Tag Archives: stress

NEIGHBORS

NEIGHBORS

There is something odd about my neighbor,

I guess she’s under some kind of stress.

She stares without seeing,

And plays with the buttons on her dress.

She avoids attention, even light from the sun,

And I would swear she’s packing a gun.

She sits across the aisle from me,

Trying to ignore the things she sees.

A man stands at a corner waiting for our bus,

He is tired, hungry, defeated, just like us.

After days of searching , there’s still no work,

He’s just a fraction away from going berserk.

How can he survive if he’s living on pride?

Will he find a place to live safely outside?

A group of teens climbs aboard, boisterous and loud,

I wonder if one will escape the tenement and return rich and proud.

They threaten the homeless man.

He might have money stashed in a can.

They threaten the woman as she pretends to read,

Telling her they want her to meet their needs.

They laugh and suggest they could have fun,

Not noticing her hand touching her gun.

They turn their attention finally to me.

I was watching and waiting, it had to be.

Survival of the fittest, or the ones with most greed,

Somebody’s angels, or someone’s bad seed.

There is little to distinguish between me and my brother,

Hell will claim one, and heaven will get the other.

July 21, 2017

I’m in Charge of Now

 

The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow

The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’m in Charge of Now

 

“Good morning, Mother Earth.   You’re all aglow in beautiful autumn colors. Where are you going dressed up in such finery?”

 

“What?  You’re off to see the King of Yesterday? Isn’t it too late to see him?  He’s already let opportunities slip by, got caught up in moments when he couldn’t even cry, and now he’s frustrated because he didn’t want to try,” I blurted out.  “If the King of Yesterday had paid attention to time and people around him, the world wouldn’t be in such a mess,

 

There are things he could have done,

 

Fix a bike,

 

Kiss his wife,

 

Hug his son,

 

Call his mom,

 

Smile at someone,

 

There are things he should have done,

 

Walk the dog,

 

Gone to church,

 

Wash his car,

 

Visit friends,

 

Wish upon a star,

 

There are things he might have done,

 

Watch a sunrise,

 

Tell someone he loves her,

 

Hold her hand,

 

Show he cares,

 

Listen and understand,

 

There are things he would have done,

 

If he hadn’t lost his temper,

 

If he had said I’m sorry,

 

If he had not kept score,

 

If he had helped someone,

 

If he had loved more,

 

“Mother Earth, the King of Yesterday is a procrastinator and a loser. It’s plain to see he should be more like me.”

 

“The King of Tomorrow might be the man for you.  He’s ahead of schedule, his days are planned, he will be in charge, and his future is grand.

 

She looked at me steadily.  “I understand.  What you say might be true, but you don’t know the King of Tomorrow like I do.”

 

These are the things he might do,

 

Yell at someone,

 

Ignore his family,

 

Demand to be in charge,

 

Eat and drink more,

 

Live life large,

 

These are things he could do,

 

Go sky diving,

 

Eat better and eat less,

 

Read more,

 

Spend time with family,

 

Open opportunity’s door,

 

These are things he should do,

 

Begin exercises,

 

Give praise, time, and love generously,

 

Lose weight,

 

Keep a journal,

 

Appreciate,

 

Things he will do,

 

Neglect family,

 

Work harder and longer,

 

Let his health go,

 

Stress out,

 

Forget to let his inner being grow,

 

“Surely,” said I, “The King of Tomorrow is not that kind of guy.  He can see yesterday with a discerning eye.  If Yesterday and Tomorrow both pass through Now, Wouldn’t Tomorrow be better somehow?”

 

Mother Earth looked at me sadly before she spoke.  “The King of Tomorrow blames Yesterday and Now, rather than improving himself somehow.  And the King of Now is also to blame.  He doesn’t want to be pinned down and be true to his name.  If Now meant Now and he tried to do good, there’s no way Tomorrow would be misunderstood.”

 

I thought about this for days and even for nights, I could improve myself if I reset my sights,

 

It wouldn’t take much to lighten my load, one or two shifts and I’d be back on the right road.

 

I’d glance at Yesterday from time to time, then urge Tomorrow to keep in his prime.

