Getting recalibrated

I met up with my walking group partner this morning for the first time in six months. Yes, this is the partner who drives me crazy when I walk with her every day but I was surprised at how much I missed her. She and her husband are in their mid to late 80s but you couldn’t tell by looking at her. Sharp as a tack with very few health issues. No canes or walkers. Just sneakers urging her on.

Over the time we didn’t walk, her husband had been gravely ill. His medical team suggested hospice but he came back somewhat. He has a progressive fatal disease and he will die of it in the not too distant future. With some medication changes he improved enough to take hospice off the table for now. He can stay in his home and get around a little.

The walking group in general has dwindled down to single digits and more people have more health issues.

My biggest takeaway was that we all have stuff going on in our life. In isolation, I tend to get “poor me” attitudes. We had a slew of bad things going on from serious health issues to inopportune times for major snowstorms that negatively impacted our life over the last six months. Yet we are still here and luckier than most.

As an introvert I don’t need a lot of “peopleness” but some helps. Today I was remind of how important it is.

We won’t meet up every day but perhaps once a week. So is this exercise or therapy?Better than chocolate? No, nothing is better than chocolate!

59 thoughts on “Getting recalibrated

  1. Your walking group partner is inspirational, Kate. Very sorry to hear about her husband. And, yes, about “the stuff” going on in our lives. Thank you for my smile of the day with the chocolate cartoon. 🙂

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    • She is amazing. She talks so much big doses of her can drive me crazy especially pre-coffee but she is so good especially for her age. You would think she was 20 years young. I’m hoping her care-taking duties don’t age her.

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  2. I love the cartoon! I like your statement “Yet we are still here and luckier than most.” It is easy for any of us to get into the “poor me” syndrome … I do it too, then see or hear of someone who really deserves to say that and I feel ashamed.

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      • I hear you Kate. A fellow blogger went thru chemo and radiation for Stage 4 lung cancer last Summer. He didn’t know he had cancer until he had a pesky cough and worried it was COVID. He started treatment immediately and was weak and sick for a lot of last Summer, rallied back and declared in remission. Ecstatic and had a big Christmas with his extended family/grandchildren. He went for a three-month checkup and has cancer in his heart (something I’ve never heard of), with a 12-month life expectancy (if lucky). I read his post just before I read your post … yes, my trials and tribulations are nothing.

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  3. I wished you lived close by, my human needs to get out and walk with someone. She’s getting on my nerves here. She’s an introvert, too. And she would kill for chocolate. I guess it’s the human’s tuna.

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  4. That is great that you enjoyed someone you didn’t always appreciate, and it’s nice you will see her again on a not-daily basis. You will never lose your people skills. They are more solid than being able to ride a bike. Don’t forget that I met you in person, and you sparkled. You still do.

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  5. It sounds so “normal” to be out walking with your walking partner, and that’s a reason to celebrate! I haven’t started up with “my people” quite yet, but I’m getting close. I’m with you on the balance between feeding our introverted tendencies and yet recognizing we still need people to create a little contrast and color in our lives. I’ve been separated from people, but not chocolate 🙂

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    • It’s been a roller coaster ride. We keep in touch by email and he was “really bad” (her words) two months ago. She described some of the symptoms and although I’m not a medical person, I wondered if some were side effects of all the drugs he was taking. I told her so (gently) and that pushed the move to lighten his drug load. There is nothing that cures what he has but he can be more comfortable without being drugged.

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  6. I love a good balance of socialization, alone time, and chocolate (not necessarily in that order). I prefer to walk alone (usually with a podcast to listen to) or with just one other person. I’m glad that you were able to reconnect with your friend… even crazy-making people can be enjoyable in smallish doses.

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  7. That kind of “count your blessings” perspective is so valuable. Keeps us from becoming self-pitying and self-absorbed. There are some wealthy, entitled celebrities and politicians who could use a dose of reality.

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  8. I love Sandra Boynton. Cute, cute.

    I don’t need a lot of peopleness either, but I do enjoy a conversation now and again. I’m sure your walking partner appreciated your companionship. She has her woes, doesn’t she?

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  9. Great cartoon!
    Rather shy (although I can get up in front of groups/do presentations/sales with no problem) peopleness is not my thing – but I do get concerned after all this isolation is causing me to lose people skills…it’s so easy just be at home. You don’t realize it until you start getting out.
    Oh, well, there’s always the practice among walkers and dog walkers in the neighborhood – green belts/walkable areas and sidewalks have been so valuable this past year.
    May the sun shine on and let you get out and about without snow!

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    • That’s funny because although an introvert, I did management skills training for many years followed by overseeing a Human Resources department where large presentations to employees happened often. Having a job where you get your quotient of peopleness is ok as long as you can recover afterward. I worry about losing my people skills too. I didn’t start with too much patience. Now I fear people would be boring but at least today went well. I didn’t do anything stupid. There is hope.

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  10. Introverts + Chocolate = Perfect Together!

    Our trials and tribulations oft times pale in comparison with those of our peers. Remembering that gives our attitude and gratitude a big fast boost!

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  11. Count me in with the introvert crowd…..I had to be a people person most of my working life due to the jobs I held so when I retired I was “allowed” to have quiet time FINALLY. I love seeing friends from time to time – don’t like big parties but small get-togethers are great. This past year has been easy from the “alone” standpoint but tough in other ways. We feel fortunate – husband still trying to get on someone’s appointment list for vaccine…..I’ve had first one and going for second in 2 weeks. Once that’s DONE, we can settle back down I think. I hope.

    Hugs, Pam

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    • It’s amazing what we can do for jobs that we like. It’s good for us to stretch occasionally. When I first retired I continued to do some public speaking gigs but I’ve given them up. Unless you do frequently you spend too much time prepping so it’s not cost effective. Good luck with the shot. Crazy process.

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  12. I had to smile at the advice to take time to stay alone with my chocolate. Still, I am looking forward to re-friending friends who have been absent for over a year. Like you and your walking friend, socializing takes on more value now and with different perspectives.

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  13. Good points Kate. I do just fine with just the few people in my life, but when you get out and talk to people you find out just how much they have to deal with. I asked my mothers neighbour if he had cleared her driveway with his snowblower the last snowstorm, and found out he’d had a major heart attack and was now a stay at home dad. He couldn’t have been more than 50. One of her other neighbours, also in her 50’s and fit as can be, recently died of an aggressive lung cancer. It kind of puts our minor pandemic complaints in perspective. I try and walk every day, but not with anyone – it’s my meditative time. I’ve tried before, but my neighbour walks too fast…..I stroll!

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  14. I do miss walking groups. I have started a virtual walk of the Ring of Kerry in Ireland so at least I can walk online. Our vaccine roll out is going well so we should be allowed to explore again soon.

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  15. I need plenty of alone time. SSNS is good, but no shock here, I need alone time from him. He is an extrovert and I am an introvert. All I need is Kitkat Playroom’s 24/7 Youtube feed and I enjoy derrycats’ blog and other cat blogs.(Here, too!) It’s nice you met up with walking group partner.

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