I have had a few days of good socializing.  Friday evening our friends came to supper.  Last minute plans.  Saturday, I spent the day with our daughter at the Renaissance Festival.  Sunday at church, then a long lunch with my brother and sister-in-love at their granddaughter’s birthday party.  My nieces and nephews were there, too, of course.  Had a little bit of visiting and hugging time.

Today, my friend came to work on a project she has going.  She brought her computer so she could work, too.  Fortunately, her battery was low and she forgot her charger.  We were able to spend several hours talking about all sorts of things.  We always find ourselves in such similar situations or frames of mind.  We are the same age.  We have husbands of similar dispositions.  Our children are grown and gone from home.  She is semi-retired. I am basically retired with my little part time position to keep up with. 

We are working on the challenges and uncharted territory of our aging process.  Neither of us are terribly worried about anything other than the loss of energy and stamina.  Of course, we want to look good, but that is secondary.  The changing thought processes, the thermostat issues, the loss of energy and the need for a creative outlet are common issues.

No doubt ours is the story of so many of our peers.  I have been trying to find information for this stage.  There is plenty of information in our faces about the 20- and 30-year-old groups finishing college, launching careers, families, home building.  And the seniors fully retired, traveling, hobbies, dealing with their own set of challenges along with their adult children adjusting to the roles of care givers.  I don’t see much for our life stage.  I guess we are supposed to be having mid-life crises? Those have been made in to jokes and the underlying needs not truly addressed in my preliminary research.  If I wanted to have another career or go to college, sure, but not much for the settling in to our type of lifestyle.

My friend and her husband have one parent living.  She is in a long-term facility and in good health overall, but unable to live alone.  They don’t have grands, yet.  My husband and I have no living parents or grandparents.  We have our two little duchesses who come to visit and bring exuberance to our lives.

I find myself too isolated most of the time.  Even when I am at church, I don’t have a lot of adult time.  When he comes home, we have supper and he needs time to take care of a few chores and time to relax and rest.  I recall a time when my grandmother was isolated.  She seemed to have trouble putting sentences together when I would go see her.  It got better when she got around others and regained her socialization time.  These past few days, I have talked more than usual.  Today, I particularly noticed my voice getting tired from the several hours of conversation. 

Social creatures.  Even those of us who are introverted and enjoy long stretches of time alone need socialization. Time with folks whose company we enjoy to just let conversation flow and thoughts meander.  Today, we laughed at ourselves chasing squirrels in our topics.  We would start someplace and take a few detours before trying to finish the original topic.  I am sure we didn’t finish half of our trains of talk.  And that is just fine.  I am feeling very content after having a chance to hear my own thoughts out loud and echoed back to me with agreement, understanding, questions to help clarify.  New insights brought forth, clarity of ideas emerging.  Laughing and groaning at how human we are. 

I am so very grateful for my friends, for my children, for my family, for my Rock and for our Lord who brings us together.

Fall flowers in Tyler County, Texas.

August Again

Here it is again.  The dog days of summer. August has started out not so treacherous.  Lower 90’s instead of near 100.

I so want to have enough energy to do more in the evenings after the 9-5.  It just doesn’t happen.  By the time I get to the house, I just want to sit and stare out the window or scroll through Instagram. I am scheduled to retire next summer.  Everyone asks me what will I do with myself retired.  I can’t seem to make them understand how important taking care of him and keeping house is to me.

I might write more. I might read more. I might be able to get my house the way I want it. I have some painting to do and some floors to recover and windows to redress.  I might even be able to get every closet, pantry and drawer cleaned out and organized.  I have some special projects still sitting in the wings.  I also have a major ambition to pursue.

With my pain level like it is, the fatigue overtakes me and then I cycle into a downward spiral.  My 9-5 job is very high stress and not rewarding emotionally or mentally.  Just an endless round of reports and meaningless data collection for the politicians. It drains me.  I hate feeling like this.  The upside is that it leads to an early retirement and lifelong health insurance for both of us.

I want to be able to do things with him and for him to make his life better and happier.  I try to research what to do, but then can’t focus long enough over the days to make the changes called for.

I am not alone in my frustrated state.  Many of my friends have the same or similar issues.  Not necessarily the pain, but the fatigue and the seeming inability to make things better despite having some vague ideas of what would help.

It is not that we have such desperately terrible lives.  I count myself among the blessed in this world.  I live in Texas. I have a solid house with hot and cold running water, two indoor toilets, a bathtub and shower. I have a well equipped kitchen and pantry and freezer full of food.  I have central air that I can afford to run.  I have good health in the sense that I don’t have to take any medications for anything right now.  And insurance if I did. My vehicle is new and I always have gas money.  My children are grown and independent and well.  Both happily married and raising healthy children.  I don’t have aging parents to take care of, though I wish I did.  They have all been gone for many years.

I guess my point is that everything should be fine.  But, somehow I have this nagging sense of unease.  And the physical pain and fatigue that no doctor seems to be able to figure out what is caused by nor how to fix it.  I have made yet another appointment with yet another doctor for later this month.  He has a reputation for non-traditional evaluations and treatments.  Maybe he won’t try to give me anti-depressants. I’m not depressed.  I just don’t feel well enough long enough to get more than the minimal tasks completed.  And that frustrates the daylights out of me.

Enough of this pity party.  I am blessed. I love and am loved.  I will do what I can and be glad for it as much as I can.  I will try to forgive myself for all I can’t seem to get done and for the anxiety that builds up and causes me distress.

The cicadas just started buzzing close to this porch window.  He will be home soon.  The evening shadows will blend into dusk.  The night will bring restless sleep, yet the coming dawn will break on a fresh, new day.  Please, Lord, help me rejoice and be glad in it.