half empty every day is an effort. They bear the weight of the world and whenever things go wrong it’s just a reaffirmation that the Gods are out to get them (‘Woe is me’) and when they couldn’t get the mushrooms they wanted they’d sooner skip the meal all together because now everything is ruined and they’ve lost their appetite. They live every moment under a cloud of negativity. They thrive on it, because it’s easier to blame anything else than see the light side and look for options.

When things don’t work out as expected consider the alternatives and there’s always alternatives – you can’t just accept failure or loss. I believe everything happens for a reason, and if something doesn’t go as planned maybe it’s because a better plan is your destiny. You just have to trust. Besides, positive thoughts breed positive outcomes, so it follows then that  the one who is focused on the half empty glass is the one I measure my time with. I have to be in the right frame of mind to indulge their negativity because if I’m not strong enough to deflect it, they’ll pull me into the vortex of their negativity,,,,,and life’s too short for that,,,, so I limit my time with these people. (and I suspect many do for the same reason) Look in the mirror friends,,,,it could be you.

I think we all have the ability to focus on the positive in life. It just takes discipline. Focusing on the negative however, drains you of energy and joy,,,,so why would you do that to yourself? (it also depletes your circle of friends cause nobody likes a downer) Besides, I haven’t tried a recipe yet where you couldn’t substitute mushrooms for something else, (zucchini, tofu, eggplant?) get creative already, make an effort,  get positive.

If you see your circle of friends narrowing, take a good hard look at the energy you exude, and ask yourself what kind of person you’d want to spend time with. If you can honestly say you are upbeat and positive, you probably have a busy social calendar and people see you as fun to be around. If you find yourself alone more than you’d like (and I’m not returning your calls) you’re likely one of those who lives for the next tragedy to befall you, and unless you change that attitude prepare to be alone, a lot.

So it seems that the glass is half empty,,,,,or half full,,,,and it’s up to you to decide which one you’re going to drink from.

That’s Entertainment?

The Covid 19 virus has curbed, and in some cases, collapsed businesses everywhere, least significant of which is the entertainment industry. Theatres are closed so there’s no point in producing movies and tv shows, putting a number of actors out of work,,,,,and I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing, cause let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot of quality viewing to be had even before the global pandemic.

My husband and I tend to tape the shows we like for viewing at our convenience, but over the last few years there hasn’t been much worth taping so we find ourselves watching and re-watching the same shows. They are generally home renovation shows, cooking, documentaries, and of course, sports. I defy you to find a new sitcom or movie worth laughing over because the newest tv shows center around society’s basest, the so called ‘Reality tv”.

‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’, is a series about a band of American gypsies and their quest to put on a ‘society’ wedding. They have little or no means and even less taste, but they are determined to have an extravagant and splashy wedding. Now I get that much is exaggerated for television but I can’t imagine where the viewer would find entertainment in the antics of these mouthy vagabonds. Their ‘kinfolk’ almost literally crawl out of the hills to attend the prestigious event and the family chaos that ensues is nothing short of an excerpt from ‘The Hatfields and the McCoys’ (at least that had some comedic value). The language is colourful, the attire garish, and the storyline nonexistent. Who’s entertained by this crap? Surely not someone with a functioning brain?

How about the series of reality shows around ‘housewives’? The REAL housewives of Orange County,,,,,or California,,,,or Manhattan,,,or,,,,,,those that focus on a famous family – ’Keeping up with the Kardashians’ (mercifully on its’ way out). There is no storyline. These are shows about a bunch of botox  injected Barbie dolls whose faces and rears have seen so much plastic surgery they’re all starting to look alike (could it be they’re going for a secret society of clones?) The language is vulgar, the cleavage sightings high, and the intelligence quotient exceedingly low. Watching the day to day drama of a trashy family argue about infidelity, money, and their latest acquisition (usually an expensive car or shiny new bauble for the Barbie) is mindless,,,,,,and yet they have an audience, and a big one. How scary is that?

