Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bittersweet

The past few weeks I've had some sad moments and some good ones. First the good.

I scored an A- in my Philosophy class. My summer classes have given me courage for French 200 (third semester) which starts in one week. Looking at my transcript it appears there is a possibility I can graduate before I am 70 :)  It seems my mental faculties are returning after months of feeling out of it. I was truly beginning to worry that I was already starting dementia early but I don't think that any longer. Being in class is good for me.

Now if I could find something equally stimulating for my body. A good day, like today, gives me hope that I will regain some of my balance and strength in my body. I started Weight Watchers Online two weeks ago and so far I have gained 1 pound :(  I keep trying to walk as much as possible during my daily activities but sometimes my hips and knees hurt. Every once in a while I think about calling my doctor and asking about pain meds (hydrocodone) but then I realize that is not the right direction for me. I started taking a joint supplement a couple of weeks ago...so hoping that will kick in. I'm also taking naproxen (an anti-inflammatory) as well.
Went to the dentist and I guess I'm going forward with the implants in spite of the exorbitant cost.

I'm listeing to a mix of ALL my tracks in the car and it seems some of these really bring back memories of my parents. I used to listen to new age relaxing music (2002, John Tesh, for example) when I would be making that 4 hour drive to Illinois to check on my parents. I have to say I get heartache. I miss them. I think I can charge part of that sadness to the time of year. Much about Fall is bittersweet.

I comforted myself by buying this on my trip to the Meijer for groceries today.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Close Call

Amber's picture of Heidi coming home in the car.
Lately I've begun to experince more of a connection with what I will call the "natural" world - wild birds,trees, clouds, the smell of cut grass, the change of seasons, etc. I'm thinking it's all part of that appreciation for life, and especially family and friends, that gets stronger as we age.   Now,  as I am having trouble walking and just doing things in general, I have such a desire to get out and connect with the world. 

 A couple of weeks ago, our Welsh corgi, Heidi, ended up with a bad post-heat infection called pyometra and over the weekend became deathly ill. As annoying as she can be with her barking sometimes, we all three found out just how much she is a part of this family. She had to have surgery and was in the hospital all week. She back good as new, but it was quite an experience (and very expensive).

On a totally different note, Amber and I booked our room and tickets for a trip to Walt Disney World for next April 2015.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

School and Work

IU Souteast - where I am a student
I recently completed a college class in Public Speaking and am currently in the middle of an indroductory Philosophy class. I am sort of surprised that I am enjoying both and doing well. I got along well with the other students even though some are the age of my would-be grandchildren (I don't have any). I plan on taking a second level French class for the fall semester.

~~~~~~~~

I've been taking college classes off and on for 45 years -  since 1969.  I don't have a degree (I did get a Medical Coding certificate in 2009). I do have a pretty good GPA - 3.6.


I've been a Nursing major (twice), Animal Science, Early Childhood Education, Biology, Health Record Administration, and my current major - History. I've enjoyed every class.

Not only do I not have a degree but I've rarely worked in any of the career fields in which I have taken classes. My work history up until 2000 was made up of just over minimum wage jobs in hospital food service or retail women's apparel. My husband and I were not good with money. I thought that he should be the one with the "good" job and I would just find whatever. We moved from one rental apartment or house to another for the first 20+ years, slowly renting nicer places.

In 1985 our daughter was born and I was totally fixated on caring for her and enjoying her. I educated myself (and took a class or two) on homeschooling. My husband got better and better jobs. I still fit in a college class here and there.

My "cube" at Kendle
In 2000 I got a good job working for a clinical data management service doing data entry and I was
promoted several times. But in order to get the job I really wanted, I need a bachelor's degree. In 2005 we moved to Indiana where I started as a student at IU Southeast and later took a fulltime position as an office assistant - my current job.

~~~~~

I'm 63 years old and I have no idea if I will finish my History degree or not. I hope so. I'm not sure how I am going to apply it to my life. I worry that my mind will stop working, but I guess it's still okay.  Maybe this is why I continue to take classes - I get  feedback (a grade) that tells me that my mind is still working well, even though my body is having some struggles.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Glad to be back in the "now"

I'm home from my Monday at work. Bob made burritos for supper and now I've got my shoes off, feet up in my recliner and a sleeping cat by my side. George is a big golden tabby with gold eyes. He's really my husband's cat, but he often sits with me. It's almost 6pm and Bob and I are watching an episode of Bat Masterson.

For a month or more Bob's been watching Wyatt Earp (Hugh O'Brien) and Bat Masteron (Gene Kelly). every afternoon when I get home from work. I actully don't mind as I like old TV shows. They had a calming effect on me. In the 1980's I was actually disappointed when Nick at Night stopped showing The Donna Reed Show. 

For a while I was really caught up in nostalgia. I created a website for the town I grew up in and got in contact with people who grew up there in the 1950-1970's. This was years before Facebook. I went to my 40 year high school reunion. I collected a bunch of homemaking books from that era. I tried to be a fulltime homemaker and do all those things I thought were so cool - quilting, sewing, gardening, baking, etc. when I had the chance to stop working away from home. I watched all the episodes of Andy Griffith and whatever sitcoms I could find on tv. I got to where I constantly wished I could stay in that world. 

I began to pull back from the nostalgia after my parents passed away.  Disposing of  their home - full of memories and memorabilia of the mid-to-late 1900's - really brought me back to the present. So much stuff! And much of it was almost heartbreaking. I remember looking through all the Girl Scout calendars that my mom had saved, many with my 8 year old printing on them. She must have had 20 or more. All those days came rushing back to me. This scenario was repeated over and over as I went through all their treasures. I realized how much they lived for their memories of those days when I was still at home. The sadness changed me. 

I've changed since my parents passed. I'm learning to live in the "now".  When I think about the good old days, I realize that during that time, when I was a girl-teen-young woman,  I was living in the now. I do appreciate  the beauty of the past, but I'm not obsessed any more. I'm still interested in keeping a few symbolic treasures around, but now I'm wanting more experiences and less things. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The beginning of the rest.

I had a dream last night about my dad. He and my Uncle Paul were sitting at a counter in a coffee shop. I only saw them from the back. There were a lot of windows. Later in the dream my dad is walking down a concrete walk like he is leaving the building. He's wearing a white t-shirt, something he only did at home. He always had a regular shirt on when out in public. I ran up to him and hugged him and felt so sad. I asked him "Please don't leave". But he had to go.

My dad passed away in 2011 and my mom in 2013. Right now I'm feeling very emotional about that, but as a rule I focus on the present. My dad was 87 and had dementia when he died, so much that I had to place him in a nursing home. My mom could not recover from losing him and died at 89. I had brought her here to Indiana to live in an assisted living home close to me. She was sad and anxious.

I didn't mean for my blog to start out sad, but somehow this felt right. I mean for this blog to be a diary of my remaining years, however many or few that may be.