I have, mostly been writing about things and people that are dear to my heart. This time around I’m going to make a turn and write about something most people are uncomfortable with and that is change.
Before we begin, I want to be perfectly clear that every change has the opportunity to be good. If it’s an unwanted change we can learn from it if it’s a positive change we can delight in it but we all will react to change in one form or another. Now to be frank I don’t like change. Almost every change in my life had come with some sort of negative aspect that I wasn’t anticipating and so I get thrown or depressed. This has been a life long struggle but it is one I eventually conquer.
Change has been happening to my body over the last twelve or thirteen years. It began with my legs. I realized I had no feeling from my knees to my toes and was diagnosed with neuropathy a condition mostly found in diabetics of which I was not one. Then both of my feet became full of arthritis and my knees followed with the same thing. To date walking is very difficult and standing for long periods of time impossible. It became clear that I could not work and had to drop out of the work force.
I miss working. Working gave me purpose and a sense of meaning to my life. Since I worked in the health field, I also felt a sense of accomplishment as I helped others become well or deal with their illnesses. For a brief period of time, I worked in a nursing home as an assistant activities director and that job gave me great joy as I could see the good, I was doing and could use the skills I had as an actor and director.
We are all given a number of gifts when we come into this world. I can picture God in heaven designing each and every one of us and pouring into us from his vast store house of gifts the things we will love and the things we will be passionate about. For me he decided on English and music, writing, and acting, directing and creating. He gave me the heart of an artist and the temperament of one too.
I remember my experience of directing different shows but most especially the ones I did for the church. I could literally feel God’s pleasure in me as I did my best with what he gave me for him. Those weren’t only good times they were amazing times.
Of course, it didn’t last, a monkey wrench got thrown into the works and everything came apart. That was the best time of my life and it seems to be over now, but I also feel like there is more in store hopefully sooner than later.
Our whole lives from the moment we are born until the day we die is about change. You can resist it all you want but it’s going to happen. In fact, it’s safe to say that if you are not actively changing you may well be actively dying. Because change is life. It challenges us, it makes us learn, it forces us to find courage, it builds bridges between people and sometimes it takes down bridges and pulls people apart. This can be good or bad. Some people need to leave our lives. It’s best for them and for us. Sometimes it’s hard to let go when a dear friend needs to leave to follow his or her passion or dream but it’s exciting too, knowing that the friend is going somewhere to be the best they can be.
Sometimes people leave us and it is not in our will or good. A dear friend and you have words and the link that has been between you is suddenly gone and you mourn that person as though they were dead, but they’re not. They have left your life and sometimes you don’t understand at all what has happened.
Then there is the hardest leaving of all death. I have been present at the death of many people. Most of them because of my job. Some of my family. Those were hard times. My mother’s death was the worst. You only have one mother and when she dies it feels like all the love in the world has gone with her. No one loves you like your mom. No one can love you like your mom. Eve may have been taken out of Adam but everyone else since has been taken out of Eve or out of woman. Every birth is a miracle and every woman who has given birth knows this.
I lived with my folks for a long time. When I got really sick I became crotchety and obnoxious. I made it a point to stay out of the way of everyone so as not do or say the wrong thing. My mother would boldly walk in where no one else would come. She’d feel my head and make sure I had what I needed. My mood would not interrupt her mission. Not long after she died, I got very sick and our dog, Lucky, came into my room jumped up on my bed and put his nose to my forehead. He then went down and snuggled at my feet. I felt mom was there telling me she hadn’t really left me and when I was in trouble, she would still be with me.
About two and a half months ago I knew I had to do something to make my life have some sort of purpose. I had toyed on and off with blogs, but it never seemed to be able to stick. This time I was bound to make it work.
I like to write. I started keeping a journal at a very young age because of the TV show The Waltons. I idolized John-Boy and saw in him the person I wanted to be so I began to write. First a journal, occasionally short stories and eventually one full length play that was performed. Writing can be the most difficult thing to start but once you get going who knows where you’ll end up. JRR Tolkien started by giving us a children’s book in The Hobbit but ended leaving us with a fantasy masterpiece in The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings was crowned the most important book of the 20th century by two different polls.
This blog has become my work. A goal set weekly to keep me from doing nothing. It exercises my mind and my imagination, and it is my hope that it entertains and maybe educates my readers. It may not be deep but is real and it is honest.
