Archive for the ‘aging’ Category

Aging

July 20, 2016

I can no longer run,

my knees don’t allow it,

if I ignore them,

heedless,

they knock me down.

Callouses grow in the strangest places,

on the bottom of my toe,

near the ever-larger bunyon

and the curving hammer-toe,

I sometimes stare at my own hands,

with their brown age spots

and rivers of veins,

A walk in the park is exercise,

I enjoy a mile or two.

I want to age,  gracefully,

enjoying the time I’m given,

My experience makes me who I am,

each day a gift from heaven,

My life is ages, and stages of trials,

with twists and turns unforeseen,

The beauty of life is appreciated,

the more age intervenes.

cfblack  7-20-2016  

 

 

 

 

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A.D.D.

May 10, 2015

I have an A.D.D. brain. Not the same as ADHD. Sometimes they go together but not in my case.

This is a controversial and sometimes debated subject, as to whether or not it is a chemical or physical “brain difference”. But I can tell you it exists. Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • I park my car in a similar spot in every parking lot. When I go to ALDIs, I know it will be in one certain row. This is because I tend to forget where I parked it, especially if my thoughts were focused on some issue as I parked & went into the store.
  • Being at a noisy party will drive me insane. Sitting in a bar having a conversation w/ the person next to me while loud music is blaring is impossible for me. This is because all the noises come at me all at once and there is no way to “tune out” any of it. I can listen to the music, but don’t talk to me.
  • Chairperson at a meeting is not the job for me. Looking at an agenda with 20 items on it and trying to pick & choose which are the most important to go over at this particular meeting is, well, my worst nightmare, especially when there are people waiting for me to make a decision. It ALL feels important to me!
  • Everything has its place, such as my keys in my purse or my debit card in the one slot where it belongs. If I forget this, they could be anywhere. If I make an exception even one time, the game is lost. I have no clue where I put it. I have lost at least 3-4 debit cards that I set on the back of the car while pumping gas and DROVE AWAY with it still there. One time my husband & I went back to the car wash we just went through (after pumping gas) & found it—  wet.

That being said, What am I good at? I am good at assessing “the whole picture” of a situation. I get a sense of what is going on in a room…….. and I’m usually right. My intuition is keen and I’ve learned to trust it. I can see the forest, sometimes not the trees.

How this comes across in teaching: I sometimes appear scatter-brained. But in reality, I know exactly where I’m going and where I’m taking the class in this discussion. I sit and ponder over each student & get a sense of who they are, why they are acting the way they are, and what they need. But if 5 students want to see my immediately after class, I can’t think.

I need space. I need not to be rushed or pushed. One on one, I am excellent. With qualitative research, I am excellent. I know where to take an interview, and I can analyze a ton of information and connect all the dots. Because everything is connected, in my brain. I get a general sense of what they meant when they said _________. I see the whole group and what they have in common, & where they differ. Leading a focus group discussion would not be the easiest thing for me. Taking notes I am fine; and analyzing all their comments afterward, seeing the links and patterns, is where I would excel.

my husband’s presence

March 10, 2014

The older we become,

the more I take comfort in my husband’s presence,

and the more I am aware,

that our friendship and love

is all that will survive of our existence,

and all that we may pass on

to our children and grandchildren.

I just wanna be Jennifer Hudson

April 13, 2012

I just wanna be Jennifer Hudson

 

I just wanna be Jennifer Hudson

Everyone looking at my FINE body,

50 lbs. less than I used to be

Prancing all around in a peacock strut,

I wanna go out for a 2-mile run

Feeling healthy and full of life,

Feel my lungs take in more and more air,

and Sprint all the way to the end,

In reality, I know how old I am,

I wouldn’t give up the wisdom I’ve gained,

We are always where we are for a reason,

Life is long, with many a season,

But sometimes you wonder,

How did I get here?

And who exactly is that, in the mirror?

You realize life is a precious gift,

You  look back wistfully at days gone past,

The question is not,

How much time do I have?

But more,

How to make each day better — than the last.

CF Black               04-13-2012

things I’ve learned

February 27, 2011

I’m thinking of writing something about “things I’ve learned” by age 57. It would go something like this:

1. Nothing in life really surprises me anymore. Just about anything can happen, at any time. The lesson in this is to never take life for granted, to appreciate each day, and to take life as it comes. What matters is your response to those inevitable things that happen to you and those you love.

2. Bad things happen to good people. All the time, every day. I do believe in karma, but it may not be resolved in this world, and it only goes so far. You could do nice things for people all your life long, & still be treated unfairly. Even so, you should do nice things for people. It makes a difference in their lives. And God knows all.

