As we age, it starts to feel like we all gain a plethora of medical conditions and for most of us they are connected.
Maybe that damage you did to your knees playing football impacts you a whole lot more than you ever imagined it would when you were 20.
Or, as my dad—now approaching 72—says,
“If I’d known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”(my dad)
I know I’m at a stressful point of life. Almost one year ago I left my job of almost ten years, I job where I was surrounded by dozens of other people everyday and working intimately with a close team. Some of them became good friends but there’s a phenomenon when you work retail. Those relationships fade once you’re “out.” And sure, I have friends outside of my former employer but some of these colleagues spent more time with me than my family.
Some close colleagues have gone on to better things. One I was very close to died of cancer. Another moved to Florida. Some just get harder to stay in touch with.
So that’s a change.
My husband moved out eight months ago. Eight months.
I got a promotion at my new job in late August, that’s six months ago. And I have no experience in my new job. That’s daunting.
When I went for my annual physical in late January, my physician was concerned about my blood pressure at 142/85. He told me to keep an eye on it and if it doesn’t go down to call him.
I called him. I’m working with a therapist to combat the stress. I mentioned to him that stress, to me, was different from anxiety. Anxiety comes when you are worried about the things that might happen. Stress is dealing with what is happening.
“What an interesting distinction,” he replied.
I am trying to do better about the gym, my diet, my rest and my frame of mind. I go see the nurse practitioner tomorrow.
My mother has been on 5 mg of the same blood pressure medicine for about 20 years.
And I know 142/85 is not really high, but I’ve learned from my chiropractor that high blood pressure will effect my balance issues from my cerebral palsy.
The stress dreams happen every night. The worst one— yet the one I feel has more meaning that the others—was “The Jar.”
I consider it a variation of the classic “buried alive” dream. I was sitting in a giant jar of nothing but black void. An ominous voice told me that the jar was a waiting room to house those people about to die, very temporarily as they passed on.
But I didn’t belong there as I wasn’t scheduled to die for another 40 years. But no one left the jar once you entered it. I was cursed to sit there in the empty, dark jar for 40 years.
Yes, I woke to my dark room fearful that I really was in a jar. As far as nightmares go, I’ve had much worse.
But it hangs with me. As important.
Maybe I need to embrace nothingness more.
Maybe I have a lot of life left to live and I need to be sure I live it.
Maybe I will die at 85.
We shall see.