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Fri, Jan. 24

Older That Dirt: Hot, Cold, Tired or Hungry?

Why is it that some people are never just fine? It doesn't matter how often you ask the question, or even if you don't ask, they can never just be OK.

My sister is one of those people who is always "something." If the temperature is a little on the warm side, she is SO HOT. If it is a little on the chilly side, she is FREEZING! As you can well imagine, we either must have the heater on or the cooler. When she wakes up in the morning, she is TIRED. From what, no one knows! If you are tired, why are you up? No job to go to, and certainly nothing that requires you to get up.

After hot, cold, or tired comes HUNGRY. "I am so hungry." If you are hungry, why not just eat? It is not as though we have to wait for any particular time of day. We are retired. There are no longer designated times of the day to eat. She will often respond with, "It's too early."

I frankly do not understand what it would be like to always be uncomfortable. Surely, you must be uncomfortable if you are not fine. When someone calls me on the phone and asks the usual, "How are you?", I always say "Fine." It doesn't matter if my arthritis is killing me, my ankles are swollen up like two balloons, and I didn't sleep a wink. I am fine.

As we get older (older than what I am not sure), we do and say a lot of things out of habit. I believe that my sister is so used to being either hot, cold, tired or hungry, that she says it without thinking it through. Could anyone really feel that way all the time?

After she informs me that she is hot, I will often comment, "Of course you are hot. If you are not cold, tired or hungry, you must be hot!" Fifteen years ago, it was all about hot flashes. If she could not justify her odd body temperature, it was a hot flash sure as heck. Do those things actually go on for 20 years? I think so.

Lots of people our age take naps. I believe that if you are tired, and a nap is an option, TAKE ONE! Don't spend the afternoon talking about how tired you are.

Sometimes I have to wonder if she is just worried that she might miss something if she takes a nap. Sister does have a tendency to stay involved in anything and everything that might be going on. I always say she is "nosey by nature." Lord knows what she might miss if she takes a nap. I have threatened to buy her some night-vision goggles so she can continue to watch the neighbors while it is still dark outside.

I can almost hear the wheels turning. You probably know someone who behaves exactly like this. No matter what kind of day it is, they are not having a good one.

Even though my sister/best friend often complains about the smallest inconvenience, on the same token something simple can turn her around very quickly. I do notice that if she gets good results on the bathroom scale, has a small win at the casino, or a new episode of Big Brother is coming on, everything changes. She will not complain about being hot, cold, tired or hungry, but rather has a smiley face on for most of the day. Well, maybe not an actual smiling face, but she certainly stops complaining!

I believe that every day we have an opportunity to find something good to look forward to. It may not be something monumental, but at least something that makes us feel good. We can choose to just get through each day complaining about being hot, cold, tired or hungry. Or we can focus on something more positive, no matter how small.

Most everyone is struggling with something in their life. Some of your parts may have gone beyond their warranty. What you are left with may not be as you had imagined it, so many years ago.

In any case, if you are fortunate enough to wake up each morning, why not let that be a reason to be happy? It is after all a gift not given to everyone.

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