Monday, March 9, 2020

Life in the Time of High Maintenance - Part Two

There are more maintenance items in my near future (but of course there are, you say). My osteoporosis is getting worse and we’ve got to come up with a plan for that, and my thyroid is dying a slow but certain death. I found that out because I insisted on the full range of thyroid tests and not just the standard TSH, which always comes out normal. Turns out, I have antibodies that are attacking my vital gland that regulates so much in the human body. I think about this whenever I feel sluggish or I have trouble reducing my body fat no matter how meticulous I am in counting calories and carbohydrates. I write my entire food intake down and watch my portion sizes. It's the theme of my adult life. And it kind of fries my butt that I had to insist on the test.

It’s a wonder that I have time to do anything else during my day, but I make the time for getting to the gym three days a week, a class once a week, visit my grandchildren once or twice a week if I’m lucky, and go to the occasional movie or concert. I have a yoga class once a week, and try to get out to meet up with a friend once a week.  Tomorrow I'm going to The Wildlife Sanctuary with a friend, weather permitting.  The place comes highly recommended.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook or surfing the net (NYT, PBS). I watch movies on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. I am very fond of Nova science programs on PBS, and the delightful and endlessly interesting show “Finding Your Roots” also on PBS. I do read, though not as much as I used to. My mind tends to wander and it takes me forever to get through a book. Just eight years ago I had on average three books on my bedside table at any given time. Reading a book takes dedication to creating the right space and time to do it properly. The goal is to get back to it in earnest.

I have also just signed up for the Masterclass series on line, the class presented by author (and super human being whom I’ve met twice) David Sedaris finally convinced me to slap $180 down for a full year of unlimited classes. Other classes include Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood. As a photography enthusiast, the Annie Leibovitz class is a must.

And, of course, I am grieving the passing of my husband, which sometimes feels like a full time job. This grief is nuts, I tell you. One day I get through it with just a few tears, the next I am leveled by my emotions and the amount of crying that I go through. And the anger is returning; the anger I felt when he kicked me to the curb on my birthday last June. The hurt and grief of losing him to his selfish, ego driven impulses was big then.  I've found a super grief therapist who is helping me sort all of these tangled feelings.  It's helping me set aside the traumatic last months together and appreciate the bulk of our short time.   I do recall, fondly, all the good times we had together. Since we were both retired, we were able to plan activities and trips whenever it worked for our open schedules.  A friend of mine recently said, "You did not find each other by accident."  Who knew we would have such a brief moment on earth together?  Being with him allowed me to travel the world, something I'd not done up to that point.  I'm going to miss those travels, and his partnership on those adventures.  The good food, the wine, the sheer delight of being in a new land.

So the wheel turns.


  1. I worry about the osteoporosis, but I worry more about the crazy medications they prescribe. I just keep trying to keep my bones together with walking and plenty of Vitamin D. I think 20 minutes in the sun there every couple of days will really help boost your Vitamin D levels and your bones. And.. what is it with docs who only recommend TSH tests? My doc did the same thing the other day, and I knew she should have gone for the full range. Oy. Oh these aging bodies. Oh these broken hearts. Life and death... life and death. Thinking of you, dear friend.

    1. I have the same concerns about those medications, Robin. For now, it's cal/mag and 5,000 IU of D daily. And catching the sun when I can. At 5,000 ft., I can get a lot of it! Yes, these aging bodies. Require a lot of attention, don't they? I look at my yoga teacher, probably early seventies, and she moves so well and is full of life. That's what I want.

  2. When I read the first paragraph of this post and then the last one I was feeling at a loss for words because sometimes there is nothing to say, but to listen. Then I read the paragraphs in between about the things you are doing and plan to do and thought, she is getting on with things and not letting things get her, if that makes sense. Like yourself, I was once an avid reader and started 2020 off reading at least 1 book a week, but now I find so many other things to do that reading has been kicked to the curb, but only for awhile. I have heard of the Master Class series and may check it out online.

  3. Welcome, Beatrice. Yes, what you say makes complete sense. I'm getting on with it. I'm happy to have the option to do so! I was on the fence about those Master Classes, but I'm glad I signed up. So much content!

  4. That's the way of grief...unpredictable. It sounds as if you are handling things pretty well. So what if you can't stay focused on books the way you did in times past? You have music and movies to make up for that.

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Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...