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Tough Break

snow.tableIn most parts of the country, this awful winter is starting to loosen its grip, and spring is attempting to make an appearance. Living in the South, it was especially jarring to deal with as many weather events as we had the past few months, consisting of freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. The relief is palpable as we walk outside and see determined little buds pushing their way through the hard ground, and trees bearing welcome blossoms. I do understand that compared to many areas of the country, most particularly Boston which had the most mind-boggling epic snowfall the past few months, we really have little cause to complain. But there are reasons one chooses to live in the South, and weather is not the least of those factors.

So, when schools were closed due to the ice covering most surfaces, I heeded all warnings to be careful. That black ice was sneaky and insidious, and every step outside needed to be taken with concentrated caution. And I was careful – at my house where I hunkered down during the bad weather. But after days of closed schools, meaning no tutoring, things changed by the end of the week, and I embraced the return to making a living.

And then, wham! The black ice got me. I ended up with a spiral fracture of the ankle.castfibula. The pain was constant and it was hard to sleep more than a few hours at a time. The inability to walk or do much of anything for myself was frustrating. And at the time, I didn’t think to ask for details when the doctor told me that he wanted to see me again in 4-5 weeks. In my mind, I thought that meant that in about a month I’d be back to normal. As normal as I can be, anyway.

crutchesThe first thing that I discovered to my shock, was that I have absolutely no ability whatsoever to get around on crutches. Having never broken any bones prior to this, my thoughts about crutches were largely based on the people I’ve seen who seem to get around with the greatest of ease. Younger people. I thought I was in halfway decent shape. How ego-deflating to realize I couldn’t even make it down the driveway in under 10 minutes. Even worse, there’s a step of approximately 10 inches in height from the kitchen into the garage. It was hard enough getting down without toppling over, but nearly impossible to get back into the house. What to do? For over a week, I didn’t even leave my house. But I was getting cabin fever. So I decided to be brave, and at the same time give up any shred of dignity I had left. I put a pillow on a chair by the door, and when I came home from a brief drive that somewhat restored my sanity, I opened the door, yanked the pillow off the chair, and crawled into the house. That went on for 4 weeks. My son couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just hop back into the house the way he demonstrated to me effortlessly. Several times. Insult to injury.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the options available these days when one knee.scooterbreaks an ankle, I have to say that the invention of the knee scooter has been an absolute life-saver. Due to my complete ineptitude with crutches, I would probably be living in bed, under my covers if it weren’t for the knee scooter. But until I got the OK to balance on the fractured-ankle leg, I was unable to get the scooter in and out of the car on my own. Meaning I either had to drive with a companion or be meeting someone at my destination who would do that for me. Or, in the case of my last doctor visit, when a lovely lady in the parking lot took such pity on me seeing me trying to make my way into the doctor’s office using crutches, she went to my car with me and got the scooter out so I wouldn’t further humiliate myself. It was great until I had to get it back in the car by myself after my appointment. No helpful souls were in sight. I ended up almost breaking my nose as the loose end of the scooter swung into the car as I attempted to not fall over. As I said, the concept of dignity has pretty much disappeared from my life.

I went back to the doctor after 4 weeks and was told that things are improving and to return in 3 more weeks. Wait, what? No miraculous healing after 4 weeks? But when will I be normal I asked him, again, assuming that there was  hope I could ever be considered normal. He studied me and asked what being normal meant. I told him that in this case, I meant able to walk again. Well, after 3 weeks of more of the same – except for now being allowed to use the bad leg for balance and apply slight pressure on it – if things continued to improve, I might be able to use the air cast as a walking boot. I once again forgot to ask for how long.

daffodilsAfter almost 6 weeks, there is hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel. With the onset of spring, comes a bit more mobility and freedom. Although things that you never think about are suddenly major obstacles. How do you take out the trash? Vacuum or wash floors? Doing laundry is completely exhausting. Grocery shopping is finally an option, but only one bag per trip, and getting the groceries into the house while on crutches involves at least 3 trips of slowly emptying out the one bag into 3 little bags. I’ve been lucky that I’ve received help from my children, and kind and generous friends. When I’ve felt down, the drive-through window at TCBY has been a lifeline. I didn’t realize until someone pointed it out to me how lucky I was that I broke the left ankle since I still retained my ability to drive. Whew!

My ego has been appropriately humbled. My delusions of fitness and youth are now gone. Reality is harsh and kind of scary, but I am relieved that things do seem to be headed in the right direction. Except, of course, for the times I do topple over or run over my toes with the scooter. Again, lessons in humility.

