Tag Archives: aging

Let Me Be Gracious

I must buy more T-shirts that give people pause. It’s good for them, I think, and I know it’s good for me. It shakes us up.

This morning, I wore my “Nasty Women Project” shirt, more for a color coordinated look than as a statement. I always enjoy wearing it but as often happens, I forget I am until someone notices.

This morning, it was the pharmacy tech who reminded me. She regularly waits on me and usually calls me by name but not this morning. She just kept staring at my shirt.

“Name?”

“Huber.”

She paused before asking, “Karen?” Her tone was one of disbelief.

I could not help but smile but it was just a small one. “Yes,” was my answer. Admittedly, my tone was a bit sing-song.

The tech may not have been crestfallen but she was puzzled. How dare I not be the ailing old woman that she was so sure I was.

To be fair, she has seen me on some pretty rough days but the only conversation we ever had was my giving her the information required to purchase my prescription.

I presented as a new person to her. Maybe I will replace the one she was so sure she knew. Who knows, maybe someday she will surprise me, too.

Let me be gracious when she does.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

As Long As There Is Light

For me, mindfulness is the source of infinite possibilities. In mining the details of the present, I set up my options for the future. Yet, nothing stays, even in stone.

I like the fluidity of the present but the past is immutable. Once, I spent a lot of time there but rarely do I visit now, which does not keep my mind from offering.

Memory after memory rolls by; action captured as still life. Mindfulness through a philosophical perspective.

However, my reality on this day is anything but abstract. My physical pain is beyond the distraction level, and it shows no sign of abating.

Recent lab report results support the presence of increased inflammation and the ever-present chronic anemia.

I don’t usually post on such a day but working with the reality I have–every day–is the purpose of Aim For Even (AFE).

For decades, I lost days and jobs trying to rest so that the days to come would be better. Sometimes, that took months or even years. In chronic illness, rest is elusive. The body is at war. Mine is fighting itself and has been for four decades.

Some seven years ago I began working with my day-to-day reality rather than discarding a day because I could not meet expectations. I immersed myself in the experience of being chronically ill–“sat with it” through hours of mindful meditation.

It is a practice I never left.

I try to bring an evenness of mind into the experience of my day. It requires an ongoing adjustment of my energy. It means I must stay present, no matter what. That’s AFE.

I am old and have not aged well. And yes, that once swallowed hard. I no longer look at my face in terms of how it may be filtered but as is. There is still light in my eyes.

I want to live the rest of my life a #DailyDose at a time, preferably with equanimity. I fail on so many days. Still, I immerse myself completely into any activity–even the most mundane—it is how I learn another way, find a new option, or my perspective broadens.

In equanimity, there is space for signals from both body and mind. I am not transcending either one but sitting with both. I know my pain level will change— life is impermanent— I choose not to attach to that pain nor do I avoid its presence.

I make room for it. Rather than rising and falling with the peaks and valleys of pain, I meet it at its base. Impermanence will do the rest.

In some ways, change has lost its edge for me, not that I don’t give it respect. I do. I don’t fear it. Indeed, in my more philosophical moments, I wonder why I ever did.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Finding the Familiar

As aging beings, feline EmmaRose and I are forgoing the way we once lived. More and more, our bodies surprise. Less and less is there any choice involved.in-her-sun-0413

It feels as if we are living a routine of no routine, easier for me to accept than for EmmaRose (ER).

Always, she lives in the moment— I can only aspire—that I appreciate if not readily accept impermanence may be an advantage.

Regardless, it is our breath, that “fundamental unit of risk” taking us into one experience and out of another. For ER, breath is a no-brainer.

I, on the other hand, either open myself to what is occurring or attach to a related thought often involving finance, relationship, security, or all three.

It is ER’s mindfulness that brings me back to the moment, taking myself out of me and into a broader experience. The “what ifs” dissipate in favor of focus.

Increasingly, ER is uncertain of her surroundings or what it was that brought her into the next room. I know the feeling. Most of the time, I shrug and give up without concern, as ER once did.

Now, she continues to wander unless I help her to return to the familiar. Some days, I find it for both of us.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

Birthday: You, Me, Star Dust

Birthday. For so many years it has been an accounting, a reckoning, always a measurement. Not this year.

I am reminded of Georgia O’Keeffe’s “to see takes time.” So many gifts are given and received in a lifetime, which lasts no longer than a single moment.

Existence is energy animating you, me, a blade of grass, an ocean– everything. All of it and all of us, star dust.where now 0425

It has taken me some time to “see” life as pure energy. It’s more a feeling, really, but in my mind’s eye there is such sight, one perspective after another on the star dust that is everywhere.

Each particle, each experience is unique, similar to the Hindu Upanishads–Tat Tvam Asi– “you are that” or “that you are.” You in all this oneness.

My birth day is celebrating my being as “living energy” (Mark Nepo). No need to measure up or take an accounting of one year or 64. I am aging.

I am wild with wonder–constantly curious–to age is to live. Wonder shows me more rather than less.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.