Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kleenex in the pockets of my robe


This morning I am reminded of the many ways I feel like I am becoming an old lady.  I  slept poorly and woke up with a sinus headache.  The pocket in my robe is stuffed with kleenex and my hair is wild and my appearance is not a priority - NAP as a gal pal puts it.  I feel like I'm ready for a "What Not to Wear" makeover on TLC.  It's cold this morning, and my feet and my fingers, with some arthritis, are hurting.  Or some would say it's the crappy food I've been snacking on (Dollar Store movie collection, but I never made it to the movies...). Bummer dude, but I'm undeterred.  I did some exercises at home this week, and also managed a couple of walks.  I feel that the "holiday"treat food splurge is winding down and my sanity around wellness is being restored.  I am appreciating the subtle changes in day length, now once again I can still take my walk around 5 - during mid winter, I just couldn't get out early enough to beat the early darkness.

Unlike some old(er) ladies, I have been dealing with frustrating computer problems and some anxiety over upcoming possible work situations.  I need to do my work and personal bookkeeping and I've just installed a new Internet Security suite which is pretty much hanging up the computer - I can't even configure it, even the software itself hangs.  Must deal with tech support today, instead of getting to my actual work.   I guess I am becoming an old lady of my generation, geeky and obsessed with not running out of money before I run out of air.  I hoped that being older would be a little more laid back than it has turned out to be!  I seem to worry more now than ever.   Maybe when Social Security and MediCare kick in I can relax a bit.  Inner peace is an inside job and all that, but there is nothing like checking out your bank balance to crank up the angst.  Sure, I have faith that the Universe will support me, but the bills come in pretty consistently, and w/o consistent income, hard to stay in the peaceful zone.

I will upload a photo that a long time friend sent me - I think it was taken around 1978 in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu.  (I'm in the middle.) Back in the day, I didn't worry about much!  Guess that's why I'm not so prepared for retirement!  Unlike some old(er) ladies, especially of past generations, I'm still thinking about what is out there on the horizon for work, business, and investment opportunties.   In some ways I am a slow learner and a late bloomer.  And at the pace I can keep up at 60, I must not be too hard on myself.  I'm doing what I need to do at this time, which sometimes feels like plodding through my life instead of enjoying it.  A different chapter for sure.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Young @ Heart

Ever since I watched Young @Heart (for the second time) on PBS last week, the lyrics to one of their songs "stuck in reverse" has been rattling around in my brain.  Someone posted on Facebook how challenging his New Year had been so far, and that has been the same feeling I've had - things seem just stalled, or worse. 

I worked "relief shifts" thru the holidays for a very nice woman with a lot of dementia, and started the first Monday of January wtih a new agency and a new client.  The agency was not responsive when I brought a situation to their attention - the client's constant irritability indicated to me that she was suffering from anxiety/depression, and I felt she needed a professaional evaluation.  The agency did not contact my case manager colleague/friend and I declined to continue.  I felt sorry for this woman but I was not willing to be chewed out for putting a glass on the wrong shelf etc.  So back to Craigslist, networking and the constant effort to keep the proverbial wolf away from my door.  I even ran an ad in a local freebie newspaper, hoping to get a private client or two.  A person advertising as a caregiver is just a name and a phone number - I remember back when I  was hiring, that didn't mean much.  People are brainwashed by agencies about problems with theft and people tend to put (sometimes too much) faith in agencies where background checking is concerned.  Agencies spend a great deal on advertising and recruitment, background checking can be quite cursory.

This year, I am reinventing my blog - I debated deleting my old posts but decided to let them languish at the bottom of the archives.  I started Aging Hippies Guide to Aging back when a blog was (at least to me) an online journal, so I just rambled on.  Now, the blogosphere rocks with special interests, Twitter, Facebook and much so much Web 2.0 interaction that I knew nothing about back in 2005/6 when I started.  I'm still pretty much a novice with serious blogging.  So anyone who reads thru my old stuff, apologies in advance for my lack of focus.  Focus is not my long suit anyway.  I will attempt to set up a blogroll, links, respond to comments and do some self promotion, although Arianna Huffington I will never be.  I am amazed how many blogs I've discovered recently on aging.  Having "competition" is a very good thing!  Issues of aging tend to be swept under the carpet, and it will be helpful for the elders of today and for ourselves, the elders of tomorrow, to have light shed on these many topics.

I have gotten a bit more active on Facebook and LinkedIn. I especailly like LinkedIn - most of my posts are not "social" in nature since through the years of family caregiving, my social life disappeared and I have not sufficiently revived it to date.  Hermit is the word I'm looking for!   Been busy and preoccupied keeping my head above water financially - the whole life reinvention challenge has been kind of all consuming last couple years.  I live a simple life, still revolving around my home and my pets.  I keep threatening to make a bold move, but here I sit, maintaining the status quo.  But the year is young!  If the world economic news would just pick up a tad, I'd perhaps be feeling bolder.

So begins another New Year - what to leave in, what to leave out, lyrics from another song.  As in prior years, the challenge of balancing control and surrender is in the front of my mind.   Shift happens.