I Have a Purple Hair There

Flash back about three years ago, when I first started noticing more young men and ladies coloring their hair like a box of crayons. Blue, pink, orange, green, purple, and everything in between. Oh my, I thought, why would anyone want to do that? It looks stupid. Crazy stupid!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I would now be sporting purple and turquoise stripes in my hair at age 57. I mean, it is so not like me. My personality is not outgoing and bold. I do not demand or encourage attention to myself. I’m an introvert, more given to staying in a quiet corner by myself, reading a book. Yet, there it is; there’s a purple hair up there.

Searching in my mind for an explanation to my uncharacteristic behavior, I have come up with a few possibilities:

  1. I am experiencing dementia and need medication.
  2. I am overly medicated and sane.
  3. I am going through a mid-life crisis.
  4. I have multiple personalities I’m just now getting around to meeting.
  5. I just don’t give a bunny’s butt anymore.

Ding dong! Number 5! We have a winner!

That’s right…I no longer give a bunny’s butt what other people think or expect of me. Don’t like my hair? Stop looking at it. I’m 57 and I will wear my hair any way I want to. Don’t like me? Stay away from me. Have an opinion? Good for you, but I don’t want to hear it.

At my age, I have earned the right to be unique, creative, offbeat, and a little eccentric. I have earned the right to have fun with my life. I have earned the right to make choices, to play, and today, I choose to wear a purple hair there and anywhere!

Life is short, incredibly short. I have learned that it’s ok to have joy, to smile, to laugh at silliness. It’s ok to want to look at life through multi-colored glasses. It’s ok to make changes, experiment, and try something new.

It’s ok to be me.

Take care of you.

Trish

Friendships


I sat down by the river for about an hour tonight. I watched a family fishing, two barges chugged by, one heading upstream and the other down, and a couple small boats. It was quiet and peaceful. Darkness seemed to come in swiftly and I wasn't able to read my Bible, but there was some good Jesus and me time.

Pondering can sometimes help me solve problems, sometimes it just gets me deeper into confusion. I thought of friendships…what it takes to be a friend, to keep friends. It's always good to have friends. But the more I thought, the more it was clear that having just any kind of friend isn't my goal in life. It's having friendships that add positivity to my life, nourish my soul, and are true and honest. Those are the friends I want to hang on to.

I've never been a social butterfly. Being an introvert, my circle of friends has been small at any given time. But they were usually friends of substance, meaning they were at least mostly trustworthy, and enjoyable to be around. Sometimes, I pretty much knew when certain friends would not withstand the test of time. They were just there for a season of my life, and then the seasons changed, and so did the friendship.

Occasionally, I have been both surprised and disappointed in a friendship. Like when I realize I've been used for a specific purpose, or betrayed. I've been hurt several times over the years by people who have said they were friends, but were really wolves in sheep's clothing, just waiting to attack. The dark side of human nature never ceases to surprise me.

As I've aged, I've come to appreciate good friendships more, especially the ones that have lasted decades. They've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of me and still stuck by me. Those friends are God's blessings to me. I can only hope to be as good a friend to them.

Some friendships are fragile and require a lot of work to keep them functioning. I have to wonder if these are truly friendships or just acquaintances in disguise. All friendships require a bit of effort and care, a mutual respect for each other and boundaries. But some are just easier, it doesn't seem like effort because it just flows gently on its own. It's low maintenance. I like low maintenance.

Some friends can be from a distance, some I see often. There is value in both. Distance doesn't make one less valuable than the other; they both nurture a part of me.

By the time I left the river, it was nearly 10:00pm and darkness had settled in. My thoughts were beginning to wander more toward bedtime. But I drove away with an acknowledgement inside me that I no longer want to waste my time on friendships that do more harm than good to my life. Finding friendships that are loving, honest, and open, with no hidden agendas, may be a little harder to find, but they are definitely worth it. They are one of God's greatest gifts.

Take care of you.

Trish

So What Now?

May 30, 2017.  Today, I was told I may have cancer.  So…what do I do now?

I wasn’t expecting this.  This happens to women who have family histories of cancer.  This happens to other women.  Heart problems run in my family.  Diabetes runs in my family.  But not cancer.

What do I do now?  I hurry up and wait on an appointment with a specialist.  I patiently wait for the phone call that tells me when and where my biopsy will be.  Calmly, I go about my daily routine as if I never heard those words.  I go to work, I function, I act normal.  No one will know unless I tell them.  No one will know everything that’s going through my mind, how I’m making plans.  Who’s going to care for my pets?  How much recovery time should I expect?  What kind of treatments will they do?  Will I ever be able to sleep again?  Will I ever laugh again?

But nothing again will ever be normal, because I’ve heard those words telling me I may have cancer.

Part of my brain is numb.  This information is still processing and I can’t quite comprehend it all.  I don’t think I’ve fully accepted it.  I haven’t cried yet.

