Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Doing the best we can


I’ve alluded to stressful times around here recently. We’ve had lots of unexpected and unplanned things to deal with lately. I guess I shouldn’t have expected that retirement would be all golden beaches, blue skies and fruity drinks.

This morning I left early, heading over to my physical therapy appointment a couple of towns to the west. The sky was pretty, big clouds with purple bottoms piling up. I wished I was out with the camera instead of going to PT.

Once that appointment was over, my shoulder iced (which is the best part of my day) I head over to my gym, a couple of towns to the east, intent on getting some cardio in. The sky is filled with more beautiful clouds. I consider heading home for my camera, skipping the gym and the visit to the nursing home.

I debate doing something I want to do v.s. doing the thing I should do.

At the gym I walk three minutes, run one minute, repeat about 11 times on one of the treadmills. It’s an attempt to get back to running after many years of slothful living. But one minute is about all I can run without my heart rate soaring above it’s max rate. Still, I’m pleased I stuck to the plan.

Sweaty I headed to the locker room and dress in layers to head back outside into the 10 degree day. The blast of cold air actually feels good pulling at my sweat soaked hair. It’s afternoon now and I’m hungry. I could stop by MacDonalds….but I only spent 340 calories in my three mile walk/run, and I could waste that in an instant if I’m not careful.

I buy a cup of chicken noodle soup (130 calories) there, and sip it in the parking lot of the nursing home. I burn my tongue, as I always do when I’m trying to hurry.

Inside I visit with Aunt Vi who at 101 is not happy to have given up her own home. She says she’s doing worse today than yesterday, but to me she seems pretty good, though confused about tests she’s having done. More family members arrive, and we spend a bit of time talking, even laughing, but receive no explanation to the pain she’s experiencing.

It’s frustrating.

Glancing at my watch I realize time has flown and I must fly too in order to get dinner into the oven at home. As I prepare the meal I update the husband on the aunt’s status. It’s so hard to know what to do. Everyone wants the best for her, but it’s hard to find that within the health care system.

And then I notice the headlines rolling across the television across the room. The sound is down and I’ve been talking about our daily stresses, not paying attention.

Five dead in the Fort Lauderdale airport. Another shooting. More terror, more grief, more confusion, more debate. I note that the radio playing during my drive home hadn’t mentioned it. The stock market didn’t blink and Wall Street analysts don’t mention the tragedy. They’re talking about the agony of the Dow being within .37 of 20,000.

We have become immune.

My day, filled with stress, seems pretty straight forward now, and in fact quite good. My shoulder didn’t hurt. I got my workout in. Aunt Vi spent some time laughing.

And I recognize I should be grateful.


PS: The latest test shows she might have a gall bladder problem. We and she are headed to the hospital now. Still, we’re grateful for an answer.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

30 thoughts on “Doing the best we can

  1. You put it into perspective Dawn! We are becoming immune. I too am glad you got your run in and spent time with Aunt Vi! Keep smiling :_)


  2. Sending prayers to all. I just heard about Ft.Lauderdale myself. You are right, it is sad when this all seems routine now. Praying all is ok with your Aunt (((hugs))))


  3. Good luck with Aunt Vi’s gall bladder and everything else. Mom really didn’t want to move, either, and she was able to stay home only because one sister was able to move in with her and take care of her, and the last 3 or 4 months were not good. Lots of unexplained pains, more and more of them. Almost none of which they could figure out. And she didn’t want to keep going to the hospital. But by then she was completely bedridden, couldn’t even sit up. Sounds like your Aunt Vi is in much better shape than that, but still– Getting old sucks.


    • I doubt anyone wants to move, and I’m glad your sister was able to move in and take care of her at the end. I’m sure it was hard. Aunt Vi is going to be bedridden soon as she hasn’t been out of bed in 2 or 3 weeks. We’re still working on getting her to sit up more in the day. It’s not easy.


  4. sure hope aunt vi will be okay


    • We are too. We’re working on it. Turns out it’s not gall bladder…but cracked/broken ribs. Some parts of that is good, better than surgery, but then again there’s nothing to do to fix it but wait, which will be painful.


  5. Sending prayers. I get it— we have a lot going on as well and it is hard to not get bogged down in all of it. Then more tragedies add to the hard to understand part of life. It’s hard being an adult sometimes, isn’t it? Hang in there.


  6. Praying for Aunt Vi, for you, for the world. Praying that sooner, rather than later, good sense will prevail. Fearing that it will get worse before it gets better.


  7. You have to look after yourself in order to look after others, Dawn. Doing your PT and going to the gym gives you the strength and energy to enjoy photography and help your aunt. Hang in there. xo


  8. We should never complain about getting old, so many others haven’t had the chance but we always do. It’s like the weather, it gives us something to talk about and talking is good.

    Aunt Vi looks beautiful in her photo, her eyes show how young she is inside. 😊


  9. I’ve am away from home visiting my stepmom going through financials and preparing for what will happen one day – it’s all so awkward but important. We watched the reports on CNN and it’s….. and I realize you are so on, we’ve become immune – desensitized. That’s not good. Keep up the workouts and the therapy – it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. Peace.


    • That’s very hard Clay, to sort through the financials in preparation. But it IS very important to have a handle on it before, while you can still ask questions. Thank you for the support.


  10. I hope Aunt Vi will be feeling better soon. Congratulations on sticking to your plan, I’ve allowed myself to start putting off workouts, again, and am trying to get back into good habits.


    • It’s going to take some time, but we hope she is better soon too. I’m going to PT again today, but no time for the gym, straight to the hospital after PT. At least today. Gym maybe tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. ‘Tis so easy to slip into the habit of complaining. All we have to do is look around, and we’ll see somebody somewhere who’s worse off then we are. Here’s hoping your aunt is feeling better soon! Congrats on juggling all these unasked-for adult responsibilities, too! Especially the shoulder pain, something my own mom has been dealing with for years.


  12. Sending hugs … I know, first hand the stresses of caring for the elderly. Glad you got your therapy in. Remember to take care of yourself. Xoxox


  13. Yes, TV has desensitized us all. Or is it the regular violence, or both?
    Best of luck to Aunt V.


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