And on a serious note, I have chastised myself for my bouts of self-pity. Because this is just a glimpse into the world of those who have to live with some sort of disability on a long-term or permanent basis. Everything we take for granted can be daily obstacles for those who can’t take anything for granted. Kindness helps. Patience helps. And empathy,  putting yourself in the shoes of another person who is going through a tough time in whatever shape or form, is probably the best gift you can give to anyone.

 

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

 

New Naturally Nancy Recipe – Soup!

If you’re not already subscribing to Naturally Nancy, it’s my healthy heating blog, including recipes. And if you’re craving comfort food in the midst of this awful winter, please stop by and take a look at a great recipe for Slow-Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup!

 

slow.cooker.moroccan.lentil.soup

 

https://nancywriteon2.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/take-it-slow/

Look At Me!

smartphone

 

 

There’s a social media post going around that basically asks, “Aren’t you glad that you got all your youthful indiscretions over before the advent of cell phones and everything you do being posted online?” And everyone over the age of 30 shouts, “Yes, yes, and yes!”

 

 

 

Can you imagine what it’s like to have every moment of your life out there for the babyworld to see? In the beginning, it’s the parents posting baby pictures, birthdays, first day of school, and soccer games. But once that first cell phone falls into those hot, little preteen hands, watch out, world.

 

 

globe.2Every thought, every spat, every crush is now in the public domain. These kids have no filters, no sense of privacy at all. They put their bodies out there for public display, and their dislike of teachers, their parents, their bosses are all considered fair game. There’s no sense of the future or any kind of consequences for sharing their soul with a world that gobbles this stuff up, and then ruthlessly spits these kids out.

 

 

There have been studies that conclude that the brain doesn’t fully mature until the pinky.swearage of 25. Or older. So back in high school, you might have done a few things that you kept from your parents. Just saying. And kept these indiscretions from everyone else except for your very best friends in the world.Who were sworn to secrecy on pain of a terrible, horrible death. You might have done stupid things, but they remained your deep, dark secrets. On the whole, you transitioned into adulthood with the follies of your youth largely safely behind you.

 

loveYou might have had serious high school crushes. Again, shared only with your BFFs. And certainly not with the object of your desire. In fact, it was beyond horrifying to think anyone would know about the guy who you spent every moment of your day longing for. How embarrassing to let the world in on your private thoughts!

 

Fast forward to today’s kids. How horrifying it would be for them if no one cared Monkey takes selfieabout those once-private, personal longings. Now, every minute of their lives must be shared with the world in order to validate their existence. A perfect example is the constant taking of selfies. Does anyone else feel that this is the new form of falling in love with yourself by staring into your reflection in the water?

 

 

 

proposalSome of this online sharing is fun, and not only for kids. Posting your own parodies of popular songs has become a thing. Or cute things babies or animals do. I am getting a bit concerned about the new wave of marriage proposals, however. What was once a sweet and private moment has now become a case of one-upmanship, with videos, crowds, singing and dancing as part of the package. As if there wasn’t enough pressure on the poor guy when he pops the question! It’s now got to be worthy of a Broadway production, or he’ll be considered a failure.

 

There is no assumption of the right to privacy anymore. Kids eagerly share their lives with not only their friends, but perfect strangers. The more the merrier. And then the day comes that they want to go to college. Or apply for a job. And they have no idea why they’re turned down. Posting pictures of every meal you’ve ever eaten is one thing. And seriously, how many meals have you eaten that are actually worthy of that kind of publicity? But putting thoughts or pictures out there that never go away, that can adversely affect your future, is not innocent fun. This generation has never really known the concept of anonymity. But the Internet is forever. Nothing really goes away. And it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Or take a picture of it.

coffee

 

 

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

 

Happy New Year 2017

valentines.saleNo, that’s not a typo. Ads for Christmas started before Halloween this year. In the frenzy for sales numbers, Thanksgiving was barely an afterthought as stores insisted on opening by Thanksgiving afternoon. Last week, I guess retailers felt they had saturated the print and visual media long enough regarding Christmas, so I actually saw ads for Valentine’s Day! Yesterday, the day before Christmas, they started inundating us with the post-Christmas sales. I guess the message is now that you’ve spent months shopping for those perfect gifts for everyone you know, forget the actual holiday and let’s get on with the shopping.

