Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ambling down the backroads ...




 Having one of those days... you know, the kind where you fixate on something from the past and then start ambling through your memories and wind up miles from where you started ?  Does anyone else have those days ?   You're laying around, minding your own business, when a stray thought triggers something... a spark sometimes, a landslide other times... and suddenly it's like you are falling through time, through your life, through your mind.   The day started out innocently enough. Except maybe I didn't get quite enough sleep, lately I'm suddenly having a hard time falling asleep. Often I can't stay asleep, but lately it's been going to bed and tossing and turning, my mind going a hundred miles an hour. I lie there, thinking--Any minute it will stop and I can sleep. I know that if I get up, I'll have to contend with the dogs who are currently sleeping peacefully all waking up and getting their jig on, so it's safer to just stay where I am. Sleep finally comes, but this is something new.

   Anyway.   We've had a week or so of calamities of the sort of normal type (for us).  Chicken massacres, health issues, broken sewer pipes, nasty summer colds, truck repairs.  I was ruminating on how the problems today are so different from the problems of our past. Which led me to the impact age has on all the things we try to deal with, physically, mentally and financially.  Thinking of times when we had so much less money than we do now, and how much easier it was to deal. Sometimes. At least in my mind now. Maybe it really wasn't.  How different our life was before we came here. Thinking about those early years, when he was in college and I was at work and we managed to pay rent and eat well and and pay bills and still go to the movies once in a while anyway. About how many more bills we have now, between insurance and taxes and medical care and just, well--life.  How much the world has changed in 25 years. The things we think we absolutely can NOT live without today (cell phones, computers, central air conditioning, 2 cars, etc).  Thinking about how my dad bought a 4 bedroom 2 story Victorian house on an acre for 5 thousand dollars when I was 15.  And how,  40 years later I bought a 3 bedroom doublewide on a half acre for 15 times that much, because it was out in the country.  And this August 20th, it will be 32 years ago that I lost my dad.  That means he's been gone half my life now. My biggest cheerleader in life, The guy who always told me I was beautiful and smart and could do anything I wanted to in this life. That guy, who worked in a steel factory to support his family of 8 and never complained about a bit of it, because he felt like the luckiest guy on earth. He had been in the second world war and come back home again. He lived in America, the greatest country in the world. He had 6 wonderful kids that he loved with everything he had. Yup. One lucky guy.  Here he is in 1953, with his first child, a baby girl.  Me.



  I get a lot of my optimism from him. And my heart.  And every year about this time, I mourn the way too soon loss of a man who just turned 60 (4 years younger than I am now)  and wonder what he would think of this world of ours.  Wonder what his life would have been like. Wonder the same about my mother, who died 5 years before he did, at 55.  Rambling, ambling, walking through memories that never were.


  This morning I learned that a friend of mine (my age) has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Another friend has it too, though I'm not sure of his age.  Other friends being diagnosed right and left with cancers, with aneurysms,  with assorted and sundry illnesses and ailments of a mysterious nature. My peers starting to die.  This is the stuff that I don't think about any more than I have to, except when it's right in my face.  One of the great things about being in a 12 step program is that they hammer into you how important it is to just live one day at a time, to focus on the present, to stay where your feet are.  That kind of thinking goes a long way in helping you stay sober in the beginning, and then not freak out about your life and the world later on. When you're sober enough to be scared shitless about what's going on, because you're paying attention. Like now. Today there was a mess in Virginia. A rather young man drove his car into a crowd of  people protesting a white supremacist rally. People are scaring me.  The tsunami of hate that has rolled across this country scares me. White supremacists scare me.  And someone like me cannot go around being scared through her life.  It's hard to hold fast to a faith in a generous and compassionate supreme being when stuff like this is happening. And at a time when I need it the most. 


   I am blabbering I guess.  What do you do ?  If I listen to my own noise maybe I don't have to listen to the ugly noise in the world. If I get lost in my thoughts and my memories and my little world out here on Honeysuckle Hill, maybe when I wake up things will have righted themselves and it won't be so scary anymore.

  But I'm not holding my breath...

7 comments:

Mama Pea said...

A very well written post, Annie. A smidge depressing, yes, but so are these upsetting times we're all living through. It's like everything is wrong, unnatural, inhuman . . . and there's not much we "little people" can do about it. Greed and avarice have taken control. (I always wonder what the powers that be are creating for their grandchildren. Don't they care??)

Ol'Buzzard said...

My mother, before she died in her eighties, said she hated to sleep because everyone she dreamed about was dead. The monkeys in your mind try to converge when you release yourself to sleep - it can be restless, especially as we age.

We are only here a short time and if we allow the chaos around us to rob us of tranquility we waste the time we have left. We can be in controlled and focused on the small wonders of this day and this time, if we discipline mind.

I highly recommend 'Buddhism Plain and Simple' by Steve Hagen - not religion but a map to a more peaceful mind in the midst of chaos.

I understand
the Ol'Buzzard

DJan said...

I also am trying to hold my head above the waters surrounding me. Sometimes it feels terrifying, but we are all in this together. My virtual friends, like you, help me cope. So once to see you back and writing again. You are a talented writer.

Akannie said...

Mama Pea... I keep trying to maintain an objective look at all this, but some days it is just not possible for me. I try to ask myself: What has changed in MY life since yesterday ? And that way, I am able to just bumble through from one day to the next. Sometimes that's as good as it gets...

Akannie said...

Ol' Buzzard... I agree completely. I have read many books on Buddhism but not that one. I'll check it out. Thanks. I do try to practice a mindful life and philosophy. It helps too. But these surreal days are unlike anything I've seen in my almost 65 years. It's unnerving... PS-- love Leeanne. And I also love DonnaLou...

Akannie said...

Absolutely. I have lots of local friends too who are like minded. Some more hysterical than others. And lots of angry angry souls. Most likely it's fear. We just keep suiting up and showing up, right ?

Mama Pea said...

Both hubby and I try our very best to do the best we personally can in being good, kind, loving, helpful people but I'll admit sometimes I feel guilty in that there are so many people suffering . . . but I'm at a loss as to what I can do. I am frightened when I see the way humanity seems to be going. I have to remind myself that worrying is using your imagination to create something you don't want. So, like you, we just keep trying to do the best we can.