Sunday, September 03, 2017

HARRIED EVENTS -- SANITY -- AGING ACQUIESCENCE

WHAT A WEEK!

Hurricane Harvey wrecking havoc in Gulf Coast lives with parts of U.S. cities under water – tragic deaths -- thousands of people in shelters.  Another part of the world revealing South Asia experiencing monsoon rains causing many deaths due to flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.   Buildings collapsed in Mumbai, India.   Traumatic experiences for so many whose lives have been altered in many ways. 

Disasters began to strike closer to home with wildfires in Southern California erupting in the midst of our record-setting three digit teen figure temperatures as the work week ended.  The heat has been made even more miserable given the humidity we’re experiencing from unusual monsoon moisture to which we’re unaccustomed. These fires are far enough away to pose no danger to my community.  

Toward the Pacific Coast, west of where I live, the largest wildfire ever within Los Angeles city limits, La Tuna, continues to threaten several communities including Burbank.  Fickle winds fan scorching fires racing over San Fernando Valley hillsides burning almost 6000 acres.  A hundred or so So Cal firefighters are in Texas necessitating a call here for more help, reportedly.  

So far only a few So Cal houses have been lost though thousands of residents have had to vacate their homes.  A few have been allowed to return home as I write this – others wait breathlessly watching from afar one large condominium complex as the fire creeps slowly down the hillside toward their development.   Thousands of other homes are without power.  

Now, miles east of here, the Palmer Fire in Riverside County has an out of control fire raging over 3000 acres endangering homes there.   Officials report this firestorm was unintentionally started by individuals playing with fireworks. 
   
Planes dropping fire-retardant Foscheck -- water-dropping helicopters flying day and night -- aid the firefighters on the ground in containing these wildfires.   Fleeing wild animals including antlered deer are seen as are other creatures running for their lives.   Smoke-filled darkening skies with winds spewing ashes into the air fill our TV news coverage.

Owners are shown corralling frantic horses with young sons riding some out of danger while others are loaded for transporting to safety.   Domestic pets, including dogs, cats, even chickens, are caged and crated to join other personal possessions with which their owners must quickly depart.

Many of these flood and fire residents displaced permanently or temporarily, believed that this would never happen to them.   But, between the water and fire we are reminded that we may not be as immune to human mistakes as well as nature’s environmental catastrophes as we might like to believe. 


SANITY

Coincidentally, explosions -- a hydrogen bomb -- detected in North Korea has been determined to be the country’s sixth nuclear test.  They say the warhead is for its intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the U.S.   Our Pentagon says we are protected by missile interceptors though some say not 100%. 

I wish I could have more confidence our nation’s leader was capable of making rational decisions on how to best govern under these circumstances for the best interest of U.S. citizens and the world.  I can only hope the judgment of knowledgeable sane heads surrounding him prevails.


AGING ACQUIESCENCE

This past week has brought us a humdinger of a heat wave with temperatures soaring into three digits.   I keep my appointments though the close humid atmosphere in one new-to-me small compact area business, though air conditioned, caused me to experience what were slight dehydration feelings after I’d been there about an hour, so I sat a bit and drank ice water before I left.  I always carry water in my car, too.

After about three hours of in and out of A/C from my auto in the parking lot to one place or another, I concluded my errands with shopping at my grocery.   By then, my body was telling me to acquiesce to having help with carry-out to my car -- that my energy had become sapped by even those brief times in that 111 degree moist heat.   I was more than pleased to arrive home where I’ve remained indoors since I replenished my supplies. 

Accepting help from others in an appreciative and gracious manner makes the whole experience so much more pleasant for the helper and the recipient.  I think we accept assistance in some situations more readily than in others as I did with carry-out at the grocery store.    I’m reminded that when I worked I observed with adults of all ages, but often with some of those who were older, a reluctance to allow, much less ask for help in other settings and situations. 

I suppose there can be different reasons why this is so – a person wants to “do it myself” which can be desirable, even appropriate.   The person is determined to be independent when they really aren’t able to safely be so, may talk in a grumpy grouchy manner, and be uncooperative.     

Sometimes that person unrealistically believes they are more capable than they are, so may undertake unsafe activities despite cautions, even instructions, to do otherwise.  
 
One major example might be insisting on walking without using a prescribed walker.  Another could be not waiting for a caregiver’s assistance to aid their getting up from bed or a chair to safely walk to another room.  

