It is a busy Sunday and I am using the time between church and Messy Church to update my blog. I try to fit everything into small compartments of time. There are a lot of small jobs I can manage and the big ones send a shadow over me as I look at when I can fit them in. I thought when I gave up the caregiving life that I would have heaps of time but have come to the conclusion that it is just what I do with life, decide what my limit is and then pile in a few more things to fill in the gaps that are supposed to be my leisure time.
This mid-season time of the year is awkward, I spend a lot of time looking in my wardrobe for suitable layers of clothing as it is cold of a morning and still hot for the time of year mid-afternoon.The days are slowly changing and although it has been warm the last few days it is obvious that winter is not too far off. I seem to be out a lot lately, nursing homes, hospital visits and this week a funeral. Since my visitors went I have managed to catch up on pastoral care visiting for the church, and finally started catching up with the friends I ignored for the five weeks I had visitors. I seem to keep busy without too much effort.
There is a lot to do in the garden this time of the year. Although we don't have snow everything needs cutting back so we have Spring growth and I take time to do a little fussing around the hundred or so pot plants I have, loosening the soil and adding fertilizer. It is a big job for one person and I regret the days when Ray was here to do all the big jobs, those that called for a ladder to be used and those that required rubbish to be carted away. Hey, I am looking back twenty years now but still remember what a help he was in the garden to me.
Shirley and family did come down and stay overnight for one night and I plan to go to them for a few days this week as it is school holidays. I love the time I can spend with my grandchildren, Christopher is sixteen now and Naomi turns twelve in a few weeks - hard to believe. The Adelaide kids will be up with their mother for the second week of the school holidays so I will see them then. Trevor and Alice keep in touch by phone or Skype and I usually hear from them on Alice's access days with Trev every week and get photos of her latest cute activities. She is a bit of a character. I will visit them again in May.
I still belong to Lions and it was our turn to do a BBQ at Bunnings Warehouse at Tuggerah Super Centre last Monday so I did my four hours serving sausage sandwiches. It is always fun as there is a bit of banter going on all the time between the Lions and the customers. I come home exhausted and smelling of onions. During the eight hours we are there we have raised $500 for some worth while cause. I am still involved in other activities with Apex40, and Ray's old stroke recovery group WAGS. I still go on supporting those who supported me through his stroke journey. One thing leads to another and at the moment I am putting together rugs for the Red Cross as a friend of mine talked me into it and handed me four shopping bags of squares, guess that is a few evenings when I will be too busy to feel lonely.
If you are on Facebook you might like to look up the "Lions Club of Killarney-Bateau" page and see what the Lions Club I belong to get up to. I get some photos and post them there too so try to put an update on it most weeks. Just another one of the small jobs I do. Someone asked me what I do with my retirement and it is hard to explain but basically I just do more of what I was doing before I started looking after Ray full-time. Even after the 1999 strokes I did have some leisure time and of course as Ray belonged to the groups I still belong to it was natural to take him with me most of the places I had to go. It was only in the last few years he was with me that all that changed as his mobility altered so much and of course eating and toileting became an issue.
We have just finished Daylight Saving and so I am still waking up at what is now 6 am. That makes for a long day. Winter is not far off so I am starting to plan some indoor activities. I did go to what was advertised as an Over Sixties meet up but another lady and I were the only ones to turn up so I guess that was either a mistake or wrong day, wrong place. I feel as if I need to stretch my circle out a bit now, meet people who will only know me as Sue, not as Ray's wife or Ray's widow. It is difficult to find a group that fits because I don't want any responsibility in the group, I have enough in the groups I belong to already. So it needs to be purely social.
I hope my blogs don't come across as too self-centred and that you can relate in some ways to them. I could put in some sad tales from the pastoral work I do, including dealing with neglect of old folk and today an encounter with homelessness as a young person came to us at church for some help this morning. Everything I do is based on what I have learned through my life journey and this site has played a big part of all of that. Sometimes it is working on these learned intuitions that helps me see a problem and find a solution to it. We can't help solve the problems of the world but we can help people - one person at a time.