Friday, May 24, 2019

Gains and Losses

I was pondering on this yesterday. I consciously move my thinking and reflecting and musing on to gains while sometimes casting a nostalgic eye in the rear-view mirror and view the losses, but not for too long, I can get sad and maudlin and wet-eyed, not that there's anything wrong with that, either, it's just not good for me to linger there.

So the losses - and I am 75 so there are many in my lucky, long life.

Losses

(1) Dear friends, so very many, missed forever, life emptier without them in many ways, too many to count. Parents and relatives I had anticipated but never my contemporaries somehow.

(2) Ability to run, hike and walk without thought. I loved running, the freedom of roads and trails, the weekend long runs with companions, the racing, the medals, the camaraderie.

(3) Travelling. Anywhere. Any time. As long as there was some money. Dreaming of outlandish trips off the beaten track, now never to be. El Camino in Spain, Outer Hebrides, Iceland interior, Orient Express, Siberian Express.

(4) Not thinking much about energy, my own. Being ready for 18 hour days, fast recuperation, coffee at 2. Writing at 3 in the morning, not a bother on me.

(5) Any name, any city, any year, any noun, any verb, coming to mind quickly and easily.

(6) Missing estranged younger daughter, always and forever.

(7) The many adored animals I was privileged to have in my life. All missed, all loved deeply. None more so than Ansa my last.

(8) Taking good health and a perfectly working body for granted.

Grandmother Moon outside my bedroom window the other night.



Gains

(1) Having time - the greatest gift of all.

(1) Listening to music of my choice any time of the day or night.

(2) Reading voraciously. All the time.

(3) Being more "me" than I ever have before. My opinions are clearer as is my critical thinking. And I'm very keen to listen to the young. I am so very lucky to have teenagers in my life.

(4) Being thrilled to be invited anywhere, especially when there are young people there.

(5) Living in my lovely apartment. I never thought I'd say that, but I absolutely love living here. And recently I applied for reduced rent due to my financial circumstances and received notification today that I was successful.

(6) Having close relationships with my daughter and my niece (who is a daughter to me) and being treated so well by them in ways I can't even list. They are supportive and proud of my endeavours and so very, very thoughtful in their caring and concern for and of me.

(7) Having time to pursue advocacy.

(8) Being asked to perform, to hold writing workshops, to speak at different events, to help others less fortunate.

(9) Being present in the moment. Staying where my hands are.

(10) Not taking anything for granted. Ever. Seeing beauty everywhere**.

(11) Writing anywhere, any time, all the time.

(12) Knitting whenever, wherever.

A wrap, "Iceberg Season" that I started a few days ago. For me.


** In my front hall, a wee corner, everything here is a gift. The owl is my totem, given to me by an aboriginal shaman many moons ago.


What about you? What have you gained and lost as you age?




41 comments:

  1. I have seen friends move away though none of them have died.
    I miss the ability to step up or down without fearing for my balance.
    I miss having a long day on my feet without pain.
    I miss being able to travel much. I never did get to travel much, in those days a difficult husband, young family and limited funds stopped me. These days I wonder if I can manage it physically and would it be worth the effort.
    I miss feeling capable, though in many ways I am still capable.
    I miss having a full set of teeth.
    Since my son moved out of home I miss his guitar playing.

    I haven't read your blog long enough to know anything about your daughter. Is there a chance you will see her again?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I am wary of steps too Kylie and I always check for seating if entering a large space with no support if I need it. I found her a few months ago on Instagram after 5 years of no news whatsoever. I just lurk now. My last appeal to her forced her underground and the worry that she had died nearly did me in. She has threatened suicide in the past. She lives in the UK and has been estranged from all family members for about 15 years now.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  2. I haven't thought about gains and losses, I tend to just go with the flow, but I can relate to some of your losses, especially being able to move about without thinking first. I love your knitted throw with those gorgeous blended colours.

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    1. Thank you River, I'm having a lovely time knitting it. Move without thinking would be lovely.