Now, these ‘informative’ shows aside, the only other options for new viewing is often shows about deranged minds. ‘Prodigal Son’ is a series about a serial killer who uses his ‘twisted genius’ (?) to help solve crimes. (ok, I guess that absolves him of the crimes HE committed,,,,cause he’s a good guy now) Yes, by all means, let’s put him on a pedestal and teach other warped minds how to get away with murder!

‘Luther’, a tv series about a police detective who has a ‘knack’ for getting inside the heads of killers often via disturbing and dubious methods (de-ja-vu). And most of these thriller/ mystery/ drama shows involve a lot of graphic detail and violence. What could an individual possibly find entertaining here? (good grief, isn’t there enough violence and unrest in society without stoking the fires of potential copy-cats?) How do people sleep at night after watching this stuff?

Now if you don’t like any of these options, there’s always romance to be found in shows like ‘My 90 Day Fiancé” or ‘The Bachelor’, where a group of desperate young airheads battle it out for the superficial affections of some guy they never knew, but hey, it’s television,,,,so they embark on a mission to get a proposal  at any cost. Cat fights, slander, and propositions are the theme so it must be true love (oh, and I think there’s a financial payoff to the successful little virgin)

Whatever happened to good old fashioned entertainment, where people actually had an aptitude for singing, or dancing, or acting, and when did we lose our appreciation of these genuine talents? And when did entertainment become about violence, and profanity, and deviation, and sex (I know everybody’s doing it, but do I need to see it on tv?) I don’t love serious entertainment because I think there’s enough bad news in the world and I like to keep my world light, but I can appreciate a good drama if it has intelligent value. Teach me something. I love a good comedy because it’ll probably replay in my head for days after, setting off spontaneous laughter. (Does anyone else remember ‘The Honeymooners’, ‘Green Acres’, ‘Gilligans Island’, ‘Bonanza’?) And a good musical (with a storyline, of course) will have me singing show tunes for years, without the nightmares. ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Showboat’, ‘Singing in the Rain’, Moulin Rouge’. Now THAT’s entertainment!

Eat the cake already

A close friend recently recounted a conversation she overheard between her husband and his dietician. He had submitted his menu of the previous week and the dietician noted that he had ‘cheated’ 18 times. We had a good laugh over it, at his expense of course (because if you can’t laugh at your husband why have one?)  but in truth, we both acknowledged that his situation was not unique. We all struggle to eat well and everyone wants to lose that extra 10 pounds. I wake up every morning declaring this to be the day my diet starts….only to have it all go to hell by 3:00. (I can’t help it – we are surrounded by deliciousness and my resolve never lasts more than 12 hours)

The same close friend once lamented her own dieting issues, then questioned her very need to. She said we struggle all our lives to eat well, stay active, and maintain a healthy weight – surely by the time we pass middle age we should be entitled to slip a little, no? I have to admit her reasoning resonated with me. Why are we so determined to deny ourselves the pleasure of food? If you drop dead tomorrow are you going to regret that you passed on that big slice of chocolate cake with fudge icing the day before? (I know I would!)

I remember a young woman I worked with, years ago. She was heavy, no doubt and constantly on a diet. A group of us went to McDonald’s for lunch one day (ok, not a healthy diet establishment, for sure) and I recall being surprised that she ordered a Quarter Pounder with supersize fries and a ‘diet’ Coke (she whispered conspiratorially to me that regular Coke is exceedingly high in sugar and she was watching her sugar intake) Now I’m no genius, but by the time you’ve inhaled that greasy burger laden with cheese and scarfed down 3 pounds of fried potato your sugar ship has pretty much sailed – just get the regular Coke and book yourself in for an Angioplasty.

Now I’m not saying we can’t indulge occasionally. I love a Big Mac and fries every now and again but I’m not going to delude myself into thinking a low calorie beverage is going to reverse the effects of this junk food meal. Eat it, enjoy it, and make a mental note not to do it again for 6 months because denying ourselves the occasional treat (junk) is just stupid. And no one would be impressed by a gravestone that says ‘she lived a full life on 1200 calories a day’.

