Happy As A Clam

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Happy as a Clam

It is 7:52 AM; I am in the kitchen having a first cup of coffee when a ding-dong alerts me a door has been opened.

In walks Mr. Wonderful, my husband of 47 years carrying an empty McDonald’s brown bag, showered, shaved, and dressed returning from lab work. I say, “Good Morning Husband” and stretch to kiss his cheek as he whizzes by dumping his cell phone and car keys on the counter exclaiming a need “to PEE.”

As the toilet flushes, he returns calmer to greet me, I ask, “How are you today?”

His reply, “Happy as a clam.”

I ponder how happy a clam might be and why . . . . then ask, “Happy as a clam because you remembered where you parked the car?”

“No,” he states emphatically and drains a dribble of coffee from an empty paper cup before tossing the used paper product in a recycling bin under the sink.

My curiosity is mounting, “Happy as a clam because you didn’t leave the engine running while you were inside Lab-Core?”

“No . . . . Happy as a clam because I didn’t have to wait.”

“Really, you had the first appointment, 6:30AM.”

“Right, but when I arrived at 6:20 the doors weren’t open, so I decided to hunt for that loose golf ball that rumbles around the car and drives you crazy.”

“You said you didn’t know what caused the sound, the car might need brakes.”

Ignoring my comment and concern, he exhales heavily, “My head was under the front seat searching, before I knew it, a van pulls up, and this aid is helping some grey hair pony tailed old goat into a wheel chair. Other people are getting out of parked cars and headed toward the door, you know tinted windows make it near impossible to see who is waiting in their cars, a line was about to form. ”

“What difference would it make if you had an appointment?”

“Claudia, be serious, if the old goat in the wheel chair is first in line they are going to take him! So I fast walked, got ahead of everyone, and when the doors opened said, Good Morning, I have the first appointment at 6:30. The nurse asked if I was fasting, I said yes, but first I had to PEE! That’s why I’m happy as a clam; I was out of there and having breakfast at McDonald’s, lickidy split”

My Mr. Wonderful is wearing a look of glee as I recap the situation, “So you are feeling happy as a clam because at the crack of dawn, you beat out an older than you senior in a wheel chair to have blood work.”

His good mood is alluringly infectious, but I question, “Can a clam be happy, really?”

Mr. Wonderful’s response . . . . “Sure at high tide, with their shell closed they’re smiling,” and proceeds to demonstrate his own delight with a tight lipped grin.

.  .  .  . just saying

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Presents Vs Presence

 lg-metta-meditationAging & Attitude

   Recently a local newspaper article titled, “Presence of Mind” and subtitled “Meditation can help cope with stressful holiday season,” caught my attention. Struggling with holiday gift shopping, and guilty of not buying on Brown Thursday, Black Friday or Cyber Monday I started reading.

   The Zen Master immediately captured my heart defining the Metta method and saying; sitting on the floor is optional, and that a popular meditation spot is a bathroom stall. The Metta method teaches love and compassion for yourself first, and then sending the message out into the world. I have tried to meditate, and couldn’t stop the nagging intrusive thoughts from running around by head. Remember Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love,” well I read the book, and sitting for hours on a cold hard floor does not work for me. Occasionally I find a quiet place to sit and repeat, love, peace, joy endlessly, hoping a mantra will push out negative thoughts about the Valentine flowers I did not receive in 1982. It does not work.

A Buddhist concept, the Metta method was originally instituted to aid terminally ill people, and has gained a following in  other meditation circles because of the positive effects, simple techniques and easy transition.

Benefits

  • Minimize Stress
  • Improve healing
  • Learning about and training the mind

Two Simple Techniques

  • Grounding – Giving attention to the body’s current position
  • Orienting – Awareness of surroundings and knowing exits

Easy Transition

  • Mind is the sky
  • Thoughts are the  clouds

The article recognizes that when meditating, “you see things, the ideas that cause stress,” and thoughts about finding the perfect gift, and its credit card debt are counterproductive to the joy we hope to create. Recognizing what is on your mind is the first step to eliminating stress and being present for loved ones, enjoying the holidays. The point is well made that although Christmas is about presents, your presence may be a gift alternative.

So, thoughts about running over the driver who beat you to the last parking spot at the mall, can become clouds afloat in your mind. Ask yourself, “how important is this?” and you will gain new perspective and see your anger drift away.

Once rid of those dark clouds, put some happy thoughts in your sky by repeating;

May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease,

   Then send the message to others by replacing the I with you and say;

May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.

   Happy Holidays!