As the last few years have gone by I have gotten weaker in my legs. Walking has become harder, and I am now using a cane and may have to go to a walker. Things that used to be a joy to do are now chores because they all involve pain.
For instance, I used to love to go grocery shopping. I loved finding the sales and looking for the best of the meat. Finding the fresh produce was fun and when the seasonal stuff came out just the smell of a grocery store would excite me. In April several of the metatarsal bones at the top of my foot fractured. It took twelve weeks for them to heal but because of the arthritis the pain and the swelling won’t go away. I am in pain with almost every step and walking around a supermarket can be agony. Yes I can get groceries delivered but that’s not as much fun and you don’t know what you’re getting. You must hope that the person choosing for you thinks like you do. It doesn’t always work out that way.
My weight is now out of control and I understand mentally that I must change my ways. Back in my twenties and thirties my weight was easy to control. I didn’t drive and public transportation, though close to where I lived, wasn’t exactly near, so I walked about a mile or so a day. More so if SEPTA went on strike, and they did like clockwork. After I began to drive, in my thirties, weight started to add up on me. I would lose it and then gain more. This has become an unhealthy pattern, and something must be done and only I can do it. No one can lose weight for you.
I have investigated bariatric surgery where they sew up your stomach. I know people that have done this, and it has worked well for them. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong after surgery. I went through the initial interviews where everything was explained out and I got terrified. I’m going to have to lose weight the old-fashioned way taking it off pound by pound until it’s gone. My mother, God rest her soul, did it that way and there is no reason thst I can’t. And I really want to do it, after all, you don’t see any fat old people and I’d like to live at least a few more years.
This weekend DC comics announced that my favorite character, Superman, would have a new motto. After 80 years of “Truth, Justice, and The American Way,” It would now be “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.” I didn’t want to hear that. I liked the old motto; it was a comfort to me. It held dear the things that I held dear. Why change it? As a Christian I would have preferred a change that said, “Truth Justice and Mercy,” because that seems to me to be the message that the God of the Old and New Testaments is all about. It would have reflected the core of my own beliefs. I thought the new motto sounded very Disney. After all you can’t go into a Disney Park and not be made very aware of what the world should be like and as much as Walt was an entertainer, he was also a futurist hoping to design and be part of all the latest in technology. The song It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow rings throughout Magic Kingdom. But where does Superman fit into tomorrow. I think Superman is a bringer of light to a dark world. He brings hope. He makes every kid who feels like he’s Clark Kent know that there is something special about him. That underneath he can be Superman. I think Superman brings hope in hope can come a better tomorrow.
Recently I found out that I would have to move. The reasons don’t matter but moving is a monumental task and even more so now.
Five years ago, when I last moved, I could do so much more for myself than I can now. I could gather boxes and load up and drive car loads full of them to where I was going. I may be remembering wrong, but I think I moved all of my books and the shelves that come apart all by myself leaving not a lot for the movers to do. Now I can’t even get the boxes. Having to use a cane makes carrying stuff difficult, even empty boxes and I don’t do well on my feet because of the issues with my legs. I’m going to need a lot of help with just the move.
Looking for an apartment has been no joy either. Because I am disabled finding a building I can get into has been almost impossible. Every place seems to have steps. I did see one place where it looked really easy to get into, but the building was run down and dirty, it didn’t look like a very nice place to live so I passed on that. There are a lot of second floor apartments with beautiful space but nothing with an elevator, so it won’t work. They say moving in one of the top stressors of life and I believe it is, but it’s compounded by so little choice of where I can live.
Change, we all go through it and ultimately it is good for us. Change stretches our minds and our bodies. We find we can learn, and we can adapt if we allow change to have its way. We bend but we don’t break. Change can even be fun. Moving is tough and there is a lot I am not looking forward to, but I enjoy sorting through my belongings and thinning things out. I like to organize and pack. When the mover do come they will find me more than ready and the day will go smoothly. Even losing weight can be fun as I find new foods to enjoy as I give up the stuff that does me no good.
I stated earlier in this missive that change is a part of life and if we aren’t actively changing we are actively dying. And what is death if not change. It is the change we have no control over and it is the change most people fear more than any other. To end this I quote from from the Broadway musical Mame “LIVE LIVE LIVE, Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Or is it CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE, Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. To live is to change.