      XO
      WWW

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  3. Oh how glad I am to read that you can follow Daughter on Instagram! That is *something* even if not nearly enough.

    I would have to think long and hard about whether I've had losses or gains; what they are. Mom dying, of course, was the biggest hit; 14 years has sure gone by fast. Gains? Grandchildren, though I don't experience the head-over-heels smittenness displayed by other grandparents and hope that the tenderness I feel is enough for now.

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes it's a huge bonus finding her again.

      I often wonder about the grandparent thing. Passed on to me by my mother(from her mother) when I had Daughter was the absolutely indescribable feeling a woman has when her daughter has a daughter.

      I experienced that. Having no sons or grandsons I wonder if that applies also to them? I have asked a few and they stare at me blankly. So dunno.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. I remember that feeling! I was right there in the room when my daughter had her daughter and the feeling was like an unbroken link between us.

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    3. Yes, the long chain of birthing women, an indescribable feeling, River.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. I have lost friends too. Some to death, some to estrangement.
    Like you, I mourn for the animals who have shared our lives. They wind their paws deep into our heart strings and take a piece of us with them when they leave.
    I miss my health, particularly pain free days and mobility. My motor control is shot too.
    I am grateful for lots of things. Not least that I am still learning and surrounded by beauty. And for the friends I have found in the blogosphere.
    Live River, I love your throw. It is a thing of beauty.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. EC, yes we need to create beauty as we age, if only in our minds. I too live with pain, some days good, some days I have to force myself to unwind myself from my bed and stagger on.

      Still learning, me too! I try and keep the brain sharp and do ponder on new thoughts.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  5. Do you boomers realize how universally hated you are? There is not one single demographic that does not hate you- white people, black people, asians, mexicans, indians, chinese, millennials, GenX, GenZ. Something tells me that you boomers are not going to have a very comfortable or easy retirement, especially once you end up in the retirement homes.

    Can you baby boomers hurry up and fucking drop dead? Enjoy your retirement homes cause we younger people will not take care of you even if we wanted to, due to the shitty economy you boomers created. Do you boomers realize that the younger generation is simply waiting for you to fucking drop dead?

    You are all going to end up in retirement homes and we all know that the elderly gets treated pretty badly in retirement homes. Well, that's what you get for ruining your own children's lives. Even if your children WANTED to take care of you, they couldn't, due to you boomers destroying the economy. So I hope you enjoy the retirement homes, boomer scum!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow. Interesting you blame ALL for the world created by such a small percentage of this age demographic. I wish you peace.

      Delete
    2. Elle, I believe a troll tho the filter is not catching it. Very sick individual with all that rage and pouring it on to stranger's blogs.

      XO
      WWW

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    3. Yes, a troll, who put the same message on my site recently.

      Delete
    4. You poor bitter thing!…What could we say to easy your fear that as you get old there will not be enough money out of the economy to even provide a nursing home for you?

      Delete
  6. Oh, the last comment by Anon. So good. Don't delete it. He/she is quite right, although we tried hard personally and it wasn't our doing.

    The loss of friends is what gets to me, and I am only 62. So many years ago to AIDS, and now because of old age. Maybe I miss my ability to run to catch a tram, but then there is always the next one, and when you have time on your side, it is not a big problem. I miss my smooth and flawless skin.

    Gains? I don't care so much about things now. I do a little bit of activism now, from the comfort of my computer chair. Our and the previous generation have created a crap world. I love the passion that young people have for the environment, their care for animals, that unlike me, they are not jaded by life but fresh and passionate. For every overprotected needy adult child, there is one out on the streets protesting about the wrongs of the world. I have great faith in young people.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I believe that's a spammer, Andrew as I have deleted him before. I say him loosely. Boomer scum isn't something that comes readily to a female's lips (I like to believe, perhaps delusional me).

      I have great faith in young people too. The ones that cross my path are truly amazing in their knowledge and intelligence.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  7. What a strange person Anonymous is!

