Tag Archives: adapting

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!

The Hand of God

 

A single drop of dew

Rests gently on a leaf.

Beauty in a single drop

Though its life is brief.

 

Soothing rays of sun

Caress that single leaf.

It turns its face towards it

Strong in its belief.

 

Behold the Hand of God

Within that simple leaf.

And within the warming sun

Without there would be grief.

 

Can you see yourself

As that simple leaf,

Knowing God’s within you

Strong in your belief?

 

Everyday reminds you

Time is like that leaf.

Years and years forever

Though it still is brief.

 

Rest gently in the knowledge

That God will bring relief.

He will stand beside you

Just like that silly leaf.

Hubris

 

It’s a funny old word, not widely used but I think we see way too many examples of it every day.  The Great Sage GOOGLE says:

hu·bris

/ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/

noun

  1. excessive pride or self-confidence.

“the self-assured hubris among economists was shaken in the late 1980s”

synonyms:

arrogance, conceit, conceitedness, haughtiness, pride, vanity, self-importance, self-conceit, pomposity, superciliousness, feeling of superiority.

  • (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to punishment.

 

I am a big believer in confidence. We need to be confident in our daily activities, in our workplace and in ourselves. But sometimes that confidence becomes inflated and the result is hubris. And the way in which we experience it can sometimes be hilarious.

Have you ever been in a bar and spent your time watching what the other people are doing? Of course, one must do this with at least a beer in hand so as not to appear to be a pervert. Put away your camera phone and I would suggest that you not take notes. As you were watching them, the bartender is quite possibly taking note of you. Try explaining this to the police!

But I digress. In any large group of people, especially where alcohol is involved, they’ll always be at least one peacock. An individual who believes that he, or she, is the pinnacle of human evolution. They will prance, yes I said prance, around expecting adulation. They never for one moment think that they are anything less than perfection.

Some people are able to go through their entire lives believing in their perfection. It is quite sad when reality sets in. But not unexpected. After all, Society is the one who feeds in to this idea of hubris. We don’t let our children see reality. We coddle them and praise them, as we should, but they also need to know that failure does happen. We need to understand failure in order to appreciate success. I read a story many years ago about a grandfather who took his small grandson skating. When they were on the ice the older man lifted his arms and said “fall down” the child did just that. This happened several times in a row and the child asked why his beloved grandfather was making him fall down. The answer was simple: “You need to learn that it’s okay to fall down. When you’re not afraid of failure you can truly succeed.”

Our children need to learn that it’s okay to fail. It is part of the equation which leads to success. You are not ‘less than’ if you don’t succeed the first time, you’re simply on the learning curve. We need to let people, children, know what failure is like. Otherwise we will create a society with way too much hubris and not enough compassion.

The lessons we learn as children mold us into the adults we will become.

 

WHO?

 

Who would I be

If I couldn’t be me?

If the she

That’s not me

Would perhaps be a he

Then the me

That you’d see

Wouldn’t be me.

 

I think that the me

this moment you see

is probably a she

cuz a he

That is me

Would probably flee

Now please disagree

if too silly you see.

 

 

So now I’m  a me

That maybe I’d be

If I’m not the me

that I used to be

when looking you’d see

Where would I be

If I couldn’t be me?

Perhaps by the sea.

 

I’d want to be free

And yes by the sea

Beneath a wide tree

with a glass of ice tea

I think that the me

That still is a she

Has feelings of glee

Don’t you agree?

 

What would you do

If you couldn’t be you?

 

 

Minimalism

I am a big fan of home renovation and decorating programs. One of the trends I find particularly intriguing is that of minimalism. In its simplest terms it is where you get rid of your junk. Now I like the concept but the reality is untenable, at least for me. I like my stuff.

I recently had a friend over to my place and we were talking about decorating and I was explaining the history behind, well, everything. Perhaps it is my nature but everything I own seems to have a story. There are the very heavy bookends that my father bought before I was born. They are horse heads and I’ve always loved them. Or the China horses I collected when I was small child. Of the many I did have only a few have survived the 50 odd years they’ve been around.

Then there are my paintings. I have a lot of them. I actually change them seasonally because I get bored easily. There are the chairs that used to belong to my grandmother or the one chair at my front door that I used for my first attempt at camping. It is a beautiful, hand carved wooden chair that I put a blanket over top of and pretended I was camping. That’s my history.

Of course, the other problem is, I like things. I like pretty things. I like wooden bowls and metal bowls and handmade . . . bowls? Oh my good heavens! I collect bowls! See, pretty creeps up on me. Most of these bowls are bought from a company that engages in Fair Trade. They’re not out to make a big profit for themselves. The artisan that makes the item is paid a portion upfront and then when the item is sold, they get more. I feel good about shopping there. I feel less guilty about buying a unique item that is handmade and, well, pretty.

Would my life be better if I had less stuff? The proponents of minimalism believe so. I’m afraid I don’t. Yes, there is the concept of having too much stuff. Look at any program on hoarding and you will understand. I’m not a hoarder. But I do keep my stuff. I put things into boxes and now and then I pulled them out to exchange them with what is on display now. I like being reminded of my past, of the people that were important to me and that helped to mold me into the person I am today. And, I like my stuff.