Slowing Down

I am definitely getting older. And tomorrow is not guaranteed.

I have serious health problems, and I live in a land where Republicans and the corporate overlords get to tell us all that if we don’t have enough wealth to forfeit for it, even though they keep raising the prices to make higher profits, then I am welcome to die and make room for someone who works harder for less money.

I generally laugh it off and continue to work harder. I have avoided the expense of insulin, which is very expensive because Big Pharma knows that if my life is threatened I’m likely to pay every cent I own for what will save my life. I walk at least 7,000 steps a day, usually more, and I eat the best food I can manage in small quantities, just like the diabetes experts taught me in 2004, back when I could still afford health care from specialists. I will continue to fight to live and do it without paying all my money to rich Republicans and corporate overlords who are fat and need to walk more and eat better themselves.

I could easily be dead of heart failure or stroke by tomorrow. And I don’t fear death. A quick, surprise end would be better than lingering suffering that drains my family of resources and wealth, the way the Republicans and corporate overlords hope it does. But my 90-year-old aunt in Iowa recently pointed out that both of my parents were in their late eighties before they passed away, and two of my four grandparents lived well into their eighties. My Grandma Beyer lived to 95, and I had two great grandparents that fell short of 100 by two years or less. It is possible I have time to get more done.

I did already complete a career in teaching for 31 years which is my primary claim to a life well-lived. And I was a successful teacher, at least according to the many former students that told me I made a difference to them and they remembered my class fondly… they couldn’t all be lying, could they?

But with my retirement, I invested my time as a storyteller. I have already published 19 novels and two books of essays. My best work was in Snow Babies, Catch a Falling Star, Sing Sad Songs, Recipes for Gingerbread Children, and The Baby Werewolf. And my storytelling has produced some things beyond those 21 books that I hope to finish.

And I do not feel like I haven’t done enough good storytelling in my life. Teachers are professional storytellers after all. So, if I drop dead ten minutes from now, I have not been cheated in that category either.

But I am having trouble with wandering thoughts, diabetic depression, forgetfulness, and arthritic fingers that constantly make me go back and retype things endlessly. I have recently gone whole weeks without working on my various works in progress. And I have only kept my blog-posting string going by reposting old classic posts every now and then.

If I am going to make further progress, it will be slower. I have not given up. But I am slowing down.

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