November 15, 2020. This is the day I officially began this journey. Well, actually, I presented my first blog to my Kryptonian mentors (yes, they are Supermen!) on October 18, 2020. It took me a month to not only have the wherewithal to launch my website but have enough of a backlog to convince myself that I just might be able to continue on this quasi-intellectual yet ultra-psycho pathologically crazed whirlwind of a highway. Why then does it feel like I have blogged for years? On the flip side, how in the world have I conjured up 20+ weeks of nonsensical ramblings? I am nearing a six-month benchmark. No wonder this week I am yet again challenged for what I could possibly have to say that would have any meaning at all to anyone.
My mind is a jumble. It has been a rough week. It began when I completely wrenched my back while giving my dog a bath and has teetered on the edge of disastrous ever since. My days are comprised of providing care, companionship, and hearty hot lunches to a remarkable 87-year-old woman I have known since I was eleven, a mother of nine, who has entered the throes of declining memory. I refuse to call it dementia merely because of the negative connotation of the word. We simply discuss her memory issues as “a function of age.” That is not always acceptable to her, but “dementia” would be worse. She has good days and bad days. For whatever reasons, this week was not a good week. Her sporadic inability to recall where she is, why she lives there, how long this has been going on, and “Do my children know where I am?” spawned endless conversations that straggled on a minute-to-minute basis. She has been battling this decline for over three years. If her strength in adversity does not make you step back and count your blessings, nothing will.
During one of her channel surfing ventures one day, she magically paused on an interview with American Hollywood producer, best-selling author, and motivational speaker DeVon Franklin. I heard him say, “60 seconds of gratitude can transform your attitude.” and “It’s hard to be down and grateful at the same time.” Her trigger finger was continuing through the spectrum, but I found it amazing that she had stopped, for 60 seconds, to listen to this person for just a minute. I immediately recorded his thoughts and knew they would impact my day – maybe even the rest of my life.
I would be lying if I said that getting older was fun or that I am enjoying it. What I do enjoy however is waking up every morning, thanking my Master Designer for the breath I just took, getting out of bed and going about my life. It is about being kind, being grateful, and most of all, just being happy to be alive. And yes, it is all about attitude.
Yesterday, as I was preparing my trash for collection, I wrestled with a box that would not slide easily into my trash bag. I fumbled, and cussed, and finally opened a heated dialogue with a piece of cardboard: “Seriously, would you help me out here? I am not in the mood for this.” BOOM. I started laughing but ended up near tears. There I was screaming ridiculously at a cardboard box as if it were human, and my elderly charge was waking up wondering where she was. It is all about perspective, people. Never lose perspective.
So, as I proceed into month six of this crazy personal challenge, I am grounded by humility. I have absolutely no right, whatsoever, by any stretch of my imagination to complain about my life. Only those who have known darkness can truly appreciate the light. And even though the utility company decided to start digging a trench on the property adjoining mine at 7:30 a.m. exasperating every bleeping nerve in my body, I will grin and bear it. Everyone should know though, that usually if you are going to rattle my cage at any time of day, you had better make sure I am padlocked in it. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
Please share your thoughts! Click the word Comments below and tell me what you think!