Monday, February 29, 2016

No I'm Not Having A Breakdown

I am not having a breakdown, but I am having something, I know that for sure. I want change, but have gotten stale in my desire to take chances. Perhaps it all has to do with my damn hip issues. But I am working on getting myself up and moving again, my hip replacement surgery (this time for the right hip - the left hip was replaced in May) scheduled for this April. Yikes, Déjà vu. Been there, done that, got a T-shirt. Who the hell wants to do it again? But if I don't I will forever be walking on my cane, popping pain meds, and overall feeling handicapped.

I watch everyone, watch how they move, and want to move freely, too. It has been almost two years that my hips and I have done this dance. And not the type of dancing I like. Although, I have to admit, in the aftermaths of my last surgery, dancing to Bruno Mars Uptown Funk on my walker was exhilarating.

I wonder what craziness will follow. I looked at a house in a quaint little town over the weekend. My desire to move to an old house on a small parcel of land, and I mean old house, one older than I am, is constant. Life plays tricks on me, I feel content, and so I abandon this dream because I am having fun in town, close to my friends. The feeling of contentment lasts a few months, and then I am back to my dreams of finding, not Mr. Right, but the Right House. (Mr. Right has been gone now almost eight years.) The old age thing that bothers me, is when will it be to late to move? The drive after exiting the freeway was full of pastures with cows, for heaven's sake. COWS. Black and white, hundreds of them, grazing in fields. Charming. Could I look at cows on my drive rather than all the traffic and buildings surrounding me now? Perhaps. My farm fantasy is bigger than any man fantasy. Men fantasies: Been there, done that, got a T-shirt. But I've never had a farm. I've never had a Victorian cottage.

Every year, the same thought, I should move, change, be daring. Every year something holds me back. What does the universe have planned for me. I do believe this period of my hip issues is for a larger issue. Giving me time for the next big chapter. I'd have already made some sort of a move if I could physically move better. I know I am in a growing, discovery period, but, enough already. I need something more.

Being grateful is important in life, and I am happy, thankful, and grateful, I never doubt for a minute I am blessed. My question is this. At what point does being grateful keep you from moving forward? Change is growth. There is always a cliché for every thought. This one: Bloom where you are planted. I'm blooming. I need to be repotted, perhaps.

So, Saturday night, after a glorious day in the country, I am back in my hood with a friend, eating dinner, watching younger folks dancing to old rock music.  Tapping my feet to the beat, and drinking wine, I think about my upcoming birthday in August. If things go as planned, I will be dancing on the floor, not moving to the music at my table. A young woman was dancing that evening, and I want to be like her, at least, bolder in my dress like her. Wearing a dark Fedora, a blazer, short skirt, black tights and tennis shoes, she danced a few minutes with her wine glass and then vanished into the night.

My sixty-fifth birthday I was wearing a straw Fedora at a Steppenwolf concert at a Harley Davidson dealership. That photo is my current avatar here. I don't see why I can't update to a black Fedora for my sixty-eighth birthday. That, and a lot of red lipstick. A girl needs a little color.

In the interim, I am working on a new book. Years ago, in 2010 to be exact, after the launch for my widow memoir, I sat on my patio, dogs by my side, watching the moon slip in and out of the night clouds, and thought my house was the perfect setting for a Nancy Meyers movie, the movie adaptation of The Unfaithful Widow. (I love all her movies, my favorite, It's Complicated) Now, I wonder if I wouldn't like to be sitting in a rambling quirky Victorian farmhouse in a quiet, but literary community, an hour from Atlanta, if Nancy comes calling.

Time will tell, and if you know me, I will tell all. But no, I'm not having a breakdown. I'd like to say I am having a life surge, trying to figure my next move. Wherever I am, what ever I am doing, my faithful dogs will be by my side. I just need to keep their hair off my black fedora!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Who Am I?

I've been asking myself this question more than I care to admit, but then I balance it with two excuses, so I don't feel so pitiful. My hip surgery has slowed me down to the point I sleep more than I should, can't move like I want to, and still need the other hip replaced sooner or later. My other excuse, I am getting older, not that I mind that at all, but I hate I am slowing down from excuse number l. That makes me feel old. Get the point? I've got to dig myself out of my bed and back into my life. Those that know me, know how social I am in spite of feeling sluggish and walking with a cane. You will find me at book events, out to dinner, visiting with friends, and shopping.

Being social has never been an issue. It's my nature. Being creative, pushing myself to be more, do more, make more, is the root of my problem.  Writing was my salvation when my husband died. I wrote my first book. A week after my book launch I slipped (on dog pee in my kitchen from my naughty dogs- but what a perfect way to have an accident for me) and had to have rotator cuff surgery. Did that slow me down? Not on your life. Six months later I opened my shop in Old Town Lilburn, Georgia. An antique shop with a twist - we were a writing center, too. In 2014 I had surgery, but the week before I went into the hospital, I uploaded my naughty novel to Amazon. I had a book blog tour to come home to after I left the hospital. Still pushing along, I had hip replacement surgery May 2015. The week before that surgery, my picture book dedicated to animal rescue A Dog Dreams of Paris was for sale on Amazon. Later that month, a book blog tour to promote it from my desk chair. Then came the crash. While I was healing and feeling better, I realized my other hip needs surgery and that fogged my brain to a slow down. So not like me.

This morning I hit Facebook first thing with my coffee in hand (morning ritual since I live alone) and saw this post from Sixty and Me  (I've also signed up for their newsletter) about Jamie Lee Curtis and knew it is time to ask that question Who Am I and find out to head towards my next milestone - 70. I've got a few years to get in shape to be better than ever!

It's good to have goals!
Somehow, my health, while mostly great, but not perfect with another major surgery looming ahead, has depressed me. I worked myself back to a great life after gaining my widow crown - the hardest loss for me. So why can't I get my act together after surgery? My theory is simple - and don't think me jaded. I had perfect health after my husband's death. I was terrified I'd live with sadness forever. My salvation was pushing ahead to find the new me - and I did, as a writer. But now my health is tripping me up, and I can't run from that. Can't hide filling my hours like I did almost eight years ago. Yes, I can write, but my body hurts and I still take a few pain meds, which make me sleep. But no meds, no moving. It's a vicious cycle. And the other thing about resting - and this is a positive - all the dogs pile in bed with me, so it is a love fest. They can't believe how lucky they are I am the sixth in their six-pack and just want to sleep all day like they do.  If I ask Who Was I in a prior life - well, it was a K-9 for sure! But it is this life I am questioning.
I have gotten lazy, no matter what my excuse. I need to push more, but still be kind to my body. I am questioning the title I gave myself seven plus years ago - Writer/Author. Who Am I? I am not sure. I am not a mother. Not a grandmother. Those two titles help define you as you age, too. I am just me, a sixty-seven year old woman with a bad hip, walking on a cane, trying to figure out my next move. I still write. Still paint. Still love the creative arts. Still organize small events. Love all my friends and my family. Am blessed. But to feel in my bones I am worth it all, I need to figure out who I am and get busy with it. The one thing I know for sure, I have to be creative to be me. That's a great starting place.