In my family we have a number of birthdays in August which means a lot of cake. Now we discussed celebrating all birthdays at one gathering and that’s fine, but don’t deny me my cake. I have one birthday and on this one day of the year I want to eat and drink whatever I like without worrying about the repercussions. And none of this low fat crap. I want a chocolatey cake with a sickeningly sweet chocolate icing because if you’re going to give me cake I want the real deal, and substituting flavor for low fat options is akin to going to Baskin & Robbins where they boast 31 exotic ice cream flavours, and ordering vanilla.

Now this rule applies to coffee as well. The low fat, low foam, no cream, no sugar, no flavor, latte is a miserable alternative to a freshly brewed coffee with a squirt of caramel and a dollop of whipped cream, full fat of course. Unless you drink 6 of these a day it’s unlikely you’ll break the scales over a specialty coffee. I guess what I’m saying is, I think we need to ease up a little. Maybe live a little more and stress about our weight a little less? Unless you’re morbidly obese what harm can a few pounds do? It’s a good cushion if you fall and great insulation for the winter.

I suppose at the end of the day it all comes down to moderation. Anything in moderation is ok. Indulge yourself. Eat the chips today – don’t eat any tomorrow. And if you’re going to celebrate an occasion, do it right. Pour a big glass of milk/wine, grab your fork, lock the door, and just eat the cake already.

Eat the cake

The Psychic

Every so often my girlfriends and I schedule an outing to a local tea room where we meet with a psychic to have our tea leaves read. Some come with specific questions, others just out of curiosity, and it’s all done with a sense of fun. For the most part we all take the ‘readings’ lightly, i.e., we do not take it seriously but every so often something will come up in a reading that makes you wonder…is it all just hoo-hah or could there be something legitimate here?

Let’s face it, it would be wonderful to know what lies in store for us. We could prepare for it, good or bad. On the other hand, sometimes the information from a reading lingers in our subconscious, casting doubt and fear because as much as you try to take a reading lightly, the bad news has a way of resurfacing. I once went to a Tarot reader with a friend and in her reading the ‘Seer’ saw her in a room with no doors or windows…how creepy is that? And don’t think that didn’t stick with her….even I felt a looming sense of dread from such an ominous foretelling because what could possibly be good about being locked in a room with no exit?

Now I have to admit I have a favourite. Psychic, that is. She is delightfully eccentric and fabulous with analogies. She even looks the part, kind of a Mr Magoo with her wild hair and crazy nail polish, but at the heart she is genuine, sincere, and most entertaining (and isn’t that what it’s all about?) At my last reading with her she said ‘something I’d been wishing for was about to come true’. (Ok now we’re talkin’ value for my money!)

She has, on occasion, hit the nail on the head with her readings, and it’s stuff she had no way of knowing (I don’t care what you say) Most recently I brought  a friend for a reading and it was here we all became believers. (Ok, I was before anyway) My friend lost her father this past spring. He’d been ill with a number of age related issues and mercifully he passed at home before the brunt of covid and that brought much needed solace to my friend because her fear was he’d be in hospital and pass alone because of covid restrictions. As it happened he passed at home before the lockdown so all his loved ones were with him. Despite this she felt guilty. She felt he’d been short changed. Now I should preface this by saying she was nervous going to the reading because she was afraid something about her father would come up (which I poo-pooed) I assured her nothing ‘scary’ would surface.

My friend opted for a tea leaf reading versus cards and the first thing the psychic saw was an old tall ship, like the Bluenose. Nobody in the family sails or has any affinity for sailing so that was a no hit. She kept making references to my friend needing to ‘go to the ocean, and referencing again the tall old ship. Interestingly my friend has been obsessed recently trying to find a cottage to rent on the ocean, and she is adamant is has to be the ocean (I’m a lake lover myself) Then she said she saw an animal totem, a stingray. She admitted to having little experience with this particular animal totem and said she’d have to ‘chanel’ it, with the approval of the client, which she got. The ‘stingray’ was somewhat hidden and she struggled with trying to decipher it. Finally, and unexpectedly, she opened her eyes and said ‘who is Walter?”

My friend burst into tears. Walter was the father who recently passed, and NO, the psychic had no way of knowing. She didn’t even know my friends last name or circumstances. It was after this the other particulars fell into place. My friend admitted to recently finding 4 dimes (a sign from departed loved ones) A tall ship, the Bluenose specifically, is on the Canadian dime. The message from her father, the psychic went on, was for her to ‘go near the ocean’ when she needed to feel his presence. He had loved the ocean.

