If I taught a workshop/seminars at ANWG '19 would you be interested?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Diminished


While the next warp goes into the loom, I think.  The routine of dressing the loom requires only surface attention, so deeper thoughts roil and bubble beneath the surface, surging now and again to consciousness...

With another birthday coming soon, I think about what it means to age.  I ponder the 8 years of health issues, adverse drug effects taking their toll on top of the various treatments - chemotherapy, by-pass surgery - general aches and pains, growing almost daily, it feels like.

And the only word I can come up with that describes this experience of body failing, energy failing, fitness...failing...and that word is 'diminished'.

I feel less, in so many ways than I once was.  I cut back on my activities and feel further...diminished.

I stop actively seeking opportunities and feel even more cut off from community - a community that is sparse on the ground to begin with, vastly spread out over most of North America - and beyond.  And I give up on dreams to travel to these far flung places...and feel further diminished because of a body that simply cannot deal with long distance travel - across the pond (although I still hope for one more trip) or further yet - Down Under.

I mourn the loss of energy, drive, resilience.  I stumble through my days, feeling that I ought to be doing more, accomplishing more - and lack the energy to tackle even the most mundane of things.

After two years on beta blockers I had less than zero energy - some of that has returned since getting off of them, but this interlude without them might be short lived as my cardiologist might insist I go back on them when I see her next year on my follow up after the surgery.

My mother turns 90 this year and I watch her - once vibrant and active - slowly move through her days, and I wonder - will that be me, next year?  Never mind our age difference, she always out ran me.  But now she struggles to walk.  Am I seeing my future?  Will I even last that long?  Would I want to, if I could no longer weave, teach, think clearly enough to write?

Is this what getting 'old' looks like?  

10 comments:

Peg Cherre said...

Oh, Laura, my heart goes out to you. Be kind to yourself. Enjoy today and stop dwelling on what may be/will be, especially when you probably have little control over it anyway. I know, I know, I KNOW....so much easier said than done. And certainly sometimes I feel like the Scarlett O'Hara or the ostrich - if I don't think about it, it can't happen. Other times I'm completely incapable of not looking both forward and back. But I work at living in the moment. As you probably do, too. I'd love to sit and have a cup of tea with you, just to stop the thinking for a few minutes.

Jacqui Southworth said...

Laura - our lives may be diminished but I still believe it's better than the alternative - life can still be good and fulfilling. I look at my 2-year old grandson and marvel how he will grow up with me and his granddad to love and guide him, for a good few years yet. I have wonderful friends and family that bring me joy and companionship and an amazing husband whom I love with all my heart - I have so much to be thankful for, but most of all for a chance to live longer, which I was very very close to not having.

Laura Fry said...

At times I have to stare reality in the face, acknowledge it, so I can mourn it...and move on...

Peg, I hope that we can some day meet and have that cup of tea. Jacqui, you are one of the reasons I'd like to hop across the pond, or at least get to FL again.

I try to focus on what is good and beautiful in this life, because so much truly is. But I also cannot ignore the shape of this body that carries my soul around. Regrets, I've had a few...

judy said...

Laura, I understand totally. I turned 80 in April. More and more I look for things I can do in my lap, in my chair. knitting, beading, kumihimo, micro macreme. etc. I work at the loom for short periods of time. I can't stop creating, so I just deal with it. Each day is a gift at this age.
You are amazing with what you can do.
Hope to see you when you come to Tn.

Laura Fry said...

Hi Judy, not sure if there will be time to see you unless you are taking the Bonnie Inouye workshop? I've signed up but am on a wait list (because members get first dibs).

lovethosehandsathome said...

I read your blog regularly but can't remember if I've commented before. My regrets about weaving, so far, are that I didn't start until a couple of years ago and, while my body has not yet betrayed me as you describe, I think frequently about the limited time I have to explore and learn this craft! I do think that your focus on writing and teaching newer weavers is a most worthwhile one--a legacy for certain.

Louisa said...

Dear Laura, I know what you mean. It's scary to notice how fast we are aging at this stage. However, you have to consider the alternative and be content with what you do have still. Find out what you can still accomplish and try not to regret those things you can't. As others have said you are leaving a legacy of instruction for others to benefit from. And a good life still being lived. Hugs!

Carol said...

Dear Laura, I'm on the same train as your are. As we have noted, I'm in the same car with you. Here's my bright spot of the week: I found an online questionnaire regarding loss of function after treatment for breast cancer and decided to try it. One of the questions regarded difficulty getting up from the floor; thinking over having redone the tie-up on the countermarche that day I decided I had very little difficulty. Another about lifting heavy weights. They determined 10 lbs was a heavy weight for women over 60. Hay bales, dog food bags? I guess I have no difficulty with weight. And so it went, and with it went my feelings of having lost my physical abilities. As someone I know says, it all depends.

Laura Fry said...

I try to stay in gratitude, but some days are more difficult than others. Like Carol, I am more fit than most women my age. I may not sling bales of hay around, but I can still squat down and stand up without effort, carry 40 pound bags of yarn - carefully, and not very far. My hand strength is still better than some younger women (much to their chagrin!).

The last few days have been difficult. The rain and gloomy skies haven't helped. Uncertainty about the work on the house is leaving me unsettled, partly because there are things I need to do and I don't know how much disturbance the work will affect my being able to tackle it.

I know I am not alone in seeing the world grow smaller. Partly I share these feelings to help process them...partly to let others know that they are not alone.

Around Lane said...

I feel you....
My girlfriend told me that life is what you make it...
Well I ain't got any friggen Lemons and can't find my glass
Oh well maybe I can make some mud pie and eat it lol Just kidding...
Hang in there and thanks for sharing... I don't feel so alone anymore