 

I am in charge of training Now, and I’ll get the job done some way, somehow,

 

The three kings will follow my lead, I’ll help others and lessen my needs,

 

I’m determined for once to keep doing good, for I don’t want Tomorrow to be misunderstood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bills, Bills, Bills

He was
sitting at the bar,

His eyes
were full of tears,

He claimed he was a bit tipsy,

He’d had one
too many beers,

 

“Son, let me tell you a story,

About what
happened to me,

Sometimes life
just isn’t fun,

And I’ll bet
you’ll agree,

 

If you’ll buy me one more drink,

I’ll tell my
tale of woe,

I’ll tell
the truth, the awful truth,

Then I’ll
have to go,

 

A year ago I
was much like you,

I was
convinced I had it all,

I had a job
and was very smug,

That was
before my great fall,”

 

“I don’t
love you now,

That you’re
down and broke,”

I can still
hear her voice ringing,

With the
harsh words she spoke,

 

Then she
piled bills, bills, bills,

Upon the
countertop,

“You just don’t
earn enough money,

These bills
just have to stop,”

 

“Would she
still be hanging around,

To tell me I’m
worse than a louse,

If I told
her I was just laid off,

And soon I
would lose the house,

 

Because of
bills, bills, bills,

I needed a
brand new start,

Every penny
was simply gone,

And my life
was falling apart,

 

There was no
way to reassure her,

Without having
to continually lie,

No cash was
in my bank account,

My investments
had gone awry,

 

If I had
diamonds and lots of gold,

Reported to
be a girl’s best friend,

I’d spend
freely to buy love,

And keep up
with the prevailing trend,

 

Because I have
bills, bills, bills, bills,

There’s no
merriment in the house today,

My wife has
up and left me,

But the
debts are here to stay,

 

Credit
cards, checkbook, transactions online,

In
commercials all is done with a smile,

I know I can’t
take money with me,

But I’d like
to have some for awhile,

 

And bills,
bills, bills, and more bills,

Are raining
from the sky,

How can I
pay if I’ve nothing to give,

I’m worried
but I can’t even cry,

 

Be generous,
help the poor,

Everywhere I
turn it’s the same,

People I’ve
never met before,

Suddenly know
my name,

 

But bills,
bills, bills, bills,

I wish
someone really understood,

These bills
are driving me crazy,

I’d shred
them if I could,

 

A bundle of
bills are waiting,

They’re
coiled and ready to strike,

A cardboard
box will be my new home,

My next car
will be a bike,

 

And now
there are bills, bills, bills,

The postman
brings me more,

The creditors
are getting anxious,

They’re
beating on my door,

 

No job, ill
health, lots of stress,

Problems greet
me every day,

Friends
avoid me like the plague,

Only the
bills are here to stay,

 

Late bills,
silver bills, big bills,

No way can I
relax,

Percentage
rates are raised,

Now I can’t
pay my tax,

 

Easy money
and easy street,

Seemed like
a life for me,

But bills,
bills, bills, bills,

Keep me in
agony,”

 

He took a swig
and stumbled out,

Into the
dark of night,

I watched
him go as long as I could,

Until he was
out of sight,

 

I often think
of what he said,

About being
in agony,

As the bills
come in each month,

I wonder if
it could happen to me.

One Petal at a Time

Nature's Umbrella

Image by Swamibu via Flickr

One Petal at a Time

I focus on the positive,

It’s there wherever I look,

Whether a forest deep and dark,

Or in the pages of a book,

But often I forget to see,

Beauty just in front of me,

A child’s face with impish grin,

Or a hawk soaring high and free,

It’s time to breathe and relax,

Slowly soak the world all in,

I become one with the world,

Feel the power growing within,

And all the well-worn sayings,

Which are evident and true,

I’ll hear them come alive,

And a calm will ensue,

“Stop, and smell the roses,”

I’ve heard through and through,

“Don’t rush to see the future,

It will come to you,”

So whenever I’m stressed,

Or I’ve been wired all day,

I take time to meditate,

To rest, laugh, and play,

I don’t depend on others,

My peace resides within,

The beautiful world I so desire,

Waits there at my whim,

Nature bares her heart to me,

One petal at a time,

I feel her positive energy,

Replenishing that of mine.

Some People Are Too Busy for Memories

Some people have little need for memories,
They’re eager to rush into the future,
They have yet to face the truth of living,
They don’t know memory plays funny tricks,
And with mistakes, memory is not forgiving,
Memory shades everything to suit one’s need,
And alters the truth to fit,
A lie becomes more bold than the truth,
If the situation calls for it.
Selective memory, what good is that?
When everyone wants reality to know,
And truth, which can be crushed by the weight of a lie,
Will determine the direction they go,
Painful moments of stress or death,
Memory often stores out of reach,
Until there’s a relationship that they want to build,
And seemingly out of nowhere,
Those painful moments slide into the breech,
Memory will gnaw upon all their future trees,
And drag them back to silent pond,
And moment by moment their past life squeeze,
Until each scene dances before their eyes,
Warm memories and painful thoughts,
Wait to rise up and be emphasized,
Although a memory can be a battering ram,
Memories make me who I am,
As I connect the strands and patterns of time,
Some people have little use for memories,
But I’m glad that I have mine.