So what do I do now?  Today, I pray.  Today, I ask all my friends to pray for me, too.  I talk to God and somehow find peace with all this.  I ask Him for healing and strength and comfort and I don’t doubt for one second that He will get me through this, and HE WILL HEAL MY BODY.

Today, I was told I may have cancer.  Today, the earth shook a little, the sky darkened a little, and my life changed.  Today, I learned that four words, you may have cancer, would forever be implanted in my memory.

Today, I learn to praise God through the storms.
Take care of you….

Trish

How Disposable Am I?

It’s no secret we live in a disposable world.  There’s not much we cannot replace with something newer and better.  Disposable plates, napkins, utensils, serving trays, and cups are used every day. Disposable diapers, bottles, gloves, and hygiene items are made by the millions.  Cheaply made cars built only to last a few years have been experimented with, remember the Yugo?  I have to ask myself, in such a disposable world, how disposable am I?


Early on in life, we learn that pretty much everything can be replaced.  A broken doll, a rusty bicycle, tattered socks.  Sometimes it hurt to lose the original item, but that pain was soon erased by the excitement of a newer one, maybe even a little fancier.  But then, we learn that friends can also be replaced.  Your best friend in first grade moves across the country, never to be seen again.  Then a new kid moves to town and the old friend’s memories begin to fade.  The dog you grew up with ages and dies, leaving a world of hurt and emptiness, but your parents say not to worry, they will replace the old Fido with a new puppy.  And they do, and soon the pain begins to lessen as the bond between you and puppy grows.

As a teenager, a boyfriend replaced me with someone who would have sex with him.  As a wife, I was replaced with someone skinnier and blonde.  

A few years ago, my boss told me that I could always be replaced in my job.  He was right, but I wanted to think I offered something special as an employee that no one else did.  I felt valuable, even if I wasn’t.  I didn’t like to think I was that disposable.

How many husbands and wives have you known that were replaced through divorce?  How many foster kids have gotten shuffled from family to family?  How many pets are in animal shelters because their owners thought a different pet would suit them better?   How many employees have quit their jobs in pursuit of one better?  How many employers have fired employees in the pursuit of one better?

I know I am disposable.  I know every day I go to work that I can be fired on a whim just because someone doesn’t like me, or they don’t like the disorganization of my desk, or the Christmas tree in my office.  I know I can be replaced in every Committee or team that I serve.  I know there is no one standing in the sidelines waiting to rescue me or to stand up for me.  I can be replaced in a heartbeat, and it feels kind of lonely.

I’d like to think my pets would miss me.  But the truth is, they would probably only miss me for a while, until someone else took over my roll as parent and caregiver and friend.  There is no “significant other” in my life who would miss me or feel I could not be replaced.  There is no family who would miss seeing me.  There is no need to replace someone who is already missing.

I cannot say I like knowing just how replaceable I am.  But in truth, I’ve done nothing in my life to make myself irreplaceable.  I’ve done nothing extraordinary.  Nothing unique.  I’m not lovable. I’m not beautiful, to be admired.  I’ve not devoted the time to cultivate relationships to a deeper level, always distancing myself before that closer bond develops.  Yes, I am replaceable.

And yet….as replaceable as I am in this world, I know I am worthy of God’s love and grace.  I know that Jesus died on that cross to save me from my sins.  And I know God will never leave me nor foresake me.  His love makes me feel valuable, worthy, and a little less disposable.  


May God’s undying love for you make you feel worthy and unique.

Take care of you….

Trish

What to Do When You Can’t Touch Your Toes Anymore

Seriously, what do you do when you cannot touch your toes anymore?  I’ve heard about this day, back when I was five and I could pretty much put my toes anyplace I wanted them…over my head, behind my back, on my fanny.  My Grandma Petty used to watch me pretend to be a gymnast and just shake her head.  “One day you won’t be able to do that anymore,” she said.  I laughed hysterically.  Not me, I thought.  I will do this forever.  But now I can’t.  Now, I can barely put my shoes on without utilizing the kitchen refrigerator for balance.

Age and arthritis has caught up with me in a race that began in my 20’s.  It is a mean and vicious competitor.  It will stop at nothing to slow down my body with creaks, snaps, pops, soreness, and stiffness.  It easily trips me if I’m not looking, and hits me from behind in the knees.  Quite frankly, Arthritis is one mean bastard.

Self-pedicures are now a thing of the past.  Oh, how I long for the days of being able to save a few bucks by soaking my feet in a warm bath and then scrubbing them with all the pedi paraphernalia and creamy, perfumed lotions.  Thankfully, there are lovely women trained to now do this for me.  And it’s wonderful.   It is wonderful to be pampered while taking a few minutes of “me” time to zone out to the world.  But it does come at a cost.

