Tags: arthritis, diabetes, Getting older, meditation, yoga
Well, as you may have noticed, I’ve been AWOL for a while. My last post, about our friend Trevor, was at the end of October. November was a pretty crazy month–a week at
Grail meetings outside Cincinnati, not to mention getting out there and back, followed by a bunch of doctor’s visits. And then turkey-mania, with grandkids dashing around the apartment.
But in the past I’d have shoved a blog post (or four) in around the edges. This time I didn’t. You see, I’m trying to slow down.
I began thinking about slowing down in August, when my GP told me I have a pre-diabetic glucose level. I was shocked. I had the mistaken notion that you have to be overweight to get diabetes. Since I wasn’t, I ate whatever I wanted. If an article wasn’t going well, I had five chocolate chip cookies. And ice cream for desert. I’d just walk farther the next day, or do an extra half-hour on the exercise bike. Immediately upon getting the diagnosis, I changed my diet substantially, but it was a little depressing. Especially since another medical condition forces me not to eat artificial sweeteners. And then in the fall, I got arthritis in one of the wrists I had broken in 2011.
I have many friends who have much worse health issues then these: some who have had rheumatoid arthritis for years; some who actually have Type 2 diabetes. But there was something about dealing with both of them that forced me to think more about the need to slow down (that and my husband retiring in June and moving his office into the apartment.) I’ve taken up yoga, which helps the wrist a lot, as long as I do it every day. I’ve even begun meditating.
I was thinking about the need to modify my headlong tendencies back in the middle of November when NPR played an interview with the South African novelist, Doris Lessing, who had just died. Lessing said that when she finished a book and sent it to the publisher, at first she would feel really good, and think that she didn’t have to do anything else. But after a half hour or so, she would start thinking about what she would write next. It reminded me of myself. I actually retired from teaching in 2008. But teaching was always, in a certain sense, what I did to finance my habit—writing. And writing is kind of like owning your own business. It’s really hard to retire. You cannot imagine how many times a day I have an idea for an article.
I thought maybe I should stop blogging, because it’s ideas for blog posts that pop into my head most often. But I would miss being in touch with you all. So I’ve decided to keep on writing, but try to make the posts shorter. The twenty-five year old P.R. guy who encouraged me to start the blog (as a way to sell my books) said posts should be about five hundred words. So I’m going to give that a try. I also had a fantasy about changing the title of my blog to “An American Catholic on the Margins of Old Age,” but I can’t figure out how to change the settings. ( :