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.

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Lessons Learned

My trip to Maui was multi-layered.  Time with the children.  Seeing the sights.  Relaxing in the warm sunshine.

The unexpected layer was discovering myself not weak and old.  I am not beyond pushing physical limits.  I hiked two five mile trails.  One was challenging.  The other was not for the faint of heart.

The ridge hike in the rain and the mud is the one of which I am most proud.  I was slow.  But, my son was absolutely patient and encouraging.  He guided my steps and we joked along the way.  What a kind person he is!  I did the hike without incident and without excess pain and fatigue during or afterward.

I didn’t and perhaps still don’t appreciate how hard I was rolled at Big Beach.  I had some bruises I didn’t realize I had gotten until the places turned black and blue.  It took days for all the sand to come out of my ears.  I still have sand inside the lining of my swimsuit.  I will have to work on getting it out when my package arrives in the mail. (I packed up extra clothes, shoes and my souvenirs in a box and am letting the mail lady bring it to me rather than having to check a bag at the airport.) I didn’t panic when tumbling under the wave.  I just relaxed and waited for my head to come up and my feet go down.  I didn’t feel any pain.

Again, I marveled at my endurance traveling home.  I awoke especially early in the morning.  I was unable to sleep at all on the plane during the overnight flight I took late that evening.  I was up about thirty six hours.  I wasn’t really exhausted feeling.  I was sleepy by the time I had my bath of course.  That is usual for me.  But, I did not feel horrible as I expected.

Those long hikes didn’t hurt my feet.  A good pair of shoes made the difference.  My feet often hurt in the morning just from an ordinary day at work where I sit most of the day.  I do not like wearing athletic shoes.  But, I did buy two new pairs of casual work shoes last week and had a pedicure to take better care of my poorly treated appendages.  They deserve the best care as reward for taking me along marvelous paths.

I discovered I am more physically durable than I believed.  I did more and suffered effects less than I ever imagined possible.  This body, even at this moment, has a spot or two of sharp pain and a spot or two aching just it has these many years. Nevertheless, I am pleasantly recalling my adventures in the middle of the wild blue Pacific.  My body didn’t ache and my mind didn’t race.  I longed only for certain amber eyes as the days blended into each other.

How does one live on island time here at home?  How does one live physically challenging adventures here at home?  How does one overcome the compulsion to push against the waves and get rolled rather than bobbing and floating, laughing and loving through the tumultuous days?  There is a time to dive into the waves and a time to paddle along the stream.  There is also a time to drift and notice the color of life.  The color of my life is aquamarine.  What color is yours?

 

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