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Monday, July 3, 2017

Living Life to It's Fullness

As I sit here writing this post I think about what I want to write this week. It has been a pretty uneventful week, most of which I spent sleeping thanks to the wonderful pain medicine my doctor prescribed me for an unexpected flare-up of gout. You just have to love walking around feeling fuzzy for almost five days. The good news is that my gout has subsided back to where it came from.

Now comes my next thought, I hate saying I have gout. You’re probably asking me why that is and
for truth,  I don’t have an answer except that it makes me feel old. When I hear the word I always conjure a picture of an old man sitting with his foot up on a stool, a cocker spaniel puppy draped across his lap. His foot is swaddled in bandages, and there is a cane propped up against the wall nearby. He is a jovial old man. One who has spent his life enjoying it in abundance. He is a little pudgy, with a rounded belly that reminds me of Santa laughing with his bowl full of jelly. His eyes are bright and alert, with a wire set of spectacles resting on the bulbous end of his nose. A fire burns merrily away next to him in the fireplace by his chair.

Yes, I know I am a bit crazy, but there you have it. I don’t think of me even at my young age of fifty having gout or for that matter all the other afflictions that hit me as the hands on the clock ticked by, moving the years forward. I don’t want to be thought of as old, even though if you ask my niece, she’ll say I’m older than dirt. When did this happen, did I miss a memo or something?

In my mind, I still feel the same as I did years ago. Sure my body doesn’t move as well as it used to, but whose does. My excuse is that I have lived and worked almost every day of those years, all the long hours, lack of sleep and apathy seem to slow me down after awhile. As each year passes it feels like your body stiffens just a bit more, ready to have some relief that never seems to arrive. Now I have pictures of people bent into grotesquely shaped pretzels as they age, floating across my mind. What was I talking about again? 

Oh, that’s right. Gout and how it makes me feel old. I know you can get this at a young age, it happens due to excess. Too much red meat, wine, and all the stuff that makes life more appealing.
What caused mine you ask? A choice cut of steak cooked over an open fire, grilled to perfection by my dear brother last weekend. The first thing my doctor asked was if I had any red meat recently and I actually felt naughty for admitting that I had. When did it become a crime to enjoy a good steak, with you paying a penalty with your body. Getting old sucks.

So now I am going through a revitalization of my lifestyle. Getting rid of those things that cause more harm than good. I am taking a long hard look at my diet, at my activity level, and even my stress levels. I’m trying to make changes that will extend my walk on this planet we call home. I want to stick around to see my smart ass niece and nephew grow up and realize maybe us grownups weren’t too crazy after all. Most of all I want them to remember me for being alive, not some broken down, worn old woman. I want them to know that I appreciated my life enough to make the changes to ensure that I would be there for them.

I guess the essence of my story today, is that it’s a fact of life that we are all going to get old. What we have to decide is if we are going to accept the mindset of an old person, and grab our rocking chair and cane. Or are we going to live “La Vida Loca” as the song goes? Live the crazy life. I don’t know about you but crazy sounds a whole lot more fun. How about you? Which would you rather do? Let me know in the comments what you do to stay young. Until next week remember always live life fully and laugh often  

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