Monday, September 09, 2019

A Whinge and a Whine

Us elders don't write enough about the exhaustion we feel. We put on brave and stoic faces. Well some of us do. Tasks seem to stretch out into infinity. Decisions are made about dishes vs bed-making. How many stops can I make today, library, bank, pharmacy, shop, coffee meet-up. Mentally I know I can only manage 2. Where's my wife, shouldn't she be doing the rest of the stops? Oh, I forget. It's only me. Note I didn't say husband. He'd be busy getting the oil changed (I have to do that too) but he might make dinner and shop the insurance rates. Oh yeah, I do all that too. I know there are exceptions to these hide bound female/male categories, not that I see any around me. Solo maintenance takes a hell of a lot of energy.

In case you're thinking this is all a whinge and whine, well, you'd be right.

Overwhelm is a weird condition. I don't want it. It seems to be a choice. Either ignore the list (and watch your world fold in on itself) or succumb and start ticking those boxes.

We did an hour this morning on the CBC call-in show. Talking, talking, listening, engaging, being nice. Mein Gott, it is exhausting. We were geared up then about the next communique going out to media across Canada but when we left the studio, didn't we sort of collapse in exhaustion. Unexpected then but truly no surprise when you think about it. Having headphones and engaging with listeners is tiring. Very tiring.

Though we looked right perky as we did it. Afterwards, I fell on my bed fully clothed and slept like a drunk after a bender.

When I awoke, I quickly got enraged at someone's assumption I was pushing close to 80 (it is 4 years away STILL) and that basically (she said) it was a huge stretch for me to even be web literate and then commented "God love her" as if I was some pitiable basket case drooling over my keyboard trying to find the enter button.

Easily irritated by assumptions, that's me. Old habits die hard. I don't suffer fools gladly and never have. But she did me a favour. Rage imbues me with unhealthy energy.

52 comments:

  1. I know whereof you speak! I recognize the exhaustion, the irritation, the need to whinge and whine. Here's a good place to do that - you'll find plenty of us ready to say, oh yes! I believe a little whine is good for the soul.

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  2. And idiocy from another is gas for your engine.
    Poor little old woman who can't turn on her computer.
    She would cringe when she heard all you DO and CAN do. Put in her place and informed.

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    1. Ha-ha I think she'd be in for a bit of a shock alright. God love me :D

      XO
      WWW

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  3. Overwhelm and exhaustion are common here too. I float along doing this and that and one day I find I can't get out of bed, not because of aching, but because there's a whole day out there that I just don't want to deal with. So I give myself a day off and sleep a lot. Oddly enough, it seems to always be a Tuesday. anyway, I'm glad we older women have discovered computers and blogging, I know several people in their eighties who are computer literate and why shouldn't we be? Of course I know several who are younger and can't or won't learn because "oh I'm too old to learn all that new stuff".

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    1. I haven't had the luxury of an entire day off for a while. I must remedy that River! A lovely clean slate.

      XO
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  4. Spot on.
    So here we are, ripe old ages, and having accumulated so many life skills (a lot of which we developed, like the computers and programs the young brats are using), and drug them along behind us, and we are patronized! Patronized, I tell you. They aren't doing the dishes, paying the bills, taking us to doctor appointments. I find arguing with them too exhausting. It will be fine revenge in fifty years, when they are our current age, suffering the same pains, to lean over and spit stardust at them.

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    1. Spit stardust indeed. I love that. Must put that on my post-mortem to do list, stat!

      XO
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  5. I hear you. Exhaustion is a totally inadequate word, which just doesn't cover the nausea inducing, painful overwhelmed feeling.
    I like 'exhaustipated' - too tired to give a crap, and am frequently fired up (temporarily) by rage.
    I hope you don't have to run on empty for too much longer and can recover.

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    1. Another one for my collection : exhaustipated. Brilliant. I'm still tired but I got an editing job in which I find oddly soothing.

      XO
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  6. Do you know how exhausting taking a shower is? All that prep, caps off bottles, strategicly placed washcloths and towels, then the thing, then the drying meself, clean-up, then the cooling down and fighting with the bra on damp skin. I can't handle this every day. There's also food prep, dishes, throw rotting things in garbage. How many days can I sponge bathe. I think five days is my record.

    How can we hear the interview?

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    1. In the winter I sponge bath until my hair needs washing, then I shower. I hate that bra on damp skin too, so there's a slight overuse of talcum powder here.

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    2. Please remember Anon that I am also anon here. If anyone wants to listen to my interview, email me at wisewebwoman at gmail dot com.

      XO
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    3. I agree River the hair issue is major. I am seriously considering getting mine washed professionally once a week. I wonder how much it would cost.

      XO
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    4. Ooooh. So sorry. Yes.

