Friday, September 20, 2019

Brick Wall

I've run into one. I was cranky, exhausted, angry, over-reacting, my legs were like concrete and I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to make it out of Sobey's yesterday with my wee bits of groceries. That grinding halt thing.

Someone beat up, old and tired, and with a bellyful of complaints and waving a metaphorical stick at anyone who spoke to her, had taken up residence in this pathetic, ancient body. My doc has doubled up my blood pressure medication and these might be reactions - fuzz brain, concrete legs, exhaustion.

And then today I read the post in As Time Goes By and I just about wept in relief. I am not alone with these feelings and failings. The mind is willing but the flesh is weak - what an old but true trope.

Not alone. When I was. Because these issues can't be understood by anyone under the age of 60, right? Not on any gut level.

I do schedule my old age as Ronni suggests, but this whole activism thing is taking a toll I can't even begin to describe. The armchair critics are numerous. Friends I thought would support it haven't in any way, shape or form. On an email, one guy attacked my SOS partner out of the blue today. My partner and I had looked at our to-do list yesterday and our notoriety brought strangers to our table in the cafe, all verbally back-patting us. No offers of help even though we asked for it. Trouble is most seniors offering assistance are web and spreadsheet and marketing illiterate. Exactly the skill sets we need. At the end we decided to take today off and re-assess and regroup.

So I was squeezing my social life in around the edges. My writing, my knitting, my enjoyment and even my paid work which I desperately need were shoved into any chinks left.

How many years do I have left?

Not enough.

I can't do it all. I can't do everything.

What do I choose?

What would you do?

26 comments:

  1. You're not direct. Exactly WHAT do you need help in? You weren't specific. Is it spreadsheet? Managing finances? Coordinating bills?
    No one asked you to do it all, why are you being hard on yourself?
    Prioritize.
    That's what I would do.
    What's really important.
    You know many things can be done online now, like grocery shopping, getting meds delivered, etc/. etc. Even full meals can come by a drone to your home.But you have to be specific. I don't understand what you want or need?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm leaving this up here, someone hiding behind their cowardly anonymous ID hurling abuse at an honest post. Wow! Just wow! I very clearly stated what SOS needs but you chose to ignore it and pile on your vitriol.
      Breathtaking.

      Delete
    2. You call this abuse? You deserve whatever it is that is ailing you. Now, that's abuse. You're a stupid old woman. NOW, that's even more horrific abuse.
      I sincerely did not understand your plea.
      Now, I know why.

      Delete
  2. I just finished catching up with reading "Time Goes By" this afternoon in Maine. It was timely, as I see it was for you. I've been reading about all you've been doing with regard to older women and poverty, and how it has been met positively. I've been amazed at how much energy you have shown. Why wouldn't something as huge as tackling the women/poverty issue require tons of energy once it snowballs? I wish I had an answer that would help you, but I simply don't. And, don't friends sometimes truly disappoint? Poop! I will keep my fingers, legs, and eyes crossed for you to bring you luck. I hope that elicits somewhat of a laugh. What you have done is completely commendable (sp?). I hope you can come up with some assistance on this huge project. I have skills that would be helpful but, unfortunately, cannot take anything on because of my own situation at this time. Wishing you all the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally understand Regina, sometimes the chinks are so overloaded there isn't space for another task.

      We are attempting to reach out to the adult children of our members to see if they can take on a little. And a helpful Ontario member has taken on that province's contact list.

      Every bit helps and I am in a really funky head space with all this and it could be the meds.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  3. That brick wall is all too familiar. I often wear the bruises/grazes from when I cannon into it. Again.
    Disability OR age will limit our capactity. Added together they are even worse. Not twice as bad, but exponentially worse.
    Take as much time as you can to look after you. And accept that despite the importance of your cause, the superwoman cape no longer fits.
    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I had accepted my physical disability and my old age but in truth I have been battling both maybe unconsciously so I struggle and then burn and I am confused as to where to take it all, if there is a journey even that I can make. Right now I am just being. And it's beginning to feel good.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. "Just being" is exactly what I would do. -Kate

      Delete
  4. I did not march in climate change protests yesterday, even though my heart was with them. I've done my fair share of protesting and activism over the years and I don't feel guilty now that the best I could to do yesterday is write a blog post about climate change, mostly preaching to the converted. I think you need to take stock with the priority being your physical and mental health. Add whatever to that you can do comfortably. I expect you too have done your share over your lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure have Andrew I have never laid down and become quiet. A lot of community service, a lot, and volunteering and protesting.

