Phases of Parental “Help”

1. You are born knowing nothing, so parents begin to teach and enourage you in how to do things.

2. You are a child and still needing frequent help in how to do certain things. You accept and appreciate the help.

3. You are a teenager and do not want or accept help. You know everything. Eventually you realize you don’t, but by then you have accepted misguided direction from peers.

4. You are an adult and resent any semblance of help from parents.

5. Parents are conditioned to not offer help as it is met repeatedly with the phrase, “I KNOW how to do that.”

6. Adult children wonder why they can’t get any help.


Staying In The Past

I met a man at the doctor’s office. I had broken my big toe and he had hurt his arm/wrist? We chatted as we waited for our turn with the doctor.

He told me how he hurt his arm falling off a ladder. I don’t think he ever told me why he was on the ladder, because at that point in his story, he told about how he landed a few feet from where his wife had died. Well, that was sad. Then he went on and on about his wife who had been dead for ten years. On and on and on.

I sat there beside him wondering if his life had stopped the day his wife died? He must have been youngish when she died.

I wondered how he couldn’t see a woman right in front of him that was interested in him? But all I ever found out was what a saint his wife had been. Yep, his life had stopped with her death.

Later I saw him again in the x-ray department. He was telling the receptionist about how he fell just feet from where his wife had died . . . he fell on the cement driveway. (I was surprised he wasn’t hurt worse.) But he stood there talking and talking and talking to that receptionist about his dead wife . . . she’d been gone ten years, but yak, yak, yak . . . I spoke to him when he sat down, but had had my fill of his wife story and didn’t strike up a conversation.

It’s funny, but a few days later I saw him in the shop where I get my hair cut. Guess what he was talking about to the hair stylist . . . his dead wife. Was that all he has in his life? His arm was in a sling and he told me he had broken it. Then he told me again how he landed just a few feet from where his wife had died.

No. He landed in his wife and his wife died in him and killed him in the process.

I too have stories I tell, and I’m sure they’re not all that interesting, but they do vary. And I try to live in the present or the future. I find when I busy myself with today and maybe some tomorrows, I am more cheerful and feel more alive.

No matter how I tried to change the topic that day as he belabored his wonderful, dead wife, he stubbornly clung to talking only about her. I think I’ve learned everything there is to know now about that man. His wife died in the his driveway and he knows the exact spot he found her and she’s been gone ten years. Everything else is gone too, except for his past with her.

Do You See What I See?

You may have cataracts. You may have failing vision as you age. But you will be able to see things so much more clearly when you’re old that you did not see well before.

No one wants to listen to the “wisdom” of the aged population, but if they knew what we could see about life at the end of ours, they’d be begging to know what we can see now.

Do you see what I see? if you’re an older person, you probably do.


I know how to multi-task. I also remember my grandmother telling me she could do one thing at a time.

I’ve watched people multi-tasking and they make so many mistakes that I call it “multi (something else, not tasking)”, but I won’t say the word here.

I think most people can do two things at the time, or even 3 or 4 things, but I do not think they are doing all of them well.

Perhaps my grandmother should have said she could only concentrate on one thing at a time. To get something as close to perfect as I can, I have to concentrate. Since I don’t like a mess or a lot of errors, I prefer to do one thing at a time.

There’s a reason you should not text and drive. Both require concentration. So do many of the multi-tasks I see people muddling through.

Is there joy in getting something exactly right any more? There is at my house. How do you even know how well you’ve done something if your mind was divided as you did many other things?

I was a telephone operator for two years a long time ago. We were taught to do several things at the same time. However, those things were all related and we practiced for six weeks before we even tried to do them without heavy supervision.

Juggling many tasks at once is something I don’t enjoy. I see young folks – many of them – rushing through their lives now, and I wonder how they will feel when they wake up at age 60? What will their lives look like to them? Blurs of multi-tasking without taking the time to enjoy things?

I don’t know. I just know my memories are not of doing several things at the time, but of the times I spent in the moment doing one thing and really getting it right.

Living May Be Over-Rated

I have never been able to fully interact with my “peers”. I don’t understand their ways of thinking or why they value what they value.

While on facebook this morning, I saw the quote about “everlasting life through Jesus Christ” . . .

I have read the posts about how wonderful it is to wake up every morning, no matter what your circumstances.

I’ve been told by a friend, who is a psychologist, that my worldly views are too close to the truth for most people and that’s why they get angry with me. ???

So is life to be lived with our heads in the sand while in denial of reality? What kind of life is that?