    Like many the loss of my pets hit me hard - I had not lived near my parents (or any family) since marriage so even though I mourn fot them my parents' deaths did not have the same effect on me as it did my sisters and brother.
    Having to be aware of all things pertaining to my back (spinal stenosis - narrowing of the spine) is a nuisance. Sciatica is a pain in the bum - one I could do without.....when it strikes.
    Consequently I miss carefree gardening - having to watch and think all the time I'm out there.
    I miss terribly a son who after living in NSW has now moved to WA and has limited communication with us (more like me).
    Don't laugh but I miss being someone with a 'title', knowing my job, having a position in an organisation, having contact with people who related to me even though the majority were 'sick', I miss seeing them walk away healed.

    I suppose I've gained time - time to do as I please. Trouble is we're running out of it and it's scaring my sh****less!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't miss the jobs, which surprises me, they were a means to an end, supporting me and my kids. One of the bonuses was making life long friends through some of then, kindred spirits in a sea of corporate greed.

      I feel more "Me" like I said than I ever have.

      And the luxury of time is bliss.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  8. I'm just 58 but....

    Losses:
    *Dad and a brother in '94 and Mom and a BIL in '07. Now only 1 Aunt and 1 Uncle are still alive-my parents generation nearly gone.
    *Pets losing the first at age 12 and 2 cats since then. My 2 cats are 11 now. Hopefully they will be around till they are 20?
    *Agility...I had a knee replacement 1y ago. I'm nearly back to baseline again so I suppose that's a gain.

    Gains:
    *Wisdom about money. We learned to control it and stopped listening to all the chatter about what we MUST "have" to be normal.
    *After years of nearly fatal spending, we dug our way out of debt and were debt free at age 49.
    *I love my home.
    *Gardening and raising/preserving foods for use through the year.
    *I relish the ability to retire in 2 years. My eye is on that goal!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So sorry about all your losses Elle but I like how you have managed your life in the past few years and having no debt at such a young age. Daughter is the same as you and I am thrilled about that. I have a small debt from the house (long story) but other than that I do sleep at night a lot better than I did even 3 years ago, I was so worried.

      XO
      WWW

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  9. Wow! I have matched up and share each and every one of your losses. Unfortunately, not your gains. I will be 80 in November. These past several years been coping with my husband's declining vision, memory loss, and other health problems, including recently falling down the basement stairs winding up w/ a concussion & 37 stitches in his shin. I delight in nature and my two pets. It's been a long time since I coped with the loss of my agility, walking gait and surviving two different cancers. I'm pretty much homebound due to being unable to leave my husband alone so don't volunteer or meet with remaining friends. However, I pretty much win my daily battle over being unhappy by listening to the birds, owls, and murmuring of nearby neighbors outdoors. I read voraciously, keep up with world news, and love listening to my music. Anytime I feel blue, I bring back visual memories easily of my wonderful trips around the US and Europe...of beautiful family memories. It's very sad to see something like the negative spewing of a person like "anonymous." Clearly aware anonymous feels some guilt since he/she cannot use his/her name. Maybe there's some hope for him/her. I hope so.

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    1. I am so sorry to read about your dealing with a sick husband, Regina, it must be such a strain with your own ill-health to contend with and to be housebound.

      I find also that reading is one of my most precious go-tos and I was so thrilled the other day when I was told my sight hadn't deteriorated in 9 years. Losing my sight was one of my biggest fears.

      Yes, I often think about times travelling too :) Igniting old memories for a while.

      XO
      WWW

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    2. Happy too that your vision has not deteriorated. Agree that losing sight would be almost impossible to take.
      XO, Regina

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  10. Congrats on your reduced rent and esp your close relationship with your daughter and niece. I miss my kids who I only get to see a few times a year b/c they live too far away (one 90 miles, the other 450 miles), and they have busy lives of their own (which I am grateful for).