Now the reading really rattled her, and I must say it gave me cause to think as well. I’ve always believed there’s more to this realm, and I do believe there are those who can connect with those who’ve passed (and yes, I believe in angels too) but I also believe there are charlatans who capitalize on the emotional needs of the vulnerable. Now there are legitimate readers; people who can truly connect with the other side. And their only mission for doing so is to bring peace and closure to all parties. Can they tell fortunes and futures? No, I don’t think so, but they can connect intuitively with the departed, and that’s what I think is so wonderful. I would love to be the recipient of a message from a departed relative. I think it would bring me peace and a sense of joy knowing they were ok. (ok, in my 60 years of existence no departed relative has reached out for me….could it be I’m not as loveable as I thought I was?)

At the end of the day, I think we need to keep an open mind. And if connecting with our loved ones, on any realm, brings us a sense of peace, how can it be harmful?  My friend was emotional at the moment. Now, a day later she’s excited that her father wanted to reach out for her. How can that be a bad thing?

And is there any legitimate reason to question the abilities of someone who claims to have capabilities that might make us uncomfortable (or envious?) whatever the means? Fortune telling is dismissed by the scientific community and skeptics as being based on wishful thinking and superstition, and maybe that’s true, but if we take the information given with a grain of salt where’s the harm? (and what’s wrong with wishful thinking? Isn’t that the same as hope, and how can hope be bad?)

Me, I like to keep an open mind. I think there is more to this world than what we ‘see’, and I take comfort in believing that when we do pass, there is somewhere to go. (Surely our creator wouldn’t create us for one single lifetime – what would be the point?) Regardless, I like to indulge in these occasional outings with friends because it’s just fun and if it gives me something to dream about, and I ok with that……. besides, I’m still waiting for my wish to come true!

The Psychic

Take nothing for granted

I was at a friends recently, relaxing on the shore of her lakefront property and I couldn’t help but admire the stunning views. The lake so peaceful, and the forest directly across lush, green, beautiful. I could almost feel my muscles relax and the sense of calm was overwhelming and I found myself wondering what it would be like to live in the midst of such beauty. They have a window to this lovely view every day…… do they still appreciate it? It would be so easy to take it for granted, like so many things in life, and that got me to thinking.

It’s easy to take too many things for granted, even our people. We live, work and play with the people we love, and they are in our lives because something about them impressed us as being ‘special’, but seeing them on a regular basis allows us to overlook the ‘specialness’ over time.  The daily routine we adopt means we are not always dazzled by the things we see every day,,,, they become mundane, old news,,,,,,until they are gone, and then we remember again how very special they are. (you really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone)

We revel in the serenity and admire the beauty of the peaceful lake or the lush green forest for a time, then the novelty wears off and we stop paying homage to it, passing the window without even looking through it. A storm front moves in and suddenly the peaceful lake is angry and tumultuous, the sky grey and ominous. The trees in the forest bend in the wind threatening to snap and the scene now is not so pretty. Suddenly our lovely peaceful setting isn’t so lovely,,,but we stopped looking anyway.

And those we love, admire, and hold dear to our hearts, fade into the background of our routines, no longer special because they too, are in our daily lives and the novelty has worn off. We no longer thrill at the sight of them, and what once invoked feelings of excitement in their company is now just another comfortable encounter – they are simply with us and there is no reason to impress. The once beautiful scene outside our window and the people we deem to be ‘special’ in our lives are similar only until they no longer dazzle because how they recover, and if they recover, is very different.

We didn’t linger over the lovely scene often enough, or we failed to let our loved ones know how very ‘special’ they are to us. We’re too busy, we’re too bored, and we lost sight of the dazzle in our lives – the new and exciting is all we’re interested in. And when we crave that lovely view, or the company of the people we once adored, too late we realize both are now gone…..for…. how long? The storm will pass, the sun will rise, and that view will reignite our admiration yet again if we allow it.

