I’m allowed to change my mind.

Today is an exciting day. Last night I slept upstairs for the first time in almost a year. Since I came home from rehabilitation last December, I’ve been downstairs in the guest room. IMG_1108Yesterday my daughter and I cleaned my room and carried my clothes back upstairs. I suddenly came to the realization that I belong in my bed. I don’t like feeling like a  guest here. It took me a while to go to sleep but once I did, I slept all night. Lulu didn’t have any difficulty making the transition. She went to sleep straight away.

After falling down the stairs last year, my first thought was that I should sell my house and move to a one-story place. It seemed reasonable, the right thing to do.

As time passed, though, I started to feel more and more unsettled about that decision. Fortunately, I can change my mind. And so I did. The thought of downsizing a second time became a great weight on my shoulders. It’s too heavy and I’m unwilling to carry it. I have the option of doing it later — or not.

I feel lighter and happier than I have in a long time.


The eyes have it.

I love the eyes of babies and small children.blue_eyes_cute_baby-wide  They’re bright and clear and focused.  Their blues are bluer and their browns are browner than an older person’s.

I’m having surgery on one of my fading blue eyes this Friday.  I considered putting a photo of my eye(s) in this post but I kept remembering some of the adjectives writers use to describe eyes of the ancients and decided it wasn’t a good idea.  Bleary, filmy, cloudy, searching, cobwebby, murky are a few that come to mind.  I regret to report that any one of those words, or all of them, could be used to describe my eyes these days.

I was 53 when the ophthalmologist diagnosed my Fuchs corneal dystrophy.  He told me at the time that I would eventually need surgery to restore/improve vision.  Recently, my eye care specialist and I decided it was time.

For about a century the gold standard treatment for this condition has been corneal transplant.  In recent years doctors have learned to do a modified version of the transplant (DSEK).  A complete corneal transplant requires about a year for full recovery.  DSEK requires only 6 to 8 weeks.  My timing is good.  A two month recovery sounds way better than twelve.

I am fortunate to have family and friends to help out the first few days of my adventure.  My sweet daughter will take me to the surgical hospital and stay with me the first day.  (This is an outpatient procedure.)  She’s going to hang out with me while I lie flat on my back for the first 24 hours.  I have a friend/neighbor who insists she’s bringing food. There are other friends who have sworn to spring me and take me to lunch when I feel up to it but still can’t drive.  I might learn to like being pampered.  It’s been a long time.

Bring on the eye shield.  I’ll pretend to be a pirate.  Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Unexpected encouragement.

I can’t wait to get up in the morning…..I always have something to do…..I’m a musician and a humorist…..I drive a cab…..I’m running for public office…..I’m an activist and I walked from California to Washington…..I’m an athlete…..I love giving people what they need to get along in life…..Spend time with others…..I go to the gym three times a week, well at least twice a week…..I get up early and go roll dough at the Cinnabon…..I work on my art until very late at night, then I get up early and work some more…..I  never eat heavy…..I exercise while I watch TV…..I’m training for the hurdles…..Share your life with someone…..Learn to use a computer–it’s where we are…..Enjoy today…..I never have thought about age…..We were told we couldn’t work after sixty-five.  That’s wrong…..         I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and now I’m writing a paper for my Master’s.  I enjoy it….. I chop a little wood two or three times a week and the next thing you know we have enough wood to get through the winter…..If I can’t do  anything about it, I don’t worry about it.  DON’T WORRY!

All of the above statements came from the mouths (and hearts) of nonagenarians.

I was about to go to bed last night when a program on PBS (Public Television) caught my attention — “Over 90 and Loving It.”  Seriously, all participants were ninety plus.  In fact, there was at least one who was 103.  For the most part they were everyday normal people.  The one celebrity was Pete Seeger.  His was the comment about chopping wood.  He also mentioned that he had spent his life singing songs (protest songs) that caused people to pay attention, to want to make positive change in the world around them.  Of course he said it much more eloquently than I just did.

These elderly citizens were remarkable.  Except for one or two, they walked without the help of a cane or walker, and didn’t even need an arm to lean on.  They were smiling and happy to be alive.  Several, as you may have noted from their comments, were serious athletes.  They were from all corners of the United States, not any particular region.  My impression is that their longevity must be attributed to attitude as much as anything.

I went to bed uplifted and inspired.  Now I think I’ll work on a bit of an attitude adjustment.