Tag Archives: fall

To Your Health

If you enjoy good health, chances are you may take it for granted. Until it’s gone. A cancer diagnosis, a heart attack, a bad fall: these can be a wake-up call that life is finite and health is never guaranteed. Even if you have been taking good care of yourself, things can still happen. When you get the wake-up call, you may respond with appropriate action, possibly making life changes, or you may not. It’s up to you.

            I had such a wake-up call in 2019, when I had a bad fall, even though I knew that falls can greatly impair a person’s mobility for life, especially if he or she is elderly.

I was being stupid, standing precariously on a kitchen chair, and I have not been so careless since. I cracked my pelvis and had difficulty sleeping, walking and getting my prescription for pain pills refilled. Although I recovered completely, it took months, and I did not enjoy the experience.

            I have been lucky enough to avoid the coronavirus, and I do believe it was luck, because I have been to quite a few gatherings in the last year. They have mostly been small, with everyone masked and socially distant, except for Christmas with family. I also have a couple of “pods” that I meet with often: my daughter’s family (four of us) and the several members of my writers’ group. I attend classes at the Y where we are all masked and maintain social distance.

            My church offers an in-person service each Sunday, with masks and social distancing required, and I have been attending regularly. Additionally, I belong to a book club that meets exclusively outdoors once a month. It has been too cold for the last two months, but we hope to meet in March. I am grateful that my family and friends have been cautious and follow guidelines, and I am especially grateful to have had these people in my life when personal interactions have been so limited.

            Now I have completed my Covid-19 vaccinations. I intend to proceed with caution and continue to wear a mask and socially distance until it’s safe not to do so. That may be later than we think.

            We have all had our lives compromised over the last year, but there are positive ways of looking at anything. The fact that we even have a vaccine is cause for optimism. Experts did not believe it could be done so quickly.

            Although many thousands have died, we have heard and seen inspiring stories of nurses and doctors who have worked tirelessly to keep others alive this last year, despite all the difficulties involved and the emotional toll it has taken. Others have found creative ways to overcome the hardships of the pandemic, thanks to the indomitable human spirit.

            When the worst is over, we will smile at each other as we emerge from isolation into the beautiful world we inhabit and celebrate that we survived. We will hug the ones we have missed hugging, and we will enjoy the lives that we put on hold. I mourn the loss of every person that died due to Covid, and those that have become debilitated. I know what their loved ones are going through. I also lost my husband a year ago, though not to Covid, and I am still grieving.

            What better wish, at this time or any time, can you bestow upon another than good health? Here’s to you and the solutions you have found to get through this pandemic. Here’s to creativity and love and laughter. Here’s to your health!

Where Is the Comfort?

We are beginning to experience the change of seasons. We had a few lovely days last week, cool, low humidity, and the temperature has been definitely lower than summer, mostly low 80’s these days, or even cooler. But it could still get hot again. Summer was so hot I couldn’t even wear capris!

            I have not switched out my summer clothes for winter yet, but will soon. I hesitate because I have so many more warm weather clothes than winter clothes. I love the onset of fall, when I can put away my shorts and wear long sleeves or sweaters. I love to think about turning on the fireplace and wrapping myself up in a soft blanket. I bought a pair of casual shoes that I can wear all winter around the house. It is all about comfort.

            But to me, comfort is more than keeping warm as the season changes. It is about living a life that is predictable, knowing what’s important to me, and having the freedom to follow that path. It’s about getting out in the crowds and enjoying the festivals and events of fall. It’s about singing in the choir and preparing for December’s traditional Messiah performance.

             To my regret, life these days is nothing like that, because of the coronavirus. As I write, it is mid-October, and no one knows what will be happening tomorrow. Everything in our lives is up in the air, and there is no comfort. Halloween will be different, and some people are skipping it. Nothing is normal now, but I am tired of the phrase “new normal.”

             I find myself thinking about the comfort foods of my childhood and yearn to be free enough to mingle with friends I have not seen, except on Zoom, for months. I want my life back! I have hunkered down long enough, I believe, so I really do need to go out and do all the things I  used to. I am weary of “virtual meetings.” I want to hug people.

            Normally, I like to hibernate in winter, gorge myself on college basketball, not caring if I see anybody. I think this winter will be different because of my pervasive loneliness. I never realized how much I needed people until these last eight months of living alone. Everyone has experienced challenges dealing with COVID-19, but I feel my loneliness deep inside, in my bones. I will get used to being alone, and even enjoy it, I suspect, but that time has not come yet.

            The best way to describe how I feel about my current life is “discomfort.” I could throw in “anxiety,” “nervousness,” or “on edge.” I just don’t feel like myself. But that’s the problem: I am indeed no longer that person, the old identity that was married to Jerry. My life is new now, and I am in the process of grieving the old life and figuring out who I am by myself. I am becoming.

            Time is my friend, I know, but right now comfort is like a distant dream I yearn for, languishing in my mind, unattainable.