I’m good! I’m ok … I said as my son helped me up off the sidewalk. I would like to say I jumped up! But, alas, that was not the case. My lip was bleeding and rapidly swelling, and the abrasions on my knees were covered with dirt and gravel and quickly starting to burn. … quick check – no broken teeth, I could stand ok and even walk. Let’s just get home I said, with my ego bruising as quickly as my knees and lip.
Last Sunday afternoon we were leisurely walking the dog-on-Prozac in the beautiful neighborhood across the avenue from where son and daughter-in-law live in Brooklyn. There is block after block of delightful, huge houses built at the turn of the century and early 1900’s. I love looking at them! The problem is that the sidewalks are also ancient and are uneven and full of cracks. I’ve developed a really bad habit looking UP at the houses, rather than DOWN at the sidewalk. And every time I trip, I have told myself that I do, indeed, need to look DOWN and not UP!
I’ve spent the last four days nursing my wounds and resting these aging knees – and am healing quickly except for maybe that tendon at the back of my knee that I’m too stubborn to have looked at. Or maybe the reality of not having health insurance is convincing me that with rest and time, that too, will heal.
I’ve also had time to ponder other ways we sometimes stumble and fall – and after nursing our wounds, jump back up …
EMPLOYMENT – There are many of us who are currently unemployed (not in the retirement sense) due to lay-offs, cutbacks, not meeting financial/goal/quota expectations of our employers, etc. After years or decades in our chosen fields, we find ourselves suddenly needing to re-invent ourselves. After dusting the gravel out of our knees and letting our egos heal, how can we best utilize our skill sets (or learn new ones) to survive until we qualify for social security (hopefully)? Are there jobs out there for us? Do we decide to become entrepreneurs at our age and start up a home-based business? Downsize our lives? Embrace multi-generational lifestyles to minimize expenses? If you have a 401K, or other retirement plan, did you escape losing too much of it to help see you through or are you living unemployment check to unemployment check?
RELATIONSHIPS – They change on us at this stage of our lives, don’t they? Through empty-nesting, divorce, spousal deaths, parental deaths – our family unit dynamics are shaken to the core at a time when we finally feel we can enjoy our free time or time together.
TODAY’S ECONOMY – And some times, even though our employment situation and family unit dynamics are in tact, this economy simply sucks us dry and changes the way we look at our future – realizing we cannot afford college for our kids, that we will have to work longer to afford retirement (if we ever do), that the rising cost of living is seriously impacting our day to day financial existence. Are you dealing with debt due to skyrocketing interest rates? Looking at bankruptcy to have that do-over?
No doubt there are many other “stumbles & falls”, too – but what I want to know is …
Have you experienced any of these or other stumbles & falls? How are you nursing your wounds? How are you jumping back up?
I don’t have the answers (though I have some of the stumbles ….) but I’m sure someone out there does … care to share them?
Oh – and make sure you have a good supply of sterile gauze pads, band aids, peroxide and Neosporin! And a big smile when the folks on the subway are staring at you and you know they are wondering what the heck happened that gave you that huge, purple lip!