Aging

APC_0024.jpgAs we age,  we look, feel and act differently than we did when younger,  do we have lower expectations of ourselves as we get older.?

I wonder about it because I’m not sure

I find myself diminished by my age.

I try to greet that old woman in the mirror with a smile, just before I put my teeth in my mouth and scold myself for the  need of a bridge

I’m having trouble finding myself.

Who am I now in this phase of life, no longer a nurse, no longer a spouse, a mother not needed and even in the way, without a lover or friend.

A time to contemplate and refresh, but I find myself filling my hours with busyness.

I like my busy-ness, I like making, but is it an escape from thinking  and making decisions?

I have a comfortable space with no real problems but those I invent in my mind.

Torn between staying in my comfort zone or reaching out for more, more opportunity more social interaction, more satisfaction, or remain where I am, where I can help my daughter  while my soul dies quietly in the basement,

My Stories

 Here is where I make up stories,

Not always pleasant stories

make rude statements

Bitch about life

Life is not always pleasant.

Life is what we do.

Consciously

or conveniently.

Amazing how much is going on in the life and mind of an old lady,

I’m an old lady

only a touch of despair appears on occasion when I am reminded

that I am anIMG_5575 old lady.

Not being noticed can be  positive.

It gives you the freedom to be anyone you want to be,

you set your own limitations,

live out your fantasy of who you are, not who you are expected to be.

Not having to answer to anyone but yourself can be a huge opportunity for change.

No one can take your  power

unless you allow it to be  taken from you.

The Problem with Old Folks

The problem with old folks

is that not everything works as it should.

or did

I don’t only mean the brain

which can become  unscrewed

 and need IMG_0261rewiring

Other parts get used up.

Some parts can be replaced,

others repaired

but nothing works as well as it did

hearing aides, eye glasses and dentures are part of the norm

after a certain age

Spare parts become available

at great human cost,

the death of one can bring new  life for another

One day no doubt

there will be more new miracle fixes

for us old folks

but please pass me by so that

I can get onto my next life time.

Questioning my Good Sense


Why the hell did I do that?

I don’t understand how I could have thought it was a good idea to bid on a 31-foot class A RV. IMG_4639.jpg

Why was my thinking so far off?  I liked the huge front windshield looking over everyone with a clear view ahead, and it looks really nice inside, roomy..32 feet. But it left out any information of the inner workings, the motor, the tires, generator, battery.  so much left out should have been a cautionary note that I missed.

I’ve been looking for a rig of about 20 feet or less so I can feel confident in my ability to drive it.

I know this.

Yet I bid $9,200  or so and no one outbid me. I’m trying to understand what prompted me to make a bid when the item was impossible for me to drive and I am not ready to start living in an RV.  My sister says it reminds her of when I called her to tell her I’d shaved my head.  I had to live with that for a long time., and it still gets referenced.  They think I’m goofy but I was taking Ambien at the time and one does strange things in their sleep while under its influence.

Could this new life adventure, living full time in a van be another goofiness?  I’m not taking medication that would account for any goofiness.

But as I think about this I remember another time when my behavior could have been the  result of  medication…which I still take. The literature noted that one could have unusual behavior and could take risks  or start gambling I was very sensual and even  inappropriate, but to be very honest I had a great time, to the embarrassment of some.    Nothing wrong with a 65 year old woman feeling sensual lI’ll remember those days with fondness and without embarrassment.) and a little sad that time has past.

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How did I let this happen?

 

Is it too late to be making a plan?

Finally starting to think about my later years

I know what I’ll do during my 75th,

I’ll be making plans

Who will I be in this next phase,

Will I  bring anything of value to another person,

What are my options.

And why did I let this happen to me?  Never thought I’d be single at this age but divorces are a step into the unknown.  I haven’t made any effort to find a new love or husband,  I’m a happy single, That is not my goal, I’ve been a resource for my kids when they needed me.  They need to be my resource now.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say, I never wanted a long life. And suddenly now I’m 75 Amazes me how did that happen!!   And if I do live long I hope to be functioning at a high level and then drop dead…the wish of all us oldsters.  No pain no drama just be here one day and gone the next.

What will you be remembered for?

