A friend of mine, Eunice Spratlin, took a tumble last week. Unfortunately, her 80-year-old ankle didn’t hold up very well. Since she’s a big fan of my columns, I thought to write one for her. When I visited her, ensconced in a hospital bed in her daughter-in-law’s front room, she didn’t even give me chance to ask if she’ld like that; she just asked if I had already written one!
Well, Eunice, you have a place of honor this week in the Echo! Since I hadn’t written one in a while, topics were not hard to come by – deciding which topic was the hardest part.
I decided that a look at life’s lessons was appropriate for her and me and for my mother who was also hospitalized last week.
I’ve been remodeling bathrooms at my house for 7 months now. Some wise person years ago put the bathroom in my 100-year-old house in the largest room and lined up the fixtures against the back wall. One has had to walk over 13 feet from the door to get to the “throne”. A bizarre thing indeed, not to mention really revealing since you could almost see that toilet from the front door as well.
This oddity did make it possible for me to divide the room into two bathrooms – one of those desperately required features of house in which my husband lives.
I took the slow week of July fourth this year to finish up this project that has been dragging on so long now.
I’m a firm believer that things in this life happen for a reason and it’s up to us to find opportunity in disaster and tragedy. The disaster last week? Let’s see, heat, humidity, arthritis, asthma, bruises – no, not Eunice’s, not my mother’s who is also 80, but mine!
The list continues – plumbing leaks, sheetrock dust, dog hair, etc.
I had an arthritis flare up in my left hand after the heat and humidity got really bad and of course, asthma and allergies rose their ugly little heads due to sheetrock dust and the normal effects of no housekeeping during all this work.
Time for clean up finally, thank heavens. Oops, time for remembering why keeping a house clean all along is important. Yuk, chest and head congestion, fatigue, sleep deprivation. What a lesson to have reinforced!
Turning wrenches and tightening plumbing connections got harder and harder. Swelling fingers gave way to stiffness and then to amazement.
I’m not 80 – only 50! Living to my projected lifespan of 100 (due to genetics and the rapidity of medical advancements) seems incredibly painful and possibly undesirable.
Oh, but positive thinking requires a life lesson. In desperation, I grabbed onto the fact that arthritis certainly will be my constant companion from now on. Lovely thought.
So last week was training for me. Learning to live with the effects of aging. Seems I’ve been doing a lot of that recently. Hmmmmm…
Aging does has its disadvantages for sure. I mean, the pain of doing things I used to breeze through, taking twice as long to do other things and not feeling like I’m a genius anymore. You know, those usual effects of aging!
Oh, but the advantages!!!
I was telling someone recently that I wasn’t accustomed to making mistakes in my employment. They said, “What? You were perfect?” I said, “Yes, and now I’m just normal!”
The lesson learned from this little jewel? I no longer have to be perfect; I no longer have to give 150%. I can relax a little and enjoy life more. What a burden off my shoulders! Such a wonderful way to live!
Okay, so now that these lessons are firmly implanted in my brain, how can I renovate this whole house, establish a wonderful garden on my 2 acres, write the great American novel while making tons of money for my retirement and obvious disability that’s coming.
I mean, I gotta do it all now in order to get ready for my retirement, right?
Wait, relaxing, enjoying life – didn’t I just say something about that? Nah, must have been someone else’s evil thoughts. Gotta go – got a bathroom to finish and a house to clean!