Thursday, 13 October 2016

A Universe In a Room

Living in a supported housing complex surrounded by a number of very elderly can be very educational.   it's like being on probation in Limbo, a preparation time before launching into my own twilight years. perhaps gaining a little insight into what's ahead might help avoid a few of the potential pitfalls.  understandably some personality types are happiest approaching the snares and dangers of the future in blinkered ignorance, perhaps not thinking about the scary stuff until there's no avoiding it prevents unnecessary sleepless nights. others have a deep need to set out with compass, flashlight and flask, orienteering style, in order to map the path ahead and signpost the soggy boggy bits that could trip up the unwary. neither is right or wrong, simply different ways of walking into the unknown and emerging reasonably unscathed on the other side.  i am firmly of the boy scout variety and can cope with almost anything when following the adage "be prepared", it's surprises that snag my feet and pull me down into the quagmire.

A vital lesson has been to discover that the happiest people are those who have maintained a hobby or activity well towards the end of life, something that engages the mind and hands when the rest of the body fails. a focus through the long days that maintains the interest and feeds the creative soul.   it matters little that as memory and energy flag the work or book sits in the lap untended for the most part, that it exists seems to be enough to raise the head and draw attention away from inner turmoil, also a topic to chat about with the odd visitor when the walls crowd in and the only excitement of the day is dinner.

So what, i wonder, will be my redeeming pastimes?   perhaps having lost freedom to disability reasonably young will give a head start in establishing healthy habits. hopefully there will still be a furry creature for entertainment as it's increasingly recognised that the housebound have better wellbeing if they have an animal to look after.   few can fail to find amusement in the antics of a playful cat or companionship in the eyes of a loving mutt?   both my cats would visit elderly neighbours and suffer their ears being rubbed by callused, arthritic hands, curling up by the side of a chair and purring to raise a smile, filling the emptiness for a time.   

On rare occasions, i succumb to a "duvet day", ignore the door bell, put the universe on standby and fester in my pit.   if for any reason this became a default position i could command a Fortune 100 business from my pillows, no chance of boredom setting in when within reach of the bed are the tools for world domination, books, computer, movies, radio, music, journals, letter writing implements, phone, internet, Facebook and of course a four footed friend.  all that's needed is a coffee machine.... hmmmm now that's an idea !!!   perhaps this is an unconscious, embryonic plan for the future, establishing a functioning, interesting existence within the confines of four walls.  the ability to touch the world, communicate with family and friends, be educated and entertained, express opinion and hear others, buy, sell, barter, read, watch, listen.   

A universe in a room !!!