I can't believe it's "Friday" already! Having a holiday sitting by itself, in the middle of a week, sandwiched between two working days on either end of it is my kind of week!
It is the kind of week where it is easy to say "Yes!" to most everything.
Friend - "What are you doing Monday night?"
Me - "Most likely nothing ..."
Friend - "Would you like to come over for supper?"
Me - "Sure!"
It was that easy. And it was easier just to show up, lose myself in friendship, good food, good company, cats and step into a conversation that felt like it had never ended from our last visit.
We scratched the surface and got deep and introspective at times, whimsical and silly at others but mostly we just enjoyed the flow of words and a conversation that took us to the place where it is easy to say what is on your mind, in your heart and share hopes, dreams, sorrows and pain. It was exactly the conversation I have been yearning for.
I got home to a message from another friend. "What are you doing on Wednesday? Do you want to get together?" My answer was easy. Sure! That sounds great!!
In reality, this is another weekend for me! I don't work every Saturday but I work enough of them to come to expect only one day off per week. So to have this gift of a weekend tucked neatly inside of a week is such a bonus for me. I am energized in knowing I have another "Friday night" on a Tuesday and another "Sunday" on a Wednesday.
I chatted with Mom last night and she wearily sighed, "What do you do with a holiday in the middle of the week?" My answer? "Absolutely nothing at all. That is the beauty of it!"
One lone holiday stuck inside of the middle of a week does not have the same impact in Mom's world. It is not attached to a weekend, so the chance of some long weekend company is pretty close to nil. There won't be a stark contrast between the two days on either end of this day off for Mom. I think I understand what she is saying.
Mom is living the life it seems "we" are all talking about. Retirement, a time of ease and living without the demands of a full time job. Yet it is that very structure that we are fighting all of our work lives that helps us appreciate little things like a holiday in the middle of a week.
Mom's words often make me sit back and take inventory on the life I am living and where I think I want to go from here. She helps me appreciate the sense of purpose I have built into my life. I compare and contrast who I am, to who she is and I often say that I am already thirty years ahead of my time when it comes to the lack of desire to clean the nooks and crannies of our house. But I think it comes from a different place and that is what makes all the difference in the world. Her house simply doesn't get dirty. Heavens, it barely even gets dusty! So why would she feel the need to crawl on top of counter tops to clean that which is already pretty clean?
Mom has spent her life feeling driven. She went to sleep, mapping out the next day so she could make time for the sewing she so enjoyed or a project around the house that she was working on. She worked hard her whole life. I listen to her now and I hear a little echo in the place that used to drive and inspire her. Without that sense of purpose and a body that is slowing down, I think there is a sense of loss of what she once had. And here I sit, wasting (what she may consider) some of the best years of her life.
She spoke of investing on some new hearing aids when we chatted. She asked if it was crazy to spend "that kind of money" on them. I said, "Absolutely not! Other people spend money like that on a vacation and don't give it a second thought." Mom loves to visit and enjoys people's company so very much. If there is a way she can improve her sense of hearing so she can savor what she already enjoys a little bit more, it is priceless. She misses so much by not hearing the little nuances of a conversation. She is quick witted, spry and has so very much to say but I have a feeling she would enjoy all that she is, just a little bit more if her hearing was just a little more keen.
Mom is our miracle lady. In a world where it seems that "everyone I know" is dealing with either aches and pains and symptoms that doctors can't diagnose ... and even when they can, they cannot cure, heal &/or take away the pain. Almost (although she still has a "funny head" sensation which she has just learned to live with) every time Mom has had a serious set of symptoms which needed a doctor's intervention, they were able to diagnose, medicate &/or fix the root of the problem. Who can say that these days?!?
So if there is a way she can hear and enjoy her world a little bit more? I say "Go for it!!" I told her "I would do it and I don't even have money." I will never be rich and I never will be, because I think like this. I spend my money (that which I have and that which I have not yet earned) on what is important to me. Everyone's priorities are different and I am not going to judge the choices anyone else makes. But when I see a solution that money can buy, when it comes to one's health or the ability to enjoy your life a little more, I think it is the best deal going.
I know Mom basically had made her own mind up before we spoke and (I think) she was maybe just bouncing her words off me to see how they sounded out loud (this adds such perspective and I highly recommend it!). As our conversation was winding down, she said even though she hasn't committed to anything yet, her choice of hearing aids were "Good", "Better" or "Best". She said she thought "better" was the way to go. I asked her why she didn't think she was worth the best. She said, "For a thousand more dollars?!!" in a tone that implied "Money doesn't grow on trees you know!" I think if that is all it costs, in a world where money cannot buy happiness, love, peace or health, I think that is a heck of a deal!!
I hung up the phone and smiled.
Mom has seemed haunted by the age "87 years". Her dad and two of her sisters died when they were 87 years old. Mom had that birthday this spring and I've never seen or heard weakness in Mom's spirit until this 87th hurdle of her life. I almost felt a resignation of her spirit at times and have braced myself for "anything". But if she is actually seriously considering in investing in her hearing, I think she believes not only is she worth it, but she is going to get her money's worth out of that deal!
You are worth the best, Mom! Believe it! Go for it!! And you go and get the best value out of that hard earned money. No, it doesn't grow on trees but you and Dad worked together to provide a crop which has sustained you comfortably throughout your "retirement" years. Not only are you worth it, I think you are a pretty solid investment and deserve to reap the rewards of your hard earned harvest.