3. Live your life in honesty and always do your best. Some people will always think you are not as honest as you are, because they are dishonest themselves and will treat you with suspicion. Others will think you are trying to prove you are better than they are. It doesn’t matter what they think. Do your best and move forward.

4. When you live honestly and sincerely, the truth often comes out eventually. People who treated you badly in the past show up years later, and apologize. This has happened to my husband and I many times. We have been through some pretty hard times and have been severely wronged, many times. The truth often comes out. See no.1.

5. Personal integrity matters. Over many years’ time, your integrity is the thing that people remember. It has to be consistent, and you do become known for it.

6. Health matters. The older you get, the more you have to be willing to fight for it. Nature is not kind, and once you go past a certain age, it’s a battle that is impossible to WIN. All you can do is fight it off for as long as possible. Focus on health, because of no.7.

7. Beauty fades. It just does. There isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. See no.6.

8. Your life partner and lover is your one and only true friend. As you get older, the friend part becomes more and more important than the lover part.

9. Never, ever take any relationship for granted. Every love relationship, be it friend, partner, or parent/child, needs CONSTANT work. Work at communicating, and listening. Never take their caring for granted. Be willing to give them the time they need. Do things together, reconnect. Be open and honest about how you feel. Let the little things go.

10. Spend time with your kids when they are little. As they get older, they will then want to spend time with you. Nothing else matters more in life, not one thing. Time is your greatest gift. Trying to explain why you had to be somewhere else is NEVER a substitute for just BEING THERE when they needed you.

11. Age 14-15 does pass. By the time they hit 21-22, you are once again their friend.

12. Grandkids are the best thing in the world. Visit them often.

13. Some people will hate you, despise you or just plain not like you. There is nothing you can do about this either. Know yourself and develop your best intuitive talents. Your personality will clash with some other types and it has nothing to do with anything you did wrong. Try to see what you can learn from them. Don’t expect them to like you.

14. You will fail at some things. You will mess up. We’re all human.

Nov.14

November 15, 2010

Figured budget, paid bills, payday tomorrow, bought groceries, decided we don’t have the money to go home to Indiana for both Thanksgiving and Xmas. I am very bummed about it. This is the longest we’ve been away from Raven & Caspian, probably ever. It is really difficult not to see them. And they think we are coming. They will have to wait until December. But one main goal for us now is to make our budget work. We have to. And that is a primary responsibility we need to fufill, for ourselves but also for our kids.

We are planning to have a meal w/ the family in Raleigh, which is WONDERFUL, it’s just that we’ve never missed a Thanksgiving “back home”.

Went back to the diabetic cookbook tonight. Neither of us are diabetic but it’s a good diet. made “Hungarian chicken paprikash” which is a fancy name for chicken & noodles with paprika.

My son may take a job in northern North Dakota. Right now their HIGHS are in the 30s and lows in the 9s…. like 9 degrees. They are having light snow every day this week. I would’ve said, “Nope, not that one!” but he wants a job. He will feel really good if he secures this job in his field of journalism. He will write for their local paper and cover all high school sports, for some random middle-to-small size city about an hour from the Canadian border.

I think I have mild depression due to menopause. Not that I’m depressed about MENOPAUSE — I waited for it long enough! But it just goes with the territory. There is no rhyme or reason to it, I’ve just been noticing “it just is”. It’s hard to explain to someone who does not experience such things, like a husband maybe. It may be the highest show of my character to go forward every day, while feeling this way. It is mild, after all, but something that such an outsider may feel “shouldn’t be there” or “should be overcome”. I am different, I like to feel what’s there, embrace it and observe it. But I’m thinking of getting some mild meds, for the 1st time in my life.

Still trying to think of some majorly fun thing to do in class tomorrow….! haven’t hit on anything yet….. Heaven forbid, the last full week of class could be B-O-R-I-N-G…! Aaaah, what a tragedy. Will they survive it?

My children’s class at Grant Homes this week will be about “cleanliness” and I think we’ll try to make soap! Sounds like an adventure. I need to find a little story or children’s book about cleanliness. I’m thinking of bringing a blow-up picture of some lovely germs.

*peace out*

my husband and I are an inspiration?

October 1, 2010

In different ways, a number of people recently have relayed to me that they see my husband and I as an inspiration. This leaves me feeling very odd.

For the most part, it makes me feel ancient. How the heck can I be part of an “inspiration”? It makes me feel like someone who just got recognized as someone else. (There must be some mistake.)

