LIfe at High Altitude in Colorado

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

-Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random Thoughts at Year's End

Thank you to all who've inquired about my health.

Over the past week, I've been poked, prodded, thumped, and observed.
I had my yearly checkups with my Cardiologist and with my Integrative Medicine Doctor.
Both extended my warranty. 
However, as with any of us, I realize it's limited.

Sitting in my Cardiologist's waiting room makes me very pensive.
So many gravely sick people wait to see him.
Many are on oxygen and/or are using walkers.
Some need assistance when their names are called.

"Still mending broken hearts?" I ask when it's my turn.
"I'm trying," he says. He looks weary.

Still a young man, his hair has turned pure white over the almost-three years I've known him. 
"Genetics," he says with a smile, when I tell him his hair is as white as mine now.
But to deal with such chronic, debilitating illness day after day must surely take a toll.

Though my own news was good, I'm subdued when I leave. 
It feels as though I'm carrying a weight of gloom and dread absorbed from all those suffering people.

I realize anew how lucky I am - how fortunate to feel so well.


As a reminder to live in the moment, I spend time with my grandchildren.


They lift my spirits as they live their lives with joy and laughter.


They teach me about exuberance and trust and love.


I take long walks in the forest with my husband. 
Nature is good medicine for the spirit.


It's that time of the year when I like to pause and reflect.
I spend time with people I love.
I exercise.
I write.
I read.

I attempt mindfulness.
I practice gratitude and generosity.
I think and I listen.
I absorb and release sadness.
I smile as a gift to myself and others.
I search my heart for compassion.

I hope for healing which I believe is different from cure.

I'll take a break from blogging, though I may visit your blogs occasionally.
I'll certainly think of you.


May the coming days bring you peace and love and solace.

71 comments:

Olga said...

You have a good head on your shoulders and light in your spirit. Mindfulness and gratitude are important gifts to self. Best wishes for the season.

Anita said...

I SO get what you're saying, though I am behind you in age (inching up on 55). And I'm thankful to understand the wisdom you speak of. We all have a limited time here, and being absorbed in family, love, nature, giving, friendship, and taking care of ourselves is something we should give priority to. I am a person of faith, so I thank God for my many blessings.

By the way, I checked out ok at my after-Thanksgiving physical; albeit with those 3 extra pounds! I'm glad you're well, too, though I don't know your history with the cardiologist. Thanks for your words and those picures of the grandkids who represent abundant life.

Kerri said...

Beautiful post! So glad you got a good report!

Jeanie said...

It sounds to me as though all that your are doing can't help but do your heart good.

Al said...

Grandchildren are both renewing and tiring at the same time. I saw Wreck-It Ralph with mine last weekend!

georgia little pea said...

I'm very glad to hear your warranty has been extended LOL. The end of year is an introspective time for me too and I usually get even grumpier. Then next year rolls round and I perk up! Have a great break! I shall think of you enjoying wintry walks in your hills while I bask on the beach :) X

Martha Z said...

A lovely post, Barb. I'm glad to hear you got a good report. Living in a 55+ community I have come to appreciate each day I can continue to be healthy and active. Each day is a gift.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Barb you have created such a wonderful balance for celebrating life. And yes our health is to be cherished and nurtured. Do enjoy your break doing those 'time of year' things.
Thanks for being you.

Andrea said...

This is a lovely post. You certainly gained wisdom through the process we call life here on earth. As some say 'you can't ask for more', you have a beautiful life! My mother is 83, i hope she gets wisdom too!

Gaelyn said...

So glad you received an extended warranty. Enjoy this time of serenity.

Arija said...

My dear Bar, I have haunted several cardiologists over the last 46 years, and survived three heart surgeries. Now, when nothing more can be done to inhibit the spreading of the degenerative effects of rheumatic fever, I don't bother with cardiologists any more, I just see my physician who overviews my total health and just told me that I have gone down a few rungs since last month. Although that is not particularly good news, I still enjoy each sunrise as much as ever and am grateful for every minute the grandchildren(grown up) can spare me. After 54 years of marriage, Peter is now in a nursing home.

Enjoy your life to the fullest while you have one, after all, we were given this wonderful planet to enjoy and make us happy.

Take care and take as long as you need,I too haven't blogged much in the last 4 months of horror.

ladyfi said...

So glad to hear you are well! Wishing you much joy and a good rest.

Wanda..... said...

Wishing peace and love and solace to you too, Barb. What a sweet photo for ending the post!

