Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Writing When I'd Rather Not

I'm in the midst of a dilemma.  I want to write, but I don't want to write.  I think perhaps it's because I don't know what to write.  So, I'm just going to blather along for awhile until something profound (or not) strikes me . . . or I get a grip on myself.

I had a frustrating day, and a brain numbing evening.  In between, I had a good session with Terry, who made me look at the bazillion changes that are going on in my life, most of which are out of my control.  Yet, nothing frustrates me more than that feeling of impotence, and being out of control.  Dang it!  I want to be in total control, of my life, and anyone else's life who I think I should be controlling.  Unfortunately, there are very few (that would be none) who appreciate my control fixation.

So, I clamored on tonight about being frustrated today, and was brought back to whether I was going to do something for myself to help me gain a bit of control.  I didn't want to do anything, Mostly, I just wanted to whine, and moan, and be irritated.  Which I'm pretty good at.  Finally, just before I was leaving, I said that maybe I should do some writing, but I threw it out there begrudgingly, hoping Terry would let me slide.  Humph.  Not likely. Though I gave it a good try.  I played solitaire until I was fairly sick of it, in fact, I was unhappy that I kept winning, no matter which game I tried.  Finally, after over an hour, I lost and could put off this task no longer.

Thinking about the list of stuff that's bugging me lately, they all bring me back to the inescapable (for me, apparently) trappings of aging.  In the last couple of months I've been diagnosed as having a hearing loss (so I'm trying out hearing aids, which basically just makes me ticked).  Even if they did help me hear, (which they do) they are bugging me, mostly just because they're there, not that they're uncomfortable (they're not), but just the idea of wearing them.  I'm the first person in my family that's ever had hearing aids.  I just can't believe it's happening to me.  My 83 year old dad couldn't either!

Then, I've decided to go for a partial knee replacement this summer, and my CT appointment is tomorrow, and it feels like the point of no return.  Like it's really going to happen.  I'm going to go under the knife, and have my knee bones torqued around, reshaped and put back together and supposedly I'll still be able to walk . . . and hike . . . and whatever.  The thought of the surgery simply scares the you know what out of me. I'm just sure I'll be the one in a million that never wakes up from the surgery, or walks around with my knee pointing backwards, or some other awful consequence.

It doesn't matter how unlikely it is that anything disastrous will happen, I'm a fatalist by nature.  I worry about the most ridiculous things, and my imagination is way too vivid for my own good. My poor daughter can attest to that.  A few months ago, after getting a phone call from her one morning, all I could hear was running footsteps and what seemed to be heavy breathing.  I screamed her name into the phone.  Not only did she not answer, but every time I hung up, she'd call back.  I panicked, called 911, and had the police in Bellingham go check it out.  I was certain she was being chased and would be raped and murdered on her way to class.  Turns out it was a series of accidental calls, and she was running, to the bus.

Fortunately for me, she was willing to forgive me the embarassment (she's 22, not 12!) and probably makes sure her phone is locked these days!

I don't know whether writing changes my perspective on growing old, but I do feel a little better.  Maybe that's just because I'm tired enough to go to bed and read awhile.  Maybe it's because writing about my hearing and knees (and re-reading it) makes it all seem pretty silly.  Or, maybe it's because hearing aids and old knees are really pretty minor . . .  things could be so much worse.

And, maybe, writing really did change my perspective, as I look back at the last sentence I wrote.  Things can always be worse. So, perhaps I should quit whining and be grateful.  Now, there's an idea.

Time to put my hearing aids, my computer, and myself,  to bed.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's All About Time

I can't recall if I've already written a post about this topic, or just thought about it, but, my life seems to be all about time, or the lack thereof.

When did life get so crowded out by stuff, that I lost track of time, or apparently lost the ability to keep track of it?  As I sit this morning and write, it's hard to ignore the clutter on the couch (left over from my trip to Boston a week ago!) or the clutter on the dining room table (more stuff related to my job) or the pile of laundry that never seems to diminish.  I'm pulled in a million different directions, and all points lead to a time involvement, and there isn't enough time to get even a fraction of it all done.  I find myself tired as soon as I wake up, burdened by the mental to do list that never goes away.

I need time to exercise, usually last on that "to do" list, when it should be first.  But most days I fall into bed, later than I intended, with another feeble promise to myself that tomorrow I will make time for exercise. As the date looms closer for knee surgery (that I'm dreading more than I imagined I would) I know that the success of my recovery depends on how much strength I am able to build to support my knee.  This takes time on the stationary bike, that I usually reward with a good book to read.   But, I fell while in Boston, and my knees hurt when I ride the bike!  A good excuse, and usually any excuse is good enough, but this time, I need to go boldly where I fear to pedal, and basically just do it! But, it takes time.

The passage of time . . . can be a good thing.  I once thought about the title of today's post as a title for a book I think I'll write someday, about the hours, days, weeks, and eventually the years after my son's unexpected death.  The incomprehensible, gut wrenching grief that at one time I thought I'd never be able to live through, that I thought would never give me a moment's peace, that I thought would leave me a shell of my former self . . . time does heal.  Although I'm irreversibly changed, time spent with family, friends, and therapist does ease the wound, even if it never erases it.

As I write this morning, I feel crunched by time. Although it's only 8:30, it feels like the morning is half over, and I have a sudden urge to drop this laptop and head for the bike.  I think, for once, I'm going to heed the calling, as maybe part of the reason time thwarts me so much, is that I don't listen to the call. Perhaps, it is the "putting off" until later that causes the frustration with unfinished business.

I don't know for sure . . . time will tell. :)