I will not go gently

My good friend’s husband is still ill. He has been in the hospital for four weeks. He has not been able to be out of bed the whole time. There are many things that have gone on with the hospital stay that I won’t bring up here but the bottom line is that the initial problem has not been able to be fixed and he is not as well as he was going in.

Chronicles-15-7Last night my husband asked the question: “Do you think that because of his age they are not really trying hard to fix this?” I didn’t really have an answer but I do wonder if that plays a part in this scenario.

As we grow older I know that society can be dismissive….ignoring older people and treating them as “less than.” In an earlier blog I touched on this subject and included a poem about old men that highlighted this problem. The poem was written a long time ago and I am not sure that the problem has gotten any better. Why should we be cast aside….thrown away like an old cell phone that’s software is out of date? We have much to offer and I will continue until death comes to lift me away.

Shakespeare-Quotes-1200x776-750x485I refused to be dismissed. I refuse to go gently. Below are the words of Dylan Thomas in this poem for his father.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That
Good Night

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

My mother

Tomorrow is mother’s day in the US. Mother’s day has been difficult for me since I lost my mother. I know my own children will call and I love that but for me it has always been about my mother.

mother graduation

(photo from her high school graduation—-she was born in 1909)

My mother was amazing. She was beautiful and had a real sense of style. She never left the house that she didn’t look “dressed to the nines.” She was diagnosed in my teens with Addison’s Disease which was caused by a TB infection she had when I was a baby. Her lungs were not affected by the TB but it caused her adrenal gland to fail. She almost died before it was diagnosed. She never let the problems from this change her life or her positive outlook. She was always a pillar of strength and was the person I could count on when I fell apart. She didn’t understand my anxiety but she supported me nonetheless.

I was blessed with an incredible mother. Her faith was strong and unlike me she was not prone to worry. I miss her all the time but had her with me until she was 95 years old. She left this world as gracefully as she lived. Thank you mother.

Sleep: the balm of hurt minds

no sleepI couldn’t get to sleep last night. There was nothing wrong I just couldn’t sleep. It goes without saying that today I am tired and not functioning at 100%. I have two granddaughters who have sleep problems. One of them has struggle her whole life with it. As a child she would be awake in her room all night.

Shakespeare spoke about it in Macbeth – “the innocent sleep; Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem. It causes so many parts of our body to be in crisis. The following list is from WebMD.

 

In addition to this list is the problem of brain drain. Our brains don’t work well without sleep. Our memory doesn’t work well and we have mood changes. We are also prone to accidents, weakened immune system, and lowered sex drive. We need sleep. Anxiety can easily cause us to not be able to sleep. We have too much adrenaline running and can’t slow down.

The opposite problem is too much sleep. Depression is one thing that can set us up for this. We just want to pull the covers over our heads and drift away from the feelings. The odd thing is that this can cause almost the same problems and health issues as too little sleep.

When we suffer from mental health issues we can swing from too little sleep to too much sleep in a heartbeat. There are many ideas about how to get to sleep. Sometimes routine can help. Staying away from TV or cell phones helps some people. Strangely enough I get to sleep faster with a dumb TV program on low. I guess it keeps my mind from wandering.

counting sheep

The trick is to find what works for you. Sleep is an important part to maintaining our health. Sleep truly is the “balm of hurt minds.”

 

 

Can we change our feelings?

Each moment that we live we deal with feelings. They are part of our everyday life. We are never without them. Our emotions set the tone for our function and how we experience each day. Our emotions influence our lives. There is never a moment when we are emotionless. There are people who have little emotion but they are deemed abnormal.

bad day

When I get up in the morning my feelings about the day will influence how the day goes. Even though I may start out feeling down about the day I can help the day get better by consciously deciding to change how I feel.

Usually when I feel down I just want to slop around in my PJ’s and do as little as possible. I have discovered that if I make the effort to take a shower, put on decent clothes and make an effort to look nice that I feel better. It may take work but it is worth it. At least for me how I look with influence how I feel.

When anxiety or depression crop up it is hard to make the effort to do anything. I just want to turn on a TV show and lose myself in it. If I really push myself and get dressed and go out to be with people I can lift myself up out of that mood—-at least for awhile. I can sometimes even forget what had me so down.

Good feelingsOur lives are not only impacted by what we feel but also by what we do. Sometimes it is agony to pull yourself up and get moving but it can help. How we look also influences how others react to us. If I am in sweat pants and have a hangdog expression then that is how I will be perceived. The times when I can make that change have a tremendous impact on my feelings. There are times when we can’t get the oomph needed but we need to keep on trying. Each time we win is a plus and increases the chance that we can do it the next time.