2 November 2011

Pink Flamingos

Many years ago, Jim and I went to visit his parents at their winter home near Lakeland Florida. He enticed me by misrepresenting it as a ‘Trailer Park,’ when in fact, it was something a lot more classy.  Where I was hoping to find plastic pink flamingoes and rusted hibachis, I found instead generous doublewide mobile homes with tasteful furniture.

Life there went on at it’s own cheerful step. There were card games, Mai-Tais, and a community swimming pool. (There was also a little stream with an alligator in it). And when the senoirs wanted to bust out, they could go in to town to shop, or to Hooters, for some wings!

Freedom 55!

Life was nice in that park. The big world seemed to stay outside, announcing its' presence  through newspapers, or TV. Residents set their own pace, and familiar faces walked, or rolled around (on giant tricycles), amidst laughing, euchre, and gin.

Week three of my treatment and my life is going at my own pace. Calm tasks fill the day. If so inclined (I’m not) I could learn to knit, or try a new recipe. There are books to read, friends to see, and plants that need my attention. In effect I’ve created my own little Lakeland.

Life in Little Lakeland is okay! Firstly, I rarely go downtown anymore. It really IS loud, and I’ve lost my ambition to run yellow lights and scream loudly into my cell phone. When I want to socialize I tend towards in-home rather than going out. Firstly, being out takes a lot of effort.  Secondly, there’s pressure to do my hair. And thirdly, why eat in a restuarant when I can buy a perfectly delicious (organic) chicken pie, and serve it on the sofa!

Exercise, now, is of slower variety. Yoga, which had escalated to become a Lulu Lemon fashion show, is simple. No more twisting into a pretzel while showing off one’s flair for Sanskrit. My new mat mates roll around gently in their worn Winner’s pants, contemplating how to get themselves upright and home, without fainting.

And as for the alarm clock – I don’t need it anymore! If I don’t sleep well, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a nap during day. And no job means no getting up early. No dealing with deadlines, or super-stressed ulcer-plagued colleagues with their masseuse on speed dial. In fact, I don’t often have to rush to be anywhere. And, on most days, my friends can find me close to home, should they need me.

My own little Lakeland isn’t perfect . The real Lakeland had more cocktails, and to be honest, I never once saw Russ or Jeannie (Jim’s parents)  get tired. (In fact, they often took happy hour at the ABC Liquor Lounge, then carried on merrily to the Branch Ranch). But my home is peaceful, and  pleasant retreat. Eventually my desires will be more enthusiastic, and I will to add a few thing to my needs. So, I'm planning on holding onto the serenity, while adding flamingos, and late night TV.

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