 

 

Notes on Mourning,

Different cultures mourn in different ways.  In Panama, I noted that there are certain guidelines (mostly from the ‘church) on the wearing of black, then purple and finally white clothes over a specific time frame to indicate the stage of mourning.  If you wear black it is assumed you are in mourning even if you just like your little black dress. I wore a black dress because I liked it and was asked several times ‘who died’

I may be back in another lifetime to work out whatever problems I’ve caused in this lifetime.  I need to doIMG_4639.jpg better to improve my karma

I keep my Buddha close to remind me to be kind in any situation. The only words of wisdom I’ve learned these many years, (and not always been true to myself,)  are just three words.

Just Be Kind. 

Feeling Stuck, Guess I’ll organize my Paint

I know what I need to do  but I’m having trouble getting things done, or doing things that have no relationship to what needs doing.

I have four 20 x 20 inch good canvases that I should paint something fantastic on but I’m afraid I’ll make a mess so I haven’t even tried to paint anything on them, instead I spend time organizing my paints.  My studio is a mess so I’m sure that will be my next project  wasting  time  before getting started painting.

I  need to watch some videos to get ideas to find my way back into a painting.  The whole moving plan has my mind distracted from the steps I need  to have a successful  move, a successful future on the road.

I’m assuming you know about my plan to buy an rv and live in it blissfully making my way around the country side selling my art…tailgateart, here and there now and then and forever thankful for the idea that could work for me and my old age life.

I”ll start making lists, it’s so nice to be able to scratch them off as they are completed. I feel very excited about my new life plan and wish I had everything ready now but it looks like I won’t be able to go forward until May.  Meanwhile I need to sell some paintings . And make prints to sell. And take my stuff to the market to sell.  And add photos of my work to our neighborhood news.

One unsettling problem I’ve had is that my computer died and took along with it my photos    Some but not all I’ve found in the cloud and can use them for prints, but the separate  albums I”d make of family and friends is gone.    I have an external hard drive but honestly I don’t know how to use it, everyone says just plug it in, but how to I know what is happening.  I bought a refurbished MacBook  so I’ll try to see what is on the hard drive using this newish computer.

Late note

Another failure computer wise, can’t find my pictures on the external disc, says I have no permission to see what’s there.  I tried to correct permissions but couldn’t.   Guess I’ll go organize my paint .IMG_3507.jpgIMG_3512.jpg

Searching on Ebay for my Home?

Every day I spend hours on my computer searching on Ebay for my new home.

Since when does Ebay sell homes?

It depends on how you define home.  For me,   being ‘homeless’ in one sense, just means starting a new life style that I am excited about and plan  to start in the next few months.

Doing my research, learning what this will entail, what I will need to be safe and how I will finance my new home.  My budget is not large nor is my income so I need to look carefully and not get overly enthusiastic at what I see today and  buy something I will not have a place  to park until I’m ready to roam.  (Which reminds me I need to update my passport as I want to spend time in Mexico).  I’m spending time on-u- tube reading the many blogs out there written by people who are  full time rv’ers.

One excellent resource is “Bob” of cheaprvliving.com.  He is the main guru of rv living and shares his years of experience living full time on public lands for free, he gives good information and is  well regarded in the community.  And there is community in this population, and it is growing.

I notice that there is a rather large number of older single woman who have taken this life style  .  Whether with limited resources or plenty,they report that they are happy  and only regret  not taking the leap to do this years  ago. Some even older than I am. (gasp)

You might think that these are just homeless people living in their car, or van and some are for sure.  But those   I’ve watched on their tube channels are not feeling homeless,   Many have    monetized  their utube channel and make videos of their travels and share their experiences good and not so good.  And it’s not just people over 65 retired, plenty of young people manage to work remotely from their rv and travel while working.

It’s not for everyone.

But I believe that I have the personality to live this way.  I’m an independent introvert, some might even say recluse, I  live in my head too much and this could be even therapeutic , not that I need  therapy!

I need to learn about generators, solar panels, holding tanks of water, gray and black tanks and how to manage heating and cooling and most importantly, how to drive one.

The only thing I regret is my age and there is nothing I can do about that and I’ll just get older.  Starting at 75 is not ideal, but I am ready now and excited to get started.IMG_1622

My Restless Mind, What’s next?

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First I painted flowers following lessons online and in books using techniques by one-step maven Dona Dewberry it was fun, they certainly weren’t botanical specimens but after gifting many I began selling them, people liked them at craft fairs. Then I started making cards with my photos and selling them too.