Those are simplistic instances of when two people can have an unpleasant experience – the person and the caregiver, often a spouse.  I think when we experience pain and discomfort we may be more prone to be unpleasant, too – reflecting how we feel to others, however unintentional that might be.

I hope I’ll always be able to recognize any of my limitations, accept or ask for assistance when appropriate, and express my appreciation to those who provide me the support I might need. 

Every small positive effort or gesture we make toward deserving others can help create an atmosphere to make life more pleasant -- whatever the world situation that exists around us.  


30 comments:

  1. Yes, this heat is nasty by our mild weather standards. We are supposed to enjoy a last trip for the summer day of horse racing at Del Mar today, but it's so danged muggy with rain forecast, that I'm pretty sure we'll decide to pass. I worry to the horses and I know how depressing it is to see one go down (usually for the last time) on the race track, and it will be very slippery. No thanks. Sad.

    I agree on all the rest of your post. Sad times indeed...

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    1. Seems a shame to have horses or other creatures having to race or even be out and about in these humid high temperatures. Sorry you have to miss the last day at the track.

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  2. What a horrible week that was! It can quit any time. I worry about my son there in California.

    I have learned my limits as to what I can do for myself. It hurt my pride something awful when I had to start asking for and receiving help. I was so used to doing everything myself.

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    1. Can be an adaptation for sure to relinquish doing things once so easily done for ourselves.

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  3. It's really hard to find joy these days with so many natural disasters and man-made tensions going on in the world. I'd feel better if I had confidence in the president's ability to make sound decisions. I have zero confidence.

    Asking for help is admission that you need help and that's not easy to do as we age, is it. No one wants to give up their independence. At least I don't!

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    1. We can hope all this turmoil in our country and the world will lessen in time as do what we can to improve the situation. Meanwhile, we can focus on what gives each of us joy as best we can.

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  4. I have more confidence in our military advisor's then I previously did. As for asking for help, it depends on how I feel. If I am faint feeling and really need someone to help me carry groceries into the house, I am not afraid to ask. Of course, I always offer a $2.00 Tip to assuage my pride.

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    1. We'll see how the military decision-making situation unfolds which is about all we can do anyway. Seeking help at home does provide some circumstances that allow for hiring assistance, or provide an opportunity to offer a tip, but that would likely mean pre-arranging for someone to come to the house for many who live alone -- at least it would in my neighborhood.

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    2. So far I remain fit and healthy and don't need help with anything, but the time will come when I do, and I hope I'm sensible enough to accept help and courteous enough not to grumble about how the help is being given.

      Weather extremes seem to be more and more common - extraordinary heat and massive floods. A lot of the blame for flooding is being put on uncontrolled urbanisation, with huge areas of previously drainable land being built on and concreted over so there's nowhere for the water to go. The population of Houston has risen rapidly in recent years.

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    3. Lack of zoning has been a problem in many areas. I recall in Arizona in early '70's a monsoon downpour in an upscale community called Paradise Valley in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area where houses had been allowed to be built in washes. One homeowner whose home I visited said the water poured in their front door so finally they just opened the backdoor and let the water rush through their house -- heartbreaking.

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  5. Asking for help is an admission of one's own weakness--not a comfortable feeling, at least for me.

    Explains a LOT if you apply this explanation to Certain People in the White House.

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    1. Am sure some individuals do refuse to ask for or accept help from others for the reason you suggest. Could well be this might also be an issue causing some of our our WH occupant's actions.

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  6. There is hardly a front that isn't enjoying chaos these days. Weather disasters, fires, and the awful saber rattling by the world leaders. Not hardly conducive to sound sleep.
    I wouldn't hesitate asking for help if I needed it. Saying that, I hope I am just as accommodating when it is time to give up my keys. Have my doubts there.

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    1. Does seem like chaos everywhere so we're challenged to create our own corner of calm. Oh, those keys -- keys to independence -- decisions about parting with those gems of freedom -- I know what you mean.

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  7. I have been using a cane/walking stick since 1981 and you will never see me without one outside my home. This has given me enough experiences of people wanting to help me in many ways, and I have rarely demurred. There have also been occasions when I have asked for and received help.

    I have stopped worrying about the various calamities and problems that the world is experiencing. If there is something that I can do about anything, I do it. Otherwise, I observe and let it go.

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    1. Sounds as though you are realistically adapting to your needs and others offers to assist you. I agree there's little point in worrying about matters over which we cannot contribute to offering aid. Sometimes we can only offer well wishes.

