Posts Tagged ‘learning life’s lessons’


The old statement, “if it isn’t one thing, it’s another” certainly applies to my world of late. I don’t know who’s credited with this little gem but they certainly knew what they were talking about.  Two weeks ago my mother fell once again and had to have eight staples in her head. Thankfully she’s on the mend with no noticeable changes in her physical or mental condition. To add to this mix we are all dealing currently with the coronavirus which not only populates our airways and conversations but is running rampant across the country. Today I have to take my mother to get the staples removed which naturally requires a visit to the doctor’s office, not the first place you think of going when there is an unchecked virus on the loose. By definition, a doctor’s office is where sick people go.  Also, she hasn’t been able to have her hair washed in two weeks. You are shaking your head thinking, “and?”. To understand this you would have to have lived with or around my mother and other ladies of her generation. Once a week whether caught in the midst of opposing gunfire or fighting off malaria women of her age group gathered at the beauty salon to have their hair washed and set and to catch up on the latest news swirling around.  Mother has forgotten many things but this particular weekly event is permanently affixed in her mind. Because she has broken her hip this cannot be accomplished at home so a trip to the beauty salon is also on the table. Another undesirable germ paradise to look forward to. Armed with alcohol wipes and determination we shall overcome this as well.

As I have said many times previously, being responsible for yourself is a big enough task but having the responsibility for the well being of another person you love really adds another layer to your days. Not that I ever mind, I do not. I was in a caregiver’s group when Rick was sick and one of the ladies asked me if I was ever resentful. My answer was an honest no then and it would also be a no in my mother’s case. Tired, yes. Frustrated at times, no doubt. Never, though do I feel resentful. As we baby boomers move into our golden years (golden right) and are living longer, many of the generation following us will be tasked with taking care of our needs as we cannot. From what I’ve read a lot of us haven’t planned well for retirement. If I was in a group asked who had not I’m afraid my hand might be waving in the air. I thought I was planning well but life didn’t always cooperate and somehow the years got away from me before I got a handle on it.

Fear of the virus being the rule of the day the stores are being depleted of everything from hand sanitizer to paper products. Yesterday I went out with a friend in search of toilet paper. A quest I have never before considered to be fraught with pitfalls. First we pulled into Costco. On reaching the back of the store the pallets with paper goods sat completely empty and we were told they were not going to be restocked until the next shipment arrived. The clerk jokingly suggested we subscribe to a newspaper. Hmmmm. Next we hit Walmart only to discover they had paper towels but not one roll of toilet paper was available for purchase. We passed an elderly woman on the way out of store who had two packages of TP in her cart. My friend jokingly asked if she was planning on selling them on EBAY for $50.  She smiled, but then I could see her mind working. Oh-oh. This really upsets me when people dive in to take advantage of an already dire situation. For example, a friend told me about a Dean Koontz book, The Eyes of Darkness, in which he eerily predicts a virus with similar manifestations emanating from a lab in China. The book was written I believe in the early 80’s. For those of you unfamiliar with his writing it is of the same genre as Stephen King. At one point I’d read nearly everything both men had written. I thought it might be interesting to search for it and give it a read. Though most copies I found were reasonably priced, I found one copy out there, paperback mind you, listed for $899. Probably last year it was going for $2.99. Really? Do these people sleep at night?

With all that is going on health wise and politically this can be a difficult world of late. People are angry and afraid, not a good combination. Had a person tell me the other day “people can be disappointing”. There is no correct response to that. People can be many adjectives. I don’t think you can take one word and use it as an umbrella to cover all like creatures. Some people can definitely be disappointing. Most people are disappointing at one time or another, but people in general are not always disappointing. To my mind at least. If you feel the need for labels along with disappointing you might toss in inspiring, kind, joy filled, generous, and a myriad of other uplifting words that apply to most of the people in my life.

You might not believe this, knowing me as you do, but I am highly imperfect. Being flawed is part of my charm, or so I tell myself. Every day I make mistakes but I also try to learn something new, be impressed by the world around me, do something without expecting something in return, and remember smiling is still free. I stumble and fall along with the best of them, quite often both figuratively and literally. I do try to be my best self and give myself due credit for that. Like a painter touching up a painting by an old master with cracks and flaws after many years of exposure, I keep healing the wounds and heeding the lessons coming my way. Somewhere inside of me I hold to the belief that lessons keep coming our way until we pay attention. In my life this has definitely been the case. If I strayed along a path over and over again that didn’t serve me I continued to elicit the same result. It’s like the universe knocking on your head saying, “hello, anybody in there”? What is that saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”. There you go.

Truth is I don’t aspire to be perfect. I think a perfect person, and up until now I haven’t met one, might probably be boring. Imagine a life with nothing but perfection in it. How would be even identify it when we had no imperfection to hold it up against? Without the rain there would be no rainbows.

As to this virus, I really don’t know where we are heading with this. For me, I will not give in to fear. I will follow the guidelines and use necessary precautions. I wash my hands thoroughly and often and am careful about not touching my face. This, for me by the way, is the hardest thing not to do. Who knew? Other than that I still have a life to attend to so shall do the best I can to keep up with it with the limitations now imposed on it. My son and his family were headed to Disneyland for my granddaughter’s eighteenth birthday this weekend, but Disneyland is no longer an option having closed their doors. It is hard to sort the wheat from the chaff on the news stations so I have taken to listening for a few minutes and then turning the TV off. Too much of a bad thing cannot be good for you.

Though most St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have been tabled, at my house I shall be in the kitchen cutting up the cabbage and carrots to be tucked in next to my corned beef in the slow cooker. Yum and yum. Find your joy where you can.

Hope this finds you safe and well on the beautiful pretend spring day, at least here in Northern California. It is March, yes? Supposed to hit near 80 degrees. Weird.





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