Parkinson’s While Working

My Parkinson’s Disease was under control as long as I took my medications as directed. Occasionally I would be too busy and forget my lunchtime meds. My tremors would start, my anxiety levels would go up, and my shaking would get worse. I kept quiet about having Parkinson’s because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I was a teacher and I wanted to I continue teaching.
There was another problem. After years of sports, as a player and coach, arthritis had destroyed my knees. As a teacher I still could have managed if I had times to sit down and rest. Unfortunately I was assigned a cart instead of a classroom. During the plan times of other high school teachers, I would push my cart around, going from room to room. I would teach the subject assigned to me and leave for the next room. There was no sitting down. My knees ached as I struggled to push the cart or even to walk.
My enthusiasm was dwindling. One teacher privately asked me, “Did you have a stroke?”when she saw me stumble one day. “No,” I replied but I decided not to elaborate.
“I hear you have Parkinson’s,” my principal said at an after school meeting. “That’s a problem and I’m sure you’ll want to leave on a good note.” “Where did you hear that?” I questioned. In confidence I had only told one other person, an administrator in the main office. The principal told me her source. “I’m good,” I replied. “With medication my PD is under control.” She said she was not convinced. She would write that in my file.
For the next year and a half I continued with my push cart duties. Since I did not have an assigned classroom I often told my fellow teachers that I was “homeless”. I participated in fire drills, tornado drills, and all activities that students were required to do. My knees continued to get worse. Finally I chose to have one knee replaced during the school year. I returned six weeks later with one titanium knee and finished the last two months of school. I had decided to retire because the agony of walking took away much of the joy of teaching.
Three weeks after school was out, the other knee was replaced. Six weeks after the second operation I was mobile again, although still recovering. My Parkinson’s symptoms had also improved because my stress levels were down. Even though I had retired and my income had dropped, I was more relaxed. It was a new start to the life opening before me.

Journal Entries regarding Parkinson’s Disease (2)

I wrote a note to myself today reminding me to rest often, enjoy my surroundings, be compassionate to others who may not even know what factors or diseases are influencing their behaviors. I could have learned faster if I had talked more with others in a support group but instead I’ve been learning the hard way, trial and error. I do have an older brother who has Parkinson’s and I have seen what he has gone through. He’s had DBS, which was only partially successful and he’s still optimistic. I have much to learn from his trials and suffering.

I find that when I am stressed, tremors on my left side increase. I have to be aware and tell myself to relax. Of course if I am tired or if I’ve had too much coffee or tea then the effects are heightened. But it’s not just times of stress that the trembling increases or I notice the change. During quiet times, while I’m trying to sleep, that I’m not bothered by excessive trembling but by RLS. My right leg twitches and jumps and keeps me awake and restless. I’ve had some success by elevating my right leg with a pillow. Parkinson’s is not my favorite disease. I’d rather have mumps or measles, something that just passes and goes. But since I do have P.D. I just have to live with it, learn to challenge any progressions, and smile. Afterall, life is what we make of it. Since I also have arthritis and recently had two knee replacements, I can’t waste too much time focusing on PD. I’ve got too many things on my list of to do’s and the list is growing instead of shrinking. (to be continued)

Just because I have PD does not mean I have lost everything. It’s true that my body does not cooperate when I’m doing certain tasks. I don’t walk as well. My face is more rigid and I look more solemn. My hands shake, especially when I’m tired, under stress, or in need of medication. I sometimes look worn and haggard, perhaps because I’ve not been sleeping well due to RLS or cramping or just spinning thoughts around in my mind. In any case, I am not suffering from dementia. I’m not suddenly stupid. And things I do which are not smart are not attributable to my disease. I still make mistakes but I’m on a learning curve and will be until I die. I still play chess, work puzzles of various kinds, and keep mentally active. PD was scary to me at first but I’ve thrown down the gauntlet and intend to challenge it. I find that I feel better when I exercise regularly, rest when tired, and stay on my medications. I also take vitamins and a few supplements that may keep PD at bay, or at least slow it down. Mentally I’m still going full speed and I’m trying to reduce any physical breakdowns. I am ready to face the challenge of a new day. Carpe diem! (to be continued)