On the other hand, we ARE ancient. And we are an anomaly. We were married by ages 18 & 19. My husband needed his father’s permission to get married at that age in our home state. And that was 38 years ago. We’re still married. (MY GOD!!) I hardly know anyone else who has been married as long as we have. It is amazing, people say, but mostly, it’s just something that happened to us. We don’t have the perfect marriage, we had a very difficult marriage, actually, but somehow we made it through all those years to today. Still together. It becomes tiring that people find that so amazing. There is nothing that special about us.

We had 4 kids, had a lot of difficulty coming together on decisions to raise them, made a lot of mistakes but somehow by a miracle of God, they all made it to adulthood. They all get along, no one  bombed out on drugs, and they’re all still here, contributing to society. In reality, this makes it a lot easier for us to get along and be at peace and satisfied in our older, middle age. We can take a sigh of relief now, and be happy, enjoy our grandkids, CELEBRATE, for crying outloud! Glory hallelujah, 4 kids and they all have a freakin’ college degree!

It is rather weird to be considered an inspiration. But I am learning that you can become this by default, if you survive long enough.

ages 12-15

September 26, 2010

Went to a training program on how to run a junior youth program this weekend. Junior youth age is 12-15.

At one point during the weekend, it suddenly flashed over me just how skewed was my own history of that age, and just after that age. Age 12, 7th grade, we were still in Indiana. I attended a regular “junior high” or middle school which in those days was 7th-9th grades. High school was 10th-12th.

Age 13, we moved to Germantown, PA. My school suddenly was 50% black and I rode a train to school. The main shock though, was the school itself. It was run like a home for juvenile delinquents. We were not allowed to talk in the hallways, had to go to our next classes in a silent file, were not allowed to talk at lunch! I was miserable. Time on the playground, where there was no equipment and nothing to do, kids spent fighting and girls walked around together. A few played hop scotch with rocks and sticks. We rode a bus to another school for “shop” and “home ec”. I sucked at home ec. A sewing machine might as well have been some object from outer space, I couldn’t figure it out. I was elected President of my class and quit when teachers expected ME to discipline MY CLASSMATES as president. Ridiculous. I never hated school so much. We moved the following summer, to put us in a different school system, thank God. Education was important to my parents, and I remember the day my dad called my teacher and told her off.

Age 14. 9th grade. Things went pretty well. 10th grade, my first date, age 15, I had a few friends. Then 2 weeks after my 16th birthday, my father died of a massive heart attack. Changed my life forever, changed all our lives. My mother became an alcoholic and things were never, ever the same.

Suffice it to say, my progression from one stage to the next as a junior youth, and then youth, was totally whacko skewed. Some of the things they talked about in our training I could not relate to. Other things, like all the forces hitting at our youth from all directions, I could understand. Each of us has our challenges, our tragedies, our hurtful things that happen to us. I think I was a particularly unprepared youth for what happened to me. I was sitting there thinking about the age of 15 being the beginning of the age of maturity. I feel like I only matured at around age . . . 45-50. And I wonder how few youth of age 18 actually made it to that age without a major tragedy in their lives.

my birth! day

August 19, 2010

Today is my birthday. We won’t be celebrating much because we happen to be broke until payday. 🙂 

Many of my colleagues don’t even know how old I am. Something in me doesn’t want to tell them. (What does it matter, really??) I am just going to write some random thoughts. It is my birthday, after all…

First of all, I have so much to be thankful for. Praise be to God.

We have a beautiful, new baby granddaughter, born June 3rd! What could be better?

I have 3 other grandsons, each one of whom I love to the max. We also have 3 step-grandchildren but unfortunately, I never see them. Grandparents have no rights.

I have 4 wonderful kids, all functioning, able adults, with good hearts and spirits. Three are married. We all live in a total of 4 different states and stay in touch by phone, e-mail and facebook.

I have been married to the same man for 38 years…… It’s not that we have the perfect marriage. But we are happy, and he is my best friend in the world. At this age, we have pretty much settled our differences, have a decent respect for one another, are proud of how all our kids have “turned out” and enjoy being together. We are happy when our kids are with us, and happy when we are alone. It doesn’t really matter.

I have a new job, in my field, even in this economic down time. This will be my 3rd Fall teaching there. My relationships with students are developing. Some of them I am really close to, and will be so proud to see them graduate. (Then will THEY struggle to find a job?)

I love the place where I live. The house is good, not perfect, but it is newly built within the past 5 years, it has an extra bedroom, and it is nice. We still don’t have furniture to fill it, but oh well. I love the pond behind the house, listening to the frogs sing their chorus at night, the trees surrounding the neighborhood, and the neighborhood pool.

