Tuesday, July 7, 2015


White 'circle' appears to be dust on the camera lens - will have to figure out how to clean that!

As my natal day approaches I find myself reflecting a lot on my age, how I got where I am, where I would like to go from here and how my character has changed - because it has.  I'm not sure if the character changes are due to general aging issues, or are stemming from the experiences I've had and the people I've met who have influenced me in some way.

I really miss my brother.  This week I have been especially emotional about his death and my loss.  Perhaps because we used to spend a lot of time talking about the things I have been thinking about and I miss his unique perspective.  Not that we agreed on everything, by any means.  But we always managed to have in depth discussions, even about things we didn't actually agree on, without losing respect for each other.

And sometimes I would change my thinking because of what he had to say.

Entering my 65th year I find myself both more and less of what I was.

I find myself more tolerant of people's differences - and less tolerant of people who are intolerant of others.

I find myself - due to years of various health issues - less fit - and more determined to live as good a life as I can manage in spite of those health issues.

I find myself less inclined to spend time with people (extreme introvert?) and more inclined to teach those who want to know what I know.

I find myself thinking about the fact that we all have expiry dates, recognizing that, if it weren't for the fact a) that my brother died so suddenly alerting me to familial cardiac issues and b) that cardiac issues such as I have are now treatable, I would not be here right now.

Since I am still here, I can only assume that there is more I need to do, more I need to accomplish.  Friends tell me I can't 'go' yet because they need me around so they can pick my brains.  Since no one is immortal, I feel compelled to try to sum up what I know in some way to leave for...posterity?

Which begins to feel very egotistical, but also very purposeful.

I find myself less inclined to try to please others and more inclined to please myself.  If people don't buy what I make, I will have to eventually stop producing so much but in the meantime I have this stash that wants using up.

I find myself wanting to see more of this world, and nervous about leaving Canada.  No one likes feeling fragile and potentially getting sick while out of their own country.

I find myself trying very hard to not think about my health issues without ever being able to entirely block out what is happening in my body.

In many ways I find myself teetering on the edge of so many things, not knowing how long I will hold my balance nor which 'side' of the edge I will fall to when I do.

I find myself with a heightened awareness that life is good, life is sweet, life is a juggling act and a challenge.  The glass is neither half full, nor half empty - it is refillable!


marachne said...

With all this reflection, I have one question (which you don't have to answer here, but I want to post it so that others may also think about it):

Have you written up your advance directives? and more importantly have you talked with Doug about what you do/don't want in the case that you cannot speak for yourself? I'm assuming you had that talk before your surgery, but it needs to be an on-going dialogue. As you noted, we change, and what is important to us can also change.

Don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but it's part of my work and I feel a bit of a mission around it.

Laura Fry said...

Yes, we have talked about it. I don't yet have an official directive but now that I am officially an old fart (or will be in two days) it is probably time to discuss with my doctor.


Julia said...

Wonderful reflective post Laura, one I think many of us think about from time to time but not verbalise, especially the mortality bit. I had a little "run in" with my health at the end of last year (breast cancer) and at the tender age of 48 it opened MY eyes to how quickly things can change, and what fundamentally is important. I'm still working that out (I struggle with depression as well) so any insight I can glean from others helps me to cope on this MY journey called life. Thanks for sharing!

Laura Fry said...

I joined a support group for people with cancer (while mine is currently in remission it is incurable and will eventually return). Being emotional about what your body is processing is normal. I struggle with feeling down, feeling guilty (because I'm not as sick as others in the group, nor have I had such extreme procedures as many/most of them). I find it helps to keep things in perspective (things could be worse), remind myself how resilient the body is, and just to enjoy every moment as much as possible. It also gives me perspective on which things matter...and which don't. Best wishes to you, Julia.

terri said...

You've certainly acquired a lot of wisdom over the years. May you continue to grow wiser!

Anonymous said...

A thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I'm approaching a "big" birthday, too, and it's good to know that I'm not alone in worrying/pondering/assessing what comes next. I guess we need to think about regrets--what would we regret if we missed out and how can we try to avoid those regrets.

Sandra Rude said...

Just wait until you hit 70! I have decided to put aside fears about getting ill while traveling, and we just go where and when we want to. (Mike may worry, but I refuse to, and besides there's good travel insurance available to us "just in case.")
Here's a wish for a happy and healthy (and worry-free) birthday!

Louisa said...

I so agree on a number of your points, Laura! I'll be joining you in Old-Fart-dom in a few months so I think I'll join you in the introspection too. It's a natural thing at our age to become reflective and take stock of where we're at and where we're going. Also I totally love your "glass is refillable" and will be quoting it now!

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!!

Debi said...

I will be thinking of you on the 9th. That would have been my Dad's 83rd birthday. It's only been 4 months since he unexpectedly passed away. I don't think it has gotten any less painful. My family all gathered in northern Wisconsin and had our celebration of his life. My Mom is having a very difficult time with being by herself out in the country, I stayed with her for a month. Hopefully this fall she will live part time by my siblings and then winter by U.S. In Arizona again.

Peg Cherre said...

I especially love the last sentence...the glass is neither half full nor half empty, it is refillable. A terrific sentiment, indeed.