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Aging, Pain, Crabbiness and May Flowers Day 26


I’m going to tackle aging, pain and crabbiness first. It’s become a real topic of discussion in our household lately. Mr. Tattered is now on Medicare, and I turn 60 in a few weeks, so it’s bound to come up. As we look back on family pictures from days of old, and the current ones, it’s hard to miss that we ain’t spring chickens anymore!

Aging really didn’t bother me much before now. I flew through 30 and 40 like they were nothing, and even 50 didn’t phase me all that much. But with 60 looming? Hmmm. Not loving it.

And now, with my back injury taking so long to heal, I’m facing the possible prospect of chronic back pain, and it really has me taking another look at the aging process, and how the pain of aging alters our outlook on life.

I’m a basically cheerful person, with a happy disposition most all the time and a positive outlook on life. Even at 59 I’ve had a bounce in my step. I have known crabby old people, and I have known happy old people, and I always thought it was a choice. And, of course, I always knew I would choose happy.

Now I am not so sure it’s a choice.

I normally have a high pain tolerance. Things that would have many people crying, like slamming a finger in a car door, cause only a flinch. Even injuring my back didn’t cause me to cry. But the day after day pain is wearing on me, and I am beginning to see how debilitating chronic pain can be. It casts a a pall over your whole day, perhaps even your whole life. The bounce in my step is gone, at least for now, although I get a glimpse of it now and then.

I haven’t given up. I am working on strengthening on my back muscles, and I refuse to concede defeat. I still have hope that this situation isn’t permanent. But it is making me look at crabby old people in a different light. Maybe they DON’T have the choice, after all. Maybe the pain of aging is just more than they can take with a smile on their face.

Is that the lesson this injury is supposed to be teaching me? I have been a bit less than sympathetic to Mr. Tattered’s aches and pains over the years. And I certainly have found crabby old people to be a pain in my backside. I have often thought to myself that they need to “man up” and get over it. I am wondering now if I have been too harsh in my judgement, now that I have spent some time walking in their moccasins.

I have to admit, I’m anxious to get out of them, and back into my high heels.

Lord, almighty…light bulb moment. I just realized why my mother-in-law held onto her high heels for so many years after she was unable to wear them anymore…man do I feel like a jerk for scoffing at that (even though I did it out of her hearing.)

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For my flower of the day, I’d like to present my delphinium. I just love the blue-edged blossoms. I have trouble getting the delphinium to return year after year, even though they are supposed to be perennials, so these are new. I’ve planted them a little more out in the open this year, in hopes that they will have an easier time coming back next spring. I hope the color is as shocking on your monitor as it is mine!

If you’ve been going over to Lori’s main May Flowers blog, you’re probably getting tired of the reminder, but just in case, she’s a wonderful photographer, as well as a very special lady…

About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

8 responses »

  1. I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with chronic pain. But it sure can put a lot of things into perspective — including aging.

    Reply
  2. Awww, thanks Janet. xoxo Chronic pain sucks and I, like you, have often wondered what lies behind someone else’s crabbiness. As you know, I live with chronic pain, I have to say that I have my days when I am a crabby mess (Superman would say that they happen less now that they use to) but for the most part I’ve learned to live with my limitations. It often means that my attitude has had to be more flexible. The planner in me has had to fluctuate based on how I feel and it has made me have to have options rather than a single plan of action. Superman has figured it out too – he asks how I feel, what I think I’m capable on a given day and we both have learned to go with the flow. I sit when I need to sit, I may even take the whole day and watch movies. I’ve even recently discovered a form of art that I can do in bed (pen doodles and zentangles). Chronic pain sucks and I am sorry that you have to deal with but, my friend, I feel that you are dealing with it well. (by the way, dealing with it instead of ignoring is half the battle) xoxo

    Reply
    • Thank you, sweet friend. I know so many people have it so much worse than I do. And I do have the potential for recovering, which I am grateful for. I guess one of my biggest concerns is that I had already started to feel a bit panicy about how little productive time I have left (feeling your own mortality is part of this aging process.) Now this comes along, and I am even less productive. Maybe it is nature’s way of saying I’ve done my job and it’s time to relax. Hmmmmm. That’s got my mind going in a whole different direction.

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      Reply
  3. I know where you’re coming from. My back has not let up either and I’m feeling it in more places. What started as a “pulled mucscle”, I’m beginning to think could be something with arthritis. Both of my parents had arthritis in their backs. Lordy be, I’m hoping not. Everytime I move a certain way to get up, I groan or moan. Mr. Cottage looks on at me and I tell him to ignore my noise, that I do it because it feels good for me. Hmmm? Whatever! Anyways, Mr. Cottage has been on medicare for 2.5 years and I’m going on it in October. Geez, all of a sudden you mention medicare and you’re talking old people! I don’t like that, but I don’t want the alternative just yet!

    Reply
    • I don’t mind aging so much if I can do it perky, which has been the case until recently. I hope to get back to it, or at least closer, but you’re right. Getting older beats the alternative!

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      Reply
  4. Your flowers are beautiful!!! I can never get them to come back either but I do keep buying them.
    Living with constant pain changes everything about you and your life and often the lives of your family members. Hopefully yours will improve and life will return to normal for you. Attitude is everything :0)

    Reply

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