My sanity strategy for the dark months

In the words of Betty White on her recent 95th birthday, “It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.” (Chicago Tribune)

I agree. I’ve just been through an incident with a relative whom I care for very much that has made my blood pressure soar.  I have to not take myself too seriously or I’ll probably have a stroke like my brother did. It scares me silly to think of living the rest of my life with only a few words or maybe only one working arm when I’m already an incomplete quadriplegic. I have to look after myself because I’m the only one who can and I’ve got too much to lose.

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“Get at least 8 hours of beauty sleep, 9 if you’re ugly.” (Huffington Post)

I usually get between nine and 10 hours of sleep the night so I must be trying to undo some bad ugly.  Hey, it’s about those dark circles under my eyes. I always wake up in the middle of the night either because I have to go the bathroom or I’m in pain. In order to go back to sleep, and rather than lie there going over what happened the day before and what I’m supposed to be doing in a few hours, I go to the freezer and grab a couple of cold packs, stick them under whatever part of my old body is burning, then switch on my Kobo reader and read until I can’t keep my eyes open. I’m reading about the life of Ingrid Bergman right now and it’s a fascinating tale.

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“Best thing about being in your 90s is you’re spoiled rotten. Everybody spoils you like mad and they treat you with such respect because you’re old. 

Little do they know, you haven’t changed. You haven’t changed in [the brain]. You’re just 90 every place else.” (People) 

(© 2017 KING)

As my mother went into her 80’s and then 90’s, she’d say to me, “Things are still the same, you know. I don’t feel any different than I did when I was 40 or 50 inside, and I think pretty well the same, I just look older.” I’m glad she said that to me because now, that I’m getting older, I know what she meant. Mom absolutely loved Betty White and looked quite a bit like her.  I know that she watched the Golden Girls over and over and, if she had her way, she would’ve brought several other older widows into her home to live with her after my father died but that was before Golden Girls and mom was fairly shy so asking people to come to live with her just didn’t happen. She lived in a small apartment over the garage in the home that she and my father built for us and always had a bed next to hers ready for anyone who wanted to stay. I don’t think anyone ever did. It must be hell to be that lonely.

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I just heard on the news that Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80.  She and Betty White brought us so much joy and laughter and Betty just keeps on going. I hope she makes 105!

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We’re almost through January so that’s one month down; one out of three months that see me in the house for weeks at a time.  Part of my sanity strategy is to try to get as much work done as possible so I won’t have a great deal on my plate when the ditches start to turn green, the frog start singing, and the trees begin to bud.  I also like to surround myself with flowers but they have to be flowers with very little or no scent because anything that has scent just flattens me.  Just a simple $8. bouquet of miniature carnations from the supermarket will see them spread throughout the house: in the kitchen window, the bathroom and besides my computer in the office. There is yellow alstroemeria on the living room table and four phalaenopsis orchids blooming in my bedroom. I could get through winter without flowers but they certainly make it easier and so does Betty White and memories of Mary Tyler Moore and my wonderful mother

What’s your strategy to get through these dark, cold months?

Take care everyone,

Linda

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3 Responses

  1. t’s almost 70 degrees here in Tn. today. We have had an unusually warm January, but snow is predicted for this weekend. I need to go through my closet and share with someone in need, so I will be busy. Look forward to your posts and your flowers.

  2. Linda, I enjoy so much your blog! I’m one of those people who loves winter and the dark days, one reason is because I’m a writer and it’s easier for me to sit down and get some work done. In the summer, there seems to be too many distractions. Also, when it snows my allergies are so-o-o much better. I also sit at my computer and interact with Fine Art America where my paintings are displayed online. It is a great site, although they take in so many paintings it is hard to sell any there now. But it is fun to comment on and view the other paintings.
    There’s nothing I love better than curling up under a warm blanket with a book and a cup of cocoa on these cold days. I have CMT1A and am now 68. Thankfully, it has progressed slowly all of my life. With numerous foot surgeries, knee surgery, back surgery and breast cancer, I am still walking without aids except in the grocery store where I use a scooter. I can tell from what you say that yours is a lot worse, and I admire your spunk so much. Not only do you take good care of yourself, but you help all of us as well.
    Linda, I understand what you said about interacting with your friend. I find it exhausting to socialize a lot. It sure can sap my energy faster than anything. I recently read an article that was simply wonderful. It talked about how we should be fluid, reflecting and still like water.
    It said instead of empathizing to the point of pain like I can do so easily because I’m tenderhearted to listen to another person’s problem, reflect it back to them, and if pressed say something like, “You will know the answer if you are still and listen to your true self.” The author said she found this comforted people so much without doing much else. I liked the idea of being like water. I have been practicing that. The end of the article said, We must take good care of ourselves because other people needed to walk by still water. I loved that. Have a wonder New Year Linda. I’ll look forward to your next blog. By the way those flowers are awesome! All the best, Glenda Barrett-Hiawassee, Ga.

  3. Love you Linda!! Thanks for the insight. 💕😊

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