 

 

There are end-of-summer sales 4th of July weekend. On the one hand, I’m not Fireworks_diego_bay_on_the_fourth_of_julycomplaining about that – this means I can still get clothes I might actually want to wear during the summer before summer is even halfway over, at drastically reduced prices. On the other hand, this push to keep us buying further and further into the future is, in my humble opinion, the reason so many of us feel that our lives are just racing by.

 

 

 

 

clock.warped

 

 

When you can’t just be in the moment, when you’re constantly urged to start planning for events that are still months away, there is no longer a present (pun intended). Life just gets pushed further and further along at breakneck speed. To where?

 

 

 

 

When I was a kid (yes, once again, back in prehistoric times), time seemed to move grassat the pace of grass growing. I don’t remember ever thinking that something enjoyable had raced by in the blink of an eye. But when I talk to children these days, I often hear them say how quickly the year has gone, or express similar thoughts. What are we doing to our kids, let alone, ourselves when  all we do is tell them that now doesn’t matter?

 

rocket

Life goes by way too fast, without us ramping up to warp speed. At this pace, if we keep pushing our rampant commercialism to the next level, we might have end-of-summer sales before the season starts. And eventually, the further we push things ahead, we’ll meet at the actual time that would be appropriate for a particular holiday or season. At the rate things are going, I’m giving it two years for everything to sort itself out and catch up to itself.

 

Meanwhile, I hope you had a very happy holiday season, and I’d like to wish you all a very Happy 2017.

 

happy new year 2015 sms in English

 

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

New Naturally Nancy Recipe

If you’re looking for healthy and easy cooking, check out Naturally Nancy. The newest recipe is barely a recipe, that’s how easy it is! http://nancywriteon2.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/stir-fried-2/stir.fry.2

Boo Hoo

teen.momI don’t watch reality shows unless they involve contestants who are singing, dancing, or cooking. Or possibly losing weight or designing something. The shows I avoid like the plague are the shows that cater to the lowest common denominator and our basest instincts. We’re talking shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of (pick your city), Duck Dynasty, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Add to that list the show about dating while naked. And the one about teen mothers. The list goes on and on.

Since I have never watched any of the aforementioned shows, I can’t talk in great detail about their Titanic_struck_icebergcontent. I can only generalize, based on things I have read about them. But I don’t think I’m too far off the mark in saying that most of them are the equivalent of waiting for the Titanic to hit the iceberg.

The people on these shows are chosen because they can put on a show. Not, like a classy Broadway show. More like the battles in the Roman Colosseum. The people on these shows are willing to get drunk. They’re willing to curse and start fights on camera. They’re willing to show the world things about themselves that most people don’t want their closest friends to know about them.

angerSo, is anyone really surprised when these “reality stars” implode? Do we really need to sit and wonder how this could happen? Are these people anyone’s role models? Our society as a whole has gotten baser and crasser as limits, privacy, and good taste disappear. The Internet, hundreds of TV stations willing to buy any kind of programming, cell phones, and parents who find their control and influence eroding when faced with all these challenges are the parts that add up to the whole problem. And I have no idea what the solution is, except to stop watching these train wrecks.

The latest, and in my mind, most disgusting implosion is the end of Honey Boo Boo. Not the little girl, honey.boobut the whole circus surrounding her. The fact that her mother has decided it’s OK to date a convicted child molester is horrifying. To then read that this woman’s oldest daughter had been molested by this man when she was a child makes me want to throw up. And the oldest daughter says she “would feel hurt” if her mom was dating this vermin again? She goes on to add “I would not feel betrayed, but I would feel hurt.” She should feel betrayed! She should also feel furious and angry and horrified. What kind of mother would even consider dating the man who harmed her child, instead of wanting to rip his heart out? And these are just two of the people who make Heaven knows how many thousands upon thousands of dollars while appearing these shows.

starI’m sorry, but maybe people who teach, or save others, or rescue animals, don’t make disgusting spectacles of themselves, and therefore don’t merit the large viewership of these shows, because no one is throwing raw meat to the lions. But surely, they deserve the recognition and monetary rewards that the saddest examples of humanity have showered upon them them for debasing themselves – and in the process those of us who watch this drek – in their desperate pursuit of celebrity.

 

 

Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved

 

Losing It (on Naturally Nancy)

If you’ve struggled with eating healthy foods, especially when you’re ravenous, we’ve all been there. In my new Naturally Nancy post, Losing It, I talk about how I learned to avoid the traps of frozen meals or fast food, and how I’m actually finally losing weight! (Plus, there’s a bonus recipe!)

Hooray

If you’re interested, here you go: http://nancywriteon2.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/losing-it/

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