A New Syndrome

Most everyone knows of Attention Deficit Disorder, exhibited by people who can’t sit still and constantly bounce from one thing to another. There are medications available for this condition. But attention surplus needs to be addressed as well. It’s characterized by a person sitting hour after hour, sometimes with eyes open and sometimes closed. Individuals appear to be content, whether staring at the television or being sound asleep. There are varying degrees of attention surplus, with some people sitting still for a solid hour, while others manage a full day. I’ve often suspected my husband suffered from something because of his ability to sit so long without moving. Many husbands do this despite perpetual nagging by their wives. Retired men, in particular, are...

Wholly Worthless

I took a spin through Whole Foods one day and, as always, noticed the exceptionally healthy-looking customers shopping there. Dressed in expensive workout clothes and shoes, these folks were handpicking the freshest, organic fruits and vegetables, bagging Fair Trade coffee and nuts from the bulk bins, choosing wild-caught salmon, and selecting beef from cows raised without hormones and antibiotics. They chose soaps scented with real essential oils, $4.99 a bar, rather than the store-brand soap I buy at $1.99 for three bars; ionized alkaline water for $2.99 a bottle, while I serve mine from the tap. I selected just a couple items with the intention of going to my regular reasonably-priced grocery store for the bulk of my groceries.  I guess she deserves to...

Masked Smiles

Smiles are a great way to show enjoyment of humorous moments, but they do much more. They greet, encourage, and motivate. They comfort, calm, and reassure. They allow people to see the humanity of the one smiling. They can be an image of love. My smiles come as naturally as breathing so I’ve never given them much thought until now—when I’ve lost the ability to share them. In these COVID-19 days, other than when I’m walking alone in the neighborhood, my smile is covered, hidden under fabric designed to keep my germs to myself and the germs of others, away.  At the grocery store, I recognize no one and no one recognizes me, though I’m surely seeing the same grocery workers I’ve encountered on a weekly basis for years. Thankfully, since most other customers are...

Things of Beauty

We headed out one day to search for things of beauty, a favorite pastime in our retirement. My husband, George, and I drove back roads to the village of Leipers Fork, the rays of sun making their way through the canopy of trees, causing the leaves to shimmer in beautiful fall colors. The reds and golds were a stunning contrast to the brown tree bark and leaves blanketing the ground. We drove through narrow hollows and up and down enough hills that it was easy to imagine I was in my beloved Appalachian Mountains. I kept expecting to see a deer cross the road in front of us. We were traveling to see art on this crisp, clear day. Jason Saunders, a landscape artist who works in oils, was holding his studio open house. We wandered in, stepping around the many people...

Ageless

I received my Medicare card in the mail today.  I’m not sure if this warrants a celebration or…what’s an antonym for celebration anyway? How about lamentation? I can lament that I’m officially old. As thankful as I am to have health coverage, I dread my next check in at the doctor’s office. “Any changes to your health insurance?” the receptionist will ask. Of course, with a small waiting room, this conversation will be heard by everyone. “Yes, I’m now on Medicare.” “Medicare? I’ll need to see your card, please,” she will say.  I might as well announce my age to the entire office. Shoot, I might as well ask if they offer an AARP discount since the Medicare card ruined any hope of being perceived as younger than I am. I remember a time when...

Joy in the Journey

“You don’t enjoy the journey,” my husband said recently. Now, there’s a mull-worthy statement, especially coming out of the blue as it did, and it set my mind to contemplating what brings me joy. Was George correct in his observation or was he overlooking my enjoyment of the day-to-day? Being task-oriented, I have a habit of listing things to accomplish and checking them off when completed. They don’t have to be big tasks: walking the dog, scrubbing the toilet, working on the grocery list. But some of them are important: mailing an encouraging card to someone in need, sending care packages to my children and grandchildren, or spending time with friends. My day is generally comprised of 1) planning the tasks to be done, 2) doing the tasks, and 3) enjoying the fact...