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Happy Birthday To Me

Lifestyle Blogger: Claudia Hufham

Recently I have really been feeling my age. It could be because I just had a birthday and sometimes I just wonder how I could have had so many!

I try to ignore them and I think quarantine birthdays should not count! So, I will not admit to being any older until all of this goes away. Even then, I think I will subtract a year! But, to add to the “wow, you’re old” feeling, I was having a few days before the “big” day, I was in my office and I bent over to get something off the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Something I have done a million times. Except this time, when I started to stand up, I couldn’t.

There was such a pain in my back that it brought tears to my eyes and the more I tried to straighten up, the more I panicked. Something was definitely wrong! As I hobbled into the kitchen, Rokko looked at me like I was the biggest drama queen he had ever witnessed and the panic from my back hurting took a back seat to the panic of being alone.

One Thing Leads To Another

It was almost as bad as falling and not being able to get up. But, there I was, feeling old AND alone. One at a time I can handle pretty good, but when they both present themselves it’s almost too much to take.

I had no one to tell, no one to reassure me it was going to be ok, and no one to go out and get me any pain reliever. I went to the freezer and got out a bag of frozen peas and sat down on the couch with it.

Now I’ve Done It

Oh man, that was the wrong thing to do. Sitting was not good and now I couldn’t get up!  Again, the dog looked at me from the other end of the sofa with disdain because apparently I was interrupting his nap. Once he realized that something was wrong, he made his way over to me and crawled into my lap and licked my cheek. This is his way of “taking care” of me. But all 65 lbs of him was not helping my back. I had to find a way to get up.

After finally getting the dog off of me and explaining the situation to him, it wasn’t that I didn’t like him on my lap, it was just that right now, I had to get up. Another thing about quarantine, I talk to the dog as if he were another person. He doesn’t seem to mind, but he is never helpful with an opinion; or, in a situation like this.

Rolling off the sofa onto the floor I got myself up and onto a chair at the kitchen island. It’s a bar height chair so it was easier to get on and off of. I poured myself a large glass of wine, justifying my choice by thinking it may relax my back muscles. (When all else fails, wine will do the trick)

My Daughter To The Rescue

My daughter called and, of course, she came to the rescue. She brought me a heating pad, Bojangles, and according to her, the only medicine she could find (they were out of Acetaminophen) so she bought a huge box of Jr Mints. I was feeling better already! The next day, my son’s girlfriend Amanda showed up with the Acetaminophen, which helped a lot.

I was pleased that I had taught Kaylan to take care of someone so well. A skill that I had learned from my mother and she had learned from hers. Growing up when either of my kids were sick, I would have to take them to their grandparents house while I went to work. There was no place they’d rather be! Grandmama got out the pillows and a blanket, tucked them in on the couch where they could watch whatever they wanted on tv. She would wait on them, making them whatever they wanted to eat. And, if they had an upset stomach, chicken broth and saltine crackers were on the menu.

This was not the time for saltines and soup, but Kaylan knew Bojangles and Jr Mints would, if nothing else, make me stop thinking about my back for a minute.

Little Things Send Me Into a Tailspin

Funny how one little thing like that can send you into a tailspin. Make you question every decision you’ve ever made and start listening to the voices in your head that have it out for you. I was just sure that I would never be able to stand up straight again and I was old.

My family kept tabs on me to make sure I hadn’t actually fallen and couldn’t get up, which helped. I realized I just needed to lay low and take it easy. My back would get better. Good thing we are in quarantine huh? I don’t need or want to go anywhere so it’s all good. Who knew being housebound because of Covid19 would come in handy? Most of the time I feel like I was on the Coronacoaster, a term I saw on social media. Boy is it accurate.

Coronacoaster:

Coronacoaster – (n): The ups and downs of a pandemic. One day you’re loving your bubble, going for long walks, baking banana bread and gardening, the next you’re crying, drinking martinis for breakfast, eating ice cream for dinner and missing people you don’t even like.

Traditions

My kids have birthdays in May and July. Keegan’s is only a week before mine and my tradition is that on the day of their birth, I call them and go over everything that happened that day. They roll their eyes and say “I know Mom” but that doesn’t stop me. I certainly do this more for me then I do for them, but I think deep down they like hearing the story of their birthday.

The day after my birthday I got a letter from my mom. She went over the story of my birthday in that letter. I guess I get it honestly! She wrote

“Dear Claudia,

It certainly makes me sad not to see you on your birthday – or any other day. I remember so well that day that began so early. And pretty soon Mother and Daddy were there to see you. They had lots to say about how beautiful you were. True – and you still are!

