The latest episode of The Alex and Ronni Show is at the bottom of this post.
As noted here in the past, until I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nearly a year ago, I was lucky enough to be disgustingly healthy.
There were colds and other minor ailments now and then but nothing that kept me down and out for long, nothing that left me with permanent changes to my capabilities.
Not so much anymore. Yes, the doctors say I am now cancer free (whew!) but recovery from the Whipple surgery lasted many months, chemotherapy took its toll on my energy, I had to slack off workouts for too long and recent hospital stays for internal bleeding, a blood clot, placement of a stent, etc. haven't helped.
The bottom line is that everything – everything takes longer than it once did. Yes, yes, I know: just getting older, even without any health difficulties, slows down everyone. Bodies wear out, muscles don't work as efficiently, we tire more easily.
But until this bump in my personal road of life, slowing down wasn't an issue. As far as I could tell, I walked as fast as I always had and particularly after I lost more than 50 pounds some years ago, I could blast through housekeeping chores leaving plenty of time for whatever other plans I had.
When we get old, I think we understand as never before that our greatest gift is time. Each day now is precious and anything boring that takes up any of that time is stealing hours – even days, cumulatively - from us.
Here are some of the new tasks that eat up even more of my time than a year ago:
• Tracking daily medications, keeping the chart up to date as doctors change meds, getting refills on time and filling the pill holders (plural!)
• Actually remembering to take the pills at the right times of day (Post-it notes are my friends)
• Arranging other events in life around medical visits
• Keeping daily records of health information for the physicians
• Napping (a lot recently) when my body tells me to stop for awhile
• Tracking the cat's medications and trying to get pills down his throat when he would rather shred my skin than swallow.
And those are only some time eaters I can identify. Mysteries abound, such as this one: I thought I could vacuum the entire apartment in 30 minutes. So why does the clock say an hour has passed when I'm finished?
Or why does changing the beds seems so much harder – and therefore slower – than it used to be?
There is only one solution to this time annoyance – something many of you identified last week in that marvelously wise and interesting discussion about aspects of growing old: acceptance.
As Anne said on that post:
”Having just turned 78, maybe I should accept this and live at the tempo I can manage.”
I am not any good at all at this kind of acceptance. You?
Here is the latest episode of The Alex and Ronni Show recorded on Monday 7 May 2018.