The people in our lives however, may not recover as easily as a new sunrise. Neglect cuts deep. If we’re lucky, and didn’t take them for granted for too long, they might remember what it was that brought them together in the first place, and will find a renewed sense of joy in each others company, maybe. When it comes to human emotion nothing is guaranteed. Never stop looking for the beauty in another because it never leaves us, it just gets forgotten for a time.

The people in our lives, like the scenery, bring us joy and wisdom, heartache and sadness, all which is good, because one forces us to reflect on the other. (there would be no highs without the lows) Beauty is all around us. Take nothing and no one for granted, because that lovely and peaceful view outside the window, is guaranteed to return with the next sunrise. The people in our lives however could be lost to us forever.

Take nothing for granted

Redemption

Is everyone deserving of redemption, or is it reserved for those who truly repent, and if so who decides?

In the last few weeks I posted blogs about ‘Kim’, a 50 year old woman, known to me, who was viciously assaulted while out for a walk in her Whitby Ontario neighbourhood. Severely beaten and left for dead she was found 12 hours after her disappearance and remains in hospital with critical injuries. Her attacker was arrested 2 days ago, a 21 year old man, unknown to her. I can’t imagine what could possibly incite so much rage in a young man to inflict such pain upon another, a stranger, but he did.

Motivation aside, you can’t help but wonder what was in his head after the attack, when word of it was all over the media. Remorse? Regret? The thrill of remaining ‘on the loose’? He was apprehended in Ottawa so he clearly felt the need to ‘get out of Dodge’. And yet only 7 days ago he made a donation to her Gofundme drive and posted the following comment

Anthony Doiron-Francis donated $300

Its so horrible what happened! I pray she makes a full recovery!

 

Wow. How sick is that! Clearly this individual is seriously disturbed and it’s hard not to feel something akin to sympathy for such a tortured mind. On the other hand, his actions have destroyed an innocent life and the lives of family and friends who may never recover from the horror. The mother, sister, friend, in me wants retaliation because she didn’t deserve this. The Christian, humanitarian, sane person, in me knows retaliation is not the answer because violence begets violence, and everyone deserves redemption, even this monster. I just can’t imagine being the one to grant it.

I pray our dear Kimmy survives this. The road will be long and at times, unbearable, but she has a devoted and loving family, friends that will support her, and a community to offer encouragement. I just hope it’s enough. Jesus,,,,,,,,,,,,, what kind of world do we live in.

Redemption

 

My ‘vacation’

My husband was away for 4 days this past week at a golf tournament which meant it was ‘my vacation’ from him, and that’s a good thing. I honestly believe all couples need time away from each other to appreciate what they have when they get back. It also gives each the opportunity to ‘vacation’ in their own way.

Day one I got up early and went for a walk (before the heat,,,,Jesus I hate summer….can you hear me swearing from where you are,,,,ok, I digress,,,, sorry) then I went to a yoga class (this is my therapy, aka golf,so please indulge me) When I got home, I changed the bed, cleaned the bathrooms, tossed in a load of laundry and washed my car. Satisfied I’d made good use of my morning, I went in for celebratory breakfast and coffee. It was 10:45 am. Ok, I’ve got some time to kill so after breakfast I weeded the garden, vacuumed, and watered my neighbours plants. (she’s away) After lunch I did some long overdue ironing (it’s 38 degrees celsius,,,,stupid, stupid, stupid!) and cleaned out my china cabinet. Thankfully by the time I was finished it was dinner time so I made a salad (because with my husband gone I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and that means NOT meat and potatoes everyday) I poured myself a generous glass of wine and sat outside to enjoy the evening breeze, then I did some of my puzzles, read bit, showered and went to bed satisfied I’d made good use of my vacation day.

My husband played a so-so round of golf (as he describes it) practiced his putting for a couple of hours, and went out for dinner with ‘the boys’, after which he’s crashing….. been a busy day.

