I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Treasures of the moment

Walking with the ladies
You can see from this picture that we are fast losing all the leaves from deciduous trees in town, and while on our usual Saturday walk, it was fun to walk through them and listen to them swish, swish underfoot. We have been enjoying a period of dry, sunny days for weeks now, but it all comes to an end next week. Our rain and dark days will be with us most of the period ahead as we move into the winter months. On November 4, two weeks from today, we'll turn our clocks back an hour, and the sun will set before 5:00pm!

In past years, I thought it would only be fair for me to get back that extra hour of sleep that I lost in the springtime, but these days I get plenty of sleep, between eight and nine hours almost every night, and I won't enjoy trying to stay awake long enough in the evenings to keep from waking up too early. It takes me a few days to get used to that extra hour, strange as that may seem.

I am not one of those retired people who goes through my days wondering what to do with my time; the days just fly by, the weeks and months accumulate and before long, I'll be "celebrating" another birthday, marking another year older and continuing my second decade in retirement. When I signed up for a new Medicare Advantage plan, I had to remind myself when I started Medicare: it was November 2007. That now seems so long ago. We moved here from Colorado in April 2008, now more than a decade in the past.

But I am more than blessed with a wonderful environment here in Washington state. On top of the wonderful weather we have been enjoying lately, I've also got lots of good friends and places to exercise, both outdoors and indoors. And just this past week I started getting acupuncture treatments, which is turning out to be a rather large commitment, one I didn't expect. Not only will I visit Warren (my guy at Prime Sports Institute) once a week for the next six weeks, but he has also given me exercises to do at home to strengthen my right leg.

Of course I should have realized that the damage done to my leg back in 2000 would make a difference. I not only fractured my pelvis in six places, shattered the sacrum and now have two permanent pins in there, I also lost an artery (the internal iliac) and sustained some nerve damage. Now that I think about it, I'm really lucky to be able to do what I can. But this sort of thing catches up to us in the long run, and I've been having knee and heel problems that Warren is now treating. The exercises are mostly easy, but it surprised me to find how much I need to work on that leg.

Of course, yoga is helping with everything, and I am currently taking two classes a week and doing the fifteen-minutes-a-day challenge for 100 days at Yoga Northwest. So far, I haven't missed a day, and I've been able to enjoy the front porch in mild weather for most of those days, which will soon come to an end. I'll probably have to move inside, but for as long as I can, I'll be outdoors. It surprises me how much more I enjoy yoga outside in the fresh air.

Recently I realized how fortunate I am in my life, and I figure it's important to think about it now, in the present, and not bemoan the fact I didn't appreciate it when I had it, once it changes. And change it will. Our bodies are not made to last, and as much as I attempt to keep age at bay, it keeps intruding in my daily life. But I must say I am encouraged by how much better I feel after only two treatments with those needles. This is not the first time I used acupuncture; in Boulder I saw a Chinese doctor for several months to help me through menopause, and it was a very successful treatment. Warren is the complete opposite of him: he's Canadian, not Chinese, and I can talk to him in English instead of needing an interpreter. Both of them are really good at what they do, however.

I'm not one of those people who is great at making up lists, but right now I'm going to try to list all the things I am grateful for:

  • Bellingham and its myriad choices for exercise
  • My wonderful partner who is much appreciated
  • Relative health and ability to see a doctor I like
  • Access to healthy food
  • My friends and family
  • A mind that allows me to think and write
  • The public library and online access
  • Good bus service
  • Computers, cell phones and other technology
  • My blogging family
  • Coffee!
There is probably much more that I am forgetting at the moment, but it does help me to stop for a moment and think about all the reasons I should be deliriously happy. If it weren't for the state of the world and my inability to turn away from it all, I think I would be much more relaxed and content. But then again, I figure that as my world shrinks in size and just getting out of bed and making my way to the bus stop will be an accomplishment, I can work on contentment then. Until then, I'll stay as active as I can manage.