Jim said...

Hello Barb. It was good to see your comment on my post today.
I can relate to your visits to the doctor. It is an odd feeling one gets as looking around the waiting room that you are 'better off' than most. I for one get the same feeling at my cardiologist's office. I feel fortunate for now my prognosis is good. And I'll focus on that and live, or at least attempt to, each day to the fullest.

You know those walks in the forest are so good for the mind/body. Are you aware of the term Shinrin-Yoku? It means 'body washing'. Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_bathing

Enjoy your 'break' and thanks again for stopping by.
Jim

Deanna said...

I am happy to read that you received a good report and that you are feeling well and that you lead a full and meaningful life. When my Mother lived with us, she had both heart disease and leukemia (not the severe kind) but I would take her to the oncologist regularly and see all the cancer patients, some in recovery, some not doing so well. So I know what you mean about being humbled at the Dr.'s office. Enjoy your break and hope that you return soon. Beautiful images of your grandchildren!! Stay healthy and have a blessed Christmas season!!

Carol Mattingly said...

I'm so glad you got a good doctors report. Take a break as long as you need. Just don't forget to come back. I keep losing blog friends. Have a Merry Christmas.

sandy said...

So glad all went well. Maybe we should all have an experience like doctor visits once in a while so we will stop and think, and then give thanks. Your post was lovely, and as it often does, I am left feeling inspired.
Check my new cover photo on FB, I did it just for you!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

What a lovely post! I really needed to hear it today because my dad is having Quadruple Bypass surgery! He's doing fine, out of surgery, but as you say our warranties are limited...

Enjoy the heck out of those grandkids!!!

xxoo,

RMW

Red Rose. said...

Hi,Barb!
How lovely to hear that you received a good report and you are feeling well. Sam with his cute eyes is so adorable!
I have been off my PC as I was very busy and was a little bit tired. Today,your post made my heart lively again!

Enjoy your" break",Barb.
Tomoko

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderful news that you got an extension. You are the perfect example of what years added to our bodies can be with care, exercise and moderation. Keep enjoying but don't stay away too long. I miss your posts and wonderful photos.

Deb said...

You are blessed woman and you understand that you are blessed. Enjoy everyday.

Annie said...

Just love your photos Barb,
and so glad you have had a good report from the medicos.
Do hope you have a great break over the Christmas holidays,
especially with family and grandchildren.

EG CameraGirl said...

I love that you take time to reflect on how fortunate you are. We are are fortunate too that you are still with us. Enjoy your time away!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I think you know what it is all about.

marianne said...

beautiful post. i enjoyed time with my parents last week, mindful of the warranty thing. i helped me slow down and appreciate and enjoy. enjoy your holidays and thank you for being here and sharing your gifts with us-

Nancy J said...

Barb, I had missed your other blog, and suddenly realised I needed to look at Live and Learn. I am so glad the yearly visit went well, I appreciate "heart health" so much now, and know that cold winter air, cold winds and drops in the warmth can all contribute to anything that might happen. Enjoy your walks, wrap up warm, I too have not done much on my blog lately, I am so much busier outside now, so quilting, photography and the blog take second place, maybe for a while yet.Hugh is well, but life is a slower pace for him now.I have to work and walk a bit faster to keep up with the garden and other outside work etc. A lovely post, your words inspire, encourage, uplift, and are so heartfelt. Your place is on my "list to visit" in my OE dream trip.. Fond greetings from Jean.

Serline said...

Enjoy your golden years... Take more photos with your loved ones!

Nancy Claeys said...

Enjoy your break and time with family Barb.

I have a tendency to feel a little blue around the holidays, so I'm usually relieved when they are over.

Glad you are doing well in the health department. xo

stardust said...

First of all, I’m glad to know your health was approved fine. Young children and nature are always comforting. How I’m in love with Samuel's cute eyes! Thanks for inspiring and encouraging us by your posts for the year. Look forward to seeing you, maybe in New Year? Peace, love, and solace to you, too, Barb.

Yoko

Vagabonde said...

What a lovely post. Good news about your health. Be happy and enjoy your rest – you have a great philosophy of life. That little baby is a charmer!

Nature-Drunk said...

What a beautiful, mindful post. Thank you for sharing, Barb. Love and light and many blessings to you.

Deb Shucka said...

While it's been a while since I was here, this post reminded me why I love your blog so much. I can relate strongly to all you've said here, and wish I'd thought to say the same things. Wonderful photos to enhance your words as always. So glad you're well. I hope the holidays and the turning of the year are full of more blessings than you can imagine.