      Maybe it is time to sit back and bring myself some joy. Only time will tell, right?

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  5. I know this wall. Too well. I hate it; it's not the former me who could and did move mountains. Don't be ashamed to give up responsibility and say why. Perhaps others will pick up the slack. If not, sadly explain what is going on, to anyone who cares.

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    Replies
    1. I somehow knew you would Joanne, it is so very hard to pass the baton, even though, seriously, there is no one to take it that I am aware of.

      Time to smell the roses and be at my beautiful beach with my knitting and perhaps get an emotional support animal.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  6. If I was there, I'd offer to help. Being web/spreadsheet illiterate shouldn't be a burden IF they are willing to be shown how and at least give it a try. I don't get involved in much anyway, because I burn out pretty quickly unless it is something easy enough. like envelope stuffing, or fetching cups of tea. Gopher (go-for) work is what I can mostly do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The trouble is River being shown how takes hours and hours and even then it is a massive leap for many seniors one they are unable to take. We are putting together some printed brochures they can fold and hand out, etc. But again, no one can print and our gofundme raised less than our expenses to date and neither of us can afford to advance our own moneys :(

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. Oh if only I lived closer, I have a printer. Does your local library have a printer that you can access? Or a photocopier?

      Delete
  7. Well, as I said before, I do pace myself and only do a limited number of things during the day. I've never had the energy to rush around like a whirling dervish even when I was young.

    I hope you find the SOS help you need. There must be people out there who can lighten the load.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd think Nick but so few. Even our Ontario volunteer today said she was just about ill from the work involved. We are all old and fairly decrepit. If you think I'm feeling hopeless, I am.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  8. I can relate to your experience, frustration and understand both. I went through my own equivalent about which I have written at one of my blog posts. http://www.rummuser.com/voluntary-work/

    I have accepted that my physical condition does not permit me the luxury of social work and have decided to lead a retired and content life with my books and crossword puzzles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said Ramana, I am on the cusp of this and trying not to feel guilt and shame at failure. It is not my fault if anticipated volunteers, interest and funding has not occurred. We threw our level best at this venture and we are just about ill from the workload.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
  9. Take some time , rest. A fresh look at all .
    Recruit some younger blood of elders.
    Put an ad on line or wherever it would be seen to ask for energetic youngster volunteers, willing to get their feet wet in promotion or whatever your needs as a group are.
    Get a let's all write to our politicians movement going.
    Just do what you can for yourself to move it forward. It definitely a large task and overwhelming. You have already done a lot . Pen the perfect letter to the powers that be and call it a day.You have a lot of choices in your future, take care of you is the main thing to do.Hugs from here. Changing of meds , may not be helping the fog .
    Enjoy life. At 61 here I have decided I now will only do the things that make me happy and that I want to do.
    Good luck with all your decisions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Gemma, such solid advice. I am not joyful and excited anymore about this, just feeling terribly drained and hopeless at my own inabilities. I wrote about dreams and reality this morning and will post later.

      XO
      WWW

      Delete
    2. WWW ,you have done so much thus far, someone else can take the ball and roll it along from here. I hate that you feel, drained and hopeless at your inabilities.
      Never forget Your abilities have gotten this far.
      I know you will make the right decision for you.
      Love reading your work. And looking at your art and photos.The stories you tell are inspiring.
      You might want to muster up the stuff to write a story for a large paper on elder's plight.
      Maybe they could make it a regular column.
      Not quite as taxing on the body.

      Delete
  10. I hear you. Why don't you just take it easy. Stroll (don't race) through life.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Gigi, I need to slow down indeed. What's that? :D

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  12. You asked, "What would you do?" I think I'd be inclined to take at least couple of weeks off (completely off) from the work you are finding exhausting. No related phone calls, no e-mails, no written work, no conversations, no ponderings about it late at night! It will all be off limits to you, and to anybody who tries to drag you back in. Tell yourself that you have a doctor's note demanding that you relax, do no exhausting work, initially for two weeks. After that, take stock on how you feel about it all.

    You have set a ball rolling, perhaps someone will step up to keep it rolling if you were to show that, due to your own health-related issues, you need to seriously step back, away from it all - physically away if that would be possible, but mentally away if not.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you all again. The anonymous troll above is only one of many, writing from some awful wounded places in their hearts. I delete the rest but leave this one up there so you good and supportive people can get a glimpse into the darkness of spirit some carry around inside them and let loose on those who try and do good with whatever they have.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

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