Shoes that tie?  No, thank you.  Those have been replaced with mules and clogs and sandals and slip-ons.  Bras that fasten in the back?  Slowly being replaced by front loaders.   Washing my back?  Long handled brushes have been made for that, apparently by someone else who can no longer reach places where they once did.

When my mom broke her hip, the hospital equipped her with a long handled device to help her pick up things and to assist with pulling on her socks.  I’m about ready to purchase one of those, sans broken hip, but with a stiff hip.  

So what do you do when you can’t touch your toes anymore?  You adjust.  You find alternate ways to put on your shoes and bra.  You pay someone to polish and pamper your feet, or beg the help of a friend.  You start doing gentle stretching exercises to help with the stiffness.  And you keep on keeping on because that’s what you do.  You laugh in old Arthur’s face, and you giggle when you start wobbling without a cane. The alternative is not nearly as much fun.

May God Bless all of you, from your head to your toes.

Take care of you….

Trish

Sneezing and Other Scary Signs of Aging

10647242_739465662757200_3738853354570463578_nThere’s that moment, when you’re driving and know you’re within ten minutes of your house and sure you can wait to pee until you get there, so much better than using a public restroom….and then you sneeze.

There’s that other moment, when you walk into the kitchen to get something out of the refrigerator, and you stand with the refrigerator door open long enough to get goose bumps under your nightie trying to figure out what you wanted.  You don’t really see anything in there you need.  You’re not really hungry.  Nothing looks appetizing.  So you shut the door and go back into the living room to finish watching The Voice, and you reach for your beverage…..and there’s nothing there.  Must have been a Diet Coke that you needed out of that refrigerator.  Too tired to go back and get it now.  Waiting on the next commercial break seems prudent.  Same for going to the bathroom.  And then you sneeze.

You’re eating alone when all of a sudden something doesn’t go down quite right and the coughing spasms of choking come on strong and urgent, and you cough and cough so hard you think your eyes are going to pop out of your head….and then you sneeze.

Ladies, can we be frank for a moment?  This getting older thing has its advantages.  AARP has a few benefits and discounts that I don’t mind admitting my age to take advantage of.   For the most part, I’m way beyond caring what anyone thinks about me anymore.  They can talk about me, judge me, and turn their snooty little noses up in the air as they walk by and I will just shake my head.  I’m more accepting of my short comings, usually, and most of the time I’m pretty accepting of the quirky behaviors of others, unless it goes beyond quirky into downright mean, sick, and deranged.  There’s no excuse for that.  I no longer care who has the best looking hair, wears the prettiest clothes, or check labels to see what designer they have caressing their buttocks.  The petty peer pressure of my youth is a distant memory.  Should someone decide they would like to be my friend, yet seem to derive pleasure from insulting and ridiculing me, they will not be my friend.  At my age, I’m OK with dumping people who aren’t really my friends.  Yes, it’s one of the perks of being in my 50’s.  I can ignore the best snooty people I know.

But then there are those other things that are not quite so pleasant.  Like peeing my pants when I sneeze.   That’s just not kosher.  Like forgetting where I put my grocery list while I’m walking around the house with it in my hand.  Like not remembering if I took my medication or not.  Like not being able to walk without intense pain that brings tears to my eyes and knees that snap, crackle, and pop so loud I’m certain everyone around me is wondering what that noise is.  I have to gauge the height of the couch seat at someone’s home to guess whether I will be able to get back up off it.  Long drives are mostly a thing of the past because of the pain and stiffness of arthritis and fibromyalgia.  To be honest, these things just plain suck.

I’ve decided it’s just a play off to get older.  I have to give up certain things, like my mobility and memory, in order to enjoy the benefits, like being more comfortable with my likes and dislikes.  Is it worth it?  I’m not sure.  I suppose the alternative would be that I’m dead and gone and wouldn’t have to worry about any of it, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but I don’t think God is quite ready for me, yet.  I’ve still got some unfinished business here on earth, like trying to give myself a pedicure this weekend.  I’m getting nervous just thinking about it.  Will I be able to do it?  Can I bend that far and that long?  I’m pretty sure I can at least soak my feet in some delightfully scented foot bath.  That’s a start.

Adjustments will need to be made, like longer handled nail files and foot scrubbers.  Long handled scrubbers to wash my back.  A bench in the shower.  And that’s kind of how it is.  Each year, I have to make more and more adjustments to get me through to the next year.  I’m not overly anxious to see what kind of adjustments I will be making the next ten years.  But if the good Lord doesn’t call me home first, I’ll make the adjustments.  That’s just how the old life bounces.  But I still think it kind of sucks.  Now, if I can just figure out how to remember where that “safe place” is I keep losing things in.

How are you handling aging?  With eagerness and a sense of fun?  Or with a bit of dread?

Blessings.