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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wonder Woman Lives

And she is in about the same ragged condition as I am. This cartoon is one of my prize possessions from the early 80s when I had a "big lady dress up job". [That's what my college friends and I used to describe the jobs we were studying to (hopefully) get after graduation.] From time to time I dig it out and it still fits.

My friends, this old house I inhabit is wearing out. Since I last posted I had another TIA (mini-stroke) and I am now recuperating from a pretty miserable virus that affected my chest. I am so weak and shaky, have to force myself to eat a little chicken broth, toast and yoghurt, and am doing a lot of cogitating (wondering).
I realize that since the first 2 TIAs I have done almost no quilting, or even sewing. The joy seems to have simply disappeared and turned into guilt and "shoulds". I'm also not nearly as excited about photography, which was an integral part of my quilting interests. I still love gardening, but have to depend more and more on someone else to do the hard physical jobs, which I used to delight in. (Like laying a patio or digging a pond or spading a garden bed.) I still love to look at the birds, but no longer feel like hauling the feed outside the fence to the feeders.
Please do not take this as complaining or whining or asking for sympathy. I am simply trying to share what changes I am finding necessary due to challenges of the aging process. Different seasons of life require different things of us. Once in a while we need to set back and decide what is really important and then do some major pruning to allow us to use our waning energy more effectively.
There does seem to be some pain and grieving involved in this process, but it is a productive, necessary pain and grief.
One of my major weaknesses has been spreading myself too thin and ending up feeling overwhelmed. I was supposed to do "everything" myself and do it perfectly and it was not permissable to burden others by asking for help. When help is offered one smiles graciously and says, "Oh thank you, but I can do this myself, I don't want to impose on you."
Do you know what happens to someone who tries to do everything perfectly? Insanity or paralysis! (and in my case, obesity; food rather than alcohol or drugs). "There is a God. It is not me." I think I saw that in some AAA lit somewhere.
Right now my family is where my energy needs to be focused. And for the first time in my life I have to realize that it is ok, and necessary, to take care of myself so I can continue to share with my family.
Thank you, friends for letting me get some of this out of my system. I ask for your prayers and good thoughts as I go thru this new growing stage.
Added after first published: I'm still having trouble getting this darn thing to keep the spaces between my paragraphs for easier reading.


Rian said...

I understand. Hugs.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Dear Fran: I truly understand. I'm facing some decisions too about not being able to do as much as I once could. And since Vann's death, more has fallen on my shoulders to get done. It's a puzzle I'll be working on. What to keep, what to do, what to let go. It's hard when you have to give up pieces of your life. I'll be praying for you, my dear.

Debra said...

To everything there is a season. It's just good to hear from you again.

Allison Ann Aller said...

God is saving the best for know this Fran!!!
All is well in your beautiful soul.....

Barbara C said...

I hope your spirits are better these days Fran. Go easy on yourself: you're a work of art in your own right, and you don't have to demonstrate anything to anyone.

I'm sending you a big hug.