I was reminded yesterday of how important my mother is in and to my life. I was speaking to a friend who is now an orphan. ( I had never thought of it like that until I heard the thought for the day on the radio this morning and the narrator described himself as an orphan, which really made me think.)
Mourning the loss of dad has prevented me from celebrating my mother.
Yet, diabetes, the lack of or presence of it, or any other disease, cannot be separate from any other part of our lives. When we aren’t well, or we feel low we often ring our mothers, if they are still with us.
I suppose our next port of call would be a close friend or our GP. But do we ever tell our GPs everything? I tend to save things up and announce all as a catalogue of minor ailments all in one visit. I try to avoid being unwell. I tend to get on with it, like I did when I fell off my bike and injured my elbow. I hardly told anyone because I didn’t want a fuss and I didn’t want to go back to my GO again. I didn’t want him to label me a hypochondriac, or is it hyper?
I always think that doctors should ask us how we are in a way as to invite a response, because “how are you?” can be a closed question. We are tempted to say, “fine” and leave it at that. Nobody wants to hear our sorrows. There are people dying in Syria and Tibet. What are our troubles compared to those of Mexican migrants? We don’t have cancer, and so many people do. We are grateful.
Still, we have taken the time to travel to the GP; we need treatment or advice, don’t we? So why are we so coy?
What did you do during the past 3 days? might be a better opening for a GP. I know you’ve only got ten minutes but this question will help you learn something. For example, yesterday I gained the accolade of QOM, which is an anagram for Queen of the Mountain on the Strava app and simply means that I am the only woman so far to have cycled a certain speed and distance in a certain place on 🌎. Still, this is my third QOM, so I’m proud. Am I simply showing off? No. You see you may not know that I habitually cycle 50 to 100 k a week if you are my GP and you read my notes; I have 5 children, I’m a divorcee, an unmarried mother who may or may not have visited you 3 times recently because I may be experiencing premenopausal symptoms; How could I possibly? Ah….
The other day, I happened to reveal my age to a neighbour accidentally, by referring to the age of my eldest, which is 30 years. The look on my neighbour’s face was a picture, I would like to bottle. Sorry to bang on about this all the time, but it occurs to me that my ability to look after my external health might prove detrimental to my health, especially when the only people that ever check my age appear to be nurses.
Now it is true that I have five children, but it is also true that lately they only take up ( on average), around one or two full days of my life a week, depending on their itineraries, so now that I am 53 I have more time on my hands, which is nice. It’s nice to have “me” time. I find this “me” time a little challenging because I’m so used to looking after my children. I made a career of it spanning 27 years. 20 of those were full-time.
Still, what has this got to do with being on the lower end of the scale for “high risk” of diabetes? And how is this in any way connected with my mother? Well, my son was telling me he takes iron because he cycles competitively. Now, it never occurred to me to do this. Call me stupid, call me niave, it simply never occurred to me. My son told me gently about taking the iron supplements; sometimes he can be incredulous. Hey, I don’t know everything, and I always encouraged my children to ask for other opinions. Still, I didn’t plan all this cycling It just happened. I woke up and found myself an empty nester. I got depressed; then I got on my bike.
Now my dad may claim a great deal of praise for encouraging me to do; to garden, to cycle, to read, to draw.
Yet it is my mother who may claim all the praise for encouraging me to be. Yesterday I made my weekly call to her ( sometimes it is daily), and she reminded me to just be. I’m not good at sitting still. I took the advice and did nothing. Doing nothing consisted of watering the garden, hand washing a dress, weeding the garden, cutting the border, planting some seeds, engaging on Twitter, (gerrymandered; WHAT? Lol. Can you do that? It is my Amazon tablet trying to second guess what I’m typing; no I did not get on a plane and become an American member of Congress and try to stall due process). I gathered gifts and cards rounded up for family and friends, and sent a few loving messages to people I love. However, relaxing did allow me to do two things differently. I read several chapters of a book, something which I find easier when on holiday and there are fewer distractions, and later I switched on the ITV hub and watched The Voice Kids. I haven’t watched a TV show for over 3 weeks, just the European news. I also rode 10 k less than usual. I slept really well last night. I haven’t slept that well in 3 days. Thanks mum for suggesting I take pause and for reminding me how exhausting it is being busy.
I was reminded recently about the fact that I meditate by a new friend, who goes by the non-de-plume, Matt Palace. I don’t write or talk about this but meditating has become a regular part of my life. It is a time, maybe 5 or 10 minutes of my day or week when I do nothing. I took up meditating seriously in 2008, after my separation, to deal with my emotions. I couldn’t afford to fall apart. I had a house, a mortgage, and 5 children to look after. I did fall apart, there were a few cracks, but I glued myself altogether again and got on with it.
I’ve read several books on meditation and eastern principles over the years. For example, years ago, I read that meditation changes your brain waves in a good way; I read in another book that those that meditate live longer. I used to think I didn’t particularly want to live to old age; however, I’ve changed my mind. I would like to see if we can love our 🌎 better. I share James Lovelock’s optimism. I think we can.
Another reason to do my best to prolong my life is because I want to be there for my grandchildren. My own children took me at my word when I told them I wasn’t ready to be a grandmother; this may be hubris. It is probably simply the way things are currently, the way things turned out. Still, for whatever reason, I am not yet a grandmother and I would like to be. I think I can help. I’d like to. I want to be the grandmother that bes, not the grandmother that does. That is my wish, to have the grace to be, as my mother always has.
Thank you for “being” mummy.
N.B. My mother, of course, does; she always had jam or marmalade on the hob, and rock cakes in the oven, not to mention the washing machine being on every day ( there were 7 of us), the home made matching dresses she made, and the nursery rhymes on tap. Mum too taught me to love salad, especially beetroot and spring onions; huge salads were the norm on Saturdays. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, probably the yearly artistic house makeovers when the whole house changed colour overnight.
I’ve always thought how important colour is to me, and how much easier it is to read in colour, but then god didn’t make the world black and white.
Stay healthy in All ways dear readers.
All my love,