There’s something Chad and Nicole have been watching on TV. They don’t have cable so they’re probably watching it through Netflix or Amazon. I think Vince and I have seen parts of it but it’s about an older guy who went to Alaska (I think) to live and he lived there til he was pretty old, all alone. He kept a journal and they were sharing parts of it on the show last night. He said some profound things that made me stop and think. I need to find out from Chad what’s the name of the show and see if maybe someone has published this guy’s journals.
It’s probably the kind of things we’d all think about if we lived in solitude for months and years, had to rely on ourselves for every single thing except I think someone came and brought him supplies maybe twice a year but he mostly lived off fish and berries.
I was sitting there, watching and thinking. What if we lived with no:
- Cell Phone
- Newspaper or magazines
- Food from the grocery store
- Human interaction
He apparently loved it and thrived. I think they said he was never sick . . not even a cold. He wasn’t exposed to anything. He worked his tail off so he stayed in good physical shape and ate like we probably should all be eating.
Some days I think about how life used to be. I can remember it but Chad and his generation can’t. Maybe they’ll remember things their children and grandchildren can’t but I remember a life where moms didn’t work (not that I’m against working moms . . I was one). I believe someone has to be raising the kids and for the average family, mom working, coming home tired and possibly stressed from a job, there’s dinner to cook, homework that may need assistance, laundry, general housekeeping . . no one is Superwoman. I watch Nicole. She’s exhausted by 8 p.m. and she has one child who is pretty good at entertaining herself. But, back to my story . . moms were home, kids lived where they could play outside, either with neighborhood kids or romp through the woods at grandma’s; TV wasn’t the center of everyone’s life, meals were cooked at home and eaten at the same time around a table, often the food was homegrown. Families had time to talk about their days, they were genuinely interested in what the kids were doing and fathers and mothers “communicated” with their kids.
Maybe the lifestyle young families are living today is better than when I grew up but it surely doesn’t feel like it to me.
But, back to my story. Just watching the old guy made me yearn for a time when things moved a little slower; when there was more compassion, kindness and less hatred and mean, hurtful words.
In his journal, the old man often asked questions and then answered them. These were a few that struck a chord with me:
What am I capable of doing that I have not done?
What are my limits?
And, then, just a general statement:
It’s amazing how good a hard cot feels after a hard day of work.
I never have trouble sleeping. I can sleep all day, get up, shower, go back to bed and sleep all night. Vince has a hard time sleeping. He has a habit of falling asleep in his chair . . often throughout the day. I keep telling him if he would stay awake all day, he might sleep better at night. I’m no doctor . . maybe I’m right; probably I’m wrong but it really struck me that the harder we work, the more tired we are, often, the better we sleep.
The bed I sleep on at Chad’s is not amazingly comfortable. My bed at home is amazingly comfortable. At Chad’s, I do not have much room in the bed. Addie sleeps with me, along with George, some stuffed dog, and 7 unicorns, and most nights, a 50 pound Husky. There’s not much room in that bed! This was at the foot of my bed when I went to go to bed last night. I end up sleeping with my legs hanging off the bed til Speck gets tired of me infringing upon his space and then he gets on the floor on his own bed.
He’s such a good dog and Addie loves him so I remind myself that I’m the visitor here. His routine is sleeping right there near her so I don’t complain.
There’s so much we can learn from old people. I know . . some of you are thinking I’m an old person. I am but I’m talking about old people who have knowledge worth sharing. Hardly a single day goes by that I don’t wish I could sit down and talk with my grandmother. It’s kinda sad that when we have our grandparents around, too many of us are busy being kids and teens, and then young adults and it’s usually after you’re a grandparent yourself that you wish you could ask your own grandparent questions!
So, in the end, my question for myself is this: What am I capable of doing that I have not done yet? Maybe I’ll ponder that as I drive for 10 hours in a few days!