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    2. Add to the litany of disasters Hurricane Irma and the fires in the Pacific Northwest.
      I was just thinking about dependency, too, and the reluctance so many have to accept help. That's not a problem for me. I believe in mutual aid. What people do for me I try to repay with whatever I can offer. This gives me a sense of agency rather than making me feel I'm a burden.

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    3. Yea, Hattie, those fires in the Pacific Northwest create more devastation. Now we're hearing of Irma's havoc and that hurricane isn't finished yet. Glad you embrace the mutual aid idea. We can't always repay the person(s) who directly help us. There was an occasion years ago when I was able to help someone who subsequently wanted to repay me in some manner. I told her she could repay me by helping someone else sometime.

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  8. You post a lot to think about. This past year I have had to ask for help more than ever before ... I'm afraid I'm not as gracious as I could be about it. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Many feelings can come into play when our need for help arises, so not surprising we're not always as gracious as we might wish later we had been.

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  9. I have a good friend -- a dear friend -- who is a perfect example of a person who overestimates her capabilities. She's over 80 now, and has had a couple of bad falls that ended with a smashed knee, a broken arm, and so on. After evacuating for Harvey, she was on her way back to Houston and stopped to walk her dog. She tripped on a curb, broke her hip, and now has to face that recovery process as well as a flooded home. All of us would be happier if she'd give up her dog, who insists on running under her feet, but that isn't going to happen.

    The thought of having to stop driving is so unnerving I make a point of not thinking about it. I can do Scarlett O'Hara with the best of them.

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    1. Oh dear, so sorry for your friend. Over-estimating our abilities is fairly common, especially since it can vary within a day, or one day to the next -- often so when we're coping with health issues and among our aging group. I hope your friend recovers well in the rehab process ahead -- that she has someone to take care of whatever is needed for her house. I intentionally do not have a pet presently but I know how difficult it is having to part with one. Hope you'll be able to continue driving for some time to come. Being able to drive ourselves symbolizes so much in our lives.

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  10. And now Irma and Jose are headed our way. Irma may even hit near me which is very unusual as I am 3 hours or so inland. And of course some religious folk are blaming these disasters on gays and the general lack of morality they see in our culture. And then there are the climate change folks. Personally I am more inclined to believe the latter.

    I also find myself on occasion denying my limitations -- perhaps a guy thing?

    This was a great read, you have your finger on the pulse of things.

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    1. Surely do hope you remain safe and wonder if residents in your area are being told to consider evacuating to a different location? I certainly hope more people give credence to science as doing so does not necessarily have to exclude all religious beliefs.

      Possibly guys might be inclined to overlook recognizing their limitations, but I encountered quite a few who knew themselves well in my working experience. By the same token I encountered gals who weren't adept at assessing themselves, either. So many variables -- attitude, motivation, the kind of support system, if any -- ability and willingness to make needed changes which isn't easy after living differently a whole life time. What can complicate recognizing limitations is when they're unpredictable due to health changes, just aging alone, other factors -- how much or how little can we do from one time to the next. Being told what we need to do, knowing what we need to do, doesn't mean it will be easy always -- won't be perfect ever. My challenge can often be to practice what I preach.

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    2. I hope your smoke is not too bad, we are having serious smoke here in Denver from the fireds up north. I adore the heat, but 111 would put me down as well. Ihave accepted some imitations from my April fall, but I have also been serioulsy working on strength and balance as well. If there was any doubt there was cimate change, this summer should erase that.

      If you get a chance, my new url at Living Richly In Retirement is now www.richlyretired.blogspot.com-could you change that on your sidebar? Thank you so very, very much. It is a very long store, The link below should take you to google and also show that. Barbara.

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    3. Seem to have fires everywhere so hope Denver's air cleared soon and fires causing it pit out with no lives and homes lost. Good that you're working on balance and strengthening. I wondered what happened to your blog since my link no longer worked. I'll change to your new link.

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  11. Irma is now projected tp turn furthr=er west so we are clear - no evacuations ever suggested for NC though SC may have had some pn the coast if this latest turn had not happened.nSC typically gets hit much harder than NC

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    1. Glad to hear expectations are you will be clear, so will hope Irma doesn't make any unexpected deviations -- maybe even be less destructive everywhere than anticipated.

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  12. Reading your many post
    and I need to accept my limitations
    fainting after first time taking a Tramadol for pain
    now recovering.

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    1. Recognizing our limitations can be challenging as we sometimes only realize we’ve exceeded them after the fact. Some meds can be an unexpected problem. Hope no more fainting. Left more comment on your present post.

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