. . . . just saying

We’ve Fallen & We Can Get Up

   Mr. Wonderful, my husband of forty years, is wonderful, mostly.  He is my househusband, does most of the food shopping and cooking, and dusts if I ask ‘pretty please’. I’m loving it. He seems content, and has heightened status among women when they learn all he does. Although, the guys turn up the TV volume when he becomes the topic of conversation.

   I make a point of showing my appreciation. Today I sat on his lap, gave him a nice kiss. Enjoying the attention he playfully embraces me, arms behind my back. I slipped my arms under his shoulders and interconnected my fingers around his back nervous we might fall. Like Fabio on the cover of a romantic novel, he curves my back across his knee, and we topple.

“Are you okay?”

“I can’t tell. Are you okay?”

“You’re lying on my arm, I can’t move.”

“You’re lying on my chest; do you think I can move?”

 We’ve fallen and we can’t get up.

 “Claudia, you’re killing my arm, you have to move.”

 Granted his arm is underneath me, taking the bulk of the fall; his 200 lbs pressing my 135 lbs into the floor. But I am flattened like a pancake too and cannot move.

  So I quip, “Let me see if I can bench press your 200 lbs. with my nose.”

 “You’re killing my wrist, move!” He says, with a loud little boy in pain tone, to his voice.

  Wondering if I am able to take in air, I say, sweetly, “Don’t panic, yet. Where’s your other arm?”

  “What other arm?”

  “The other arm attached to your body. I’m lying on your right arm, where is your left?”

  He pauses at length to consider the possibility, and responds “You mean this one,” raising his left arm above his head.

  Relieved, I suggest he use it to lift himself, allowing me to push up so he can retrieve his right arm.

  He does. I move and guess what, we have fallen, but we can get up.

                                                                                                                                    …just saying 

“Overactive What?”

 Aging & Attitude

Overactive bladder is a scary phrase for someone my age.  According to Dr. Paul Donohue, there are several ways to wet your pants.  His daily column in the local News Journal Newspaper answered a reader’s concerns and the good news; you can retrain your bladder, and or take medicine.

Leakage or stress incontinence is the loss of urine that comes when swinging a golf club, laughing, and sneezing. Laughter and golf may not go well together. If you anticipate a good time golfing, tee up with pads, not knee, the other kind. Perhaps you have seen Whoopi Goldberg’s TV advertisements. Another option is to be a straight-faced golfer committed to not laughing.

Urge incontinence is the other overactive bladder condition. Early symptoms (in my non-medical opinion) are, fear that a bathroom is not readily available when needed, and using a bathroom when you do not really have to go resulting in bladder shrinkage.

Dr. Donohue states that the medicines Vesicaare, Enablex, Detrol, Ditropan, and Sanctura help control the urge resulting from bladder contractions. He suggests retraining the bladder by delaying going to the bathroom for five minutes for a full week and gradually increasing the time before “going” until you are “going” every two hours or more. This process may result in doing the pee-pee dance, but it does work.

He also recommends avoiding alcohol, carbonated beverages, milk, milk products, honey, sugar and artificial sweeteners during training periods. This man is no fun.

Dr. Donohue goes on to describe a more barbaric invasive procedure, called InterStim no one wants to talk about, although it does stimulate a nerve somewhere in the lower body.

Thank you Dr. Paul Donohue. It is comforting to know there are options. We can take medicine or give up wine, ice cream and going out to retrain our bladder. . . .just saying.

About Me

Aging & Attitude…. just saying

About Me

My husband and I retired and moved to Florida from New Jersey in 2007.  One day driving to Altamonte Springs, and stopped at a traffic light beside a 1985 Ford truck, I became caught up in the world of Cheetah Girl, the driver. She wore a top ripped in the right places, serious fake nails and elaborate makeup. Her leather faced mom, a former woman of the jungle, sat next to her. Both were smoking.

It was a call to write, and I have been practicing since.

Blogging is fun and a way to go public with my efforts. Your comments can help navigate my journey on the winding road of aging.

Initially my posts will be weekly then twice weekly, building towards daily.  They will average around 500 words of a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

  •           Something funny or LOL Laugh Out Loud
  •           Something new I’ve learned
  •           Something about travel, Italy, or a day trip in Florida
  •           Something about health, I have Type I Diabetes and use an insulin pump.
  •             Something about Woman’s issues   

  

Education, Professional, Published  

  •          BS Degree in Education State University College at Oneonta, New York
  •          MS Degree Lehman College Bronx, New York  
  •          Worked in Sales and Education  
  •           Published  Florida Writer’s Association, “ Let’s Talk Anthology”  2011