Isn’t it odd how old we become on the outside while inside we still feel like a twenty-year-old? That is my one observation having spent some days visiting with my dad.
His dementia has progressed at a frightening rate. So much so, that we had no choice but to bring him back to the nursing home where he feels happy. For me, it was a tough decision in one way, because I remember his reluctance to consider going in for respite eighteen months ago and his refusal to move mum to a local nursing home. However, I was happy knowing that, he is safer with many carers around him than just one of us with him twenty-four seven.
It is now two weeks since he moved house, and the weight has lifted from my shoulders, years and layers of stress are falling away and I have gained a little weight. Dad too is experiencing a lightening of years as he takes part in musical afternoons, dancing with anyone who is willing to risk getting their feet shuffled on, or squashed. His bright cheery “Hello,” gains him smiles and conversation. He is taking part in art classes, and on Wednesday of this week, he was a baker hoping to enjoy tea and queen cakes which he had helped to whip up and bake.
Just like Bob he is managing to hold on to his good humour and winning ways.
You would think I would know better, this is a sentence I repeat over and over. For instance newly married we stupidly believed if we work hard, save a few euro and life will run smoothly. Rubbish. The government simply creates new fiendish taxes and we are caught in a loop.
Life is what you make of it – true. But if you keep your life simple and try to help others, everyone thinks you are amazing until you have that one mili second of a slip up and you are the worlds worst ejit.
If it throws lemons – make lemonade. – Difficult but possible. Then the stupid government discovers you made lemonade and they tax it.
Smile and the whole world smiles with you. – No, they simply look at you and wonder why is that idiot is smiling? Is she laughing at me? Either way you, the smiler are in big trouble – Run.
All in all it leads to the same thing – I should know better. In fact I should do what Bob does, nothing and live in the moment. In other words dream!
These are the questions being asked by those about me, and the answers are mixed. Some from Bob and some from me. I bet you can guess who answered what..
What if the sun burns itself out?
His next in command, the moon, will take over and our lives will be mellower.
What if it doesn’t rain before September?
Irish people will become even more disgruntled and focused on the weather? Nothing new there. Their 4 legged tail wagging friends will wallow in the shade and be content with early morning walks in the woods.
What if Breeze the ogre moves out of the wood in search of water?
Never listen to an elderly academic when he says: I know I put the pipe down here..but the yard keeps flooding so I need to find the pipe it must be blocked”
Given that the man in question is 84 we decided to help our a heart attack was imminent.
This is where our weekend went: “The drainage pipe that I am looking for is to the right of that water meter”
Sounds simple. But it wasn’t.
By Sunday evening we had located three different pipes and some were leading to the back garden. We were exhausted aching but a discovery had been made. Academics should never, ever do anything practical around the house. Or you end up with this:
The word “diet” never sat well with me. As a chunky teenager, I always felt – fat. But joining an athletic club, plus cycling to and from school soon slimmed me down. As a result of this experience I have always, had an interest in cooking, dietary requirements and exercise. I apologize if this sounds pompous but it is the truth, I like food and I like to think healthy, always have and hope I always will do so.
When I stopped coaching athletics in primary schools I decided this extra time should be devoted to me, getting fitter. The main reason is simply, I volunteer with a rescue group and I don’t want the fact I am older than some of the crew mean I am automatically thought of as too old to crew a boat or use Ellie for tracking. So I started going to a gym for classes and this progressed to Cross fit which I am hooked on as it has made me more aware of flexibility core strength etc, which can only mean a fitter me.
Birthday Burpees – what a way to celebrate your birthday.
However I suppose in my long-winded way, the point of this whole tale is in general people do not stretch themselves, we take the easy way out, as I did for years saying I walk every day so I am fit enough. Truth is I have learnt a lot about myself, my body and about the correct way to eat, (for me) and would love to encourage everyone to do the same. There is no magical diet but there is a way to eat (diet) to suit each one of us given our body shapes, our past times and our budget. It simply takes time to discover it. What do you think?