Counting the Days

Ten

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Ten days from now, I will go back to work.  It’s been four months. I used to look forward to the three-month summer break when I was teaching, but this was different.

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This was not really a vacation. The first couple of months were just pain. It got better as I remained inactive, but it was never gone. I had surgery two weeks ago, and I’m happy to say that the surgery seems to have done its job on the pain it targeted.

So now, after some recovery time and some time to regain some strength after being inactive for so long, I’m looking at going back.

I don’t know for sure how I feel about that.

I’m 69.  I should have my student loan paid off by June or July. The temptation to retire is very strong.

I missed my clients, though, and I do love my work.

I’m just tired. I discovered that it was pretty nice to be home all the time. As I continue to regain muscle and energy, there are so many tasks I would love to tackle here at home that I know won’t get done any time soon.

Ten days. Counting down to being back in the work force is a good thing. I have a job I enjoy. It is not just drudgery for me. I’ll be fine once I get under way.

Right?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/ten/

Time and Age

Retreat

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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What an interesting word to think about after the busy holiday is just over.  Usually, I’m more than ready for a retreat:  A resting place; a quiet place; a place where no one can find me.

This year, however, has not been that busy for me. I’ve spent most of it lying down or sitting carefully.  There has been very little of the usual bustle of activity. We didn’t even put up a tree or do any decorating, because I can’t; also, I didn’t want to burden Terry with that as well as everything else he’s taken care of since early October when this long journey started.

I’ve actually had my retreat!  For three long months, with at least one more to go before I can pick up a normal life, I do NOT feel the need for a retreat.  I have to back off that just a tiny bit though. When a person does pretty much nothing for such a long period of time, muscles get flabby and energy seeps away.  I was up at 6 yesterday, showered, did my hair, got dressed–and I was tired.  Then church, then the rest of the day with my daughter and her family.  By the time I got home last night I was pretty  useless.  Just plain worn out.

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So I’m thinking about that in relation to going back to work in February, and I think I’d better ask my secretary to schedule me very lightly for the first two or three weeks. I’m going to have to edge back into my normal schedule  slowly, because this old body just doesn’t recover as well as it used to.

Isn’t it amazing how age creeps up on us?  We really don’t expect it.  It’s for other people. But here I am, feeling the onset of my senior moments turning into senior days, months, and years.  I don’t mean to be gloomy.  I WILL regain strength and energy once I can move around more freely.  Still, I’m definitely feeling the impact of my years.

Well.  I think I’ll retreat to the kitchen and find some coffee 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/retreat/

Misty Memories

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

photo courtesy Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Lucy’s bedroom window framed her world. From her bed or her wheelchair, she lived through the seasons and the days through her window.

Never had she thought she would be so confined.  As a girl, a young woman, even into her seventies, she had lived in and loved the outdoors, taking part in every activity on the ranch.

Now, twisted and hurting from the arthritis that had claimed her body, all she could do was watch. Today,  she watched her beloved horses . Unconcerned, they enjoyed their morning meal.

Tears leaked down the creases of her cheeks.

Beauty of Character

Unstoppable

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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First thought:  Time and the onset of old age.  So let’s go with that one.

aging_beauty

There are lots of things that are more beautiful with age. We don’t often consider a woman’s face in that light, but the older I grow, the  more my opinion changes on that issue.

Look at this lovely lady. What makes her beautiful?  And I really think she is!

Is it her skin?  Well, not if you are influenced by the ads that tell you that facial lines and wrinkles are the knell of doom.  We MUST delay them!  We MUST erase them if we can.

However, what I see here is a life lived with lots of smiles.  Nothing else puts lines just where this lady’s lines are. That’s beauty.

Look at her eyes. She probably had very beautiful eyes when she was young. Maybe they’re a bit faded now, but what I see is  contentment and light. That’s beauty.

Now pay attention to her smile. Pleasant, and I’m guessing it’s her  usual expression. Sure, there are lines and creases, but the smile itself expresses a beauty of the soul and spirit that is far more important than having smooth skin.

“You’re just saying this because you’re old, and you have lines and wrinkles!”

Maybe.  I don’t think that’s my motivation here, but maybe. Truth?  I’ve known many women through the years who have beautiful faces, but ugly spirits. Selfishness, vanity, negative complaining spirits.  Dissatisfied, unpleasant, unlovely spirits.  It doesn’t take long for that to show on their faces.

Another truth?  I don’t want to be remembered for being physically attractive. It doesn’t take any character at all to be physically attractive.  I’d much rather be remembered as a woman who loved God, loved her husband and family, and cared about other people.

That’s beauty, and that kind of beauty is unstoppable.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/

Hands

It had snowed overnight, and the older couple  left their house carefully.  He had already cleared a little path from the front door, down the porch step, onto the sidewalk and around to the passenger side of the van.  She was wearing sensible shoes, so she wasn’t nervous about slipping. But he had always taken care of her, held her hand so she wouldn’t fall. As he came back up the sidewalk, he held out his hand and, as always, she placed her hand in his with complete confidence that he would do his best to protect her.

He wasn’t so young any more, and the past couple of years had taken their toll on his body.  He was smaller, not so muscular, not so steady on his feet.

“What if HE falls?” she wondered to herself.  How would I get him up?  If he hurts his back again, it won’t be good at all.”