Janie said...

Your post makes me reflect on life and its fleeting joys. Our hope, redemption, and immortality is through our grandchildren and their progeny, I believe. Spending time with the children of our children, especially outside in the natural world, heals the soul better than anything else.
I'm so glad your warranty is extended.
Happy holidays!

TexWisGirl said...

God bless you, Barb. soak in everything good. we'll be here whenever you return. :)

upwoods said...

I adored this post, Barb. It describes the hopeful melancholy we all live with sometimes, especially if we're aware we come with a limited warranty. Your pictures are magical. I shall miss seeing what's happening in Colorado and shall continue to send you good energy for quality time with grandchildren, deep peace and...of course...deep snow.

Snap said...

Lovely post. Enjoy your life! Hope to *see* you soon.

Duff said...

Your December focus is that exception reminder to us all about what is truly important! I know it will be a wonderful time for you....as it will be for many of us. And, a reminder that not all will be able to have such a fulfilling and likely serene time. As you noticed in the cardiologists office. Wishing you the very best for the holidays. It has been so great being your long-distance admirer and friend since Small Stones in January. Go well.

becky said...

Hi Barb, I don't know how the weeks have gone by so quickly... I have been so busy I have neglected the blog & my blogging friends. I have thought of you though, & had been meaning to get by for a visit to see what you are up to! I am glad to know you are well, dear Barb & glad your check-up went well. You speak of things close to my heart... "It feels as though I'm carrying a weight of gloom and dread absorbed from all those suffering people." I have worked as a physical therapist asst for almost 15 years... mostly in the acute care hospital setting... and that is exactly how I feel much of the time now. It wasn't that way in the beginning... oh, I was going to heal & help everyone!! But I have grown weary, perhaps what you saw in your doctor. I think that is in part why I am drawn to create and hike & spend time in nature... practices that are life affirming, when I see so much suffering, tragedy & end of life issues. Sometimes my soul feels as if it breaks under the weight of it all. On a lighter note, :) I am happy that you are spending time w/ your grands & I wish you a very happy & healthy December. Your words & photography have kept me company & made me smile over the years since finding your blog. I am happy to "know" you! Take good care Barb!

missing moments said...

Enjoy your holidays with loved ones and come back renewed!

Filip and Kristel said...

Enjoy your family, good that you are doing fine. You always have to enjoy the day itself.

Greetings,
Filip

DeniseinVA said...

This is such a beautiful post Barb. Thank you for the inspiration.

Cynthia said...

A beautiful and inspiring post Barb. I love the irresistibly sweet face of the wee one. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Quiet Paths said...

I nodded my head at your story regarding the cardiologist. You live a rich, full life and your observations inspire other people.

Retired English Teacher said...

The cardiology visit was a success. That is good news. Your heart is in great shape in so many ways, Barb. It is a heart full of life, love, beauty, gratitude, peace, and inspiration. It is a heart that blesses others. It is a heart that is strong and resilient. We, your blog readers, know much about that beautiful heart of yours.

Take time to enjoy the season. I'll be thinking of you.

KB said...

I hope that the coming days bring you peace and love and solace too. I'm so happy that your news from the cardiologist was good. I'm smiling for you.

I understand the feeling in a doc's office like that one. I have an oncologist who I have to see fairly regularly to "follow" some nodules in my lungs. I get sent away with happy news each time, but I know how gravely ill many of the other people in the office are. It reminds me, as it does you, that our warranties are not indefinite.

The photos in this post are perfect and glorious. I love your perspective, expressed both in words and in photos. Have a happy Christmas season with your children and grandchildren. I shall be thinking of you.

susanvg said...

Hi Barb, Wishing you continued good health and joy. That delightful face of your newest grandchild is enough to remind anyone where life's priorities should be. I have spent the last month moving and settling in my new place - I now really understand why moving is high on the scale of stresses. My camera has been many abandoned, but I am slowly getting back into the rhythm of my usual life. So good to visit blogs again and reconnect with all the beauty you post - your words and photographs.
All the best,
Susan

beth said...

thinking of you and loving how you see life and all its offerings !!!!
xo

Friko said...

Being around ailing people is a sad thing, so depressing. There’s nothing one can do. So, taking hold of your grandchildren and enjoying their company was a very good antidote.

Hope you have a lovely time with all your loved ones.

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

You are very wise.I will be praying for you ,I wish you & your family all the best!

ramblingwoods.com said...

