Category Archives: Life

Looking Back

As I have grown older and I am now embarking on a new decade, I find myself looking back. I am fondly reliving the things I did, wondering at the choices I made and remembering the incredible things I have seen. I have had a good life. But here’s the thing:  why am I looking back? It’s fun to reminisce but I should be looking forward and planning the next adventure. I should, but I don’t.

Now granted, due to my recent illness there are changes in my life that I’m having to get used to. And yes, that will probably take time. I’m not old! I’m older. I’m older than I was and not as old as I will be. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I do find that when people reach a certain age (and that age changes individually) they seem to spend far more time in the past then they do in the future. I don’t want to be one of those people. I don’t want to get so lost in the joys and successes of my past that I miss out on making any new ones. That is so sad. I know individuals in their 70s, 80s and even the 90s who are making plans, enjoying life. They are actually living their life. They are not sitting on their proverbial laurels and wallowing in the past, they are making new memories! I admire that and I can’t figure out why I’m not doing it!

At this point I have to make a confession:  I am not a patient person. Oh, I love to sit quietly and read a book from cover to cover but when I do . . . do not interrupt! I find it difficult to watch a movie, unless it is incredibly engrossing, without doing something else at the same time. I expected to be able to do exactly what I was doing before I went into hospital. I’m also little thick. (I do hate the word stupid but sometimes I do a really good imitation)

My reality has changed. I’m not as strong as I was. I require more care, more assistance. So changes have to be made.  I can do that. Trouble is coordinating everybody else. I do have plans in my head I can’t quite get everyone else to see. But it is good. I just need to be patient.

And I really do need to stop remembering that idyllic weekend in northern Ontario sitting on a rock overlooking the lake. He was 6 foot two, curly blond hair, broad-shoulders, hands that . . . Good girls don’t kiss and tell!

What were they thinking?

 

Seriously. What do other people think? As most of you know I spent some time in my local hospital. As a result, I came into contact with a lot of different people, strangers to me. There were the doctors of course and the nurses, patients, cleaning staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapist, technicians, the list is endless.  All those people came together to make my stay, perhaps not enjoyable, but beneficial. And as I looked into their faces, I wondered… were they thinking?

I saw an elderly woman facing an uphill climb, literally. They were teaching her to do stairs again. I saw her face as she looked at the edifice in front of her. I tried to engage her but either she wasn’t in the right place emotionally or she didn’t speak the language. So, I smiled and nodded my head. She didn’t react. I wondered what was going through her mind. Was she sad, annoyed or maybe just indifferent?

I saw man who had lost both of his legs at different points. He didn’t hide his injury nor did he flaunt it. He faced his new reality and he didn’t flinch. He smiled and he joked with the staff. He smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up. It made me feel good. He was not a young man but he wasn’t done with life either.

We often judge other people based on what we see, not on what we know. That does us a disservice. People who look at us can’t know what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling. They only see what we choose for them to see. I think we do it for protection. But by shutting ourselves off, we miss so much.

As we journey through our day, we meet dozens perhaps hundreds of people, and sometimes only one or two. Each person that we interact with is a potential. Potential what you ask? Well, a potential friend, a potential business associate, a potential confidant. We can’t know who or what someone is until we have spent time with them. And perhaps the time we don’t spend with them is the missed opportunity.

I wonder about all the people I met. I know they affected me. I may not know exactly in what way but I believe I am a better person for having gone through the experience and for the people I met. These past weeks are not something I’m going to forget in a hurry and maybe that’s a good thing.

Thank you so much for all the best wishes I received. I may not have mentioned it at the time but it made a difference.