You came with a personality and laughter intact and we all enjoyed it. To you, everything was a hoot and it made our days at 1004 N 10th St such happy times. It was good to have a baby in the house and we all enjoyed the dynamics – we still do. Being separated is no fun.”

This is a letter that I will keep and read every birthday from now on. It made me laugh and cry.

A Text From A Friend

So, as I was feeling old and alone I had a friend of mine text me “Hi Ms Reinvented. I need some advice on how to reinvent a social life with this Covid strong hold, what you got? I need an adult to quarantine with, preferably male, any suggestions?”

Whew, I thought, it’s not just me! Not sure when I became a worthy advice giver, not that that has ever stopped me, but I am pretty sure I am no expert on this subject!  As funny as this is, I could feel her pain! I have been single for a long time and I”ve been ok with that, but going through a quarantine with just the dog has been a little much!

I pride myself on the fact that I can do just about anything, even quarantine myself. But, I was just sure that it would end as quickly as it started. Boy was I wrong. At this point, I am not really sure there is ever going to be an end to this. We may just be in quarantine forever! The idea of no end in sight is starting to bring me down.

You Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone

As I contemplated my friend’s text, I suddenly became acutely aware of all the things that would be much easier in my life if I had someone to share the responsibilities with. I have found myself craving the connections with friends and family (especially my Mom) that I took for granted. 

I am happy to say that with rest, ice and the Acetaminophen, my back has stopped hurting and I am as good as new. Well, maybe not “new” but the pain is gone.

Getting Out and About

Lately, Kaylan and I have been going to a park close by and walking most afternoons. It is so nice to get out of the house and of course discuss the world’s problems with her. We even went out to see my Mom, my sister, and my brother in law the other day. It was so good to see them, but at the same time sad that I couldn’t hug her. Getting out is definitely helping, but we always wear a mask and do our part at social distancing.

PBS Comes To Mind

As I thought about all this aloneness, I was reminded of the PBS show that I would sometimes see as I was browsing through the channels on a rainy Sunday afternoon “Alone In the Wilderness”. It was a documentary about a man who went off into the wilderness of Alaska and built a house by actually cutting down trees, shooting or planting all his food and had to get all this done before the winter set in. It was narrated by one of those guys with a voice like butter. His voice just just drew you in.

Anyway, this man was alone. I mean A L O N E. I am way too social to survive in the wilderness alone. And, I would have to have other humans around! That is only one of the many reasons I couldn’t survive in the wilderness. But yet here I am, alone, just in a non PBS kinda way.

Being Alone Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

As I dwelled on the fact that I was alone, I realized that the aloneness hadn’t really bothered me until I needed someone. Had I gotten used to being alone? Was I starting to enjoy it before this whole pain in my back?

I can’t have it both ways and I know plenty of married couples that would give their left arm for a few minutes of alone time! I think we all, at least the people that I know, have tried to keep a brave face on during all this, but it’s getting harder and harder. What didn’t bother me yesterday seems to weigh heavy today. It comes in waves, some days better than others.

Is It Ever Going To End?

There is only so much that wine, ice cream, and Jr Mints can do.”

Even the things I do to keep myself busy are beginning to get old. I can’t seem to sit down to write without the words pandemic and quarantine making their way onto the page. As good as I think I am at handing out advice to my friends when they have a problem, for this everlasting pandemic, I’ve got nothing. There is only so much that wine, ice cream, and Jr Mints can do. Which has only led to a completely different problem of quarantine 15!

But here’s the thing I guess, as I sit here feeling old and alone. I am the one in charge of how I feel. And, once I get past all this, I will continue to hold onto my fork. (If you haven’t read my blog post about holding onto your fork, you can find it here claudiareinveted.com). I will try not to be dragged down by the current situation and look to the future. Of course, I will be more careful about getting something off the bottom shelf of the bookcase and I will keep the faith that this has to end at some point. Right?

Claudia Hufham

About the Author

Claudia Hufham is a blogger, mom to two grown kids and a Boxer/American Bulldog, who found herself looking for a new career at age 59. In her quest to reinvent herself and save her sanity, she started a blog. Her humor and down to earth story telling of her life lessons have led her to be featured on sites like Feedspot.com. You can read more from Claudia at Claudiareinvented. Follow Claudia on her Instagram and FaceBook Page as well.

Claudiareinvented is featured on Feedspot as one of the Top 10 Women Over 50 Blogs

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