One of my greatest pleasures in life was teaching. I loved teaching, especially when I was able to teach a child everyone else had given up on. Now my health has pretty much ended that profession and I spend my time trying to decide if my dog has been out lately or if she is asking to go out. Sometimes I wonder what her qualify of life is. She’s 17 years old. She’ll be 18 in August. One day I wondered if I was confused when I was saying how long she’d lived . . . that maybe I’d mistakenly miscalculated. Dogs don’t live that long. But then I remembered (and I verified this by asking my son) that he was 12 years old when she was born. We had her mother. He is now 29 years old, almost 30. So yes, she is 17 years old and he’s had her over half his life. Except he’s in China and I have her.

That old dog and I take turns having bad days. Once in awhile we’ll both be having a bad day. When it’s her turn, I hover over her and try to help her up the steps. When it’s my turn, she stays close to my ankles and if I sit down, she’ll come lay her head on my knee.

I just don’t understand other people’s aversion to death. I mean, they act like it’s intolerable. Do they feel better than I do? Are they accomplishing more than me? What is the reason for their tenacity on life?

I have a very high IQ. One time I sat down and figured out that the span between my IQ and the “average” IQ is more than the span between the “average” IQ and the mentally deficient IQ.

“Mental deficiency used to be divided into the following sub-classifications, but these labels began to be abused by the public and are now largely obsolete: Borderline Deficiency (IQ 70-80), Moron (IQ 50-69), Imbecile (IQ 20-49) and Idiot (below 20). Mental deficiency is now generally called mentalretardation.”

This may be why I have so much trouble with relationships. I just don’t “get it”.

People refusing to acknowledge reality will not change reality. That’s a quote from me that you can use. I doubt that anyone ever will.

I was probably a better writer than I was a teacher, although I was a pretty good teacher.

I refused to use big words when small ones would do. I was often not appreciated by the teachers who teach exactly like the manual directs and who could not think outside the box. When you’re in the box, you cannot appreciate what is outside of it.

I tried to be approachable. I was non-threatening. If I had to threaten or appear threatening to teach a child . . . I had no interest in doing that.

I have a ceramic cup that I value. On it is written “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher”.  It’s credited as a Japanese Proverb.

I tried to be a great teacher.

Now I will try to be a great writer.

My main problem is that I have such a finesse in angering people with my statements of truth that I fear I might not build a large readership.

Well, I can only try. That’s what we all can only do. . . our best, and to try. For as my grandmother told me over and over when I was a child, “You don’t know what you can do until you try”.

I have another blog on WordPress called “Constance as a Writer”.

There’s a third blog titled “Ms. Playful” . . .

But even with all the things I’ve yet to write, I cannot fathom not going peacefully into that good night, when the time comes. I do not know what there is to rage against. Leaving this world cannot be that bad when all my energy has been spent.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas1914 – 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Some Things I Have Learned This Week

If you go to a place where Senior Citizens gather, you will meet new friends. Those new friends will eventually introduce you to their friends in other places and you will have more peers to interact with than you know what to do!

Seniors are cheerful. When you go to a Senior Citizen event, there will be smiles and laughter.

Seniors cheer each other on. If you face a medical problem, you know who to ask for a referral to a good medical doctor. You know where to go to get certain services. You know how to handle certain situations at your age.  Everyone is pulling for everyone else to succeed at life and to enjoy it.

Senior Activities abound! What are you interested in? If you go to a Senior gathering, you will likely find something pertaining to that to participate in.

Seniors use the language you’re accustomed to. You know exactly what they mean when they use idioms  such as “My eyes were bigger than my stomach”. There is no explaining to have to do when you converse with another Senior.

If you’re a Senior Citizen now, or become one, get out there and make the rest of your life happen!



Seen It Before

I just read the headline of an article and immediately dismissed it as something I’ve read too many times before. It was about a “Stopgap Funding Averts Government Shutdown” or something like that.

That is the problem with life now. There’s not much I haven’t seen or heard before.

It takes a lot to get me to slow down and take a look or listen.

I am finding ways to amuse myself and learn new things, but it ain’t easy.

I’m teaching myself to play the piano on a musical keyboard I bought on sale in January.  I wanted it for Christmas, but got it much cheaper after Christmas. My cat enjoys it with me. I posted a video of her on it with me on my msplayful blog at wordpress. I think I’ll post it here.

Two years ago this cat, Hunter, almost died from heart failure. I remember the trips to the vet before and after work and all the medicine I gave her and all the love and attention. It resulted in her “coming out of” heart failure, which is something I had never seen before, and my vet said it was very rare, but he had seen it happen.

So in case you’re reading this and you’ve never seen a cat “play” the piano, here is the video. Around time 1:12 she begins hitting “chords” as I play and a little later (1:55 or 2:00?) I move and you can see her legs pounding on the keys.