 

Next up, I saw the papers that my sister used to make her rocks and thought about what else could be made with the same papers.   I thought jewelry and ordered wood bangles from China when I couldn’t ‘find any suppliers in the USA, I did try..  I covered them with beautiful papers made in Japan, Thailand, India, and Tibet. and gave them three coats of varnish.  I ordered some rings from China too so they would match the bangles.  Beautiful items but our wrists and fingers are larger than those of Chinese women and we had trouble getting them over our hands without scraping our knuckles and the rings only fit to the first knuckle, (so I called them knuckle knockers).  I still have most of them, will give them away one of these days. Slight miscalculation but many pleasant hours of making.

Never one to be without a project   I started sewing little purses, I called them pursettas and I must have sewn 100 pursettas , thinking surely women would see how convenient they were, it was when we wore our mini purses hanging from our shoulders and kept our phones and keys ready for a trip to the store,  I made vertical and horizontal pursettas with pretty buttons to use for the office. Some for summer, others for winter and some large enough to carry a tennis ball.

PicMonkey Collage (12)I must have 85 of them still.  Need a pursetta?

I am an idea person but unfortunately, I have difficulty following through with marketing because if you can’t sell you should go slowly into the project and maybe start with making only a few items to test and not go crazy with this new idea. Good advice

I need to follow my advice.

For me it’s not even about making money as I often give my stuff away, you like it?  it’s yours.

I do that.

Next up I made rocks like my sister Shar but only used papers from Thailand because I loved the elegance and deep colors of the papers. Shar made these beauties and I made the next,  by the way, they are still for sale, drop me a note if you are interested, she sells them by weight and design.

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Ready for more?

I ordered online classes from  Tim Gagnon to learn to paint landscapes.  I’m still working on my trees, having trouble painting realistic blooming, foliage on my trees.

 

next was a flurry of abstract paintings on canvas paper, practicing ribbon art and most lately my dots and lines that I really enjoyed making but don’t expect them to be a hot item, that’s okay I still like them any way they make a nice statement framed in a white frame.IMG_4174I took this photo thru the glass frame and I like how it turned out with a change of color and I bet I could change it more. I think I’ll try it with a few more of those paintings because I think it would make a cool image  on a print.( when it warms up, too cold to get out in the sun just yet)

It’s good for me to have a project that makes me get up in the morning, eager to get started.  I think besides getting prints, finding the right papers for prints, my next project will be learning all I can about living RV full-time, as time is getting short!

 

 

Looking back……2017

I’ve had some changes in the past year that I think has been pretty good for me.  A year older for sure, I wish I had not waited so long to make changes. Feelings of restlessness, of being pretty sure that I was not finished learning new things, about myself and about the world I’d created around me

IMG_0007_2 (my painting)

I had been living in Austin while studinging Chinese Medicinefinishing up credits to take my RN boards, passing both and working in a Doctors office doing triage and some acupuncture.  It was a busy time that I should have been just studying not working because the concepts of Chinese medicine are quite different from western medicine and not easy for a person versed in our style of medicine to grasp. So I  benefited during those 3 years of study, enjoyed my Professor Bindi Zhu and was successful treating patients but never completely used my new skills.  I went back to nursing doing home care and finally began the highlight of my nursing experience in Hospice Care.

When my daughter had her first child I quit my job and sold my home and went to Florida to help,  I continued to do so until last year. I lived close by in a condo while in Florida and in their basements in Virgina  About 12 years in all.  And it was fine, wonderful in fact, but then the boys grew up, didn’t need so much hands-on attention, were involved in sports and middle school I became a chauffeur.

It was time for me to move on, at least for awhile, while I still can. I’m already 75!

My lovely sister said to come back to Texas and I did.  Some tears shed on both sides of the windshield both my daughter’s tears and mine.

I moved into a one bedroom apartment in Plano TX  for a year and found that my income would soon not be enough when the rent went up as it always does each year. My sister saved me again with an offer to live with them for a while, saving money for my next move.

I was painting and selling my work at craft fairs, even bought a tent and tables all the stuff needed to attend Saturday farmers markets but this is physically challenging for me plus  I’m not very good at selling and managing the business.  My sister is stronger (and 6 years younger) but she became less enthusiastic quickly. I understand and so I bought a printer that I can make prints of my paintings and sell online someday, maybe.

Sold the printer as I would not be able to take it in my RV, too heavy  too big so that info has been deleted here

Living with my sister and husband for the past 4 months have been a perfect interlude but I can’t stay here forever so I am making new plans.

FFA-L-0027   I’ll share the thought process here,