Thursday, September 20, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses

I was thinking about strengths and weaknesses. For instance I'm a very logical person. If you want practical solutions to your problems, then I'm the person to go to for advice. On the other hand if what you want is sympathy, you'd be better off talking to someone else.

I'm the last person you want to nurse you when you're ill. When my children were little and they got sick, I checked on them, made them stay in bed, took their temperature, made sure they took their medicine and rushed them to the doctor if they failed to get better. However, I didn't sit by their bedside with a cold rag pressed to their head, or hold back their hair when they threw up. Why? Because it never occurred to me. The last thing I want when I'm sick is someone hovering over me. I assumed they'd feel the same way.

When a friend talks to me about their problems, I instantly look for solutions, I understand if they just want to vent and I won't be upset if they don't implement my suggestions, since everyone needs to handle things in their own way. But "Oh, you poor thing" is generally not something that comes out of my mouth. If they continue to whine day after day about the same set of circumstances without even attempting to do something about the situation, I lose patience.

I often feel sorry for myself and can wallow in self pity with the best of them, but for me it is something I do alone and only for short periods of time. Then I kick myself in the rear and decide to either rectify the problem or learn to live with it.

The questions is: Is my practicality and logical approach to life a strength or simply a lack of empathy for others? Am I missing some nurturing gene or is sympathy and hand-holding a talent given to others?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The First Thing to Go

As we age the first thing to go is not our agility, memory or even our eyesight. The very first thing that turns against us is our metabolism. It starts to desert us sometime in our thirties. Nature's  cruel joke is that our appetite remains the same. So we're eating just like always and wham, we've put on a few pounds. So we cut back and go just a little bit hungry. Do we lose weight? No. We may slow the rate of gain and, if we're lucky, stay the same. Until, the next year when the old metabolism takes another dive. It's either cut back again, or pack on the pounds. By the time old age rolls around we're down to carrot sticks and celery while hoping the same thing won't happen again next year.

I used to feel sorry when I saw two old people sharing a meal. I thought maybe they were too poor to afford two meals. I now know the truth. It's not that they wouldn't like to eat more, or even that they both want the same meal. After sixty, it's the only way to stay just this side of obese. The constant hunger may be the reason that old people are often cranky.

Al and I have been on a diet for a few months and have lost a few pounds. We've even trained our stomachs to expect less food, but our taste buds are still screaming for ice cream and chocolate.