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    5. LOL River I tried the talcum thing and was very puzzled ab out the source of the white spots on my snazzy black tights as I stood in line at the Starbucks. Sigh. I've decided to shower at night. That way I'm also safer in the bath and shower. Less chance of slipping and more agile if that's a word that I can apply to me anymore.

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  7. Somewhat younger than yourself, I don't usually suffer physical exhaustion, perhaps because I don't do too much physical, but I see signs of it in my 70 year old parter who becomes physically exhausted with just being out and about but not walking far. I get mentally exhausted after social events so I understand what mental exhaustion is and you have my sympathy, and admiration for what you are achieving.

    A blog is the best place to whinge and whine.

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    1. Mental exhaustion is even worse, I find social interacting takes a huge toll if it is of the small talk variety which has me just about comatose, I don't do it well and I can't bear anyone showing me their consumer culture acquisitions and expecting my oohs and aahs. I'm not that good an actor.

      XO
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  8. I read and smile and the thoughts "you do not know nothing yet"
    Fine this one
    and when 8l became a reality
    all you share began
    So
    hate to say it, but maybe I was lucky
    but not now, as my son tells me
    "nothing remains the same" and "the body was not meant to last forever"

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    1. I remember you telling me a while back Ernestine that 78 was the age for you when everything went sideways. Up to then you had been bouncing around. I am mindful of your good words.

      XO
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  9. I caught a little of your call-in show on my computer in England and you sounded very energised to me! I really admire your capacity to get so involved in so many projects, even if you needed a nap afterwards :) I fortunately still have energy for hiking and so on but day to day family and house matters tend to drain me.

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    1. It's interesting isn't it. I can sit and converse with people for ever it seems if I am stimulated intellectually. Day to day tends to dull me down.

      XO
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  10. Well, at least you don't have dementia. I always tell people that as long as I can drive, cook, clean and blog, they do not have to worry about me.

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    1. Good, all the boxes ticked Gigi. Your card went on its way yesterday. I was looking at a map, from my island to your island is a huge journey. Let me know how long it takes!!

      XO
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  11. I saw a poem recently which is rather a good fit for you WWW! Here's the link to it - in ful. Poem is by Brianna Bushee :)

    https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2342480/ode-to-myself-pt-2/

    First few lines:

    I am

    Exhaustion
    Unkempt
    Dreams dreamt

    Time well spent
    Nonsense
    Mixed bag
    Cigarette drag
    Caffeine
    Silent screams........

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    1. How perfect is that T? I felt my whole post was a silent scream. But so relieved to find I am not alone. Thank you.

      XO
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  12. I think you're doing pretty well for yourself. But I agree, sometimes we get overwhelmed, and then it's time to take a step back for at least a little while. I'm pretty busy. But I give myself a day of R&R at least once a week. Does that make me lazy?

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    1. Not at all Tom, it's just the momentum of this is not letting up on me, the upcoming election being a huge driver as well. We are faced with an extreme right getting in if we don't muster the troops. Then again The Great Hack which I recommend, tells us elections are all fixed anyway.

      In this crazy world we have to believe in something and I truly don't know what that is right now.

      XO
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  13. Seniors can access and learn how to use computers and the internet at public libraries and seniors centres (if they exist in your area, call your MP/MLA to find out). Library use is free or with library membership, with classes are geared to seniors and free or low cost. Then, if you cannot afford to have internet, you can come to the library and use the computers for email, enlarged reading (of newspapers for example), research of government seniors websites to find out what is available in your area for seniors, engaging with other members of the Foghorn seniors org. ;)

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    1. LOL you would need a good and free public transit system for this magic to happen. To actually learn computing would require many, many trips to the library, costing energy and appalling transit times (and not every day for the transit service). It sure isn't happening here let me tell you.

      XO
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    2. Is there only one library in St. John's then? Have never been. I can't myself use public transit, but people here use public, or DATS to get to the seniors centre and libraries. I would't call the system "good" but it is functional enough people use it to get to school, work, appointments. Car pooling with seniors who have cars? I wonder if the library has classes? I'm betting they do. It's kind of their mandate wherever they are, NFLD or Nunuvut. But I can surely understand not usikng public transit. As I say, I can't use it.

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    3. Aaalso, by "classes" I mean someone sitting with you and teaching you how to sign on, make an email account, send an email to a friend/grandchild etc. Seniors centres, or a room where seniors could meet for coffee once a week and grow to a comforting and welcome day out, worth planning for. That would be 1st on my list if I was doing with this effort. How can there be a seniors cadre if there is no place to meet? A room a table at the library, or corner at a high school. It's done like that all over. I see there is at least one such place in St. John's, but it could even be a church basement, or someone's home. A meeting place.

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    4. I am laughing out loud at this. Haven't you ever wondered why seniors lie down and take their poverty without a whinge of protest? Forever. Until now. And two old women who have to work to make ends meet stand up??

      All this advice thrown out. You are not in the trenches of this obviously.

      It's taking a huge toll on us.

