Just when you think you are in control…

Before I get started, just a quick word in reference to my last post:  I did not jump out of bed and into my laptop for the next two days because I didn’t didn’t wake up with something on my mind that I wanted to share.  So there is one more thing about me and blogging: I need a reason beyond a promise to write every day.

This morning I woke up with a reason, so here I am writing.

Yesterday’s mail brought me a letter from a friend back in in Arkansas. I had been concerned when I couldn’t get through on her phone and had written her a letter last week. Jean is  eighty-four, and like some of my older friends does not use email or Facebook. She owns a piano, a huge library of books, DVD’s, CD’s, and sheet music but no laptop.

When I got this letter from her it came from a different address than the one I had written to. This is the opening sentence:

“On Dec 28 after visiting my friend Shirley, I came in, hung up my cane, hooked my foot on a little table & went flying thru the air, landing on my back—primarily on my pelvis.”

She was only able to move her arms and remained on the floor for two days before her daughter returned from her out-of-town Christmas trip and stopped in to check on her.  At first Jean had yelled for help every time she heard people or cars, but nobody heard her. The friend she had been visiting was only two doors down in the small single-story apartment complex but Shirley is deaf and also physically incapable of leaving her apartment without assistance.

So there she lay or two days, in pain and no food.    She had only a partial bottle of water within reach to get through the ordeal.

This could be an ad for one of those life-alert services.

Things can happen so quickly. You think you are independent and safe and then Surprise!  

Like when my dad got up to go the bathroom one night, tripped on his sheet, and split his scalp open enough to have it stapled back together in emergency. At least in that instance, his wife was there and called me to come help since he refused to let her call 911.

But then there was the other time when he tripped on the curb outside his mobile home in the senior complex where he’d recently moved. His wife was out with friends for the day, and he lay helpless in the street for hours. Nobody saw him or drove by until his wife got back home.

Another one of my friends who took her dog out in her yard the first night in her new home only to find she had locked herself out. She wound up walking several miles in the dark, winding roads, no street lights sidewalks, to get to where her daughter lived. She knew she couldn’t restrain her German Shepard on the street and didn’t have her leash, so she wound up slipping her bra off to improvise one. ?

What am I saying? Independence is great, but it has its hazards? Some events you just can’t plan for?

Even this morning I had planned to sit here and write for an hour, but I had a run of technical issues that caused me to keep losing my text and going on wild-goose chases trying to retrieve it.  I am finishing up at 9:30 instead of 7:30 as planned.

Alright, I’ll write

Already  I’m distracted by the title that I’ve opened with. All right, alright—just one more thing that is changing. Apparently the word and the phrase are now interchangeable.  Someone somewhere in my day yesterday—TV, internet, one of the books I’m reading—pronounced some version of “the only thing certain in life is change.”   Fine. Change is growth, change is healthy. But it is also exhausting.

Just when you think you know something or how to do something, new rules crop up.

But let me try to get back on the train of thought that brought me here this morning in the first place. The reason for the Alright.

I decided to start a personal blog about two and a half years ago on a sudden impulse to journal out loud during some major personal changes.  It turns out that even in this on-again, off-again,  who-am-I writing-to-anyway experiment, I have learned a few things.

First of all, I am a very private person. Of course I already knew that, but creating a blog highlighted this fact for me. When I journal in private, I work through things on a very personal level for my eyes only.  Some mornings I have written non-stop for hours on the blog only to save my words in a draft or post as “private” and finally end up deleting.

The next thing is that I am also an exhibitionist, at least where it comes to my writing. When I have put something down worth reading, I want someone to see it. Since I have been completely inconsistent with my ramblings, topics, and frequency of writing on my blog, I haven’t found an audience in Word Press. I did get a lot of response when I linked my blog to Facebook, but knowing  my words were jumping in front of an uncensored hodgepodge of friends and family near and far daunted my private persona.

The other thing is all that other writing that isn’t my blog. It takes a lot of time and energy and focus to try to do something with that. Can I do both?

I think I can.

I have learned one more thing in my blogging process. If I save it in a draft to get back to later, I won’t.  If I allow this to be my first thoughts (with minimal self-censoring as I go along) it works out better. It’s a whole different ballgame than writing a story or personal essay or poem.

Now if I can just figure out a way to focus it so that someone actually reads it……