I have just started reading Julia Cameron's book, It's Never Too Late to Begin Again, and she's got a twelve-week program that I'm thinking of starting. It helps unleash one's creative juices. I only have the book for three weeks from the library, so I might be forced to buy an actual copy of it. It's very comprehensive, and I wonder how I might squeeze it into my very full days. It's tempting, though. Check out the link to Amazon, which gives you a preview of what's inside.

Anyway, there it is, my Sunday morning post, my musings about my life and wondering what's going on in your life at the moment. Maybe it would help you to make a list of all that you are grateful for at the moment. (It was Julia's book that suggested it to me.) My tea is gone, sweet partner sleeping, and the day is beckoning to me. Another foggy one to begin, changing to full sun by midday. Thank you for being my friend and have a wonderful week until we meet again.


Elephant's Child said...

Gratitude is a gift which keeps on giving.
I am grateful for so many things, not least a (black) sense of humour. And for the natural world which gives me an antidote to the political uglinesses.
Glad to hear that acupuncture is working for you. Love Warren's holistic approach giving you the exercises (and some responsibility) to assist in your recovery/well being. And totally unsurprised you are doing them.

Arkansas Patti said...

I recently read in one of my follower's posts something that has stuck with me that sadly I can't remember who wrote it. The essence was that it is important as we age and must do less that we do not feel less.
A gratitude list like you stated helps us to realize we have many more pluses than minuses.

The Furry Gnome said...

If you can hike after injuries like that, you're a very healthy woman!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am grateful for you:)

Red said...

It's amazing the punishment some of these bodies of ours sustain. You had a serious injury. You're doing well to remain active in both body and mind. I don't know how I got arthritis but it isn't any fun. One just has to keep active.

Rita said...

It's amazing you've been able to do all that you have done all these years after such a severe injury. Wow! Now that's truly a blessing!

Thanks for telling us about Julia's new book! I will have to get it. I have been thinking about Artist's Way recently and this sounds like it's really a new version. I think 2019 sounds like a good time to start. :) So much to be grateful for. Been a long time since I've done The Artist's Way--like over a decade. Be a good thing to look forward to this new year.

Marie Smith said...

I kept a gratitude journal years ago during a bleak time in my life. I helped me through that time and it gave me a focus in life generally. I am thankful for the little things in life and make an affort to be present in those moments!

Have a great week,Jan.

Rhapsody Phoenix said...

Its good to be different.
I don't see you sitting around either.
Through my visits here i see that you live purposefully.
Have a wonder filled week.

Stay blessed.

Hilary said...

25 years ago, in a very tough time for me, I started a gratitude journal.....every day I wrote five things I was grateful for.....I did it for over a year.
I still have that little book.
Gratitude saved me then, and still does.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

You seem less melancholic in this post. Accupuncture is a tool. I once used as well. We have coverage through extra insurance as our as our government plan for seniors is too basic. Aging is difficult as we were not really aware in our youth how it would affect us. Like each phase alomg our journey of life we have to learn and that challenge can be very rewarding. Enjoy your morning coffee with friends. Today it is opera night at our place. We are seeing a brand new one from a Canadian/American, Rufus Wainright, called Hadrian which premiered on October 13. We have to head into downtown Toronto and that at times is a challenge as we live far outside of the inner city. The challenge to get there by 7:30 is part of the adventure.

CrazyCris said...

From the first time I visited your blog I've been awed by how much you do and how active you are! You're in much better shape than I am! Time will always tell of course, but I've always felt you've adapted to it wonderfully and just shift gears and activities when one gets to be too much (and that's usually quite a while after it would have been considered "too much" for most people1)

You guys do the Daylight savings change on 4/11? A week after us in Europe! Good thing I don't need to call the States next week... always confusing when for 7 days the time difference changes... In Europe everyone is now studying finally doing away with the bi-yearly time change. Seems to be a done deal practically! Either Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 should be the last time. All that's left if for each country to decide which time they set their clocks too, winter or summer...