If I Could Only …

Woman at Seaside

This week’s topic is one I selected. I have the feeling I was dealing with various medical issues in my family and bemoaning the fact that I’m not as young as I once was. Some days just don’t have enough hours because it takes longer to do everything, and on other days there’s enough time but not enough energy. I’ve had to accept the fact that I can no longer do everything I once did. So, the question I posed to my fellow bloggers this week was “If you could choose one thing you can no longer do and suddenly had the strength/time/resources to do once again, what would it be?”

I’m still able to do most of the things that give me joy. The only limitations for me are physical. My knees give me a lot of trouble, so I can’t climb lots of steps. This made visiting historical sites a challenge, as many ancient ruins in Greece and Japan were accessible only by walking, and the steps to get to them are steep and narrow. Even in America there have been times when steps stopped me from following my fellow travelers. A few years my daughters ran up the steps to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the iconic scene from the movie Rocky was filmed. My brother and sister-in-law followed at a slightly slower pace. I stayed at the bottom of the steps and took pictures, thinking “If I’d stayed in shape, I could have joined the rest of my family at the top.”

Another thing that I can do with physical limitations is to perform music. At one time I had plans to become a professional orchestra musician. However, my four years in undergraduate school convinced me that 1) there are LOTS of fabulous oboe players with more drive and determination to fill the limited number of orchestral seats, and 2) there are LOTS of other things I’d rather do with my time than practice hard enough to get one. So, I wisely chose to get my teaching degree and honestly have never regretted it. For a long time, my instruments made it out of the case perhaps once or twice a year, and it’s only within the last ten years that I’ve joined community groups that make it necessary to play regularly. My joints and my mind have aged, which means I can’t play with as much technical dexterity as I once did, but for the most part I can hold my own. But sometimes I wonder if I could have made it as a professional.

Another thing this aging body won’t let me do is to sit for extended periods of time. Back in high school and college, I could stay in one place for a long time, which allowed me to study, get my assignments done and read long books in one sitting. But for the past 20 years or so I’ve had back problems. I can’t sit on hard surfaces at all, and even when there’s a cushioned seat my back aches after sitting in one place for more than a few minutes. So getting anything done that requires sitting and concentrating takes much, much longer than it used to. I normally compensate for that by having several different things going at the same time and rotate among them during the day. While I’m writing this post in my “office,” there are two sewing projects on the kitchen table ready to be cut out, bills to pay on the kitchen counter, and laundry to fold on the sofa. I’ve also got partially finished quilts on the ironing board ready to iron, music to practice in the living room, books to read and review – well, you get the idea. My house looks like a war zone, but that’s my way of coping with my aching back. At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Unfortunately, most of my family doesn’t see things my way. And I have to agree that my jumbled way of coping leaves a lot to be desired. So, in answer to my original question, the ONE THING I would choose to be able to do again is to have the capacity to stay put long enough to start and complete a project.

Is there anything you used to do that you wish you could do again?

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About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
This entry was posted in author's life, big plans, decisions, experiences, lifestyles, memories, musicians, Patricia Kiyono, Random thoughts, What if and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to If I Could Only …

  1. diana-lloyd says:

    So many little things. Mostly I wish I could do things as quickly as I used to. I’m still moving, but I’ve lost a few seconds here and there and they’re starting to add up. I enjoy walking & hiking but my feet now beg to differ. I could blame years of high heels and cheap shoes I suppose. I miss being able to slip on any old pair of flip-flops or cute tennis shoes and walk away without having to think about my feet. Orthopedic shoes/sandals that cost $$$ require a lot more thought. Every long walk requires that I consider whether or not my feet will hold up and how long I can participate without pain or blisters. I miss not having to think about my feet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It’s interesting how little we thought about our feet while growing up, but now they can keep us from going where we want to go! It’s as if they’re taunting us for ignoring them for so many years. Thanks so much for weighing in!

      Like

    • I LITERALLy feel your pain, Diana! When I hurt my feet badly walking around Washington, D.C. when I was a teen, I vowed never to wear uncomfortable shoes again. My search has taken me into many stores looking for good-looking shoes that were comfortable, stylish, yet affordable. (I looked at a LOT of shoes in several states!) However, the feet are so bad, even plain flats can be a problem, forget anything with a heel at all.

      Like

  2. The biggest things I think I wish I could still do at age 74 is running and walking. Actually walking the way I used to be able to along the bayou near our home.

    Until I damaged a hamstring in my left leg around the age of forty, I would run each day. The hamstring did me in. I was told by my doctor that I never should have been running anyway. She said that the skeletal structure of a woman’s body, particularly the hip, is not made for running as is a man’s. We get more benefit from walking than running, without the stress on our hips. Now I’m paying for that.

    After my leg heeled, I began a walking regime and did that until a couple of years ago when the damage to my leg really started giving me problems.

    Oh for the days of walking along the bayous, watching egrets and herons, cormorants and ibis come and go.

    Yes, I wish more for the walking than the running.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I’d never heard about women’s bodies not being designed for running! That’s interesting. Yes, not being able to enjoy the places we used to go is definitely a disadvantage of aging.

      Like

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    Sounds like you’re doing an excellent job at coping with each increasing year (and the toll that takes on one’s body and mind).
    I’m sure I’ll have a bushel full of wishes to share on Hound Day, so my task will be to select the ONE to feature.
    But we’ll both have to wait for Thursday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Jeff. I try to focus on things I CAN do rather than bemoan the things I can’t. But sometimes I wish I could go back a bit…

      Like

  4. I think most of us can [preet much copy the part about the knees, backs, etc. Patty. Regret and wht-ifs are things that we must let go.I will have more on that on Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Let’s see. I wish I could sleep all night like I used to without getting up to use the bathroom. I fear falling and not being able to get up. I have lost strength in my core. It seems like I start many projects including books. Tired of working and taking care of the home. I guess I think I should be able to do more than I do. But I did write a grant application this year and we were approved for a $5,000 grant this year for the church building project. I managed to convince Rick to go on a little vacation this summer. I’m glad I can still walk around festival downtown.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yes, the downtown Festival and Art Prize are well worth sore legs! I miss being able to sleep well, too. Congratulations on getting the grant! And thanks for stopping in, Cindy.

      Like

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I can’t sit for extended periods of time or stand either. It’s a headache for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That had to be disappointing to be at the bottom of those steps and not be able to go up to the top, at least you got to see them though. I’m sure its hard to not be able to get around the way you’re used to or even to sit and work on a project for extended periods of time.

    Like

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