      Arm chair critics are the most unsupportive of all.

      XO
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    5. I'm 78 WWW, and I live it all. These are some of the problems and solutions I've met and deal with daily. As well as being old I am twice disabled physically with congenital spine disorder and corneal blindness. I am not on any disability income, nor am I in a subsidized accommodation, nor do I sneer at other seniors. I did not have a house to sell, nor do I have a new car. I have lived in poverty all my life. I am offering and sharing, as senior women must do, because we receive no real help from the politicians, and are tired of the egos who just want to make bank on our misery. The best we can do is put heads together. I see women here offering each other solutions. Great. Good. We women have done so all our lives. I have been poor all my life, taken what I can use from dumpsters and cast offs. Different solutons for different locales. I make do. I'm a woman. Being an elderly woman is just another hurdle and we must do this together. Wherever it is we live the best thing is to share solutions with each other.

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    6. If anyone would like to share coping skills, please feel free to email me at nsriver (AT) Telus (DOT) net.

      I am also Metis, and that has been a lifetimes experience too, in racism, poverty, government meddling and sharing, with other women. I also have lots of experience dealing with medical profession, over my disabilities, which are compounded by being old (I can see you all nodding 'me too'). I do not have the vision capabilities to run a blog. Please be assured your email would be welcomed.

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    7. I've never lived in NFLD, but over half a century throughout the far north and the Arctic, with no electricity, no running water, no cenral heat, no transportation. The hardest place I've ever lived is the city.

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  14. Please consider making your Facebook page fully public, so it can be read by everyone including those who do not have a Facebook account (and do not want one). This way SOS information is not limited to Facebook members.

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    1. Just about everybody are throwing their oars in the water on this. We are too tired to deal with the hundreds of advisors. We absolutely need volunteers. We only have 3 so far.

      XO
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    2. Lol. Well I'll bank oars then, because unless you open the FB page to public I'll have no idea what's going on.

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  15. Didn't take this 80-yr. old much time to summon up some spit and sputter. Learned on a manual typewriter (what's that?). Next came learning p.c. stuff on a Mac at an art agency. Leap forward to so many years later now & I can still create some pretty neat things on my p.c. - stay tuned to world news (yikes!) - read my fave bloggers - research whatever I like - watch movies - shop - take care of my finances - communicate. Hmmmmmmm! I will be mannerly & only say that she will learn. As far as energy: I can't believe how much you've achieved. You go, woman! My God, you deserve to take a break sometimes and not beat yourself up.

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    1. I don't beat myself up, Regina, I do the best I can. I wish there were more like you out there, plugging away on the keys, bring the world to your door!

      A break is coming up shortly.

      XO
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  16. Your card arrived today! I love it. Thank you so much. Did you write the poem on the back? I like it.

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    1. Yes I did River, thank you. The poem arrived in the dead of night and the following day I saw this house and had goosebumps!

      XO
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  17. There is a solution to exhaustion. Learning to say 'No". I do all the time and I am now pretty much left alone to my own devices.

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    1. It is funny, Ramana Rajgopaul, how such a small word can give us so much energy.

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    2. People still have very odd stereotypes about the elderly. Do they really think computer literacy and the internet are beyond our comprehension?

      I find I have plenty of energy still, but then I'm not doing half the things you fit into your typical day! Quite understandable that you sometimes flag and need some well-deserved rest.

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    3. Ramana, not to this important issue. It is devastating to see so many senior women in such poverty and too ashamed or handicapped to do anything about it. We have called this a legacy issue since the beginning. It is.

      XO
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    4. Nick, yes the stereotypes are out there, and the patronizing and the dearies and sweeties. Hugely irritating but I have that lovely cane and I raise it slightly and I see the quick look of fear and it is gratifying.

      XO
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  18. I have learned when I'm exhausted, mentally and physically, even the radio and the news bothers me. Sooo, I wear ear plugs all day. You'd be amazed how great that can be, after a while your mind just settling on whatever small task your hands are doing. Today did that until 2 p.m. Turned radio off, turned computer off, took pictures, lovingly polished the old soup pot, changed bedding, fluffed pillows, fondled a shelf full of a now-grown persons teddies. Sweet silence. It can be so hard to find in a city. Even with everything turned off, it's all "turned on" outside my window, but it's abruptly shut down as soon as I put the pink foamies in my ears.

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  19. Your words and those from comments have caused my eyes to widen and a little wisdom to sink in. So . . . it's OK to be tired in your 70's? How about that? I'm 76 and have not been tired by routine tasks until this year. I've fought it. But then gout took over a foot and ankle. I think I'll just do my own thing, rest when I want to. Hmmm.

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  20. I haven't reach elder status yet (and I sure hope to), but I'm on a medication that makes me tired all the time so I get it about being weary.

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Comments are welcome.

Email me at wisewebwomanatgmaildotcom if you're having trouble.