Today was a “domestic duty” day; spent the day waiting for various repair people which is a common thing everywhere, I suppose, but the WAITING part is especially big here in Mexico. First the alarm people were supposed to come and they actually – mirabile dictu– did what they said they were going to do and showed up mas-o-menos on time to service our alarm. Then my next job was to wait for the stove repair guys to fix my oven which has been AWOL for six weeks. It’s good that I am on a low carb diet because ain’t nothin’ gonna get baked in THAT oven. It went nuts without any prodding from me; decided it wanted to clean itself but after it locked its door it blew its internal circuitry up completely so it is not only completely locked but dead as a doornail. Parts had to be specially ordered for it. I spent the whole day hanging around waiting for the repair crew who kept saying they were on their way; but when they finally did show up, around 5, they said they just wanted to drop the parts OFF but they would be back tomorrow to actually do the work. The logic escapes me but they did come all the way from Guadalajara so maybe they just wanted to get back before the traffic got too insane. So I get to wait for them again mañana.
It’s okay, I don’t really mind. It is gorgeous in our garden and it’s warming up, and one is retired, after all. It’s not like I took time off work to wait for them. And it gave me time to do one little task I thought might help me with the workout routine – I gather from my exercise book that I am supposed to go through all these weightlifting exercises in a circuit, racing like mad from one to the other to keep my heart rate up. That would be fine except I really do forget where I am in the whole process and by the time I sort out which exercise, how many reps, check my “form” in the mirror and put something back down on the book so it doesn’t flop around and lose my place as I pick up where I left off, my heart rate has most assuredly gone back down. Not so aerobic. So I made lists and copied the pictures of the impossibly thin and fit smiling young gym rats doing these exercises and I can keep them in front of me, in order, while I’m doing the workout so I don’t leave anything out. Hopefully it will help.
Meanwhile I have been going through some old family photos – listening to Mahler’s 2nd on the radio, which is always perfect but especially so for gazing at photos of deceased-and-nearly deceased parents who were complicated and difficult at times but whom you still loved. Seeing the pictures of my parents (and us!) on one of our trips to Europe – Bayreuth, actually, to see the opera – all dressed up in our fancy duds and having a great time – is hard. There are wonderful pictures of all of us eating all sorts of pasta in Italy, my parents sitting together on a bench under a tree at Wahnfried, Wagner’s house, and pictures of Arnold and me – much younger too, obviously. The twisted thing in my mind is that I get it that my parents look young and in their prime, Arnold looks young and in HIS prime, resplendent in his tuxedo, and I look, well,…..WORSE than I do how. Huh? As they say, I hate it when that happens.
And who could have predicted, back then, how all this would come to an end – or at least how my parents’ lives would end. In my most financial-planner-who-catastrophizes-everything mode, we’re gonna go broke, we’ll be homeless unless we fund those IRA’s, etc. etc., even I never imagined that my dad would suffer whatever dementia finally killed him after years of mystifying decline, and my mother now blind, bedridden, incontinent, unable to speak. Honestly, it is beyond horrible to live with the reality of it every day and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, we could or would have done differently. With my father’s death last year and my mother for all intents and purposes a vegetable now (albeit a superbly tended vegetable – she has the best care in the world), the outcome, at least thus far, makes you wonder what the point of all of it is. Of course listening to Mahler may or may not help this mood I’m in. But there you have it.
On a more practical level, though, in the simplest terms, watching both of them decline has made me feel more strongly than ever that whatever you can do to fight “senectud” and decay off, you really ought to do. Or at least give it the old college try. So I got up early and did my workout and now I will have my little homemade guide to the exercises before me to make sure I don’t mess up. One thing about those old photos is that they included a bunch of the “old” me and while I know I must have weighed that much, from my vantage point now, decades later, it doesn’t seem quite possible. But I guess as they say, photos don’t lie. In more recent photos I look much better, except that now I’ve got wrinkles everywhere, including, of course, where the weight has come off. I’m dying my hair now (have done the gray thing and I just don’t feel like MYSELF with gray hair, at least not yet!) and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be; I’m not thrilled about night driving any more, either. I bet every woman who loses a lot of weight in her fifties or sixties feels like she somehow was robbed of some part of her youth, when she could have felt prettier, sparklier, sexier, whatever, but she was in a place where for whatever reason, she wasn’t ready or able to deal with the whole thing, so time goes by and before you know it you are in your 60’s or your 70’s and the reasons for losing weight are much more about keeping yourself alive and hopefully pain-free than fitting into those Calvins. I missed the whole Calvins thing big-time. Rats.
What a colossal waste.