But she knew better than to voice her concerns. She held on to his hand, placing her feet with care, and they made it to the passenger side of the van with no mishaps. She let go of his hand and stepped up carefully, knowing she could still slip off and land on her bottom.  Embarrassing, painful, and possibly serious if a hip were to be broken.

As they left their driveway, she thought about how it had been when they started out.  Both so young, strong, full of energy and hope.  They had played in the snow together, running and chasing like children as they scooped up the chilly stuff to toss at each other. He rarely wore gloves or mitts, and his hands would get so cold! He love to put his icy hand on her neck, down the back of her coat.  Dirty trick.

As the years rolled by and the kids all grew up and the grandchildren came to brighten their mature years, they had become observers more than participants, but they still held hands.  Hers were a lot chubbier than they had been when she was 21.  They showed the wear and tear of time, but not like his.  He’d worked with his hands all his life. The tip of one finger was missing. There were creases and ridges deep enough  to plant carrot seeds in!  His fingers were stained with the grease and oil he’d used in his work over the years  His hands were still strong, although they didn’t move as dextrously as they had in his youth. Still, there wasn’t much they couldn’t do. Their main limitations were his vision and his occasional tremors.

And his hands were still there for her, just as they always had been.  Strong hands, loving, hands, steady hands. praying hands, hands that had both gentled and disciplined the children, held them, bathed them, changed their diapers and fixed their toys. His hands still did some of those things.  Working hands.  Hands dedicated to God and to his family.

She was full of gratitude for his hands.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-7/

Daily Prompt: Pride and Joy

(What’s Your most prized Possession?)

I’ve never had an urge to have lots of stuff.  There are some things I would not want to give up:  My piano, my organ, all my knitting and quilting equipment, my music center, my photograph albums.  Of course, my most valuable possession, if you want to call it that, would be my faith in God. Second to that, my husband, children, and grandchildren.They keep me supplied with lots of pride and joy.

I don’t want to write about any of those things, though. What came to mind, as I thought about this topic, is that I’m really proud of my age.  I’m almost 67.  That means I’ve been through all the stages of life except the final one, when I will go to meet my Savior.

In the meantime, I’m very comfortable with my greying hair, saggy baggy skin, facial lines, and turkey wattles.  I just figure that aging isn’t an option;Image it’s not for sissies, but you may as well enjoy it the best you can.  There are lots of good things that come with age.  See, we have to be attractive when we’re young, because we’re so dumb about life (even though we don’t think we are!) that youthful charm is the only thing that attracts people to us!

With age comes  an acceptance that life isn’t perfect, and that’s ok.  With age, if you marry and have children, usually comes a grandchild or two.  That’s well worth waiting for!  And even if you don’t get to be a grandma, you probably have nieces and nephews, or close friends with children whose lives you can enrich.

With age, you get to sit down more, and no one gets upset.  You even get away with outrageous ways of dressing or doing your hair, and people will smile at you. When you’re a teen dressing outrageously, you’re just rebellious.

With age, grannies can enjoy being around handsome, engaging young men without anyone worrying that you’re trying to attract one of them.  You just get to enjoy the fun of a healthy friendship.  In fact, you can be friends with itty bitty children or the very ancient. All the lines that society draws between the generations tend to fade as you age.

No one gets upset if you forget things–even if you forget what you forgot  🙂 Image

People will joke about your failing memory, and offer to go look for your glasses or your hearing aids or your cane. They help you up, they help you down, they offer you their chairs.  See how useful old people are?  We make the young feel invincible!

I find that my grey hair is a great asset to me in my counseling practice. People come into my office and see this greying, round little granny and think, “Well, she’s been around the block a few times.  Maybe she really can help us.”

And of course, everyone likes to make jokes about old people. The Lockhorns have been favorites of mine since I was very young, and had no idea that all the jokes were absolutely true!  Here’s one of my favorites:  Poor Loretta always taking it on the chin.  Every once in a while she gets him good, though, and that makes me happy

 Image“So what is this really about?” you may ask.  Why am I writing about aging as being my pride and joy?   Well, let’s see.

For one thing, I’ve made it this far fairly intact and with a functioning mind and body.  I’ve had a few parts removed and some replaced, but I’m getting along pretty well.  That’s something to be proud of.  I’m still working, and most of the time enjoying myself doing so. I work as an independent contractor, so my hours are mine to choose, and I take off when I need to.  I can still cook, clean, and do my laundry. My husband has taken over the grocery shopping since he retired, and that’s just fine with me.  He’s more willing to spend time shopping for the bargains than I am, and he does a good job.

I no longer feel the need to be involved in every single thing.  Time was, not only was I involved, but I was also usually in charge. Don’t need to do that now. Don’t WANT to do that now.  Don’t need to spend the livelong day planning out everything that needs to be accomplished, then running like made to check everything off my list.

I think my biggest joy is learning contentment.  That doesn’t mean I’m delighted and/or passive about things I don’t agree with; it just means I can go ahead and be content, joyful if you will, in spite of circumstances.  I’ve learned that life is what you make it. As Abraham Lincoln said, most people are just about as happy as they choose to be.  As I age, I’ve chosen contentment more often than I ever did  back in the day.

And as I grow older, I grow closer to heaven. When you’re young, you think more along the lines of all you want to do and experience before you die.  I’m not being morbid at all when I say that I’m ready to go;  it’s just that death holds no dread or fear for me now, and I look forward to seeing the Lord Who has walked with me through these 67 years.  Joy.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pride-and-joy/