Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Decades Come and Decades Go

Below is a list of the "positives" of my life and the seeming "negatives." The negatives I am working on and recently decided to return to sessions with Peter, my therapist. While I have so much for which to be grateful, so many wonderful and supportive friends and family, so many exciting projects - personal as well as altruistic, I feel a pall of sadness following me through it all.

Gregory's two-year passing anniversary is nearing, October 4th, and while it has become easier I continue to grieve the loss. I miss him so. Maybe what I grieve is living my life alone without my best friend, or just getting older I grieve my youth. I shared all of this with my niece Colleen during her visit last weekend and she lovingly asked me to remove the last item on Page #2. 

I replied the following: Sure. Remove the item in question. I know that I am not biding my time … but I do know it is lurking there in the future. At my age, the end is closer rather than farther but how grateful I am that I have had all this time to enjoy and work with life and I look forward to what lies ahead!

The decades get more difficult to spend when you are older. I am ... and hopefully will be able to continue "spending" them wisely. 

40 to 50 is frightening but no big deal.

50 to 60 is surreal but tolerable.

60 to 70 is unbelievable, how did I get here so quickly.

Now comes the tough part. 70 to 80, like wow. I am still alert, aware, agile, somewhat productive although certainly slower than I was.

80 to 90? Wow! If I AM still alert, aware, agile and somewhat productive that will be not only a blessing but in many ways a miracle. 

THEN 90 to 100? Ouch.

So while I know (and hope) that my death is not imminent, the decades may be responsible for the “pall” I discussed with you, getting older gracefully is not easy but I am working at it!

POSITIVES: (* = while positve, also creates stress)

* Memoirs
* Alzheimer’s: The Musical
* Alzheimer’s: The Poetic Opera
   Guest Columns in Windy City Times
   Board Member Floating Opera Company
   Floating Opera Incubator
* Added Michael’s Museum Collections possibility
* Reverend Michael in D.C. (October) wedding of God Daughter Whitney
   San Pancho Mexico (January)
   Michael’s Recent Alzheimer’s Presentations:
          Northshore Univ Health Division of Palliative Care and Hospice, 
          United Methodist Church of LaGrange Illinois,
          University of Chicago Middle School Students,
          Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation,
          Sherman Plaza Book and Social Club, 
          Dementia Alliance International Australia,
          Pritzker School of Medicine,
          Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Business,
          Battle Creek Alzheimer's Association, and
          Battle Creek Congregational Church.
   Friends over Dinner
   Attend Theater/Opera/Musicals
   Out of Town Guests
   Meditation (Daily)
   * Buddhist Retreat (August)
   Continued Condo Refinement
   Publishing Gregory’s writing posthumously
   Volume III of “Sit With Me A While” poetry
   “A Relationship of Writers: A writing memoir with Chris Peterson”
   Continued feelings of gratitude and joy

NEGATIVES (stated positively?:)
—Gregory’s Remains Dispersal
—Regular Meals
—Disciplined Food Choices
—Weight loss
—More ambition
—Rather stay at home
—Avoiding Depression
—Identifying feeling sad - Pall
—More crying but less overwhelmed
—Different attitudes towards friends 


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