Tuesday, 19 June 2012
By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr
Ahhh the pleasure of an ordinary day, the kind of day where there are no appointments, no deadlines, nothing that is a “have to.” But those days are hard to come by.
I’m retired so you’d think well, isn’t that what most every day is? No it’s not. That old demon balance keeps raising his head and it seems to me you’re lucky if you can get old balance to hang around for a day.
Of course, I’m coming from a point of view where my days have been so filled with doctor appointments and that is part of what I’m rebelling against. This winter has been particularly difficult with health issues.
A friend pointed out that you can always tell where Mary is these days: at home, at doctor’s office or at the pharmacy. That’s pretty much true – what a sad state of affairs.
I’m yearning for the day when I can casually get up, have my morning cup of coffee, read the newspaper, heave a sigh of relief and plan my day. I’ll choose which of my passions has the biggest tug on my heart.
It’s spring time and my country roots usually demand some attention. Maybe today is the day to take all the plants from inside to outside. Then they’ll need to be repotted, cuttings taken and shared with others, finding just the right pot and then the right place, sun or shade and where is looks prettiest.
Of course I’ll sit and take a rest ever so often - think and look at my plants as we progress through the day. Now that’s an ordinary day that is an extraordinary day.
Or maybe I’ll feel compelled to continue a project I’ve begun that includes writing and photography and organizing a program or book or whatever. At the moment I’m helping organize a reunion of my elementary school classmates. It’s so exciting - I’ll see people I haven’t seen in 70 years.
I’m also putting together a memoir book of stories collected from my years of leading workshops. I always have projects in the works. Bored is not in my vocabulary.
Bird watching can fill a whole day. The feeders need to be refilled and I can quietly sit in a corner and watch the birds come and go. I can wait for that perfect picture and/or plan or replan the bird feeder placements.
Sometimes it is just the perfect day to do nothing. I can do that beautifully, just do this a little while and that a little while, think, suppose, sit awhile and then walk awhile. I think this is called day dreaming. I think it is also where creativity begins.
Grabbing my camera, walking around my porch and yard carefully looking for pictures is always a challenge and delight. I find I see beauty in so many places, places I’d overlooked other times. Maybe I’ll get in the car and go to one of my favorite spots - for its beauty and birds.
A wonderful delight is a spur of the moment picnic down by our beautiful Hudson River. This is not a planned everything is just right kind of picnic; it’s the kind where I take raid the fridge and take a little of this and a little of that and wish I had some more of something. But the ingredients are there: me, some food, the river, my camera and paper and pencil. What more can one want?
Too many times, it’s hurry up and get ready for the doctor appointment, organize my day to take care of bank business, post office needs and just everyday living. Taking care of myself and my life seems to be a full time job.
But I do keep on the look out for an ordinary day – one I can steal away from life’s demands and then I sink into that very special day. It’s the way I take care of myself. It comforts me.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]