My schedule is now set so that I go in at 1:00 on Monday (then stay through 9pm), and I have nothing scheduled on Fridays. I have my summers OFF. Can’t complain!

I have never had any major health problems and for the most part, neither has my husband. (Knock on wood!)

So those are some of my blessings.

What would I like to change?? Typical of many women, my weight. I fully understand that models are diabolically thin. I don’t want to look like them, and I have lost the need to look sexy. 🙂  However, I do want to weight less than I do right now, which is more than I’ve weighed ever in my life. I am overweight. Something happens to a woman’s body after she turns 40, 45, 50…. it just gains weight naturally, on its own. It doesn’t ask you about it or give you any warning. You eat the same as you always did, and boom!! 20 lbs. more, 10 lbs. more. At this point I realize that I am engaged in a battle that is never-ending, to the very end of my days. That battle is with my aging body. I have to respect it, keep in tune with it, and go the extra mile (literally) to prevent its disintegration. Bad things will happen if I do not take this battle seriously.

It APPEARS, though I hesitate to believe it’s really true, that I have gone through menopause. At my age, it took TOO LONG. But it appears, that as of this summer, finally, things have stopped, ha ha. YAY, what a final freedom for a woman. I have felt hot flashes, not tremendously, not really all that much, but I definitely have them and know what they are. I describe them as your body catching fire on the inside, and working its way out. They don’t last too long and they are not insufferable. Not painful. You just know they are there.

My back is hurting all the time. When I get up, I have to stretch it out for awhile. I desperately need to walk 2-3 miles a day without fail. I tend to do that once or twice a week. Not enough. My knees now pop occasionally. It was probably 12 yrs. ago that I worked up to running 2 miles. I couldn’t do that now if I wanted to.

I have given up on contacts, after wearing them since I got a pair for my high school graduation. I just don’t care anymore. They were a constant irritation to my eyes. It was just vanity to wear them. However, I am looking forward to a new pair of glasses, which I will pick up at the end of this month. Trying to find a pair that look halfway decent on me. My eyesight, inherited from my dad, is so bad I am basically legally blind. An eye doctor told me, “They are something like 20/2600.” What a person with perfect vision could see 1/2 a mile away, I would need to get 20 ft. away from to see it!! HILARIOUS!! When I take my glasses off, the person in front of me is out of focus. I recognize people by the way they walk, their way of moving their body, their height. When I get into a swimming pool, I can no longer watch any child that is there with me, except that I recognize their general hair color and way that they are moving around in the pool…. SO, I doubt if Lasik will work for me, but I need to find out.

I know myself, know how I learn best, know how I function best. I am a natural introvert. I gain strength and peace of mind when I have time alone. TIME, not just 10 mins. while someone else is upstairs. Real time. Sometimes it takes me an entire day to revamp, and then I am ready once again to go outside my house.

I have very few friends. My women friends are those I met years ago and developed a relationship with. Technology is great, but I really believe it is responsible for people forming somewhat superficial relationships today. We get together on “facebook” and call that friendship. That is not real depth. And it is not sharing face to face, deeply felt feelings. That is another experience, and one that I wonder if “kids today” really know how to develop. I think it is a human need to have that level of bonding. But for me, personally, it is with my husband and my kids. Not many other people.

I can’t stand dogs most of the time. Can’t stand how they smell, how they need to be walked, how their tongues hang out and they pant, how they bark at people. Why is this America’s favorite pet?? I just don’t get it.

But I love cats. They are soft, they don’t bother you, they take care of themselves except for food, they are just pleasant. My husband doesn’t share this appreciation for cats. Since he now works from home and I must leave the home to work, we don’t have one.

I love swimming and water, and don’t care anymore how I look to others in a swimming suit (pretty much), so I just put it on and go in. It is only better for my body anyway, to get a little exercise.

Half of my family is now gone from this world. That is a weird truth. One of my siblings chooses to not have a relationship w/ me which is nothing I can control, the other one I appreciate and see occasionally.

and those are some of my thoughts on this, my birthday.

I don’t like to leave my house…

July 10, 2010

The older I get, the more I am like my mother was. I don’t want to leave my house!! Leaving now for a week away at the beach, & then 2 weeks in Indiana, is wreaking untold stress on my body & psyche! I just want to stay home! When I am really old, I will be just like her saying, “I just love sitting in my house, drinking coffee.” This is stressing me out big time. I just have to tune that out and change my attitude.