Day two. I got up early and went for a walk. My daughter, who just had a baby, asked me to pick up some groceries, which I did, (Covid makes it soooo unpleasant, no browsing over the produce, just grab it and run so you can rip that mask off your face the minute you exit the store)  and after I delivered them I made us a lovely lunch. I came home and during my 30 seconds of relaxation I noticed there were a lot of weeds coming up between the stones of my walkway, so I bent over to pull a few out. Three and a half hours later, my bushel full and knees sore from kneeling on stone, I poured myself a nice drink and settled outside to enjoy the evening breeze, satisfied once again I’d made the most of my vacation day. I made a salad and watched a bit of TV,,,,feels weird to have control of the remote.

My husband had a better round today and is heading out with ‘the boys’ to a celebratory dinner…. It was hot today and he’s ‘really tired’ but happy he’d had a fulfilling day.

Day three…..is mine,,,, all mine. I had pre planned a road trip with a friend. I picked her up at 10 and we drove to a local valley where we shopped (as much as you could with Covid) and had a lovely lunch at a local winery. I found the cutest little mermaid dolls for my granddaughters, who’d be staying with me in the next couple of days, and bought them knowing they’d be thrilled with them. Ok, now THIS is a vacation day! (I think I’m starting to get this) After dropping my friend off I came home and cleaned out the garage, watered my neighbours plants (still away) and cleaned the bathrooms. After I showered I went to bed tired but satisfied I’d made the best of my time today but vowing I’d be more productive tomorrow. While I was in bed I sipped my herbal tea and watched the news, marveling in the fact that the remote, once again, was mine. ( I never knew we had all these channels?)

My husband had a great day of golf. After 18 holes he went to the range to practice, then headed out for dinner with the boys……he was wiped.

Day four. I got up early and went for a walk, then to my yoga class. After that I came home and prepped the house for the arrival of my 2 granddaughters,,,,,filled the little pool (to warm the water) changed the beds, and ran out to the store for their favourite foods. I stopped in to my neighbours house to water the plants, in case I couldn’t get over later, only to find they were still saturated from the watering the day before. (ok, I’m no green thumb….you ask me to water you plants and you’re taking your chances) I stopped by my daughters house to drop off a few things she’d asked for, and by early afternoon I was in my car and on my way to pick my girls up from daycare. After returning home, I gave them a snack, unpacked their things and headed out for some pool time during which I emailed my husband to say I’d found these neat little mermaid dolls for the girls and thought it would be fun if he gave them to the girls as a gift he’d found while away (chicks dig that kind of thoughtfulness…..even little chicks,,,,go figure)

My husband emailed to advise he was playing mid morning which meant he wouldn’t be home until just after dinner (so could I save some for him?) He was looking forward to coming home so he could relax? (Wow, what was he doing if not relaxing?)

By early evening, the girls were fed and bathed when my husband arrived from his four day golf outing and they were thrilled to get a ‘present from Papa’ (the mermaids) He handed me a bag of laundry and headed up to shower citing, it’d been a long day and even longer ride home. He really needed a drink. (Wow, too bad I drank it all)

I need a vacation.

My vacation

 

Kindness of a Stranger

Last week I posted a blog, a brief appeal, in aid of a woman brutally assaulted, and while I knew there would be many who stepped up to donate to the cause, I was unprepared for the outpouring of sympathy and donations. I have a personal stake in this, knowing the individual, but I am completely humbled by the generosity of those who are literally strangers to the victim.

Kim remains in a drug induced coma, her family at her bedside, and her loyal followers grow in number. She is by no means out of danger; her injuries are extreme and should she pull through with enough strength to tackle a road to recovery her future is fraught with reparative surgery, not to mention the emotional damage. How does one recover from something so horrific? On one hand you pray she regains consciousness to help identify the assailant. On the other you mercifully pray she never remembers the horror of what she endured at the hands of such a beast.

Police have posted a video of a ‘person of interest’ seen following the victim on the evening of her disappearance and are appealing to the public to help identify them. Someone knows him and it would be in the interest of all citizens to see that this individual is apprehended because as long as he remains at large there is a very real threat to the safety of innocent people. The only disappointing thought to his capture is the knowledge that our judicial system will ensure his safety. He will never suffer the agony he inflicted on his victim, and therein lies the injustice. I struggle with the need to see an ‘eye for an eye’, but the world doesn’t need another vigilante.  And I feel so strongly that he should be damned to eternal hell, but I am not God, and it is not my place to pass judgement.

