Monday, 30 March 2015

Fiz: the great book escape

The dementia diagnosis is one of the toughest. Unfortunately, the probability of having some kind of dementia increases with age as does the loss of mental acuity. Thus I told myself firmly that—rather than a sign of Alzheimer’s—I had just been trying to do too much too quickly. The kindness and helpfulness of the library staff didn’t help. I would much have preferred a matter-of-fact: ‘You have the date wrong. The talk is on the 26 May not the 26 March.’  I wished I didn’t have white hair. (I normally like my hair being white but how easy it is to be type-cast).
A section of my bookshelf

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Naz's intro to 'hubris'

Each morning I randomly take a book from my bookshelf - one I am drawn to. 

To-day the words that jump out at me are from a book titled Soul lessons and Soul Purpose by Sonia Choquette: ‘She’s let her hubris run amok, and it’s ruining her life’ speak to me on more levels than I want to acknowledge.

For a start, I don’t even know what the word hubris means.  I head straight to my computer searching for its definition. Strangely, it’s not listed in the Word thesaurus and, no synonym list either.  I browse in the all-encompassing knowledge bank, Google and there it is – boom - ‘excessive pride or self-confidence, arrogance’. Adding that to the implication that my hubris was running amok makes me squirm.  Apparently, the word hubris originated in ancient Greek times, is derived from ‘Hybris’ and Wikipedia goes on to highlight ‘When it offends the Gods of ancient Greece, it is usually punished.’  Do I have need for concern some 2000 years later?

I really want to know why this sentence screamed at me from the page.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Fiz: Go for Gold!

I presented at a work conference last week. I felt confident that I had adequately prepared my talk but what was I going to wear?! There was no need for anything flash — just something understated in a casually professional way; something that would make me look and feel credible. We all know that feeling good about what we are wearing gives an extra energy boost to our functioning, and yet finding these clothes isn’t easy. Where are these clothes?

Let me hasten to qualify, where are these clothes for someone in their sixties who has midriff flab, can no longer wear high heels, and has a limited budget? And there are more qualifications; I don’t want granny clothes or ho hum clothes. If I am going to do old boldly, I need the clothes to match!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Frazzled this week!

What a week!  It has most definitely been hectic and now, today I’m feeling a tad frazzled!  To be honest, more than a tad.  I am trashed!

The three removalists and the truck, transporter, ‘carrier to be’ of my cherished possessions arrived at 11 yesterday morning.  By 3.30 that afternoon its shipping container was full to the brim, my personal belongings, wrapped and stacked, inventory lists and condition reports finalised and storage documents signed and dated.  It was over.  The truck pulled away and as I watched it disappear through the gate a hefty layer of overwhelm dispersed and I stood back for a moment and breathed.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Fiz's stars

One of my stars -- my older sister
The changes to Naz’s life remind me that life runs smoothly for only so long before there is a rough patch and it all becomes rather difficult.  Ultimately it is up to us to navigate our way through   challenging times but we can be helped immeasurably by those around us. I have experienced much love and support from family and friends when things have been rough. There have been big tangible gestures but other seemingly small things have also buoyed me up. It is metaphorically as well as literally true that the stars shine brightest on the darkest nights. And I am immensely thankful for the stars—the people in my life—who have shone brightly for me.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Looks like Naz is doing a dash with no cash!

This was never how I imagined this stage of my life to be.
'Sachi pup'

Who would have believed it?  At nearly 58 years of age I am going to be single – separated, uno, solitary, loner, unfettered, free.  Get my drift?   Strangely going solo feels ok and as I won’t really be alone anyway— introducing my super affectionate companion, Sachi, who never leaves my side, loves unconditionally and makes hanging out fun— I am probably resting unassumingly in the sweet place called denial.  I will confess, however, not all is calm on the inside.

The fear, dread and nervousness around the timing of separating from my partner, moving house, studying and starting a new career—

Monday, 9 March 2015

Fiz: More dash than cash

Dashing out, I want to look good. I don’t want to fuss about what to wear, take time preening or fiddle with accessories. I want reliable clothes that feel like ‘me’ (or the me I want to project) and that I can quickly slip on time and time again.

Dressing well fast is predicated, however, on thought, time and money spent at an earlier stage—doesn’t have to be a lot but one definitely has to do a bit of pre-work. And this is where more dash than cash comes in. It is the title of Vogue’s fashion tips from earlier decades when people knew that dashing meant stylish/smart not rushing, and cash was something you got in a pay packet not a number in a bank app. Remember? Ah yes, those were the days!!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

When is it time?

Fiz’s words this week have me thinking yet again. Not only can I relate to the feral hairs but the point she makes about how the effort we put into our appearance is a reflection on the respect we have for ourselves as well as to others makes a truly valid point……and this goes for both genders. Board shorts and havanas when the wedding invitation requests formal attire just doesn’t show you care enough to make an effort. 

And yes, Fiz and I did talk about the ‘fine line’ between just enough and over the top with the question still to be answered: when does the fine line become reclassified as a major furrow and deep enough to be upgraded to the maintenance schedule or more seriously to a rebuild?

I take Fiz’s lead and call the Vein Clinic too.  At this stage I am on a research mission only, you know, collecting information, just seeing what is on offer out there.  A friend who unashamedly gets ‘work’ done regularly and has done for years has already suggested a little Botox would be good for me, ouch….. really?  She swears by it and I have to admit she looks amazing.  I cringe to ask what else she has had done sensing sometimes there is shelter in ignorance. 

At this stage of my research I focus on my chin and whether there is a non-surgical procedure out there that can

Monday, 2 March 2015

Fiz confronts a vein thing

My magnifying mirror has become very important to me. I try not to leave the house without checking in with it. Those feral hairs grow so damned fast!

The wrinkles, eye bags, jowls and chins don’t generally register. I am more or less resigned to their intrusion. They have become my face. (My acceptance may be partially explained by my poor eyesight!) And I do have props—my asymmetrical-cut white hair, frames that give my face a bit of definition and distract from the eye bags, and my red lipstick (Christian Dior’s Diorific 104).

Life is full and there is only so much time to spend on appearance, but yet it is vitally important. My mother used to encourage us to care about our appearance not only for our own self-worth and satisfaction, but for others.  She was teaching us respect for others, that to scrub up a bit is a tiny but helpful contribution to communal life. Ageing doesn’t change this.

However, we all have to decide within the context of our own lives how much time, effort and money we spend on appearance and whether that constitutes being slack, au naturale, well groomed, or vain.