I always get a bit reflective this time of year. Perhaps you do too. It’s a good time to look back and assess where you are, what you’ve achieved or experienced and then get ready for the next round. There have been significant changes in my life, most of them physical and mostly associated with my age. I have made the observation that 70 is a benchmark in many people’s lives. It is definitely not 60 and most definitely not anything younger. It does seem, at least for me and many I see sitting next to me in doctor waiting rooms, the decade when the parts start seriously wearing out and energy levels take a drop. So with that in mind, while attempting to still remain positive and optimistic about my personal forecast, here are this year’s reflections.
The Phone – The most annoying non-physical item in my life is the telephone. The home phone rings incessantly with robocalls or live hucksters invading my privacy, using the instrument I pay for and usually bothering me at the most inopportune time. Meanwhile, my overpriced, over-updated cell phone does things I don’t ask it to do and when I do, it doesn’t. I hate it. They need to make a phone for retired, un-busy, un-networking people like me who just need to speak with someone occasionally or send a message. Y’know, just basic communications because now I am just a basic person. I shall attempt to get a new, kinder and gentler phone in 2019 …if they still make one.
The Bent – I have become a tilted man who walks bent over because my spine is bent over. I tried not to let it happen, but psoriatic arthritis does not care if you try. It does what it wants to. The doctors put you on all these expensive pills you see advertised on the national news each night–the ones that always list a gazillion bad things the pills can do to you…and they do. Mine cause my immunity system to go away and then every year I get some kind of infection that puts me in the hospital sucking on an intravenous bag of antibiotics more powerful thanTide. If I could lose some of my girth that many men my age have accumulated simply by looking at food, I may straighten up a little. I would really like to make that a goal for 2019. I shall try.
The house – It is so much a part of our lives. We’ve lived in this one for 22 years. It has to be maintained. When I had strength, stamina and a paycheck, I would take care of taking care of the house. Now, I can’t do as much. I don’t work as long or as well. Instead, I have to hire people to do the work for me and half the time they don’t do the level of work I would have done if younger. I know, I am compulsive and hard to please…but that is why things got done. Rosemarie and I debate about downsizing and the thought of living in a changed environment is a tease. We both sort of want to do it, but the process is daunting now that we have a lifetime supply of paraphernalia to sift through before we even call the movers. We do not sift as well as we used to.
The Habits – Both Rosemarie and I seemed to have dug deeper into them this past year. She needs “white noise” 24/7 and MSNBC and her soaps serve that purpose. One side benefit is that she has become quite knowledgeable about politics and how Congress works…or doesn’t. While her noise is on, she continues to crochet or play Zelda on her Nintendo Switch. She has always been a great Zelda fan. A new edition comes out every 4-5 years and when it does I am usually first in line to get her a copy. When young men 15-25 or so learn she has played and mastered every Zelda edition, they look at her in awe and bow down as if she is some kind of goddess. I then return to my two computers in my little office area and there I may remain entrenched until I eventually fall asleep in the chair for half a night’s sleep. Chair sleeping (my habit) has become all the rage for me, a person long suffering from sleep disorders. I have discovered that I easily fall asleep in my desk chair and can remain so for up to 3-4 hours. Sleeping while sitting up helps alleviate sleep apnea. This is amazing. I don’t sleep walk as much now…instead, I sleep sit.
The Books– I wrote #11 this year. It is my last book. I call it my swan sink. Only two people that I know of have read it start-to-finish. I may also give up this blog. I have posted over 550 pieces. I think I am written out. I have few followers and I appreciate each and every one of them. But the Nobel and the Pulitzer have eluded me, left me in the gutter like some tattered rag used to check oil levels in old Studebakers. And furthermore…
So those are the leaders of this year’s pack upon which I have spent time reflecting this final month of 2018. Some may continue on into the new year, others may fade away and be replaced. Change is always a good thing. I just stopped for a moment to gaze at our Christmas tree. It is, by far, the most beautiful tree we’ve had in 51 years of marriage. I can’t explain why. It has all the same stuff on it that it always has, but this tree just seems exquisitely shaped and decorated. It is totally aglow with smiles and holiday cheer. I shall hope it is a good omen for 2019, not just for my family, but yours too!