I wanted to thank you for leaving a nice comment regarding my mammogram and upcoming biopsy. I can so relate to sitting in the doctor's office. I feel that when I am in the multiple sclerosis clinic waiting to see my doc and there are so many who are so severely impacted, yet I walk in unassisted. I feel guilty and sad and then grateful for what I have. I hope that you continue to enjoy and I am sorry I came when you are taking a break... stay well... Michelle

Sybil said...

What a lovely post post Barb. But hey, I've just found you (via Kathy) and now you're taking a break. OK. I'll be good and wait patiently here by the door. (wag, wag)

Judy SheldonWalker said...

I worked in family practice before and would watch the hours Dr. Allen would work, seemingly endless and he cared so much. I worked there 5 years and they sold the practice. It is indeed a difficult job. So glad your news was good!!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

So pleased that you had good news, take care and enjoy time with your family.

Leslie D. said...

Thank you thank you for that..it was like a dose of food for the soul. Very glad to know you are well and I feel more grateful now for the heath of those in my family!

forgetmenot said...

Barb, What a lovely post. Your photos as well as your thoughts are inspiring. Grandchildren and Nature--you are so right, both will bring a song to your heart and a smile to your face. Thank you for sharing your lovely post. Happy Holidays to you too. Mickie :)

Tammie Lee said...

so many treasured moments
beauty
wisdom
joy
peace
life
a treasured life
~

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I am so glad your checkup went well, but I understand being subdued after the visit. You know the perfect anticdote. Thank you for this lovely post and for sharing your joyful moments.

Sandra said...

So nice to visit you here after you popped in to say "hi" to me! That last picture of the smiling baby is so beautiful!
Yes, we have much to be grateful for and it's so good to recognize it all and be thankful.
Enjoy your break and I can tell by your words that you already know how healing nature is. Greetings, Sandra

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Great news about your checkup. It surely is true about nature being a wonderful healer. To me it is a;ways a perfect soul soother.

Susannah said...

Beautiful pictures and thoughts (as always :-)).

Wishing you good health, peace, love, and much happiness.

Enjoy your break.

- Susannah x

snowwhite said...

Barb,
What a great news! I am glad to hear it! Oh, your grandchildren are so cute and adorable!! I am sure they are the source of your happiness and health. And nature heals us always. After reading your blog, some warmth came to me and touched my heart. Barb, thanks a lot for sharing.
Merry Christmas and happy new year to you.
keiko

Jana said...

time with beloved ones+nature are indeed the best medicine, what an amazing summary...you are lucky that you know+ enjoy, big hug+happy holidays!

Cheryl said...

When I visit you here I come away with lifted spirit. Wonderful news indeed from the doctors! Wishing you and yours a wonderful, peaceful holiday season and a very happy, healthy and busy New Year!

Jeanie said...

I am so very grateful that your news was good. I have similar feelings when I visit my pulmonologist and see those in the waiting room, wondering if I will be them and make people like me sad someday. But oh -- the joy you bring to just "being." It lifts my heart and makes me smile -- and reminds me how important it is to cherish every moment.

Diane AZ said...

Lovely pictures as always! I'm happy to hear the great news from your doctor and that you have been spending time with your grandchildren. Enjoy the season! :)

Avril said...

Enjoy your break - nature and writing and being with the ones we love are the best healers. As always your posts are inspirational - thank you.

Hildred and Charles said...

Dear Barb. - I am so glad I returned to visiting in time to catch this lovely post. So pleased with your good news. and I know you will use it to live each day to the fullest and shower your grandkids with your wonderful philosophy and your wise ways. Thank you for your encouraging notes and caring ways.

Filip and Kristel said...

Barb, we wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013.

Greetings,
Filip and Kristel

Jeanie said...

Just popping in during your break to wish you the merriest and happiest!

Alexis said...

Barb,
Oh, that sweet baby face at the end. Made me smile...
I am so happy that your check up went well!! Great news!
I think of you often and your comment on my post means the world to me. I miss writing. I've made a new year promise to keep it up this coming year. It truly helps the heart mend. You are truly wise my friend.
Happy New Year Barb. I hope nothing but the best for you.

teri said...

This post is permeated with gratitude. It is a young person that can see things with weightless gratefulness. As we age we see our blessings in the light of all those around us who suffer. You capture this with such a compassionate heart. Barb I hope your break from blogging was filled, saturated with great blessings. Glad to see we are both back. xo teri