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    1. I feel so incredibly fortunate Tom, and it has all been massive co-incidence and serendipity that sees us all on the same island in the Atlantic within range of each other. Common interests link us closer too.

      I don't take any of this for granted.

      XO
      WWW

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  11. You and I count our blessings and always say, "Not bad. I am doing better than expected."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. How true that is Gigi, looking at the lemons and dreaming of lemonade!

      XO
      WWW

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  12. My blessings so many. Not until almost 80 did I slow down and have
    a lot of issues, but seems I came through them. Now working on continued healing of heart attack 3 months ago, slowed me down.
    but my love of writing, using camera, reading and more continues.
    I truly miss cooking big meals and baking.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I celebrate all you can do Ernestine of which there is so much, your photos and writing and the cooking you can accomplish. And you loving family visiting you.

      XO
      WWW

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  13. We match fairly evenly on losses and gains. Perhaps it has something to do with being a "boomer", though I believe neither of us is, as we are "war babies", not post war babies.

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    1. Yes, we are the war babies, I remember the rationing and the ration books, Joanne.

      XO
      WWW

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  14. Gosh, I had no idea you were 75. SEVENTY FIVE? You could be my father's slightly younger sister. Not that he had any siblings.

    Lost? Gained? Oddly, only yesterday in some sort of time delayed protracted insight, I came to conclusion, and I am so happy about it in a wistful type of way, that virtually every loss I had the misfortune to encounter now crystallizes as "gain".

    What took me so long? I suppose one might liken (metaphorically) my sudden insights to removal of my, early for my age, cataracts. Where once there was fog now there is clarity.

    As always, even when you and I don't see eye to eye (!) on some issues, wishing you well, saluting you in soldering on like I wish my mother would (could have done, still could but doesn't),
    U

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We can never know the burdens and internal anguish some people carry which prevents them living a full life.

      XO
      WWW

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  15. I wish that I could answer your question here. It will have to wait for a complete blog post like you have done here. Briefly however, I have lost my innocence and gained a lot of experience and weight of course!

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  16. I enjoyed reading your words, WWW, and the comments above. I shall desist from listing my own gains and losses right now though, other than saying that my greatest gain has been to reach 80 years of age, and still be fairly sound of mind, if not entirely sound of body. I'm trying to train myself to live just one day at a time now, concentrating on the present day, present moment.

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    1. Oh you have a very sharp mind T and I think inquisitiveness, in the best sense, is really helpful. I know I have endless curiosity about this world as do you. Keeps us fired up and thinking.

      XO
      WWW

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  17. I am about your age and my lists of loss and gain has many commonalities with yours. That is a lovely wrap you are making, I like the colors.

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    1. Thank you Terra, it is quite the undertaking, I am over 1/2 way there now, it's approx a 36 hour project but will be very useful on those summer and fall nights.

      XO
      WWW

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  18. A wonderful comment from Anne Brew. Blogger doesn't like her and keeps tossing her off, much to my chagrin, so she emailed me this wonderful story about the woman above:

    I can’t comment on your page for love nor money at the moment I don’t know why. Comments just won’t play ball. Never mind.
    That lady in your photograph struck home; the weight of the turf, the cold wet mud on her feet.
    I think she’s knitting for money. In Donegal in the 50s the lady who rented out her Big House to us and removed herself and her family to the cottage would always have knitting on the go. She’d tuck a needle under one arm and cook, clean, tend to the huge rosy cheeked baby in the pram and the two old parents, one either side of the fire.
    She knitted Riding Gloves ( I ask you ) made of that orange yellow string. Each one finished was laid carefully into a flat box between tissue paper and every so often they would be collected by a man in a van and taken up to a department store in Dublin or Galway.
    She would knit THREE A DAY.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I asked Anne in return was that 3 pairs or 3 gloves, extraordinary. So yes our lady in the pic could have been knitting for money as she gather the turf to heat the fire that would cook dinner for her family.
      Thanks Anne!

      XO
      WWW

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Comments are welcome.

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