The end is coming… sounds dire, right? Well, that all depends. If you truly believe in quality over quantity, you already know how to make the most of your time. Most people, when asked if they’d like to know when they’re going to die, prefer remaining ignorantly blissful. What kind of life would you have if you spent every waking hour waiting for it to end?
We are given warnings about our wellbeing since the moment we begin to understand: “Don’t touch the hot stove,” “Don’t pet the loose dog,” “Don’t smoke cigarettes,” Don’t Don’t Don’t.
All the advanced notices and ‘heads up’ in the world continue to fall on deaf ears every day. Some people are no brighter than a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching car. That’s on them. There’s an old expression, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on ME.” In life, you don’t always get a second chance so it’s best to keep your eyes wide open and your head up at all times!*
*especially people who walk around with their head down and their eyes glued to their phones…
An elderly Irish woman was driving home late one night, her husband in the passenger seat. Suddenly she saw flashing lights behind her. She pulled the car over and the officer walked up to her car. She lowered the window as the officer said, “Ma’am, do you know your husband fell out of the car two miles back?”
“Oh, thank goodness,” she replied. “I thought I’d gone deaf!”
(borrowed, with permission, from a friend’s Facebook post and written by Irish comedian, Hal Roach)
We are always waiting for something – a check to arrive in the mail; a parking spot to materialize; a job to magically fall in our lap. We sometimes spend more hours waiting for things to happen than we do actually livingour lives.
Here is a small sample of a daily ‘self-induced’ holding pattern:
Waiting to take the perfect selfie
Waiting to win the lottery
Waiting for Ed McMahon to show up on the doorstep (well, maybe 30 years ago)
Waiting for Godot
You might laugh at the absurdity of listing the well-known play but, really, isn’t that what we all do? We have our ideas and our opinions but most of us never act on them – deciding, rather, to just discuss them, over and over again, with anyone and everyone who is unfortunate enough to be within earshot.
With all the tragedy going on in the world today, we offer prayers, we speak the names of the victims, we color our monuments with their flags but, really, we do nothing. The truth of the matter is, no matter how upbeat or positive we try to be, we’re always just waiting for that other shoe to drop!
A is for arthritis B is for bad back C is for the chest pains – corned beef?cardiac? D is for dental decay and decline E is for eyesight – can’t read that top line F is for fissures and fluid retention G is for gas (which I’d rather not mention – and not to forget other gastrointestinal glitches) H is high blood pressure I is for itches and lots of incisions J is for joints, that now fail to flex L is libido – what happened to sex? Wait! I forgot about K! K is for my knees – that crack all the time (But forgive me, I get a few lapses in my Memory from time to time) N is for nerve (pinched) and neck (stiff)
and neurosis O is for osteo – for all the bones that crack P is for prescriptions, that cost a small fortune Q is for queasiness. Fatal or just the flu? Give me another pill and I’ll be good as new! R is for reflux – one meal turns into two S is for sleepless nights (counting fears on how to pay my medical bills) T is for tinnitus – I hear bells in my ears
And the word ‘terminal’ also rings too near U is for urinary and the difficulties that flow (or not) V is for vertigo, as life spins by W is worry, for pains yet unfound X is for x-ray and what one might find Y is for year (another one, I’m still alive) Z is for zest
For surviving the symptoms my body’s deployed
And keeping 26 doctors gainfully employed
If your parents ever told you, “that’s just an old wives tale,” you aren’t alone. However, these ’stories’ can run the gamut from curiously helpful to completely whacky. Here are the Top 5 best ‘luck’ ones I’ve heard to date:
1) A cricket in the house brings good luck – not to the person who can’t sleep through the noise.
2) It’s bad luck to leave through a different door than the one used to come in – ummmm, anyone ever hear of an apartment?
3) If the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting money – that’s not what the nuns told my male Catholic school friends.
4) It’s bad luck to leave shoes upside down – especially if you stepped in something outside.
5) An apple a day keeps the doctor away – not a good thing if you’re married to the doctor.
So, all in all, as long as you refrain from crossing your eyes, making an ugly face, stepping on a crack or swallowing a watermelon pit, you should be just fine. At least until the next time you eat before swimming, sit too close to the tv or crack your knuckles!
As you age, you notice certain parts of your body fail to work quite as well as they used to work. Your eyes don’t see as well and your ears don’t hear as well. You might experience a change in your taste buds and certain smells that you used to enjoy may now seem unpleasant.
Supposedly (much like ‘when a door closes, a window opens’), when one of your senses starts to decline, another one becomes stronger. People who are born without sight or hearing or even limbs have been known to accomplish incredible feats due to this phenomenon. Some of our best known artists, musicians and athletes are among them.
So, if it takes you a little longer to get around or you have to rely on the kindness of others when performing daily tasks… fear not. We’re all in this together. Today you may notice the daily struggles encountered by your elders but tomorrow (or soon enough) your day will come. And even if (one day) your teeth come out of a jar, you can still command an audience with your Life Songs. Just remember to always keep em smiling (and, more importantly, make sure you take those teeth out of the jar first)!
In my quest to have a modicum of peace and quiet, I found myself searching online for a pair of headphones. Not just any headphones but ones that will knock out almost all outside sound. I’m not kidding.
They make these things for people who blow leaves and who work around airplanes. So I figured they’d be the perfect complement to my living in a house where answers are yelled from room to room or even from person to person within the same room because to wear a hearing aid would insinuate that you were hard of hearing. Heaven forbid.
At first, bearing witness (unintentionally) to these verbal sparrings, I found myself peeking out the front door – making sure no one else could hear. But then the strangest thing happened. As I walked down the hallway, I could hear tvs blasting, people shouting at one another and very loud one-sided phone conversations coming from inside every single door.
So now, when I want a reprieve from the loud ‘talking,’ I simply make myself a cup of tea, get out a good book, put on my headphones and enter my own little echo chamber of quiet. The only problem is… now I can hear the steady pounding of my own heartbeat magnified in my ears!