So all we can do is pray for Kims’ recovery, physically, mentally, and spiritually. To those who kindly shared words of support and encouragement, and to those who so generously donated to her cause, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. It is the kindness of strangers that  restores our faith in humanity and gives us all hope.

There’s a place in heaven for people like you.

Thank you

Aging Gracefully

I was chatting with my father yesterday (he lives in another province) He’s 90 years old and in pretty good shape. He lives independently in a seniors residence (not assisted living) His age and spinal stenosis have made him physically frail (a good wind could knock him over) but his mind is sharp. He has friends in the same building that provide a fulfilling social life so for 90 he’s doing pretty well. He does however, struggle with the process of aging.

I call him every day just to check in and with each call I note the changes. No longer the strong protector who was my father, he is now more in need of protection, and evidence of his aging is frequent and obvious.

He was struggling with his hearing so my sister arranged for him to get hearing aids. Problem solved, yes? No. He doesn’t wear them because he says they’re hard to get used to, everything echoes. The technician at the hearing institute assured him this was common and it was simply a matter of adjusting the volume and getting used to the new sound but my father doesn’t want to wait it out. He wanted his hearing restored to where it was 25 years ago, immediately, so the hearing aids sit in a drawer, unused.

A few years ago we’d bought him a life alert necklace because he was living alone and we worried for his safety. It’s a remote monitor he would wear around his neck that would allow him to simply push a button should he fall or feel ill and need help. It was linked to my sisters’ email so she could monitor the usage. Once, when he was visiting my mother in long term care he fell asleep in her room and inadvertently pushed the button summoning emergency. He denied it was him and, declaring the monitor faulty, refused to wear it after that. After a time my sister noticed it was not being charged at all so we had to cancel it.

His walk is somewhat unsteady so we bought him a variety of canes for support. He also has a walker, should he need more support, but he refuses to use either because he says they make him look old. (What mirror are you looking in?)

Arthritis has stiffened his joints making it difficult to bend so he cut the bands of the top of his socks so they’d slip on easier.

Now we only find out these things by accident or in general conversation, he doesn’t ask for help or complain about any of these issues. He simply finds his own way of dealing with them and if you question him on it he brushes it aside.

Why is it so hard for us to age gracefully?  After 90 years of existence you’ve earned the right to be tired, or unsteady, or hard of hearing. In fact, other than your early childhood years, old age is the only other time you can get away with hearing loss, incontinence, memory lapses, and temperamental outbursts. I would think it’d be a relief to finally relax and just be.

But fight it we do.

Women will continue to apply the hair colour of a 22 year old even though their face clearly speaks otherwise. And men will take the few remaining hairs atop their head and wrap it around to cover the age spots on their scalp. They will all forgo social situations because the refuse to wear hearing aids and therefore can’t take part in conversations. They will refuse physical assistance because a cane or brace or walker makes them look old. (HELLO,,,,,,you ARE old) And you’re supposed to look old, but here’s a comforting thought,,,,,one day all of us will be there, sporting sensible (Velcro) shoes, industrial underwear (Depends), false teeth, and glasses suspended on a beaded necklace. I just hope our generation is a little more accepting of it.

Aging Gracefully

Please help Kim

I don’t support random causes or chain letters but this particular story hit close to home, A woman in her 50’s went for a walk in her Whitby Ontario neighbourhood 2 nights ago. When she didn’t return by dark her husband called police who immediately started a search. She was found the next morning wrapped in a blanket and left at a riverside like trash.
She was brutally assaulted, Every bone in her face and all ribs are broken. One lung is collapsed. There is no brain damage but it is unknown the extent of internal organ damage. She was sexually violated. She remains in a drug induced coma in ICU in Toronto.
You can imagine what that road to recovery will look like mentally and physically. The whole family will require medical care and neither she nor her husband have benefits.
I know this woman and that’s why I write this. She is the sister of my in laws and she is a lovely woman, wife, mother, sister and friend. Please, if you can help, do. Link below, and thank you.
https://gf.me/u/yjc27z

KImmy